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How Do I Choose the Best Engraving Font?

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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2016
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Choosing the best engraving font requires thinking about the type of object being engraved, the way the font will look when on the object, and the general aesthetic goal of the piece. It is also important to make sure that the font is not too detailed to print at the desired size. Certain objects, like watches or large, flat items, are more readily engraved with complex fonts than others. In some special cases, it may even be best to choose a cursive font or your own handwriting even if these will not be clear to the reader.

Most companies that offer engraving services can suggest an appropriate engraving font from their available fonts. Generally speaking, the person who is selecting the engraving font should consider the overall look of the piece and make a final decision based on the recipient and the object itself. A font can convey a lot of information, and the same message might look classic in one font and fun or jovial in another. It is also important to consider the recipient's personal style, as he or she might be more suited to certain fonts.

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An engraving font has the special restriction of being manually cut into the object itself. Given that it is not written in a contrasting color and the text must be visible, the lines used in engraving must meet a minimal thickness or depth. The physical nature of an engraving font does sometimes mean that a bold font with hard lines is often more appropriate than a swirling calligraphy font. This is particularly true when a printed font relies heavily on differences in stroke width for its appearance, as engraving fonts are almost always consistent in their stroke width.

Monogram fonts are sometimes an exception to the rule about highly decorative fonts. A monogram is, in some sense, a picture representation of initials. It is not usually necessary for people to be able to read the information easily or quickly. The same is roughly true of engraving on the inside of rings, which is largely for personal and sentimental value. In the case of very personal messages on the inside of rings, it is sometimes appropriate to ask for engraving in your own handwriting, as this makes the gift more intimate.

The physical limitations of engraving fonts are usually obvious to skilled engravers when discussing the project at hand. It is always a good idea to check with the professional who will be doing the engraving if you have any doubts about how the finished engraving font will look. In addition to concerns about aesthetics, it is sometimes also possible for these professionals to predict problems with the finished design. Choosing the best engraving font is not always about choosing the font you like best overall. Sometimes you must be flexible to achieve the most attractive engraved design.

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