February '13

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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•Take steps to allow the letters to fit next to each other in a pleasing manner (called kerning). In the case of embroidered fonts, they should move from any letter to any next letter in the most efficient fashion. •Embroidery fonts might include more than one version of a letter. The one used is determined by the letter before and after in the sequence. •Character spacing should be adjusted and tested. Implement as many combinations of characters as possible to make sure the spacing is correct, no matter what the arrangement of lettering. •Some typefaces have certain letters with narrower uprights than others and, when creating an embroidered font, these should be widened for good optical balance. •In expertly-prepared fonts, alternate characters should be automatically available when you choose a font of less than 1012mm, offering a file that has eliminated small stitches and thin uprights, thus decreasing the possibility of distortion. •Note that not all software allows for keyboard font creation. Also beware of awkwardly shaped letters, such as in the above. The letter o in the font on top looks too similar to the a in the example below it. In this case, the difference between Arnalda and Arnaldo is not just a spelling error, but also differentiates the gender of the name. (Image courtesy Janet Lindstrom, Elegant Stitches) The two examples pictured show the difference between letters that are not properly kerned (top) and those that are (bottom). Kerning refers to the spacing of letters and text. (Image courtesy Nevi Appanna, E-Fect Promotion) Once font characters are digitized to work as keyboard fonts—working in the mode that automatically controls kerning, character use, pathing directions and other features associated with text—it is the software algorithms that take over. These algorithms, created by developers, control what may be possible on overall creation, editing and refinement capabilities. Ah, those pesky algorithms. Font Conversion Software that allows TrueType font conversion as a component of the software (or as a stand-alone program) is the answer for many when it comes to creating lettering. But the quality of it is affected by the quality of the font used—and all fonts are not created equal. A font that is finely hinted has a hand-fashioned quality and the speed of 2013 February Printwear PW_FEB13.indd 73 | 73 1/18/13 10:17 AM

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