If you follow Silhouette School on Facebook you may have been wondering why I was asking about what the cut out part is actually called...apparently it's a 'Counter'. (Thank you, Amber!). Now you know... :)
While that little part may be small, it's necessary on most all Silhouette projects (stencils, cards, signs, apparel) that aren't print and cut. If you're making a stencil they're definitely essential because without the counters letter look oddly shaped.
I have come up with a little work around to make your life a whole lot easier.
This way will make the letters all one cut and will eliminate the counter altogether so there's no positioning, losing small pieces, or gluing your fingers together trying to slide the inner 'e' into place! It's some work up front, but it will save you the headache later - especially if you save the modified font files you create.
First things first - you must pick a good starting font. I am working with 'Great Vibes' because
it has some letters that already avoid the counter and some that just need to be slightly modified. It's also a good basic script font and using it in Silhouettte is nice because the letters can easily be welded together.
I am going to show you how to modify the letters using one script font (Great Vibes) and one sans serif font (Arial). This technique can be used on other fonts, too. My suggestion is to 1) pick a font you use often to modify 2) save the .studio files created with the new fonts so you have them for future reference.
Let's get started. If you don't have Great Vibes in your font library click here to learn how to download and install new fonts in Silhouette Studio.
You can see that most of the predictable letters have the counters. We do get a head start since a few letters (a, b, q) with the counters are already designed to avoid that extra weeding since they have a little space that breaks up what otherwise would be a counter.
Type out your letters > ungroup and zoom in!
I'm going to focus on 'd', but the process is the same for all the letters (script or serif/sans serif).
As you can see above the 'd' connects at top of the rounded area and the vertical. (The b does not, coincidentally.) Inside that area is where we get the counter. So to eliminate that round separate cut we need to break up that middle area. To do this we are going to be working with the knife and edit point tools.
Start by zooming in really close to that intersection. Use the knife tool (circled) to draw a slice in the area of the intersection.
That's a tiny slice. We need it slightly bigger so the medium doesn't tear when we cut or remove the negative space after the machine cuts our letter. So go ahead and make a second slice just slightly to the left. This makes a little rectangle-ish piece.
Click the select tool (circled) and then you can highlight that little rectangle piece and delete it.
At this point you can see that when the silhouette cuts the 'd' there will be no need to weed the counter because it's sort of built into the letter already.
However, you may want to smooth out the area so click on your edit points tool (circled) > double click the design and move the edit points around or delete them until the lines are smooth.
And here's how our 'd' looks now....
This was the same technique I used on all the Great Vibe letters that needed modifying. Some letters like f and o were trickier than others, but just get creative and you'll soon eliminate all those counter! (Can I get an amen!)
Here's an example of how you could modify letters in a Sans Serif font such as Arial.
Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School. If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!