Posts tagged ‘fonts’

Using Laura Worthington fonts with Silhouette Studio

There’s an exciting development in the type design world and that is that a few designers are starting to fully map their OTF fonts to Unicode so that they are more accessible to those without Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, and expensive design software that has been required in the past.

Laura Worthington is not only one of our favorite type designers as diecutters, but she has taken the lead on this. Her information on accessing all the special characters in her fonts with Windows is here. I took this a step further with a video on how to use her fonts in Silhouette Studio for Windows.

Update: I already made this video twice, but I keep finding mistakes and things I should have added as I explore this topic more and answer your questions. Please note the following

The prerequisites (shown and discussed at the beginning and end of the video) should be:

-Any Windows version of Silhouette Studio (even V2 standard, contrary to what I say in the video)

-Fonts coded for Character Map (or fully mapped to Unicode)

-Desktop font purchased, OTF version installed

On the Mac side, some of my earlier techniques are no longer working because the necessary web app has been discontinued. The method Laura recommends does work with Silhouette Studio but, like mine referenced above, is also quite contorted. My research has led me to believe that the best solution for MacOS 10.8 (or 10.9 with Silh Studio basic) is a $9.95 app called Ultra Character Map, but since it only runs on Mac OS 10.8 or better, I haven’t been able to test it myself yet.
If you run MacOS 10.9, I’ve just discovered a new free solution. Drag and drop characters from Font Book’s Repertoire view into a Text Edit document. Then copy that from Text Edit into Silh Studio DE with an active text cursor. Bam!

UPDATE: Samantha Script on sale right now at Mighty Deals

So far the only other fonts I have found that are fully mapped are from Yellow Design Studio. You may know them from the beautiful Melany Lane font. (They also designed Thirsty Script but as far as I know it is not fully mapped)

Here’s a freebie you can try out: Gist Upright

June 13, 2014 at 2:51 pm 22 comments

Character map template for Silhouette Studio

A while back, I posted Character Map templates for Inkscape and Adobe Illustrator. The purpose of these is to make it quick and easy to make a one page reference map of the main glyphs in a given font, especially dingbat fonts. Today I’m adding a Silhouette version to the lineup.

You can download the .studio template here, download the .studio3 template here  and instructions are in the margin of the file, but here’s a quick rundown. As with all my templates, I recommend you store them on your hard drive instead of your library and that you always work from a duplicate. An easy way to do this is to Save as and rename the file as soon as you open it.

Once you’ve opened a duplicate template, click anywhere in the middle of the page. You’ll see a bounding box to indicate that the grid is selected. Click the A button at the top of the screen (not the A button on the side of the screen).

charmap1-1

Select the font you want to map from the scrolling list on the right. You should see the characters change to the new font’s. Label the page by typing in the name of the font into the text box provided at the top of the page. This is optional, but will help you remember which font you are looking at.

charmap2-1

Here’s what a completed page looks like for my 09kutups font.

You can print the page, print it to PDF or just glance at it temporarily for reference. If you want to be able to use the characters after you uninstall the font, click the center of the page again to select the characters, choose Object>Convert to Path, then save the file.

And if you want some suggestions for great dingbats for cutting, here’s a great place to start. Ten Great Dingbats for Diecutting

April 16, 2014 at 4:23 pm 20 comments

Distressed HTV Technique

Get a distressed look with heat transfer vinyl without tedious weeding.
I’ve been experimenting with a new technique for getting a distressed look with heat transfer vinyl and while it may not be ready for widespread adoption, I wanted to go ahead and share it with you.

What you need:
heat transfer vinyl with mylar backing (I’m using Siser Easy Weed)
a cutting board or other hard surface you don’t mind damaging
a new or clean Ped-Egg
optionally, a new cheese grater like the one pictured from Dollar Tree

IMG_3870

Cut and weed your HTV as usual. It’s a good idea to practice with scraps so grab some of that HTV you forgot to mirror!

IMG_3880

Place it on your surface sticky side up and begin to scrape across it with the Ped-Egg. The goal is to cut through the vinyl layer without lifting it, and to do minimum damage to the mylar. Start slowly and lightly and increase your pressure until you get it right.

IMG_3875

It helps to extend it over the edge of your cutting surface for better contact with the cutting teeth.

IMG_3878

After a bit, brush the excess away from your design onto the surrounding sticky area and see what your design looks like from the mylar side. Continue with several more cycles until you reach the desired level of distress.

IMG_3881

Inspect the vinyl surface and remove or tamp down any larger flaps or tears that would hinder the vinyl from laying flat.
Press as usual or a little shorter on time, then remove the backing and repress with just the teflon sheet for a few seconds to be sure all the vinyl is secure.

