Total Newbie Font Questions


S

sarahj

New Member
#1
Hi everyone!

Basically, I am a total newbie to graphic design. I don't have any qualifications in Graphic Design/Illustration (to be honest, I'm not 100% sure what the difference is!) but I'm an artistic person and I enjoy designing so I decided to start selling my "work" (mostly typography prints) online. I've only sold a few pieces so far and haven't had any complaints from customers yet, but I have a few fears about using fonts and I can't seem to find definitive answers to my questions. My questions are:

1. Do fonts need to be converted to paths in order to print well?

To start with, I purchased a font with a commercial license, created my design in gimp and exported it as a Jpeg. I sent the file to a print company and it came out just fine. But with the second font I purchased, the text came out fuzzy so after a lot of research, I got inkscape and clicked on 'object to path' and saved as a png which solved the problem. Therefore, when creating typography work is it best to use inkscape and convert text to paths every time or can I just use gimp as before?

2. Do I need to embed the font?

I've seen people talk about 'embedding' fonts into files otherwise, people who don't have the font on their computer won't be able to print it. Is this something I need to do?

3. Is there anything else I should know?

Ultimately, I want to create typography posters that can be printed using any computer and up to 18"x24" in size. So, is there anything else I need to know to make sure the files print well?

Thank you so much for any help and sorry for the long post!
 
hankscorpio

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
#2
1 - No
But creating it in Gimp is completely wrong, GIMP is a raster program, and it converts everything to an image. One may turn out fine, but the other didn't because there was not enough resolution in the raster.

http://www.graphicdesignforums.co.uk/threads/raster-images-vs-vector-images-an-explanation.19/

Inkscape would be the correct program to create a vector layout - but outlining is unnecesarry - and creating a PNG is the same as creating a raster, as PNG files cannot contain vector information.

2 - If you export to PDF then fonts are automatically embedded (given the permission is in the font for embedding)
Fonts are software - you license them - you can purchase a license to use a font - but you never own a font.

As it's software - then it has a setting within this to allow embedding. The only time anyone would see what font it is is if they opened the PDF in a program to make an edit - which is common amongst amatures - PDFS are final files and most printers can print from PDFs. If they are asking for fonts then they are doing something terribly wrong.

--- A bit of background - years ago, people used to have to pack up all their files, including fonts, and that meant after a while all the fonts you can think of were on your system, and you didn't have to pay for them. This means that the creator of the font who sold it originally, only sold it once for a few dollars. This is incredibly unfair since 1000s of people now had a copy and would make money off using a font they got for free, while the creator got nothing. So - to stop the spread of fonts to multiple systems, Adobe (who engineered PDF format) got together with Type Foundaries and agreed to "embed" the fonts for printing.

If a font doesn't have permission for embedding, then you need to obtain permission, or pay a bit more from the creator of the font.

I think it's far that people get paid for their work, and there's no reason why I should profit from someone else's work, that would be stealing.


3. You should learn the difference between Raster and Vector - where raster has an output resolution, different printing methods require different resolutions.

What you should do is head over to www.lynda.com and you can sign up to do a course on preparing files for print - it's a 2 week free trial and if you want to discontinue you can - or pay the money to finish the course.

https://www.lynda.com/Inkscape-training-tutorials/7712-0.html

https://www.lynda.com/GIMP-tutorials/GIMP-Essential-Training-revision/572891-2.html

https://www.lynda.com/InDesign-tutorials/Create-print-ready-PDF/604233/660083-4.html

https://www.lynda.com/InDesign-tutorials/Learning-Print-Production/495278-2.html

https://www.lynda.com/Acrobat-tutorials/Comparing-raster-vs-vector-images/100221/108464-4.html

https://www.lynda.com/InDesign-tutorials/Comparing-raster-versus-vector-artwork/495278/551619-4.html


Of course these are all starting points.
 
S

sarahj

New Member
#4
1 - No
But creating it in Gimp is completely wrong, GIMP is a raster program, and it converts everything to an image. One may turn out fine, but the other didn't because there was not enough resolution in the raster.

http://www.graphicdesignforums.co.uk/threads/raster-images-vs-vector-images-an-explanation.19/

Inkscape would be the correct program to create a vector layout - but outlining is unnecesarry - and creating a PNG is the same as creating a raster, as PNG files cannot contain vector information.

2 - If you export to PDF then fonts are automatically embedded (given the permission is in the font for embedding)
Fonts are software - you license them - you can purchase a license to use a font - but you never own a font.

As it's software - then it has a setting within this to allow embedding. The only time anyone would see what font it is is if they opened the PDF in a program to make an edit - which is common amongst amatures - PDFS are final files and most printers can print from PDFs. If they are asking for fonts then they are doing something terribly wrong.

--- A bit of background - years ago, people used to have to pack up all their files, including fonts, and that meant after a while all the fonts you can think of were on your system, and you didn't have to pay for them. This means that the creator of the font who sold it originally, only sold it once for a few dollars. This is incredibly unfair since 1000s of people now had a copy and would make money off using a font they got for free, while the creator got nothing. So - to stop the spread of fonts to multiple systems, Adobe (who engineered PDF format) got together with Type Foundaries and agreed to "embed" the fonts for printing.

If a font doesn't have permission for embedding, then you need to obtain permission, or pay a bit more from the creator of the font.

I think it's far that people get paid for their work, and there's no reason why I should profit from someone else's work, that would be stealing.


3. You should learn the difference between Raster and Vector - where raster has an output resolution, different printing methods require different resolutions.

What you should do is head over to www.lynda.com and you can sign up to do a course on preparing files for print - it's a 2 week free trial and if you want to discontinue you can - or pay the money to finish the course.

https://www.lynda.com/Inkscape-training-tutorials/7712-0.html

https://www.lynda.com/GIMP-tutorials/GIMP-Essential-Training-revision/572891-2.html

https://www.lynda.com/InDesign-tutorials/Create-print-ready-PDF/604233/660083-4.html

https://www.lynda.com/InDesign-tutorials/Learning-Print-Production/495278-2.html

https://www.lynda.com/Acrobat-tutorials/Comparing-raster-vs-vector-images/100221/108464-4.html

https://www.lynda.com/InDesign-tutorials/Comparing-raster-versus-vector-artwork/495278/551619-4.html


Of course these are all starting points.
Thank you so much for your help and the links. I know you said about exporting to PDFS but I have always exported to Jpeg as this is what everyone else does on the site where I am selling my work. So, are fonts automatically embedded in Jpegs? When I purchase a commercial font, I only use it to create products, such as wall art prints and T-shirts as stated in the license, I am not physically selling the font to anyone, therefore, I presume I am not stealing? Many thanks.
 
hankscorpio

hankscorpio

Moderator
Staff member
#5
Depends if the font allows it and that would be in the licnese as a text file when you buy it. As said the font becomes part of the image so it's part of the graphic and quality depends on the resolution of the image.

It would no longer be "live" text.
So outlining your text for a jpeg is a complete waste of time.

You should still learn how to create at hi res in gimp. There's plenty of tuts online.
 
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