Tagged: fonts

Fonts & Intellectual Property, an interview with Frank Martinez

Frank MartinezBy Jim Kidwell
Product Marketing Manager at Extensis

The issues surrounding copyright, intellectual property and design can confound even the most intrepid designer. Fortunately, there are those who specialize in the field.

One of those experts is Frank Martinez, the legal mind behind the intellectual property law firm The Martinez Group PLLC. Mr. Martinez’s work focuses on the legal issues surrounding the field of design, and this has often taken him into the legal and intellectual property issues surrounding the development, sale and use of fonts and typography.

Now considered one of the pre-eminent experts in the field, Mr. Martinez took a few minutes to answer a few questions about his design roots, font licensing and the future of design law.

What follows is an edited excerpt of the full interview with Frank Martinez, which can be found on the Extensis blog.

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Extensis Suitcase Fusion 4: New version brings useful features

Suitcase FusionExtensis has released Suitcase Fusion 4, and brought with it a few new features that designers will love. In doing so, Extensis has raised the bar for other font managers when it comes to integrating fonts in the print and web world.

For years (long before the OS X days) my font manager of choice has always been Extensis Suitcase. It’s always been reliable and worked as smoothly as can be expected. But when Fusion 3 was released, I began noticing problems. Nothing major, but it took forever to load, and the Fusion Core System Preference began to forget to launch quite often. It could have been my system and not Fusion, but I never found out. Overall it just wasn’t a smooth experience, so I switched to Font Explorer X and all was well… for a while. When Apple released Lion, however, Font Explorer began exhibiting all sorts of issues for me. As luck would have it, Extensis just released Suitcase Fusion 4. Within hours, it became my preferred font manager. Again.

At first glance, Suitcase Fusion 4 doesn’t appear to have changed much beyond the new icon (part of their new corporate re-branding). But use it for an hour or so and you begin to see they’ve changed much more than just its icon.

For starters, the problems I was having with slow load times of Suitcase, as well as Adobe InDesign with the auto-activation plugin installed, have gone away completely. Suitcase and InDesign both launch quickly and continued to run smoothly over the last two weeks. And because the Fusion Core is part of the app itself, there’s no System Preference amnesia to deal with anymore.

Suitcase Fusion 4 interface

The Suitcase Fusion 4 interface will look familiar to existing users

Integration

Fusion web font integrationThe first thing I noticed was that Extensis’ WebINK technology is fully baked-in to Fusion. Your purchased WebINK fonts show up right in Fusion’s font source list, as well as approximately 4,600 other available fonts for purchase and use on your websites. I actually use WebINK for the fonts you see here on The Graphic Mac – so it’s nice to have access to them right in Suitcase. But Extensis didn’t stop there.

You also have Google’s Web Fonts available at your disposal for use in any application. Google Web Fonts show up in the source list as a separate library as well, so there’s no confusion as to where a font came from.

Fusion feature goodness!

All the past and expected features such as auto-activation in Adobe CS apps, font smart sets, and identification/keyword tools are available in Suitcase Fusion. The ability to leave fonts in place or add them to the Fusion Vault is still there (I prefer to use the Vault to prevent corruption and make backups easier), but a few more goodies are really what makes Fusion 4 a great upgrade.

Fusion 4 introduces an independent font panel into Adobe Creative Suite apps that not only allows you to preview fonts, but create customized font digests for specific projects. The panel requires CS 5 or higher to work.

On the maintenance front, you can now check for font corruption and clear font caches right from within Fusion – avoiding the need for other 3rd party utilities. But the new feature that really made my day was QuickMatch.

Fusion 4 Quick MatchSelecting an available font from your installed fonts list and clicking on the new Quick Match icon displays a list of other fonts in your library that closely resemble the selected font.

OH HELL YEAH!!!

QuickMatch offers a slider to adjust the relevance of the matched results. You can also tick a checkbox to limit the results by font style or classification, making the task of finding just the right font quite simple.

To me, Quick Match is the killer feature that every designer will absolutely love!

And how’s this for cool… you can load an existing website (right from the web) and apply any font in your collection to the site to see what it will look like. Awesome! This is particularly useful if you plan on using the WebINK or Google Web Fonts technology I mentioned above.

Suitcase Fusion 4 is available for Mac OS X 10.5.8 and higher on an Intel Mac, and works with Adobe Creative Suite 3 and higher (I’m sure a CS6 plugin update will arrive shortly after Adobe releases CS6 to the public). The full version costs just $99.95, and upgrades from Fusion 2 or 3 cost just $49.95. A demo is available to see if Suitcase Fusion 4 is right for your preferred workflow.

With this latest updated, Extensis has cemented its dominant lead in the font management market, in my opinion. And it has certainly earned its place back in the Dock of my Mac Pro and MacBook Air.

If you’re in the market for a new font manager, or feel the need to use one for the first time, I HIGHLY recommend giving Suitcase Fusion 4 a try.

