Font Guide

Font Guide

Read Time: 3 Minutes


20 Oct 2015

Hello! Leanne here. I’m the Studio Team Leader and I wanted to help you understand the way fonts work when it comes to setting up your artwork for print.

One of the things you should always check your proofs for before you approve your artwork for print is the fonts. That’s because they might have automatically changed if you hadn’t embedded them.

If you save your artwork in a format where fonts are present, when the same artwork file is opened on a different computer that does not have access to the original font, the font will most likely be substituted. This means the letters could appear totally different, affecting the text’s size, and throwing off the whole design. 

Here are three ways to make sure your fonts are printed exactly how you see them on your screen every time! 


Image Flattening

What is Image Flattening?

If your design uses lots of different layers, you can ‘flatten’ them down into one single layer. Flattening is also referred to as saving as an image.

what is image flattening



How Do I Flatten an Image?

To flatten, or condense, all your image layers down into one layer, there are a couple of options: 

  • If you’re using Adobe Photoshop, there’s a ‘Flatten Image’ command under the Layer menu (or in the layer palette on newer versions)
  • You can also save the whole artwork file as an image file such as jpeg, PNG or tiff

Extra tip: Once you’ve flattened artwork, it can’t be edited or amended in the future. Always keep a copy of the original design file (by clicking ‘Save as’) in case you want to change it in the future.


Font Outlining

What is Outlining?

Outlining is also known as converting to curves; this means changing text to shapes for print.


How to outline your image in Adobe Creative Suite

To outline your image in Photoshop, right click the text layer and select create outlines or convert to shape. This will convert your font into pixels to be printed.  

To outline your font in Illustrator and InDesign you will need to right click your text and select create outlines. Alternatively, you can select create outlines from the type menu at the top of your screen. 


how do i outline my text

Once outlined, text is uneditable – so remember to keep a copy of the original design in case you want to make any changes in the future.

Font Embedding

What is Font Embedding?

Embedding a font means to save the font information within the document. This normally happens when you save your file as a PDF.

How Do I Embed My Fonts?

If you’re using Adobe Creative Suite, make sure the PDF pre-set is set to PDF/X1a to ensure all fonts are embedded.

how to embed fonts for design


For Microsoft Office, go to Options > Save, and tick ‘Embed Fonts in the File’. Other design software may ask if you’d like to embed the fonts when saving.

how to embed fonts in word


If you have any questions about embedding fonts, you can get in touch with us for free. Email us at and we’ll get back to you ASAP! 



About the Author

Hi, I'm Jess and I head up the studio team at instantprint. I help customers understand how to supply their artwork for print.