Impressions - October/November 2013 - (Page 50)

talking SHOP Embroidery Design & Digitizing Understanding Alphabet and Font Options By choosing one of these four ways to create data for stitching lettering, it’s possible to strike a balance between style and substance. By Deborah Jones, Contributing Writer This figure shows why kerning Fig. 1 l is necessary. The boundaries of each character are shown as rectangles. In some systems, letters are placed on the screen with their boundaries touching. Value-based or manual adjustment is needed to create a pleasing arrangement in certain letter styles. ike it or not, it’s a simple fact that most embroidery jobs use some type of lettering. Unless you’re only reproducing fi ne art via the embroidery medium, lettering typically is an integral ingredient. One of my earliest embroidery mentors instilled in me an appreciation of the finer points of lettering. My father was fascinated with embroidered lettering and dreamt of creating a way to do what we know as keyboard lettering. In those days, cumbersome cardboard jacquards were read by pins that passed through holes, much in the same way that a player piano operates. There currently are four ways to create data to stitch lettering on a computerized embroidery machine: custom digitizing, digitized keyboard fonts, auto-digitized TrueType fonts and alphabets as designs. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each method and how you can use each to your advantage. method because there are small nuances to most lettering that only are captured by digitizing from the artwork, and in this method, the lettering is digitized specifically for each job. The other reason to custom digitize lettering is to make it run efficiently. Custom lettering created by a professional or experienced digitizer is production friendly, and has the proper underlay and density values for the fabric onto which it will be stitched. I don’t try to force a keyboard font into a logo unless it’s a perfect match. Using a keyboard font for a logo rarely results in the same high-quality sewout that can be achieved when the lettering is custom digitized. Sometimes special considerations — like time and money — can get in the way of using custom-digitized lettering. In these instances, three choices remain: keyboard fonts, auto-digitized TrueType fonts and alphabets as designs. 1. CUSTOM-DIGITIZED LETTERING 2. DIGITIZED KEYBOARD FONTS When creating logos, I prefer this 50 Impressions | October/November 2013 This quick-and-easy method is how most of us embroiderers create lettering for everyday jobs, from personalized sewouts to poems and scriptures, and everything in between. In this method, letters and words are typed at the computer keyboard in much the same way as you type in a word processing program like Microsoft Word. The user selects the style, size, density and other parameters, and the stitches are generated according to the user’s instructions. In most systems, the resulting lettering is fully editable. The best practice is to save in the native format of the software so that it can be edited later, in the event that it doesn’t stitch as planned or you discover a misspelling. Then, save the lettering to a stitch file, such as DST or EXP, to be easily read by an embroidery machine. Even though the software you regularly use probably has about 100 digitized keyboard fonts, chances are good that you use only a few select favorites. That’s because you know them well and they’re reliable. You don’t have to do a test sewout before each job because you have used these fonts so many times that you can predict the styles that will work well in a small size, as well as the ones that are bold enough to stand out on plush material. Of course, you know the “bad” fonts too — such as the script fonts that have awkward connections or strange characters (like a “T” that looks like an “I” and an “S” that doesn’t look like any handwriting you’ve ever seen). Some sophisticated software packages allow you to edit characters and save them for future use. Still, I’m a believer that you can hardly

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Impressions - October/November 2013

Impressions - October/November 2013
First Impressions
From the Show Director
Product Gallery
ISS Conferences
Allover Printing: It's All Over America
The Digital Direction
Peak Performance
Tracking Trends is Key to Business Survival
Shop Spotlight
Shop Spotlight
Embroidery Design & Digitizing
Embroidery Technique
Screen Printing Production
Screen Printing Technique
Online Directory
Digital Decorating
Ad Index

Impressions - October/November 2013