Preflight Fonts and Common Text Issues for Print Quality with FlightCheck

Markzware FlightCheck New Version! Click Here To Learn More

In “Preflighting 101 Part 1 Preflight Overview”, Markzware went over basic preflight for designers, publishers and printers). Markzware develops of FlightCheck, patented preflight technology to check documents in many formats for print quality. This preflight solution goes beyond basic preflight for print. It can provide detailed preflight reports that warn of potential printing errors before printing. FlightCheck flags common text issues to ensure proper output. Today, we will get into common text issues, starting with problems involving fonts:

II Common Preflight Problems

II a. Text Issues
Most text issues are directly related to font issues. One of the most frequent font problems involves missing fonts, either missing screen fonts or missing printer fonts. This problem usually occurs when the document and all of its supporting files are sent for output or when a PDF is exported locally. When dealing with active fonts, if any part of a font is not provided or active, the project will have errors when output or otherwise collected and sent. (FlightCheck will preflight your prepress job and also collect files. You can package fonts and images together into one, even zipped up, folder. FlightCheck’s Collect Window makes it easy to collect files.) If you deliver only a PDF of your print-job and have not embedded the fonts, then it will often use a default font such as courier, which will obviously print way differently than desired. It should also be mentioned, for checking at the design stage, that not all font foundries allow their typefaces to be embedded in a PDF… check your license agreement.

Markzware FlightCheck Fonts Preferences dealing with Active Fonts
FlightCheck Fonts Preference Setup Active Fonts

Different versions of the same font type may have varying characteristics ranging from different specific characters to different kerning information. The kerning information is the section of a font file that tells how much spacing exists between letters. If the file was built with one version and the film vendor uses another, the kerning may differ enough to disrupt text flow in the document layout.

To preflight color, it is important to supply a color proof of the project when sending it for output, and to use those proofs to check the job before imaging on the plate on the prepress or print side. If content has re-flowed, it must then be manually edited to match the original color proof with the original colors usage. Then a completer set of new laser proofs should be delivered with the document. Also, if time permits, you should avoid faxing these proofs as the fax will not reproduce type accurately enough to find all errors.

Video: Preflight Fonts and Common Text Issues for Print Quality with FlightCheck

Markzware’s pre press software can preflight fonts,
common text issues and more to ensure print quality.

Text overflow can be a big issue and, although preflight tools can help you catch, may be best maintained throughout the design process. To maintain correct text flow once set properly, the person who created the file should submit the job to the service bureau or repro house with the original fonts used or better yet, export or make a PDF themselves. However, fonts may need to be substituted at times. Today, however, it is even better to simply deliver a PDF print-file with all elements embedded within in it. If you are not sure that your document is print-quality, then deliver the collected package job with the native file, all fonts, images, and the press-ready PDF.

TrueType Fonts
TrueType fonts can sometimes cause trouble. These fonts are comprised of only one file as opposed to Adobe Type I fonts, which include a screen font and a companion printer font. This works well on screen and on laser printers, but often fails to reproduce properly since older RIPs can’t handle the TrueType font. Unlike PostScript fonts, TrueType fonts are not infinitely scaleable. The font comes with a pre-defined variety of sizes. Every time a not pre-defined font size is needed, it will be generated from the nearest font size and may look jagged and non-professional. If your RIP cannot handle TrueType fonts or the fonts have been oversized, you may replace them with a Type I equivalent. It is best to use OpenType fonts, as they operate across operating systems.

Other Fonts
It is also important to be cautious when using fonts from Multiple Master of QuickDraw GX. Different output devices may have difficulty with these fonts. Be sure to check with your film vendor or your equipment to find out if these fonts will be problematic.

Improper Font Usage
Adobe Type I font families are created with a separate font for each style of the typeface. You may have a font for plain, bold, italic or bold italic. In page layout applications, styling can be applied to any text, but you should instead choose the proper font that supports the style. If the actual font for the style is not available, the printer will consider it a missing font and print with default font, typically Courier. Furthermore, if you apply Bold styling to a font that doesn’t support bold styling, the content will appear bold on the screen but can print plain when output.

Another font usage issue to discuss is small process type, or small font size. Whenever type is set in a process color, the size needs to be analyzed. Depending on how the job is going to be printed, the minimum size for process type will vary.

Unused Fonts
The last font issue we should mention is when fonts that exist in style sheets or master pages are not used. These fonts are not required for printing, but once the document is opened, the application alerts you that the fonts are needed. When preflighting, be sure to delete any master pages and style sheets that are not being used. FlightCheck detects text issues and font issues. FlightCheck preflight solution can help you find these potential print errors and many more to ensure that your print jobs output properly. Check out FlightCheck today, available online at the FlightCheck page. More printing solutions are on the Markzware Products page.

Preflight Fonts and Common Text Issues for Print Quality with FlightCheck

Title: Preflight Fonts and Common Text Issues for Print Quality with FlightCheck
Published on: March 19, 2012
Patty Talley

Strategic Marketing Analyst at Markzware

Related Articles

Stay Connected!