Sugar and a Cent: Knitting and Fonts for the Web

I had an interesting question regarding specifying fonts that are not commonly used for web pages. Before I get into that, though, I sat here and thought about what I could talk about, before I go into technical information that you may not be interested in if you are not in the design business.

Right now I am watching the olympics, and women’s gymnastics is on. Are any of you doing any olympic knitting right now? I think Ravelry has something along those lines going on. While I have not designed anything inspired by the Olympics, I do have a project going. I hope to get Elizabeth I re-knit in the silk lace weight yarn from Claudia Handpaints done.

It has been a year full of challenges. Lest I sound like a whiner, I will just say it has been challenging. We are in the throes of remodeling, and right now they are working on the garage conversion which will give me a brand new studio. That is pretty darn exciting for me, and I will be really glad to have it done. While working on various book projects since January, I decided that I need to get my sample garments knit up in yarns besides Black Water Abbey. I still use her yarns, but for events like TNNA and so  on, it is better for shop owners to see items knit up in yarns available to them.

Elizabeth I will be the first design I am having re-knit.  I haven’t decided which one will be next after that, as i am working on a couple new designs too.

My husband was home for the weekend, and next weekend we will see each other in Dayton for Ian’s birthday (he will be one). I am ashamed to say I am still working on Jessica’s baby blanket (she turned one last march). Maybe I should work on that during the Olympics!!!!!!!!!

At any rate, here is the technical stuff on fonts and the web, in answer to the comment on the post regarding fonts that was back a post or two.

“I can tell you what I would do, although I don’t know if this is the approach a graphic designer would use.

The problem with an unusual font is that since it isn’t a typcial font, it isn’t as likely to be on the computer of the person viewing the web page using the unusual font. When looking at html, the coding that makes up html tells the browser how to display the information (right down to specifying the font). If the html specifies a font that is not on the machine of the person viewing the webpage, a different font is substituted.

The way I know to get around that is to turn the font into a graphic. Obviously you won’t be doing this for all the text on a page. Using an unusual font us probably best for special things like headings anyway, as it then becomes a focal point.

In Adobe Illustrator, for example, you can type something out in the font you want, select it, and go up under the font menu and click “convert to outlines” (or something like that). What that will do for you is to render the text as a drawing. The end user then does not need the font on their machine. The thing to remember when doing this is once you have done that, it is not editable as text. You can only do the things to it that you would an object jusch as a square, circle, or other line that is composed of multiple points.

Your other choice is a pdf file. If you don’t have to have the page in html (maybe the special text is part of a pattern, for example, like the headers and title of a pattern), the document can be saved in pdf file format and the font information is bundled with the pdf so that it displays as intended by the person doing the pdf fil.

If you do not have Adobe products on your computer but have other drawing programs, you can try using a drawing program to make a drawing (that is really your text). I cannot tell you how this works with other programs.

The key is that as a drawing file, it is rendered mathmatically and therefore can be any size without having the jaggies. Image files (jpeg, bmp for example) are pixel based. This is why text in photoshop is not quite as crisp. It is an image program, and the files are pixel based. If you want the page viewed to be printed at a print quality resolution, then you would need to make sure that the work done in photoshop has a higher resolution than 72 dpi (dots per inch), which is standard for web viewing. Otherwise, when printed, it will be pixelated (have the jaggies) as the resolution is not great enough for printing. With drawing or vector based images, you don’t run into that.

The files you will see for drawings are .ai, .eps (encapsulated post script), .cdr and .swf (ai is adobe illustrator, cdr is corel draw, and swf is shockwave flash from Macromedia). ”

Peace and Knitting,  JoLene Treace

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