What to look for in a good quality font?

Engaged ,
Oct 05, 2010 Oct 05, 2010

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What are some things to look for in a well designed paid or free font? How do I know if it will print nicely? What can I look for after typing some text in Photoshop or Illustrator to ensure that it is high enough quality for printing?

Thanks.

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 05, 2010 Oct 05, 2010

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This post http://blogs.adobe.com/typblography/2005/12/quality_in_type.html may answer some of your questions.

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Engaged ,
Oct 06, 2010 Oct 06, 2010

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Some good info in there. So for the untrained eye, would you say it is nearly impossible to look at a free font and determine if it will be able to print nicely without doing test prints?

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 07, 2010 Oct 07, 2010

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A print environment usually has more resolution than a screen display, so the former tends to be more forgiving to not-so-good fonts. Meaning, a font might not look that good when displayed on screen, while looking fine when printed.

If an untrained eye can see, foresee or even care about the eventual problems or not it's up for debate. What I can say is that, if a font looks good on screen it's very likely that it will look good in print. However, the opposite isn't so likely to be true.

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Engaged ,
Oct 07, 2010 Oct 07, 2010

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I would have thought it would have been the other way around, that a font would look better on screen and would show flaws when printed at a high resolution like 300 ppi.

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 12, 2010 Oct 12, 2010

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For print, 300 ppi is actually considered low resolution. High resolution is something about 2400 ppi and up. The average desktop laser printers you can buy today will do 600 ppi, and the high end desktop laser printers will go up to 1200 (sometimes even more).

On the other hand, 300 ppi is currently considered high resolution for a screen. The iPhone 4 for example, has 326 ppi, which is pretty high for a device of that size. In the coming years we will likely see tablet devices match up that resolution (the iPad first gen. has 132 ppi) and probably even surpass it.

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 12, 2010 Oct 12, 2010

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Here's another article that talks about the technical and artistic quality of free fonts

http://fontfeed.com/archives/free-fonts-technical-and-artistic-quality/

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