What advantages/disadvantages do specific font formats have for print production?

Fonts can be purchased or downloaded in several formats:

  • TrueType
  • OpenType
  • Postscript Type 1
  • Postscript Type 3
  • Multiple Masters

I realize that OpenType and TrueType are universal formats which work on both Windows and Macintosh platforms.

I’m also aware that Multiple Master fonts are a fairly deprecated in today’s world. Often MM fonts can cause technical issues because operating systems simply don’t support them as well today as they once did.

Type 1 and Type 3 were generally (but not exclusively) Macintosh formats still seen in use quite often.

When I purchase fonts, I specifically purchase OpenType fonts due to the more modern support. I know OpenType supports more glyphs, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a particular font has more glyphs.

However, many, many, foundries still produce a great deal of TrueType fonts exclusively.

  • What specific advantages or disadvantages can be found in the various font formats in today’s technological setting??

  • Should I be avoiding Type 1 and Type 3 whenever possible?

  • Does format even matter as long as the font contains the glyphs I want and outputs properly?

I know web fonts are a different matter with the additional WOFF, SVG, and EOT formats. I’m seeking answers as they relate to print production or system use. However, answers regarding web font formats certainly wouldn’t be met with any dissatisfaction. I simply feel the technological use of web font is a separate question because answers or reasoning for use of a specific web format would be vastly different since web fonts are more about the end user visibility and compatibility more than actual production or system use.

Answer

What specific advantages or disadvantages can be found in the various font formats in today’s technological setting??

As you stated, today’s main advantage is with OpenType being able to support a much larger set of glyphs as well as other things like alternate characters and automatic character swapping.

Should I be avoiding Type 1 and Type 3 whenever possible?

IIRC, Type 3 fonts required Adobe software installed on the OS. Not sure if that’s true anymore.

If you have the font and it still works with your software and your printer’s prepress system, then there’s no reason to stop using it.

Does format even matter as long as the font contains the glyphs I want and outputs properly?

Nope. Doesn’t really matter.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Scott , Answer Author : DA01

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