IMG_3868fs

Because the teeth on the Ped-Egg are small, it produces small scale distress (the letters above are 1 inch tall). For larger scale images, try the large round holes on the Dollar Tree cheese grater. This will result in more flaps and damage to the vinyl and backing, but you can use the Ped-Egg in a subsequent pass to help clean it up.

IMPORTANT: Let me emphasize that this is experimental. This technique obviously does not allow for optimal adhesion of the vinyl across 100% of its surface and especially along the distressed edges. Some of the tiny pieces will not adhere at all because they will be upside down. I do not have long term wear or laundering experience with this. Use this technique at your own risk. And of course, use appropriate caution when handling sharp objects.

January 29, 2014 at 1:02 pm 8 comments

Power tips for text to path in Silhouette Studio

Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 12.36.15 PM

If you’ve only been using “text to path” in Silhouette Studio to curve words into a circle, then you have barely scratched the surface of what this fun feature can do. Here’s a video that will start with the basics and move on to the techniques that will make you a power user.

And be sure to grab Border Bits, the font I demo in the video, here.

December 11, 2013 at 11:27 am 41 comments

10 more great welding cursive fonts for diecutters

Here’s a list of 10 more cursive fonts that cut and weld wonderfully, and, as you can see, they look great as well. Download at the links below the graphic.

Great free welding cursive fonts for diecutters

1)Alex Brush 2)Arsenale White 3)Bira 4)Dancing Script 5)Grand Hotel 6)KG Always a Good Time 7)Monoment 8)Sacramento 9)Sofia 10)Xiomara

The first set of great fonts for welding is here.

June 14, 2013 at 7:54 pm 31 comments

10 great free dingbat fonts for diecutters

Free dingbat fonts are a great source of images to use with your diecutter, but how do you know which ones cut nicely? I’ve done the trial and error for you on these ten fonts that are perfect for diecutting. Links are listed below the graphic.

10 great dingbats for diecutters

1)09kutups 2)Efon 3)Board Dudes 4)Damask Dings 5)Hibiscus 6)Kalocsai Flowers 7)Peoni Patterns 8)ND Urban 9)Sepeda 10)Sewing Patterns

10 great Doodlebats for diecutters

10 more great Doodlebats for diecutters

May 1, 2013 at 6:36 pm 27 comments

Cool online tool for diecutters and other font lovers

If you follow this blog you know I love web apps and I am always on the lookout for new and cool ones. Mariairie left me a comment a couple of days ago with a link to IcoMoon, an icon font generator for web developers. At first I didn’t understand it or see any application for us diecutters, but the more I played the more excited I got. Here are some things you can do with IcoMoon:

Easily export all or selected glyphs in a font to individual SVG files.

  1. Go to Free Font Converter, browse for your font and set the “…format to convert to” to SVG and click the big blue Convert button. An SVG font with the same name as your TTF will be downloaded to your computer (SVG fonts carry the .svg extension, just like a single SVG image)
  2. Click the Import Icons button in IcoMoon and select the SVG font that you just generated. You will see all the glyphs from that font appear under “Your Custom Icons”
  3. Click on the glyphs you would like to export to SVG. Selected glyphs will be outlined in yellow. To select multiples at once, click on the first and then hold down the shift key while clicking on the last one you want to select
  4. Click the Images button. A zipped folder containing SVG versions of each glyph you selected will be downloaded to your computer. How cool is that?! Perfect for creating a specialized alphabet or for sorting images from a mixed theme dingbat font, among other uses we haven’t imagined yet.

Create a personal favorites dingbats font.

  1. Go to Free Font Converter and convert each of the source fonts to SVG as shown in step 1 above.
  2. Import your first font into IcoMoon as shown in step 2 above, select the glyphs you definitely do NOT want and press the trash can icon to delete them

  3. Repeat this process with successive fonts until all your favorite glyphs appear under “Your Custom Icons”
  4. Select the glyphs that make the final cut for your favorites font
  5. Click the Font button
  6. Type a character in the top box above each glyph and/or drag and drop glyphs to set their encoding (which key you will type to access each glyph)
  7. Click the gear/flower icon and type a name for your font in the box and click the X to save it. (choose carefully as internal font names are not easily changed)

  8. Click the Save button. A zipped folder containing TTF and SVG versions of the compilation font will be downloaded to your computer

    Note: The key word here is personal. Use these “mix” fonts on your own computer only. Please don’t use this technique to redistribute copyrighted fonts/glyphs/images.

