There are a few different fonts that can be used in embroidery lettering such as pre-digitized fonts, true-type fonts, key board fonts and digitized letters. A font is categorized as a complete set of characters that make up a specific typeface in a specific size. A font would include upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
When using any type of word design quality is the most important factor. If a font is poorly digitized it can exude major flaws when enlarged so it is important to be mindful of your pre-digitized font when it comes to sizing. Native fonts in your software tend to yield the best results when resizing a font and of course it is always better to invest in many different types of fonts as well as different types of threads.
Machine files such as DST and CND do not resize well because different software produces different results when translating non-native languages. An important thing to know is that if you change a design’s size then the stitch type or tie-ins and tie-outs must be changed as well. Script lettering can present a challenge because the connectors often do not line up correctly which is why there are only a few script fonts that feature successful joins as opposed to overlapping.
When creating lettering; true-type font presents an easily accessible and high quality product. The outcome of true-type font is generally affected by the quality of font being used because it has more powerful and flexible hinting capabilities. True-type is the best for digitizing.
Keyboard fonts are great because you can type the lettering in as needed and are generally arranged right to left, center out, and left to right manner. You must be able to move from each letter efficiently and should test character spacing in order to make sure that spacing is correct regardless of the lettering.
Digitized letters provide you with an opportunity to match your artwork and change the column width in order to make embroidery friendly. A great tip is to view the lettering upside down which forces your brain to consider the shapes, the negative spaces between them and their relationship together. Stitch-outs are another great way to check progress and using a cross-hatched underlay as a base will help stabilize the stitching process.
Appearance, obviously, plays a big role in the professional embroidery field. Using a solid embroidery backing and a spray adhesive will help join the layers. Placement which also falls into the category of appearance can make or break the outcome of the lettering because it can make it look sloppy. Overall embroidery is a beautiful art with a complex background and the overall appearance determines the success of the work.