Extensis Suitcase Fusion 4 review
Pros: Web font integration; create custom font lists; preview faces
Cons: CS6 support still to come
We know designers who fixate about fonts the same way others obsess over old vinyl records. Constantly reorganising their collections, searching through their back catalogue and adding new acquisitions. OS X’s font management tools are simply inadequate for the task.
Suitcase Fusion is the tool of choice. In version 4 there’s a new UI designed to simplify the roundtrip between font manager and the myriad applications designers use, so it’s a significant upgrade.
Top of the new feature list is integration with Adobe Creative Suite. Designers can preview, organise and activate fonts directly within Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Working on a design project in CS? Download the new font, see how it looks and install it without leaving the document window. Hella cool.
The feature supports CS tools from version 3 through to 5.5 - with support for CS6 set to come as a free upgrade just as soon as Extensis have bashed out the bugs. Quark users aren’t left in the cold either, with plugin support for Quark Xpress 7,8 and 9.
Adobe’s print workflow tool InCopy is catered for too, with the built in activation plug-in updated to make new fonts instantly available.
Suitcase Fusion’s best known for its organisation tools and these have had a beefy boost. Font favouriting lets you pick star fonts from your collection, so your fallback faces are always easily accessible. You can also create and curate your own custom font lists, for collections of typefaces that fit a job or theme.
And talking about picking fonts for the job, the preview window enables you to see fonts with your choice of text - headline, logo, strap - whatever you need. Take it a step further and you can even try fonts out using the built in colour picker, with a bespoke background.
One of our own favourite features is Google Web Font integration. This online collection of free faces is designed for use in web pages, but includes many fonts that are just as suited to print and digital publishing projects. There are hundreds to choose from. This feature increases web font support introduced previously through Webink.
If you’re serious about design and typography, you need a font. Suitcase Fusion 4 is among the best. With for Quark and tools, its got all professional bases covered.