Make your own dingbat font.

  1. In Inkscape, Adobe Illustrator or other vector editor, create a set of SVGs you would like to compile into a font. (I am still experimenting with the format but starting using a 512 x 512 pixel high document seems to work.)
  2. In IcoMoon, click the Import Icons button and navigate to your SVGs and import them.
  3. Click and/or shift-click to highlight all of the SVGs which are now showing under “Your Custom Icons”
  4. Click the Font button
  5. Type a character in the top box above each glyph and/or drag and drop glyphs to set their encoding (which key you will type to access each glyph)
  6. Click the gear/flower icon and type a name for your font in the box and click the x to save it. (choose carefully as internal font names are not easily changed)
  7. Click the Save button. A zipped folder containing TTF and SVG versions of the compilation font will be downloaded to your computer

Caveat: So far I have only been able to get IcoMoon to work using Chrome as a browser.

July 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm 18 comments

Cursives for Diecutters

New owners of digital diecutters often ask what are the best fonts for welding (or “connecting” if they haven’t been indoctrinated into our odd vernacular yet). We may give a few suggestions but usually brush them off with something about personal preference. It turns out that there are some fonts that are inherently weld-friendly thanks to their attentive typographers.

I set out to find a dozen or so that are nice looking, fool-proof for welding (as in, type and go; no tracking, kerning, nudging or schooching required, at least for the letter combos I tested) and, best of all, free. Here’s how they look typed out and then welded in preview. Gorgeous, aren’t they?

So here they are, for your welding enjoyment.

Lobster Two Bold and Lobster Two Bold Italic

Unicorn

Japan

Amaze Bold

Prelude Bold

Marketing Script

Black Jack

Pacifico

Alako Bold

Cursive Bold

Deftone Stylus

Honey Script Semi-Bold

Zephyr Script FLF

Once you have typed your word or phrase, the letters should already be overlapping properly, so all that is left for you to do is click on the word or phrase so that the selection box appears around it and activate welding as follows:

In Silhouette Studio : Press the Cut Style button then press “Cut Edge”

In SCAL : On the Appearance section of the Properties palette click the Weld checkbox (unless it is already checked)

In MTC : Click the Weld button or press CTRL + W

It is recommended that you always do a cut preview to verify that any welding is as expected before cutting.

October 13, 2011 at 9:07 pm 46 comments

More free gel pen fonts

Now that the Silhouette SD has restored my faith in gel pen drawing with a digital diecutter, I’ve been testing various fonts for that single line look. To recap, many fonts will give a single line look at very small sizes (say a tenth of an inch high or less) but ones that look single line when drawn larger are harder to find. MTC has a cool feature to thin out regular fonts for a single line look but an algorithm is never going to match the aesthetics built in by a skilled typographer so the search continues.

I tested the fonts below with Staples mini gel pens, which have a very fine tip, in the Chomas Creations holder. You’ll get better results at smaller sizes and with broader tip pens such as metallic gel pens, for instance. A sample of my results are shown below. Click the image to enlarge it.

OK at ~ <1 inch tall

Rose Water

Lyrics Movement

OK at ~ <.75 inches tall

Matilde

OK at ~<.5 inches tall

League Script#1

Europe Underground Light

Montepetrum Thin

LoveSick

Scriptina Pro

OK at ~<.3 inches tall

Rawengulk Ultralight

GatsbyFLF

OK at ~ <.25 inches tall

Existence Light

Quicksand Light

Camelot

Peach Sundress

St. Marie

Partridge Thin

October 5, 2011 at 6:18 pm 7 comments

Fifteen Free Ornamental Wood Type Fonts

Whether you know them by wood type fonts, circus fonts, railroad fonts, western fonts or some other name, these decorative, 1800′s wood type inspired, shadowed typestyles are awfully popular these days. And they’re not just appearing alongside the expected themes, but in all kinds of applications with trendy craft designers like Teresa Collins and the shabby chic crowd leading the way. I couldn’t find a good list of freebies anywhere, so I made my own list. Hope you’ll find it helpful, too. Click on the font name to go to a download site.

Cast Iron
(Yellow Circus is a Lettering Delights Alphabet based on Cast Iron. The Cricut Imagine cartridge County Carnival features a similar font as well.)

Circus

Circus (by Angst)

Coffee Tin

Fair Faces

Holtzschue

Lettres Ombrees Ornees

Ringmaster

Rio Grande

Romantiques

Show Boat

Toskanische Egyptie

Tropicana

Wild West

Woodcut

March 5, 2011 at 12:59 am 26 comments

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