Use Web Fonts in your Photoshop website mock-ups

The Extensis Web Font Plug-in for Adobe Photoshop allows you to use WebINK fonts in the creation of website mock-ups in Photoshop. Extensis offers the WebINK service which allows you to easily use high-quality fonts on your website through their Suitcase Fusion font manager. The significance of this free plug-in is that you don’t have to already own or have installed the fonts during the design process.

Extensis Web Font Plug-in makes using Web Fontss in your mock-ups easy

Most of the Foundries available in the WebINK service have made their fonts available for use in the Photoshop plug-in, and more are being added. The fonts are available in an easy to use Photoshop panel after signing-in to the service right in the panel.

To use the free Web Font Plug-in, you need to download and install the Suitcase Fusion font manager demo, and set up a free WebINK account. If you already own Suitcase Fusion, you can simply update the app. If you don’t want to use the Suitcase Fusion app to manage your fonts, the plug-in will continue to work after the demo expires.

The Graphic Mac Link Box #5

The Graphic Mac Link BoxA collection of interesting or otherwise helpful links I’ve come across recently that you may not have seen:

9 Things you should do after installing OS X Lion
No operating system is perfect, though. At least, not for everyone, and especially not right out of the (non-existent) box. Looking to make your Lion experience that much better, we’ve bundled together a bevy of tips and tricks that you really ought to have ready on your first trip into the new OS.

What Potential Impact Can HTML5 Have on SEO?
How might HTML5 change the way we approach SEO? What are the possible impacts of HTML5 in search engine algorithms? A few questions answered in this informative article.

10 Free Slab Serif Fonts
You can never have too many fonts available. This is a small, but nice collection.

Instaport for Instagram
A simple way to export all your Instagram photos to other social services or your local hard drive.

40 High-Quality InDesign Tutorials
New to Adobe InDesign? DesignMag has a great collection of informative tutorials to help you learn the ins-and-outs of the most popular page layout and design application.

9 tips for emailing important people (clients)
Here are 9 top-notch tips for writing emails that make it as easy as possible for the recipient to send you a response.

Font Dropper 1000 aids web designers in finding the right font for their site

Font Dropper 1000

Extensis makes it easy to see what different fonts will look like on your site

Font Dropper 1000 is the easiest way to test or design with web fonts from WebINK by Extensis. Just open FontDropper 1000 on any web page and start dropping fonts. See your changes instantly. Adjust font size, color, spacing and more.

The Font Dropper 1000 service is a simple bookmarklet that works in Safari, Chrome and Firefox. You should check it out, it’s pretty cool for web designers!

FontExplorer X Pro 3: complete font management for your Mac

FontExplorer X ProIt’s no secret that I’ve been a huge fan of Extensis Suitcase Fusion for many years. In fact, I’ve never veered away from it for my font management needs since the days of Mac OS 9 on my PPC Macs. Recently I was asked by the folks at Linotype/Monotype to take a look at FontExplorer X Pro 3. I had no interest in switching font managers but I figured what the heck, I’ll give it a try.

What started with admiring the very slick icon, ended up being complete surprise to me, and a shift in my thinking about my preferred font management app of choice.

FontExplorer X Pro 3 (I’ll call it FEX from this point forward) isn’t the “mostly glitz and little guts” type of alternative application you run into when trying to replace a big-name app. FEX is stable, fast, intuitive, and actually works as advertised. After about an hour of use, I began to think “this is nice, but at some point today this thing is going to do something to tick me off.” FEX never did.

FontExplorer X Pro main window

FontExplorer X Pro's main window contains exactly what you would expect in a font manager

The main window of FEX is much like any other font manager, listing your fonts and font sets in a column on the left, with a preview of fonts on the right. And like other font managers, FEX allows you to create groups of fonts you use frequently, add tags to your fonts for easy searching, get more in-depth info about your fonts, and set up custom type previews of selected fonts. Being a Suitcase Fusion user, I felt right at home in FEX. (more…)

Extensis brings Adobe Font Collection to web designers

WebINK brings Adobe fonts to web designers

WebINK brings Adobe fonts to web designers

Extensis announced that they are working with Adobe to deliver the Adobe Font Collection typefaces to the Web with its WebINK web font service.

Over 180 Adobe fonts are now available on WebINK, including some of their most recognized type families. Myriad Pro, Adobe Garamond Pro, and Chaparral Pro are just a few of the families available as Adobe Web Fonts.

“Extensis WebINK makes web site development and design easy, and integration with Suitcase Fusion 3 is a great feature for designers,” said Caleb Belohlavek, principal product manager for Type Development at Adobe. “We’re excited to collaborate with Extensis to provide customers with high-quality Adobe type for the web.”

Until recently, web browser and font license limitations have constrained Web developers to using only a handful of typefaces in their web designs. Extensis’ recent debut of WebINK breaks down these barriers, instantly delivering custom fonts straight to web browsers using WebINK’s global network. With WebINK, web designers simply indicate their chosen fonts using the @font-face rule in CSS. Developers can now choose from a huge array of fonts and quickly reference them within the site’s HTML code.

WebINK has a free 30-day trial, so you have a great opportunity to test your own website using custom web fonts. And don’t forget, WebINK is integrated into Extensis Suitcase Fusion, making it even easier to use.