Printing posters and designs can be very tricky, especially when it comes to fonts. You can never guarantee that the lines will be correct and the printing quality will be on point if you opt to print something by yourself. Chances are you’ll print something incorrectly ten times before you print something right. To help you avoid this problem, here are our top tips for printing fonts:
1. Set the color option to 100% black in Photoshop or in the printing app
With a normal four-color printing, there may be a blurry smudge or “aura” around your black printed fonts. This is a very common problem when you print a design piece with fonts around 12 point size or smaller. To avoid this issue, you have to set the cyan, magenta, and yellow to 0% and bump the black up to 100%. This way, the printer will not involve any other color but black, and that will guarantee that there’s no smudge or distortion on the fonts.
2. Use PMS ink
If you’re looking to print small and intricate typography, using PMS ink is the best way to go. Unlike the four-color printing, PMS ink doesn’t have any problem with smudges or dispersion. The ink can also guarantee a sharper and crisper font outline, making it easier to read. The problem with the PMS ink is that the similar colors could blend together, making them look indiscernible. For that reason, you have to create use contrasting colors when printing with this type of ink.
3. Use bold fonts for foil stamping
Fonts for foil stamping need to be readable, and the surface should have no overly small details. It’s hard for the ink to stick on to the foil if there’s not enough surface for it to hold on to. For this reason, you will want to make sure that the lines are at least 1.5-points thick. If you’re opting for a typography font, you have to make sure that it’s bolded, so that every line exceeds the 1.5-point width threshold.
4. Use serif fonts for official paperwork
Serif fonts are designed to look simple and easy to read, much like how the fonts looked in an old typewriter. This makes serif fonts the most readable and printer-friendly fonts out there. If you’re looking to print a long booklet or an employee guideline, serif fonts are the best way to go, as they can minimize confusion and misreading thanks to their easy-to-read nature.
5. Save sans-serif for the headers only
Sans-serif fonts are the progression from the standard serif fonts. They remain easy to read like serif fonts, but have a more modern twist and a unique look. This makes the font great for capturing attention, but not at retaining it. Look to use these fonts for the title and headers, but avoid using it in the bodies of the text.
6. Use dedicated bold and italic fonts
Not every font is designed specifically to be bolded and italicized, so it’s better to use the fonts that are originally designed to look that way instead of adding options to it. Look for a font that’s naturally bold and italic when you need one, as they will look better when printed than any other option.
7. Don’t use more than three fonts on one print job
Having too many different fonts on one page or print job can confuse and disorient the reader. Instead, you have to make sure that you have a consistent theme throughout your printed piece. As a general rule, you should limit your printed piece to around three fonts: one for the text, one for the title and headers, and one for special quotes or extra features.
8. Keep it in your budget
The more features and fancy printing options you add to your piece, the more it’s going to cost. It may just add a quarter to each page, but when you think about it, that’s $25 extra for every 100 pages. This can add up fast, so you should keep your budget in mind before adding anything extra to the print job. The content you’re printing should still take priority, so as long as it’s easy to read and looks professional, your printed work should still do the job.
9. Use colored texts
Sure, black is the safest option when you’re printing texts, but that doesn’t mean they’re always the best option. You can try experimenting with different options. For example, you could go for a golden font on black paper or try using colors to emphasize the text. As long as you make sure that the main body of the text is easy to read, you can be as creative as you want!
Copy4Less is a print & design company in NYC, get in touch today to see how we can help!