This video demonstrates best practice for defining custom embroidery fonts. Digitize letters from backdrop images using any of the input method tools. Custom letters can be made up of multiple objects, and may be letters, numbers, symbols or even pictures. Getting started First set up a grid to assist when digitizing. Guidelines also help to mark reference points. Set up grid spacing as shown – vertical spacing 10 mm, horizontal spacing, 0.50 mm. Turn on Snap to Grid. Import the artwork Click Import Graphic or select File>Import Graphic to import the backdrop. Use the grid to size the backdrop. Use ‘E’ as a reference to determine the height of the font – nominally 20 mm. Digitize the letters Zoom in and start digitizing using Column A with Satin stitch. Create sufficient underlap to bind letter strokes together. No underlay or pull compensation is required. This is added when creating actual lettering. Drag the zero point to the bottom left side of the downstroke and place guidelines on 4 points as shown. Start digitizing. Make sure strokes are digitized in the sequence they will be stitched. Don’t worry about connections between strokes. This is automatically handled when packing the font. Save custom letters Select all letter components and choose Object>Create Letter. First create and name a custom font as shown. Set default letter spacing – e.g. 10%. Select default join type – here, ‘Closest Join’. Now enter a name for the letter – e.g. ‘A’. Set the reference height – in this case, 20 mm. Now digitize reference points where the letter extents and baseline meet. Toggle off stitches and drag the zero point to the bottom left of ‘A’. Place guidelines on either side of the letter where it intersects the baseline Now draw the reference line. Add more letters to your custom font in the same way. Once you have finished packing it, test your custom font via Object Properties>
Lettering. Creating a multicolor font The ‘As Digitized’ join method can be used to create special fonts with multiple colors or special effects. Here we use the Simple Offsets tool to create a letter outline. While a 0 mm spacing offset looks fine onscreen, give it a slight negative offset – e.g. -0.2mm – to compensate for pull-push. Select all components of the letter and again save it. This time choose ‘As Digitized’ as the default join type. Enter a letter name and reference height as before, and untick ‘Remove Functions’. We want to preserve color changes. Now draw the reference line. Test the font via Object Properties>Lettering. Note that the lettering object preserves ‘as digitized’ color changes. Use Break Apart to resequence like-color objects in the Color-Object List so they stitch together. Creating a script font Certain digitizing rules apply when creating script fonts to ensure that the letter tails join seamlessly. Digitize letters as you did the custom font. Place a guideline to mark the ‘join line’. Now place guidelines to intersect the join line where letter tails overlap. Join edges should be perpendicular to the slope. No need for overlap on narrow strokes as pull compensation will provide sufficient
overlap. And no need for connecting stitches between objects. These are handled when saving with the Closest Join method. Save and test your script font To define reference points for italic fonts, draw a slope angle guideline and clone it to mark letter extents as shown. Reference points always intersect the inside edge of the tail as shown. As before, save your letters to a named script font. Set default spacing to 0% and select Closest Join as the default join type. Enter the letter name and set reference height to 20 mm. As always, digitize reference points. Again, once you have finished packing the letters, test them by creating some lettering via Object Properties.