Established in 1993, Extensis is a developer of software and services for creative professionals and workgroups. Best known for their font management application Suitcase, Extensis also offers a web font delivery platform (WebINK) and develops a digital asset management tool. In March, Extensis began rolling out a new identity internally designed in collaboration by Portland, OR-based Owen Jones & Partners and Hood River, OR-based Blue Collar. Additional typographic help came from Extensis’ own Thomas Phinney, Senior Product Manager, Fonts & Typography.
A custom piece of lettering makes up the “e” mark, and gives the brand personality and playfulness. The logotype was also customized, with some help from Thomas Phinney at Extensis, beginning with the Adelle typeface. The two together create something both beautiful and unique, and speak to the creative yin and business yang. We couldn’t be happier. And it appears, neither could Extensis.
— Owen Jones & Partners project page
Looking at the previous logo takes me back to the first time I ever used Suitcase. Which is to say the twentieth century. Which reminds me of QuarkXpress and OS Classic. That’s not necessarily a good thing for a tech company. It was also an evil-ishly condensed sans serif with far too many pointy edges and some of the oddest looking “S”s. The new logo is the complete opposite. It’s lighter, wider and more extended, friendlier, and airier. Like the old logo, it doesn’t necessarily communicate anything in particular about what Extensis does but at least it definitely demonstrates more commitment to the typography it helps serve. The chunky “e” is cute and fun to look at, it’s about to wink at you at any given point. The wordmark is a customized version of Adelle — Phinney describes the type process here — that now sports ball terminals on the “s”s and a chopped off crossbar on the “t” that, although it is one of my most hated techniques, manages to work here as the top-right serif of the “x” visually completes it. Overall, it’s a visually more compelling and contemporary logo but it could be used by just about any modern-day tech company.