NOTE: Due to other projects taking up our time, we're no longer offering TrueType logo services. However, we heartily recommend Formula Solutions in Hampshire, England.
Can't anyone make TrueType logos?
Companies offering to digitize your company logo as a TrueType font are a dime a dozen. The benefits of logo-fonts - in marketingspeak - are probably familiar but they're worth repeating:
So, whoever makes your TrueType logo-fonts, there are a number of benefits right away. Are we any different?
- The logo is available to you on the screen and on the printer in all applications and at any size, just by selecting from the font menu and choosing a size.
- You can set up templates in your word processor for letters, memos and faxes with correctly sized, quick-printing logos already in position, eliminating the need for much pre-printed stationery, and making life much easier for your secretarial and technical staff.
- The logo automatically exploits the maximum quality of whichever screen or printer you use it on, right up to a 2540 dots per inch imagesetter.
- There's a very low storage requirement: negligible in documents; very low in print data; very low on disk - just one 5 kb (approx.) file. Compare this with bitmap images (TIFF and BMP files) that may need to be embedded in every document.
- System-level management of the logo: meaning fast display & printing - and hassle-free, once-only installation. And you don't need to install Adobe Type Manager on every machine (as you would for Type 1 fonts).
Stage 1: The Outline
If your logo's master artwork exists on paper, it will first be scanned - as a bitmap - into a computer. Then it is traced to obtain an outline form. We trace logos (and fonts) manually, since automatically traced outlines are less efficient in storage & performance, less hintable and show irregularities at small and large sizes.
If you've already got your logo in a digital outline format (e.g. Illustrator, Corel, FreeHand), then converting it into TrueType's curve format is a straightforward process - most off-the-shelf font tools do a reasonable job.
Stage 2: The Hinting
This is where most of the TrueType logo providers fall down. If asked, they might mumble something about "auto-hinting", or the logos being "fully hinted". Now the auto-hinting algorithms (in Fontographer, FontLab, etc.) can indeed improve on an unhinted text font - when the type design is fairly simple and consistent. With logos however, there's only a single character to analyse, rendering auto-hinting next to useless. The program (Fontographer, etc.) might not report its inability to auto-hint, but that doesn't mean it's improved the logo.
By contrast, we offer full manual hinting. With each logo we hint, we will discuss with you the features we intend to control with hinting, and agree which features should be preserved to the smallest possible size, and which can be discarded at the smallest sizes to make that possible.
Q: "I've already had my logo made into a TrueType font, but it still looks poor on screen..."
Our expert hinting can drastically improve a logo at screen resolutions. As long as your logo's outlines have been digitized well, we can add our hinting to existing logos. The low-resolution quality will be enhanced without affecting the quality at high resolutions.
Q: "Our logo has a number of colours. How can we turn this into a font, which surely contains no colour data?"
A logo-font itself cannot contain colour data. But many logos can be separated into their constituent colours. We divide colour logos up in this way - placing each coloured component into a different character cell (e.g. A for the black parts, B for the green, C for the blue). To assign colour to each part, one uses the application itself. So, to get the logo in colour:
N.B. It is not normally possible to have logo-fonts that have graduated colours, or photographic parts; all colours must be solid.
- Type, say, "ABC" in a readable text font;
- Set each letter to the correct colour, using the application's colour commands;
- Select the "ABC" text and switch fonts to the logo-font.
Q: "What do I need to supply as a starting point for a high quality TrueType version of my logo?"
We can accept:
- Artwork on paper.
- Bitmap files (TIFF, BMP, GIF) at high resolution.
- Outline files (Illustrator, Corel, FreeHand).
- TrueType and Type 1 logo-fonts previously made by other companies.
For any enquiries about our TrueType logo outline & hinting services, please get in touch via the Contact page.
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