One of the amazing options you have when designing machine embroidery patterns that include lettering of some sort is the wide variety of font style choices to be found.

As challenging as picking the right font style for your design may seem, it’s not the only font decision you’ll need to make.

Before you sit down at your sewing cabinet expecting to start stitching up that great embroidery monogram or typography-inclusive design, it’s essential that you understand the various digital font types and how they differ.

Only then can you choose the one that will be more suitable for your project!

A Font - More Than Just A Letter Style

The last thing you want after putting so much effort into your digitized embroidery design is a font that looks terrible and ruins the whole effect.

Unfortunately, this is a common problem among novice embroiderers who don’t understand how digital font files actually work and discovering they've chosen the wrong one.

This has nothing to do with the font style such as Times, Helvetica, and others; it instead deals with the digital language in which the font file is created.

Since font files are available in a multitude of digital formats, it’s critical to choose the format that will be correctly interpreted by your specific embroidery software so it stitches out as you planned.

Different Digital Embroidery Font Types

There are currently five types of embroidery fonts you may come across when planning the designs you want to stitch on your Janome MB-7 embroidery machine, each of which have definite pros and cons.

When searching for additional fonts to add to your machine, keep these five types in mind, and how your software will interpret their digital data so you get lettering that enhances your design rather than detracts from it:

  • Built-In Fonts - Keyboard-based, resizable fonts of various types that are built into your machine’s embroidery design software are superior and easier to use in your designs as they are made to work with that software.
  • Stitch File Fonts - Non-resizable fonts designed with each letter digitized as an individual graphic image as opposed to an actual keyboard font can work well when imported letter by letter; however, they should not be resized as that requires re-editing like any digital design or the quality of the design may be reduced.
  • Converted True Type Fonts - Font files when uploaded into your embroidery software are immediately digitized by the software and converted into stitch files. This can be convenient if you can find a specific font in TTF format; however, it leaves you with the same challenges as any other stitch file font in terms of resizing and editing.
  • BX Embroidery Fonts - These are machine embroidery font files that are essentially stitch files digitized as keyboard fonts that can be easily added to a design. BX files are more convenient, but still present the same problems when you need to resize or edit your font as each letter is an image and not actually a resizable font file.
  • ESA Embroidery Fonts - Fully digitized, resizable, editable object-based embroidery-specific keyboard fonts can be edited endlessly until the design is completed, after which the software then turns the edited design into a stitch pattern. ESA fonts are very versatile to use and give clean, beautiful results no matter what size the letters are stitched or what fabric is used as a base.

Choose the Right Font Type For Great Embroidery Designs

What does all this mean for you when choosing a font for the project you’re planning to do with a Janome MB-7 embroidery machine?

There are tons of built-in, editable fonts that you can use for easy design composition; however, if you want to add others, keep the limitations of the other four formats in mind.

Remember that Stitch File fonts are not actually letters but images that need some extensive re-editing when resized to maintain the integrity of the design.

If you want to avoid all that with Stitch File, TTF, and BX fonts as well as hours of time spent in front of your sewing cabinet only to have inferior results, choose editable ESA fonts!