Why Profitable Printers Invest in Font and Typography Knowledge
You can often determine a low-budget movie from a high-value one by the font and typography in the opening credits. In like manner, recipients of your client’s important corporate communication or direct mail campaign is judged by its typography.
There is no more significant waste of print resources than saddling an important corporate communication or direct mail campaign with the wrong font or lousy typography. A direct mail campaign that has invested in high-quality materials, printing, finishing, and postage can be a total failure based on a negative first impression experience.
Printers that serve as full-service providers to their clients are generally the print industry’s most profitable companies. An important component in that full-service offering is professional-quality font-related services and consultation.
To assist in avoiding some of the most common font/typography mistakes, Computer Output Print & Internet (COPI) recommends this article from Canva:
The COPI Team assists printers and mailers in providing the best in font technology for high-volume production environments.
Can ‘Everyone’ Do Business With You?
After weeks at home, most of us have learned 2 things:
There are a lot of things we can do online that we used to do in person, and
Communication plays a key part in doing anything successfully.
As we rework our ways of doing business, 30 years after the passage of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), we need to be sure we are preserving the rights of the disabled during these changes.
To stay in business, we need to make sure everyone can successfully do business with us. Is your company’s website easy to navigate via a screen reader? Do you produce any hardcopy literature in braille?
As you make adjustments to your business hours or procedures, it is critical that you communicate that information to your customers and potential customers, and your employees. Accessible websites are more important than ever as people do more online ordering, commerce and connecting while working, studying or socializing from home. Think about all the different people you are trying to reach, and how to best get the message to them.
If you deal with COVID-19 or any other kind of healthcare information, a critical piece of keeping it private is allowing the patient to access it on their own using assistive technologies like screen readers or braille, rather than just giving them a printed sheet of paper that someone would need to read to them.
As you reopen your physical doors, please consider this:
A hearing-impaired person cannot read lips if the speaker is wearing a face mask. If you are starting to do business face-to-face, consider using clear face shields instead of fabric masks. If you have videos on your website, be sure to add captions.
A visually-impaired person may not be able to see the arrows on the store aisles or the social distancing tape marks on the floor. Keep an eye out and calmly talk them through where they need to go. Audio descriptions may need to be added to visual presentations.
Dr. FontZ and the COPI Team, have the expertise to help you implement assessability requirements, reach out if you require assistance.
Are Acronyms in Your Messaging Confusing Your Clients
As I have been reading through various newsletters and announcements in the last few weeks, I have noticed a new crop of acronyms. Many of these acronyms are being used without being defined when they first appear. This can leave readers confused.
Many 3 letter combinations can have multiple meanings within a single industry, even if you ignore options from other industries. Take “CTP” for example. In publishing, it can stand for either “Computer to Plate” or “Computer to Press”.
“CTP” also stands for:
“Collection Tree Protocol”,
“Composite Theoretical Performance”,
“Certification Training Program”,
“Coordinated Test Plan”,
“Community Technical Preview”,
“Center for Theoretical Physics”,
“Cordless Telephony Profile”,
“Common Transport Protocol”,
or even “Call the Police”.
Here is an assortment of acronyms I have seen lately, and what they are most likely to mean to folks in printing and publishing.
AR: Augmented Reality – scan a static printed image with your phone to see a video or 3-D rendering
CCM: Customer Communications Management
CCPA: California Consumer Privacy Act – basically, consumers have the right to know what information a business is collecting about them, the right to have their information deleted, and the right to opt-out of allowing their information to be sold to third parties
GDPR: General Data Protection Regulation – the European Union data privacy law
CMO: Chief Marketing Officer or now Chief Media Officer
CTA: Call To Action
CX: Customer Experience – includes determining customer communication preferences. Also CXM or CEM for Customer Experience Management
IoT: Internet of Things – is your printer communicating directly with other devices on the web?
OEM: Original Equipment Manufacturer
QR: Quick Response. This is normally referring to a two-dimensional barcode that can be scanned to quickly download or capture data
RPA: Robotic Process Automation
Here are some golden oldies just for fun:
ASAP: As Soon As Possible – when your customers always want their jobs done.
AFP: Advanced Function Presentation (or Printing)
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions – send your questions to Dr. FontZ
PDF: Portable Document Format
TL, DR: Too Long, Didn’t Read – OK, I’m stopping now.
HAND: Have A Nice Day.
Be sure your customers understand your abbreviations by spelling them out the first time they are used, or by including a glossary in your document.
Clear communication is a key part of customer service.
Reach out and let me know your most confusing acronyms.
Why Did IKEA Change Fonts for their Printed Catalog?
With an annual print run of over 200 million catalogs, IKEA leverages print as a significant component of its cross-media marketing strategy. To maximize ROI on their print investment, the company studies every aspect of the Catalog customer experience.
From those CX studies, IKEA decided to change the Verdana catalog font they had used for many years to Noto.
“Our ambition is to make IKEA one of the most loved and trusted brands in the world. We are renewing the IKEA visual identity to make Ikea even more recognizable. Today, people experience IKEA in many different places, both physical and digital.”
Cross-Media Brand Consistency
Brand presentation consistency is essential in corporate messaging. Moreover, the presentation font is a vital component of a brand’s representation.
