Resizing Fonts for small

Resizing Fonts for small
Resizing Fonts for
Small Lettering
Guidelines with Instructional
The purpose of this booklet is to offer some basic small lettering
guidelines, to teach how-to reduce fonts created at a larger size and
provide instructional exercises to reinforce the basic concepts.
September 2003
ettering that is between 1/8” / 1.375mm and 1/4” / 6.3mm in
height is considered small. Several factors such as the
choice of fabric, the font, backing, topping and underlay all
play a part in the appearance of the finished product.
Small lettering can be created by resizing letters that were created/
digitized in a larger size or they can be created as a new font in the
Designer Level 4 software. The focus of this booklet is resizing text
that was created in a larger size.
Small Lettering Exercise 2
Design: C0101.10o
Font: Helvetica Condensed
Text: “TINY TIM’S”
Baseline: Arced
Arc Radius: 1.0” / 25.4mm
“Small World”
Baseline: Straight
Key Elements in Small Lettering
Choosing the right font to resize is of utmost importance. Avoid
fonts with narrow columns or serifs. Use a block font or a font
that was created for small lettering. The narrow columns in small
lettering tend to “pull in” when stitched out unless the fabric is
very stable. Some script fonts can be successfully sewn at 1/8” /
1.375mm to 1/4” / 6.3mm if proper adjustments are made.
Some fonts that are conducive to size reduction to 1/8” to 1/4” are:
Helvetica Condensed
Helvetica Bold
Mini Monoscript
Magic Block
Helvetica Medium
Short Stitches On
Word Spacing: 109%
Follow Baseline: On
sity: 57” / 2.247mm
Bottom Arc: Off
Character Size: 0.20” / 5.0mm
Character Spacing: 0.039” / 1.0mm
Character Width: 120%
Column Width: 100%
DenStitch Length: 0.039” / 1.0mm
Underlay: Center Walk
Trim: Word
Lock Stitch: Letter
Pull Compensation:
This design was tested on 5 ounce pique with SuperSoft 375 backing and
top film.
The size the original font was digitized at makes a significant difference. When resizing an existing font, a rule of thumb to follow
for adjusting lettering height is 20% up or down from the original
digitized size. For example, Helvetica Medium Large was
digitized at 0.984” / 25mm (see Digitized Size on the Text Properties Screen). This means the font can be adjusted up or down
approximately 0.197” / 5mm. This indicates that the Helvetica
Medium Large font is not a good candidate for small lettering
unless the Text Properties and other factors are adjusted to compensate for the size reduction.
Letters stitched-out at more than about 20% larger or smaller than
the original digitized size need one or more text properties modiPage 1
Page 6
Next bring your cursor into the box and hold down the left
mouse button and move the text until it is centered around the
Next click on the Center Design icon. Now click on the Prepare
For Embroidery icon. Write down the Job # and sew out your
embroidered design.
This design was tested on 5 ounce pique with SuperSoft 375 backing and
top film.
Lettering Exercise 1 Modified
for Small Lettering
Design: V0029.10o
Font: Block1
Note: The bus will need to be resized to fit within the lettering.
Baseline: Arced
Arc Radius: 1.114” / 28.3mm
Follow Baseline: On
Bottom Arc: Off
Character Size: 0.20” / 5.0mm
Character Spacing: 0.016” / 4mm
Character Width: 104%
Column Width: 100%
Word Spacing: 97%
Line Spacing: 1.102” / 28mm
Density: 57” 2.247mm
Stitch Length: 0.039” / 1.0mm
Underlay: Center Walk
Trim: Word
Lock Stitch: Letter
This design was tested on 5 ounce pique with Super Soft 375 backing and
top film.
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fied to sew well.
Other text properties of the lettering do not change automatically
when Character Size is changed. Therefore, stitch density, underlay,
pull compensation and other factors may need adjustment as well.
Stitch Density
The stitch density default setting for 1” / 25.4mm letters is 66.667” /
2.632mm. When resizing letters down, the density will generally
need to be decreased slightly (see Table 1). Script lettering requires
even less density then block letters especially in the smaller sizes.
Although scripts are not generally recommended for small lettering,
some basic density guidelines were presented in Table 2.
