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Monthly ArchiveFebruary 2014

Help! How do I convert fonts to curves or outlines?

If you are designing your own interpretive panel or sign, you will more than likely need to be able to convert your fonts to curves or outlines. This is a difficult task when using a free or low cost program such as Microsoft Publisher. There are complicated instructions you can find on Google that explain how to do it, but even if you can follow those instructions, is your artwork going to be sent back on account of improper bleeds and margins? These frustrations can lead you to the point where you may put the project on hold, or you may go back for more money to pay for design or setup fees.

While we always feel that it is worth it to hire a professional interpretive designer, such as those on staff at Envirosigns, sometimes that is not in the park budget.

What is an overwhelmed park staffer with no budget for design to do? We have found a suitable answer. It’s called Scribus and it’s a free / open source program. While it’s not a true substitute for the quality of design, content and hidden structure you get from a professional design created in Adobe Illustrator or InDesign by one of our experienced interpretive designers, it’s a far better solution than a program like Microsoft Publisher.

Why is Scribus superior to Microsoft Publisher?

Right off the bat, as soon as you create a new file, you can change the unit of measurement to inches and set the proper bleeds and margins according to the specs given to you by your interpretive panel provider. (May I recommend Envirosigns?)

When you are all done with your design, you can save as a high quality PDF file, and in the save options, under the Fonts tab, is an option to convert ALL fonts to outlines! With the click of a button, you can do what is nearly impossible for many using Microsoft Publisher!

The interface may take some getting used to while you are designing, but it will be nothing compared to the frustration that you will have resetting your margins and bleeds, and going back and forth with file issues, or even adding setup fees to your project.

We wish you the best of luck in your design endeavors!

-Envirosigns