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Frequently Asked Questions

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Custom Fonts Versus Images

Question: Our company logo is contained in a custom font. We want to update to a color logo. How can we do that? Would using an image have been better than using a font?

Answer: Back in the early days of laser printing, Xerox charged extra for the “graphics handling” feature of their printers. Creative developers discovered that they could put parts of an image into characters of a custom font. Printing ABCD or XYZ in that custom font would produce the desired logo or signature image. Many of those fonts are still in use today.

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But printing has advanced greatly. Today’s printers handle images just as easily as they do fonts. And in our multi-channel world, there are some drawbacks to using fonts for logos and signatures. Today’s documents don’t just get sent to the printer to be rendered on paper. Our documents also go to web browsers and cell phones.


Online devices generally use different font formats than the printer. Web browsers may use default fonts selected by the user. When a default font is used in place of a custom font, your logo or signature might just look like ABCD on the webpage. If you transform your print file to PDF for online viewing, you will need to convert those custom font characters to raster images, or get a matching TrueType or Type 1 font built, and embed it in the PDF file. When the PDF file is scaled, raster images may look fuzzy and white lines may appear between the characters.


Things get even trickier when you want to move to a color logo. If your logo uses block shapes and only 2 colors, you can have a font built where the shapes for one color are in different characters than the shapes for the other color. With careful attention to positioning, you can line up the characters to make your logo look correct. If your logo uses gradient colors or more than 2 colors, it is better to use a color image format, rather than try to do it with a font.

Well that is a lot of different items to look out for. If you need help building a custom TrueType or Type 1 font for your PDF documents, Dr. Fontz can help.


We can also build images in the formats you need.

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