Logical Fonts

A logical font tells iStamp how to stamp a Physical Font, but a logical font may not precisely correspond to a physical font mounted to the wheel. Logical fonts give us the flexibility to define precisely how a physical font is stamped. For example, say you have two customers. Both want to use the same 24-point Times New Roman on their products, but the first customer wants a condensed font, where characters are spaced very closely together, while the second customer wants an expanded font, where the characters are spaced very far apart. This is easily done by creating TWO logical fonts which both use the same physical font. To do so, follow these steps.

1. In the font list tab of the wheel editor, and highlight the font you want.

2. Click the Copy Font button. You'll be asked if you want to copy this font. Click Yes. A new font will be created.

3. Change the value in the Char Gap field. For example, the old font says 16 (or .016") for the char gap. In the new font, change this number to something larger, like 30. While we're at it, let's change the name of this new font. In the name field below the font list, we've typed "320-62 (H) expanded". Notice that the name of this font has now changed in the font list above.

4. Click the Save and Close button. This will return to to iStamp's main window.

5. Notice that this new font is now available in the font selection drop-down list. Stamp a sample of both fonts and compare them. The expanded font will be much wider than the other.

Mixed Fonts

Logical fonts can also be used to combine more than one physical font into a single logical font. For example, consider the wheel below. This is a 200-character wheel with four fonts, but in order to fit that many fonts on a single wheel, we don't actually use COMPLETE fonts. Instead, the 18- and 24-point fonts only contain uppercase characters.

So what do we do if we want to stamp a 24 point font with upper and lowercase characters? We can fake it by using the 18 point uppercase characters as the lowercase for the 24 point font. This would look something like this:

To do this, we need to create a new logical font.

1. Click the Add Font button. Let's rename it "horizontal 24/18".

2. Now we have to add all of the characters we need to this font. The 24 point font uses the alpha characters that begin at position number 51 (I checked the 24 point font to be sure). Click the Add Characters to Font button. Enter A into the Ky field at position 51. Continue until you've added font characters for all of the uppercase 24 point characters in this font.

3. With all of the 24 point characters added, let's now add the 18 point characters. These begin at position number 101. This time we're entering a lowercase a for the Ky field at position 101. Note that when you enter the position, the wheel editor automatically fills the Ch field. In this case it puts an uppercase A there, because that's what it thinks should be there. But in this font, we want to treat these uppercase characters as lowercase, so instead, i've entered a lowercase a into the Ch field. This will make this character display as a lowercase a in iStamp. Otherwise the upper- and lowercase characters in this font would both display the same, and we might not know which is which until we stamped the piece. Continue until you've added all of the 18 point "lowercase" characters to this font.

4. Make sure you add a space character to your new font. The space should be at position zero. You can experiment with the width, but it's usually some large fraction of the font height. AND make sure you actually TYPE a space into both the Ky and Ch fields for this space character. Otherwise you won't be able to invoke the space, and it won't appear correctly on your screen. You might also want some punctuation for this font. Punctuation for a mixed font like this can often be drawn from other fonts, like the 24 point font we're already using.

There are many uses for mixed fonts like this. For example, in some cases it's possible to combine punctuation for several fonts. On this wheel above, we have a 14 and an 18 point font. But rather than have a complete set of punctuation for each font, we actually use 16 point punction for both. The difference in size is unnoticeable.