May 12, 2015  |  fonts

A brief word about fonts.


We just wanted to touch base about a subject that comes up now and again – fonts. There are so many different fonts and so many variations of fonts (who knows how many Helveticas are out there!) that we felt this needed addressing. 

When customers send us their files, they usually do not send the fonts with them. We literally have thousands of fonts, but certainly not all the fonts in use. If we do have the font the customer has used, it may not be exactly the same version. As a result, there may be subtle – sometimes not so subtle – differences from the file we are are trying to print to what our customer expects to see. 

Programs like Adobe Creative Suite and Publisher will tell us if a font is missing. Applications like Word, Excel and Powerpoint won’t. If the MS Office Suite programs cannot find the font that was used, they simply replace the missing font with something else and happily go on their way, not caring if the replaced font looks wildly out of place. 

One way to avoid a font issue is to convert your text to outlines. Keep in mind that you’ll want to do this to a copy of your file, not the original, since outlining fonts means converting them to graphic objects. If you want to go back and edit something, you will need the actual text. Whether your program allows you to convert the text to outlines or not, you may have another option - saving or exporting the file as a PDF.

Sending us a PDF of your file in addition to the original file is often the best practice. When you make your PDF, you can open and check it before sending to make sure everything is coming out the way you want it. And by having both files, if we do need to make any changes for you, we can use the PDF as a reference for how you want your piece to print.