Have you heard about OpenType SVG fonts ?
These new fonts, mostly dedicated to the web, contain colored glyphs (in RGB colorspace) and are not monochromatic, as traditional fonts. They are now supported in the Adobe CC 2019 suite (this was already the case for Illustrator CC 2018) and Adobe offers two of them, Emoji One and Trajan Color (you can find others on the web too) .
What is happening when I create a PDF file from a document containing those fonts?
By exporting from InDesign or Illustrator, the result depends on the joboptions choice. When exporting to PDF, without any specific standard, the text remains live, but the font is embedded in Type 3 or a mix of Type 1 & Type 3. If the joboptions does not contain any color conversion, the text is not converted into any other color mode. It is also the case if I choose a PDF/X-4:2010 conversion. However, if I choose to convert my source file to PDF/X-1a: 2001, the text will be outlined and converted to CMYK.
The result in PDF/X-1a:2001
Text is outlined, and no particular problem is found, unless the text is obviously not editable anymore. When I say no problem, this is not completely true, it will highly depend on your authoring tool! If InDesign does not generate any particular problem (as far as I tested to date), Illustrator hasn’t correctly outlined the Trajan Color font, and the embossing effect is partly lost on characters…
Let’s focus now on a PDF with live text (no PDF/X-1a:2001)
Type 1 & Type 3 mix?
Indeed, the Trajan Color will be converted into two separate fonts, the space glyph being in Type 1 and the rest of the font in Type 3!
What is the color of my font?
Even if the font is colored (RGB), the inspectors of the various tested software (Acrobat, Enfocus PitStop Pro, callas pdfToolbox) evaluate the font as 100% K.
So, how can I convert my font in CMYK?
The answer is clear… NO!
Depending on the software, the behavior will be different, but it is impossible to obtain a correct result.
For PitStop Pro, there is nothing to be converted (of course, because the text is 100% black…)…
…but an attempt to convert to PDF/X-1a:2001 will result of an error, as the file contains RGB!
pdfToolbox is more extreme, the conversion will be processed… but the result is completely wrong as the font has been destroyed!
Let’s try to outline the font to overcome the issues…
We now try to outline the font to allow the color conversion and PDF/X-1a:2001 compliance.
Ah, but no, PitStop Pro does not allow the outlining process (which is normal, the font being Type 3, the content of each glyph is not known – indeed, a Type 3 can contain anything, which is clearly the case here, isn’t it? 😉
OK, let’s try pdfToolbox… No better, the software generates an outlining process error … not without having destroyed the police during the outline attempt!
And what to do then?
Unfortunately, so far, there are not much solutions.
We can only encourage you to outline these fonts directly in your authoring software (be careful, check the result after outlining, see the problem mentioned above with Illustrator), even though we are not outline huge fans!
The use of PDF/X-1a: 2001 is also an option to be considered, although again, we are more likely to use PDF/X-4: 2010 if possible.
We would have hoped that Adobe, instead of generating such a PDF file without warning from its authoring applications, would present a warning dialog when generating the PDF.
We will bring this topic to the Ghent Workgroup meetings this week, hoping to launch a group initiative to put in place controls (and corrections?) to improve the current situation. Stay tuned, we will talk about it right here!
Did you encountered these issues? Do you have an experience to share? Do you want to exchange about this? Leave a comment!