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The Digital Pre-Press - A Bit About Fonts

A Bit About Fonts

It has been my experience that fonts are still the most troublesome area for prepress. A day rarely goes by that an electronic file doesn't have fonts missing when submitted. There are conflicts of font versions, names and type (truetype or type 1). So pay attention to which type faces you use and how you use them. Below I will show you how to look for and identify the type of font you are using and how to be sure you are sending all the elements of the font to your printer or service bureau.

Where to find them

For Mac OS they are usually in your system folder. However, better still if you are using a font management application such as Suitcase, Adobe Type Manager, Font Book or FontAgent.

True Type vs. Type 1

True Type fonts are great because you can bold a bold, italicize an italic and it only has one icon that you can easily identify and drag around. However, they don't always behave well through the Postscript intesive pre-press workflow, they are great for use at home but may not perform properly in the high end printing environment.

Type 1 fonts are Postscript (the language of printing) compatible. They are the ones we like to see, however they must be handled correctly in order for us to output them. They consist of two parts: screen fonts and printer fonts. The idea here is to match up the screen and printer fonts so you can provide us with all these elements that you used for your job. Unlike true types, you must give us the screen and printer fonts for the Regular, the Bold, the Italic and the Bold Italic face. If you Italicize a type using the the Type Style menu and there is no supporting printer font for it then it will not function properly through our pre-press workflow.

More Do's and Dont's

Don't rename your fonts. Give them to us the exactly the way that you used them. If all the screen fonts were in a suitcase when you used them, then that's the way we want you to copy them to the disc. Don't create a new suitcase for the screen fonts and throw them all in there.

If fonts were not converted to paths when you saved an .eps file from Illustrator or Freehand, then we must have those fonts too.

 

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