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Trick to Cutting Thin Fonts on Silhouette {Without Tearing}

Thin fonts, cut, Silhouette, no tearing, Silhouette Studio
We're answering a reader question on the blog today.  Jessica wrote to Silhouette School asking us about an issue with a font being too thin when it was cut.
"(I) attempted my first vinyl cut for a phrase on a tile....bad font choice. The scripty lines were too thin and therefore really didn't cut....Any font recommendations that is semi scripty, but has thicker lines? I wasn't able to bold it or make the words any bigger or they wouldn't fit."
Jessica doesn't actually need a different font and she really doesn't need to make the words bold.  And she's right, trying to enlarge the front by dragging the corner will only make it way too big.  The trick is using the offset tool.  Let's take a look. 

For this example, I'm going to use a very thin script font called Edwardian Script ITC.  I start by typing out my words in Silhouette Studio using the text tool, just like I normally would for text.  Even in font size 72, the font is very thin in many areas.  If I tried cutting it like this on vinyl or even paper it would likely tear.


Thin fonts, cut, Silhouette, no tearing, Silhouette Studio

If I zoom in a bit you can really see how thin the font is...

Thin fonts, cut, Silhouette, no tearing, Silhouette Studio

Even just slightly thickening the letters will help when it's cut.

To do that, highlight all of the text (whether it's a single word or a sentence) and group it.  (Highlight > Right Click > Group) This will help us out later.   While the text is still highlight clicked the 'Open the Offset Style Window.'   Click 'Offset'.  Now breathe and do not panic when your font looks like this...

Thin fonts, cut, Silhouette, no tearing, Silhouette Studio, offset

We obviously need to make a few adjustments. The default offset is .25" which is way too large for this font. We want to really bring the offset in, but before you do zoom in so you can really see what you're doing. Now you can adjust the offset distance. I found around .025 or .02 worked well with this example. The offset distance that works on your text, though, will all depend on how large the original font size is.  You want it to be pretty tight so the detail in the font isn't lost and so the letters don't start blending together.  If you make the offset distance too large, you may lose 'middle' areas of letters like the 'f' and in the top of the 'T'.

Thin fonts, cut, Silhouette, no tearing, Silhouette Studio, offset, settings

You can also change if you want the offset to have rounded or straight corners.  I changed mine from the default of rounded corners to straight since the font has straight angles in areas like around the cross of the "t".

Here's how my text looked after the offset distance and corner adjustments.  If you look closely, you can see there is a slight outline around the original text...that's the offset I just created.

Thin fonts, cut, Silhouette, no tearing, Silhouette Studio, offset

Once the offset is how you like it, you can pull the original text (top) away and delete it. Just highlight it (this is why you grouped it) and drag it away from the offset. You'll be left with just the offset (below) as your cut.  Can you see how the offset on the bottom would be much more Silhouette friendly?

Thin fonts, cut, Silhouette, no tearing, Silhouette Studio, offset


Here's another example of using an offset on text to make it just slightly easier to cut - this one is on a sans serif font. 

Thin fonts, cut, Silhouette, no tearing, Silhouette Studio
 Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School.  If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!


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21 comments

  1. Thank you a million times! This is just what I needed!

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  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Now I can use my favorite fonts!

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  3. I think this could be my problem and will try to adjust it tomorrow. The file I bought-and attempting to cut - is a saying purchased from Silhouette store. Why would they sell one that doesn't work well. Frustrating!!!

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  4. What blade/speed setting would you recommend for cutting thin fonts like this on Vinyl?

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  5. There's not an offset option on my Silhouette software. Would you suggest another route?

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  6. Ahhhhh this just made my day! Thank you.

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  7. Melissa, thank you. I just have made several attempts to cut this type of script on vinyl and show offs stencil material. Both unsuccessfully. I will try this next. As someone previously asked. What cutting settings would you suggest on vinyl and also for the show offs stencil material? Thank you, Mary

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  8. Mine only outlines the font. What am I doing wrong?

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    Replies
    1. I'm having the same problem!

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  9. Thank you so much! You have saved my sanity :) Aliessa

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  10. Paper Shredder are the most common or useful devise for cutting or scraping the all UN needed document.

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  11. Love your blog, thanks for the help. I had a Wishblade before the Cameo and sure could have used some of your help.
    Just a quick question, Have you ever tried to cut Matt Board with the Curio?

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  12. Shredders can principally be characterized into two classifications - strip cut and cross cut. Strip cut paper shredders are significantly more practical and are less demanding to assemble. On the other hand, they take up significantly more space. Then again, the cross cut paper shredders are the best there are despite the fact that they are more costly. They require consistent support yet cross slice shredders will undoubtedly meet any guidelines that might emerge to save mysteries by destroying paper.

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  13. Thank you!! I could not have figured this out without you!!

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  14. For those asking that can't see your "offset" section like in the example, it is under the Object tab at the top. :)

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  15. Thank you!!! You saved me so much time

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  16. Thank you! Wish I had read this last night. I gave up in frustration... This fixed everything.

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  17. Hi would this work with american typewriter 9 font on vinyl? I'm thinking of getting one to add small text to some paintings but not sure if it will work. Thanks!!!

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  18. Thank you so very much for this!!!

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  19. just now got my cutter and i am having trouble with it tearing everything i try to cut. i have the blade set at what it says, then it wont touch the vinyl in most places and halfway cuts, then when i adjust it up one notch, it tears the vinyl. this is driving me nuts cause i cant figure it out on my own

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