Why do you need a professional font manager?
Whether you Have 3 fonts for a document or 20 fonts for a Document, font management is essential. A professional font manager ensures that you are using only the exact versions of fonts you need. It avoids silent font substitution in your key applications like QuarkXPress or Adobe InDesign and provides you with the reliable, hassle-free, industrial-strength font management your workflow requires.
Effective font management will result in:
- Increased efficiency
- Consistent use of fonts
- License compliancy
So, how do you achieve effective font management in a workgroup environment? The answer is server-based font management. Here are the key advantages that server-based font management can offer:
Are you controlling your fonts or are your fonts controlling you?
If you work at a publishing company that publishes several books, or at a creative agency that produces ads and collateral for several different clients, you know how critical each workgroup’s contribution is to the final product. And you know that each workgroup must have access to the same set of fonts needed for a specific project. Add to that, each client or project has a unique look and style. If the wrong font is accidentally used or an out-of-date font is used, the project is halted. Work stops. Productivity diminishes. Deadlines are missed. And if an unlicensed font is used, the publisher or agency is exposed to legal ramifications when a font license agreement is violated.
Is centralized font storage enough?
Storing fonts on a centralized network solves part of the problem. The workgroup members have access to all of the fonts and can copy the fonts to their desktops. However, there is room for error.
- Font updates—Unless a user gets new fonts each time he/she works on a job, the fonts on the desktop can become out-of-date or corrupt. For example, if Linotype releases a new version of Helvetica Neue, and it is placed on the server, each user must update the fonts on his/her desktop. Some users may accidentally keep outdated versions, and some may keep the previous version for a document that is in progress. Even though the fonts originate from one location, there is no way for the administrator to ensure that everyone continues to use the same fonts—without checking the machines at each desktop.
- Correct fonts—As a project moves through the workgroups—editorial, design, and production—someone must ensure that the appropriate fonts are used every step of the way. If one client’s project uses Helvetica Neue by Agfa-Monotype, and another job uses Helvetica Neue by Linotype, the incorrect font could be used. When the mistake is discovered, work stops until the problem is resolved. A simple error may cost minutes, but a big error could cost hours.
- Licensing - While users can get the “approved” fonts from a central server, there is no way to stop users from bringing in rogue fonts from outside the company, putting them on their desktop machine, and using them in a company job. Additionally, there is no way for administrators to tell how many are using a particular font at a particular time or track usage for licensing decisions.
So where do you go from here?
Since the introduction of centralized font storage, the challenge has been—what’s the next logical step in font management? The answer is: server-based font management.
Server-based font management solutions provide administrators with the control they need to eliminate font issues and ensure a smooth workflow. These solutions have evolved to include powerful features such as remote administration access, the ability to permit/restrict font and feature access to Clients, and font license tracking. Other features include:
- Centralized, secure font storage
- Permission settings to control Client access to fonts and features
- Assigning fonts to specific users or groups
- Continuous updating
- Font license tracking and limit notification
- Remote administration from any Client
- Cross-platform support
Extensis offers two such solutions: Font Reserve Server and Suitcase Server. Both deliver flexible, scalable font management for Windows, Macintosh, or cross-platform workgroup environments.
Font management under control
Andrew Taylor, Macintosh support analyst at one of Great Britain’s top five full-service marketing agencies, is realizing the benefits of server-based font management.
“Users don’t have to think about fonts. They just enter the name of the client project they are working on and the approved fonts are available. When any new fonts are required, they contact me, so I can purchase them legally as necessary and load them onto the server. I know there will be no shocks when a job is completed because whatever leaves creative for the studio only contains approved fonts.”