Text and fonts

When working with small text, it’s best not to use colours which contain more than one ink.  All printing presses have a tiny variation in the positioning of the different colour printing plates.  It’s okay to use coloured text in headlines or type above 12 point, but below that the blurring will be noticeable and won’t look nice. The same thing happens when you knock white text out of a coloured background made from more than one ink. Be careful if you are putting text over a photographic background. You’ll make the text quite difficult to read. To overcome this, take the photograph into an image-editing package and ‘bleach’ or lighten the image. It’s good to ask yourself, “is it more important to see the image, or read the text?”. If the text is more important, it may be best not to put it over the photograph at all.


Some Freehand text effects are known to cause problems, so it’s best not to use underline, shadow, strikethrough and any item from “text effects” menu. Also, Quark ‘P’, ‘B’ and ‘I’ styles aren’t reliable. Please don’t use Mac System Fonts either (such as “Times”) as they do not contain printer information and will not print. Use “Times New Roman” instead. Include all fonts that you have used. Postscript fonts come in two parts – the screen font and the printer font. We need both, so please make sure you supply both. True Type fonts only come in one part. If you are going “cross-platform”, i.e. from PC to Mac, keep in mind that there may be incompatibility issues. Check that we’ve got the same font and provide hard copies. We’ll need you to check a proof carefully since even fonts from the same place can have slight differences resulting in reflow and words disappearing.


It’s fine to convert headlines and large text to curves, paths or outlines (which means that you don’t need to supply the fonts). Just watch your ‘flatness’ settings – set flatness to 1 and device resolution to 2400dpi. We really advise against setting text in a bitmap application like Photoshop – the text will not be nearly as clear as if it were vector text from Illustrator or Freehand.