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How To Choose Standout Fonts for Your Embroidery Projects

Consider these factors when selecting the best font for the job.

Creating the perfect end result is more than selecting great art or having top machines and staff operators in place, although those are baseline factors you can’t be without. Consider these tips from industry pro Ed Levy of Hirsch Solutions Inc. when setting up for your next embroidery project.

1. Font size dictates everything.
The smaller the font, the more selective you must be. Stay away from intricate or stylized fonts, like Old English, for jobs smaller than a quarter-inch or less. Large fonts bring other challenges, such as column sizes for stitching letters. Be careful to pick a font that will work with the column width.

2. Limit font choices.
A preselected palette of fonts – 20 project-appropriate font choices at most – narrows the field and prevents customers from becoming overwhelmed with choices, and vendors from taking on unnecessary headaches.

Tip: Try different techniques. Suggest an appliqué or other technique when a particular font is a known troublemaker but the customer’s heart is set on that look.

3. Apply proper embroidery settings and make allowances for push/pull factors.
Account for allowances for material, size of letter and art. Horizontal column stitches will expand and grow, or push the material out, while vertical columns will shrink and contract, or pull fabric and stitch pinpoints in.

4. Push/pull can ruin art or damage garments.
Factor in allowances for curves and verticals, which can create needle or stitch holes in fabric without enough tolerance for push or pull and ruin the piece.

5. Modify editing for characters to avoid fabric damage.
Because perforations can happen during stitching, compensate for these factors by selecting fonts with low risk for perforations, or modifying more risky fonts ahead of stitching.

Geri Finio, owner of Anne Arundel County, MD-based Studio187, created this stock font to go with a stock photo for a client to personalize this tote.