Tips & Tricks

How-To Articles

Fonts?

Truetype
These are used primarily with Windows but also found on Macintosh. All the font information for viewing and printing is contained in one file. Truetype fonts have a reputation of printing inconsistently. The typical issue is the spacing can be
inconsistant between letters, words and paragraphs causing columns of text to reflow.

Type One
Also known as Postscript fonts, Type One fonts have the information contained within two files, screen and printer. The screen file is used to render the font on the monitor and the printer file contains information to print the font. In order to print a
Type One font, both files are needed. Type One fonts are the preferred font format due to their extreme reliability.

Opentype
Opentype is a newer font file format where the original Truetype font format has been reengineered. They can be used with either Windows or Macintosh computers. Like Truetype fonts, all the information for printing and viewing is contained in
one file.

Type Style Menus
Page layout software allows fonts to be stylized (make them bold, italic, etc.) in two ways. You can choose the actual font from the font menu or you can stylize the font with a attribute such as bold or italic. Most people stylize a font rather than looking through the font menu for the correct version of the font. It is never recommended to stylize fonts for several reasons:

When fonts are built, they have to be set to match the type styling menu. Not all fonts are setup for this, so if you choose to stylize Futura as Bold, it may look correct on your screen but not print bold.

Another reason for not using type styling is aesthetics. When a regular or book font is bolded, what you often get is a thicker version of that font. Bold members of a font family have been carefully drawn so that they still retain the aesthetic quality and sharp detail of the regular version. In the case of italicizing, the letterforms are redrawn while the characters still look like a member of the font family. Italic styling a regular version of a font merely slants the font. The characters don't look italic. They look like they're falling over.

Another common issue is when a font such as Futura Bold is chosen and bold styling is applied. There is no such thing as Futura Bold Bold. The font may look heavy on the screen but it will print unpredictably

Creating Outlines
When fonts created in Illustrator, CorelDraw or Freehand are converted to artwork (referred to as convert to outlines or convert to curves), the letters become an object in the file just like any circle or square. This is helpful if you want to prevent font issues. However, once a font has been converted to outlines it cannot be edited with text tools.

THE BOTTOM LINE
When using Truetype fonts be aware of their reputation of printing inconsistently. Always use the font menu to choose a font style and avoid the style menus. Otherwise, the output will be inconsistent.