Fixing Common Font Problems
Tips Tricks and Hacks to Common Font Problems
Many people have problems with their fonts when exporting designs, opening documents or working on different computers. There are reasons that many people get frustrated with fonts, but here are some helpful pointers to dealing with common font issues while designing your hit T-Shirt
Tip 1) The Missing File Extension
Ever see a font you downloaded or a customer supplied to you and the icon is grayed out and you can't double click the file to open it. Fonts (as well as other file types) sometimes are corrupted by other people saving the file improperly or other "weird" circumstances. Since fonts usually come in only three formats TrueType (.ttf), OpenType (.otf) and PostScript Type 1 (.pfb or .pfm (MAC)), if the file extension is missing, or if you suspect it to be missing, try typing ".ttf", ".otf" or ".pfb" after the filename and see if you have any luck of the file becoming usable. This trick can also work on other file extensions if you know what program the file was setup in.
Tip 2) Missing or Substituted Font at the Printer
So you've created a awesome design and you have it printed. All excited when you receive the final product, the print doesn't have the right font and the layout changed dramatically. What happened?! Well you had the font on your computer but the printer didn't and their computer substituted a different font and the production people missed it. How do you deal with an issue like that? There are a couple of ways. 1) It's easiest to just include the fonts you use in a "resource" or "links" folder that you supply to the printer with your print file. See our article on fonts & typography for where to find the fonts on your PC. 2) Rasterize your image. Convert your image into a bitmap (pixel) image like a *.jpeg, *.tif or *.png file. WARNING - rasterizing fonts can make them difficult to read in small sizes (bloated look). Make sure to mess with anti-aliasing methods (if available) in programs like Photoshop to provide the desired crispness, sharpness and boldness of your text. 3) Like number two, but in vector programs like Illustrator, convert your text to outlines. You may have that bloated look again for small text, but in the world of T-Shirt design, we don't encourage writing a book on your tee and, with larger fonts, this is usually never an issue.
Tip 3) What does that say?
Most people have this ideal image in their head of what their design is going to look like when it's done and it's going to be the greatest thing ever! A common mistake that ammeter designers run into however is the macro versus micro trap... Especially in regards to the text on their design. When staring at your screen inches away zoomed in 200%, all text on your design will more than likely be decipherable. However, a lot of times when the design is printed and, in this case, worn on a T-Shirt, the design is cool looking but illegible. For typical viewing distances, words that are much smaller than 2.5" tall are kind of hard to read so, if you are using something like a 12 point font on your design, nobody's going to be able to read it. Similarly, low contrast, complicated backgrounds and dull colors tend to lessen visibility. Rule of thumb, once your done designing, zoom out and stand back from your computer. If you can't read the image from that perspective, nobody will be able to read your design on a shirt walking down the street.