June 15, 2022  |  adobe, client file, fonts, what the font, word, wtf


What the Font?

One of the biggest problems we face with customer files is not having the same fonts they used.

Fonts seem simple but they really aren’t. There are thousands of fonts and variations now in use. Some programs (like our Adobe Creative Cloud group of programs) will alert us when a font used in a file is not installed on our machines, but not all of our clients use this software to create their art. This means we are not always aware that there is a potential font problem.

Many of our clients use Microsoft Office products (Word, PowerPoint and Excel) to set up their flyers, invitations and other materials. These applications are not design programs. There were originally created to type letters, create presentations and calculate spreadsheets. So if you send us a Word file, we’ll need to open it using Word on our end, and unlike our suite of design programs, it won’t tell us a single thing about potential problems such as missing fonts. Word will simply substitute another font in the missing font’s place. When this happens, it will change the appearance of your print. Sometimes the change is minimal, other times it completely ruins the job.

So what are some ways to solve this problem?

One way is to give us a copy of all the font files used in your piece. That way we have exactly the fonts used. Another method is to convert the fonts to outlines before giving us the file. It will lock all the words into place as graphic elements. This means the text is no longer editable, so make sure to use a copy and keep the original as an editable file.

What’s the easiest way to make sure a document will print as expected?

Convert it to a PDF. This helps ensure your job prints just they way you intended. Many programs today will allow you to save your file directly to a PDF. This eliminates the need to convert text to graphics or to provide extra files with your job.