Table 1: STANDARD LETTERING – A general guide for density
1” / 25.4mm
¾” / 19.1mm
½” / 12.7mm
¼” / 6.3mm
<¼” / 6.3mm
62-67” / 2.44-2.63mm
60” / 2.36mm
60” / 2.36mm
55-60” / 2.17-2.36mm
55-57” / 2.17-2.25mm
Stitch Length
.1575” / 4.0mm
.1378” / 3.5mm
.0984-.118” / 2.5-3.0mm
.039-.0787” / 1.0-2.0mm
.039” / 1.0mm
Edge Walk
Edge Walk
Edge Walk
Center Walk
Center Walk
Table 2: SCRIPT LETTERING – A general guide for density
1” / 25.4mm
¾” / 19.1mm
½” / 12.7mm
¼” / 6.3mm
60” / 2.36mm
50” / 1.96mm
45-49” / 1.786-1.93mm
40” / 1.575mm
Stitch Length
.1575” / 4.0mm
.1181-.1378” / 3.0-3.5mm
.0787” / 2.0mm
.039” / 1.0mm
Edge Walk
Edge Walk
Center Walk
Center Walk
Underlay should be used carefully in small lettering. Excessive underlay places too many stitches in a small area blurring the appearance of the letters. Thread breaks can also be caused by too many
stitches piling up. When underlay stitch length is too long, it tends to
spill out on rounded areas of the letters. The default setting is
0.039” / 1.0mm. When embroidering small lettering you may need to
reduce underlay and adjust stitch length smaller. Center Walk is generally the underlay of choice in small lettering.
If you have digitizing software, you may create a Complex Fill stitch
to sew behind the small lettering to give it lift. Use caution, however,
when working with a customer logo. It may not be possible to add
Complex Fill without changing the appearance of the customer’s
approved logo.
Page 2
The more plush the fabric, the greater stitch density is needed.
Textured garments like pique, knits, herringbone, or terry are a
challenge because stitches sink in to the texture of the fabric. Denim
and canvas are very forgiving for small lettering because they are not
textured. Pull Compensation may need to be on, especially when
using fabric that slips. Level 2 software users and above, turn on Pull
Compensation to 0.002” – 0.004” / 0.1mm. Level 1 users do not have
the Pull Compensation feature, however, a like effect can be created
by increasing Character Width or Column Width 5-20%.
Backing and Topping
he guidelines presented herein are not absolutes that will be
exact for every font in existence. Small lettering presents a
variety of challenges since there are so many elements
involved. Careful attention to the details will however produce
beautiful results.
The exercises that follow were intended to teach some of the basic
concepts and serve as a review. All test sews were done on 5 ounce
pique since the majority of lettering is on left chest pique shirts.
The right backing is crucial to small lettering. The smaller the stitch,
the sturdier the backing should be. Super soft 375 is generally
excellent. Polymesh is also good especially on light colored fabrics
where heavy backing may show through.
Large Lettering Exercise 1
Use Topping/Solvie when hooping to help keep the stitching from
sinking in on textured garments.
Some embroiderers use a lighter or heavier weight thread depending
upon the size of the lettering, stitch length requirements, and so on.
When using lighter or heavier weight thread, density and underlay
requirements will be effected.
Always do a test sew to make sure you have the right combination of
elements involved in producing small lettering. Proper hooping is
also important; fabric that slips stitches irregularly.
embroiderers recommend using the machine table when stitching
small lettering to reduce vibration and thereby stabilize the fabric.
Take special care also to both upper and lower (bobbin) tension on the
embroidery machine. Too tight upper tension will tend to pucker the
fabric while too low tension will cause looping and bird nests on the
reverse side. When the bobbin tension is too tight, little or no bobbin
thread will show. Approximately 1/3 of the width of the column
underneath should expose the bobbin thread. When the bobbin thread
is too loose, bobbin thread will be exposed on the front side of the
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First left click on the Design Database
icon. Under Category choose MIX 2
and then click on file V0029.10o.
Now click on Open This Design.
Once the design is on the Work Area
Click on the lettering icon, now bring
your cursor onto the work area and
left click. This will take you into the
text properties screen.
Choose Albert's Extra for the font.
Next click in the Text box and type in YELLOWSTONE and hit
enter. This will drop you down so that a second line of text can
be typed in. Type NATIONAL PARK.
Now choose the Arced line type and set arc radius to 2.0” /
50.8mm and make sure there is no checkmark in Bottom Arc.
Set the Character Size to .48” / 12.2mm, Character Spacing to
0.059” / 1.5mm, Word Spacing to 97%, Line Spacing to 0.945.
Next click on the Stitch Generation tab. Here you need to set the
Density to 57.727” / 2.273mm, and the Stitch Length to 0.114” /
2.9mm. Choose Center Walk for underlay, make sure the Lock
Stitch to Letter and the Trim to Word.
Click OK.
Once you are back on the Work Area left click on the Y in Yellowstone. A pop up menu will appear. Click on No to put a box
around the entire text on screen.
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