Outputting Fonts for Press

Over the years I have always collected fonts for output with my print projects. Usually use the built-in features provided by either QuarkXPress or Adobe InDesign, depending on which app I was using. I am also fairly meticulous about archiving my work, and those archives have included the collected fonts folder.

I’ve noticed a trend with these collected fonts:

  • When I share them with Windows™ users they are useless to the Windows™ user because they have usually not included the proper filename suffix and/or the process of copying them to the PC somehow renders the file useless.
  • When I store the fonts in Dropbox they are useless to me on both the computer that placed them in the dropbox AND all other computers that sync the font files.
  • Finally, the font files don’t often survive long term storage, being moved between hard drives and then opened a few years later.

I thought I was being smart one day when I decided to zip them. I thought the zip archive would protect the resources related to the fonts. Obviously I wasn’t paying full attention because zip is not Mac-native and so resources are ignored.

Instead I have found that putting font files into Stuffit (.sit/.sitx) archives actually solves this font problem rather easily. If you have the Stuffit Magic Menu just click on the fonts you want to store/share/transfer and press “command option 2” to quickly generate a .sit file. If you pass this .sit file to a Windows™ user they will not be able to use WinZip to unzip it because it’s not a zip file; instead the PC user can use Stuffit to uncompress a .sit file.

Legal bit so I don’t get any legal letters: Don’t share fonts with those who don’t have legal rights to the files, and don’t have fonts on your machine without legal rights to do so.

All the best!