It happens all the time. You send a file to your print provider; they turn it around and send
you a PDF proof back. You open it up, expecting to see (basically) the same file you sent,
but WAIT! what’s this? Some of those letters look jaggy, thinner or fatter than others!
Without getting too verbose, what you’re seeing is most likely the result of a
miscommunication between your monitor’s driver and your monitor's
resolution. Monitors make all sorts of adjustments in order to view files (some monitors
are way wider than they are tall, for instance, so a mathematical "fudge factor" has to be
introduced), but they can’t possibly work perfectly at all magnifications.
If you PRINT the file, it looks fine. And if you zoom in on the type in question, you see
the fonts as perfectly normal.
So what happened? Well, in some cases, we have to flatten your PDF and convert the text
to outlines in order to edit the artwork WITHIN the PDF without running into font issues.
The downside of this method is that your computer is TRYING to make sense of the formulas that are inherent in the new outlines and it can’t handle it at every resolution.So, your type LOOKs weird at certain magnifications.
But take a deep breath and zoom in. Your text is just fine.
As a down-and-dirty Prepress department, sometimes we have to perform “Meatball
Surgery” so we can get the best results with the shortest turnaround. Converting text
to outlines is one of the tools in our arsenal to get your job back to you as quickly and
accurately as possibly. It isn’t elegant, but it gets results!
Coming up next: Designing the Perfect Envelope
What Happened to my fonts???
Do you have a nagging technical problem you’d
love us to address?
We’re here to help!
Contact the Shipman Prepress Department at
or email us at