Learning how to use an embroidery machine is not easy. It takes a lot of experimentation especially to go beyond the basics the machine comes with. Last week I shared my top tips for digital embroidery files so it is only right that this week we focus on fonts. If you are thinking the rules of files and fonts are the same you would be kinda right but would find yourself in some sticky situations like I did.
Yes, the rules of finding the right size, format, and testing files are all important for font files too but they are a bit deeper. First is making sure the font will be a good fit for your machine. If the machine is a 4 X 4 like the PE550d it can read up to a 3.5” font but that would be only one letter per hoop. I’ve done a 2” font that still required an entire hoop per letter so depending on how many words you want to embroider it is going to be a long and frustrating process to line them up and a lot of re hooping. When choosing a font for a base machine that is a 4 X 4, search for fonts that are 0.5”, 0.75” or 1”. The sweet spot for me is 0.5” to 0.75” as it allows me to maximize the amount of letters while still being relatively large.
Another thing to take into consideration is how wide the characters in the font are, the puffier the better as thin embroidery fonts tend to look a bit sloppy. While analyzing the font, also check to make sure all the characters and punctuations are included. Choosing the perfect font only to find out it does not do a period or quotations is annoying yet not all font sellers include them so don’t forget to check.
Similar to the file tips the format is also crucial for the machine to be able to read. The format PES in this instance is legible to the machine but it will not allow you to string letters together since it is reading it like an image file. To avoid this issue use a BX format instead and download an embroidery software that will allow you to upload the font and create/edit the words you need for the project. Embrilliance is the software I personally use as the free version allows you to create font projects, kern letters and makes split hoop projects easier by providing the dimensions of the full project to map out prior to beginning to embroider. With all the prep in the world there will still be fonts that do not meet your expectations or simply do not work correctly so don’t forget to share a photo review and communicate with the seller too.