IKEA understands that the right font can help increase the ROI of their printed catalog.
In today’s multi-device world, companies like IKEA realize that fonts need to be the same across both printed and digital platforms. Adopting transmedia-capable fonts allow enterprises the consistency their brand requires.
The Right Font for the Right Device and the Right Audience
Using different fonts in digital and analog media can result in time-to-market campaign delays as layouts are reconfigured to accommodate spacing and readability issues. Transmedia fonts support message presentation transferred across multiple communication platforms like print, social media, video, signage…
From Digital to Transmedia Fonts
COPI (Computer output Print & Internet) font technologists can transform a company’s current digital fonts to production printer-ready fonts. That conversion service allows a company to maintain brand consistency in digital, social media and printed messaging.
COPI has supported the font and digitizing needs of commercial and in-plant printers around the world for over 30 years.
For more information about COPI and its high-definition font services, Click the Button below.
Dr FontZ: TrueType Signature Font
Question: Dr. FontZ, We were told our signature needs to be created as a TrueType font rather quickly for a corporate project.
Based on the previous font we had, we need the signature to be in ABCDE with a specific height and point size.
Can you help as our group does not know how to do this?
Dr. FontZ: My team would be happy to help.
Because TrueType fonts are outlines, not bitmaps, the characters are normally segmented where there is open space between them rather than fixed width characters. So, the signature for “John H. Smith” would normally have “John” for “A”, “H.” for “B” and “Smith” for “C”.
A TrueType font is scalable to whatever size you want, so you do not specify a point size.
Question: I didn’t know the characters are normally segmented between open space. We need to use it in our designer tool and the character splitting needs to match our printer font.
Are you able to create the TrueType font but use character ABCDE?
Tech Support: Yes, we can do that.
Question: Can we use it in our designer tool to match the fonts on our printer?
Dr. FontZ: Yes, if you are looking for TrueType fonts to use in your design tool with the same character splitting to match the fonts used on your printers, we can do it.
If it is a new signature, we can even build both the TrueType font for your document designer and a matching Xerox or AFP font in the needed sizes at the same time.
AFP Fonts 101: Dr. FontZ Shares Basics AFP Font Wellness Information
By: Dr. FontZ, Chief of Print Wellness @FontZ.xyz
In this Fonts 101 Series, Dr. Font provides introductory information and reference material to help print professionals understand the value of healthy fonts for high-value print projects.
Overview of AFP Fonts
IBM® AFP printers can use raster and outline fonts in Font Object Content Architecture (FOCA) format. The outline fonts can be single-byte, double-byte, TrueType and OpenType format.
Format of AFP Character Sets
Type1 outline format for IBM Type Transformer
CID-keyed outline format for IBM Type Transformer
AFP outline format
A raster font is a font created by a series of pels arranged to form an image.
Raster fonts are created in a specific point size.
Different sizes of the same raster font require multiple versions of that font.
Raster fonts can have 240-pel or 300-pel formats.
Supports single- and double-byte (used in the Asian languages) outline font technology.
Character shapes are represented by mathematical expressions.
Font shapes are defined without regard to size and are scalable.
One version of an outline font can generate all sizes per this illustration.
For more AFP font basics
Special Font Characters for PC and Production Printers: A FontZ solution
From time to time, I have a need for characters that are in my Windows font set but not in my production printer character sets. What can I do?
In our cross-media world, unique characters that are accessible in one type of media can often be nonexistent in another. These characters can be the common ones like the euro mark, but often include emojis, of other graphics like telephones, eyeglasses and even company logos and signatures.
This can disparity can cause delays in cross-media message repurposing.
Dr. FontZ and the FontZ team have the best technology and expertise to inject additional characters to any font set for use across the cross-media platforms form PCs or to high-volume production printers.
If a specific character or image is missing from your target device’s font set, the FontZ Team can help.
The FontZ Team
For over 20 years, the FontZ team has been providing high-definition font and graphics conversion services for organizations around the world. TrueType, Postscript, OpenType, raster, bitmap and outline fonts are professionally converted for printing on high-volume toner and inkjet digital printers.
The FontZ team can convert logos, signatures and general graphics for digital printers.
Experience merged with technology is the FontZ formula for
excellent client service.
Converting PC Fonts and Graphics for Production Printers: A FontZ solution
The marketing team for a large retailer has received approval for their PC-based trial of a personalized promotion for a new merchandise line.
They now need to have the promotional materials converted from the trial’s PC-based, TrueType font format with heavy graphics. Since the new merchandise promotion is behind schedule the conversion must be completed in the shortest time possible.
Because of the high volume and rush to market, the company desires to use their high-volume production print and mail facility to send the promotion to 1.5 million customers.
What is the best and quickest way to get the TrueType fonts and PC based graphics converted for printing on the company’s production digital printers?
The FontZ team of PC to AFP font conversion and application experts
For over 20 years, the FontZ team has been providing high-definition font and graphics conversion services for high volume production print operations. TrueType, Postscript, OpenType, raster, bitmap and outline fonts are professionally converted for printing on high-volume toner and inkjet digital printers. And, they can convert logos, signatures and general graphics for digital printers. Experience merged with technology is the FontZ formula for excellent client service.