TrueType font does not render properly at 2400 dpi

Here's an odd error that I have not seen before. A regular client submits an eight page PDF that uses a variety of fonts and sizes. Nothing abnormal about that. The font list included Galaxie Polaris-BoldItalic and Galaxie Polaris-BookItalic, used only once, at 26 and 20 pts respectively. The fonts render fine when output at resolutions below 1200 dpi. At 2400 dpi, the font fails to render and we get a blob of unreadable text, as if you added a 300 pt stroke to the text file. You can see the same effect when you enlarge the PDF past 600% in Acrobat.

We use Prinergy 5.1.2. Two of our sister plants use Prinergy 5.3 and Prinergy 6.0 (we will be upgrading to Pringergy 6.1 in early June) and the files rendred fine on both systems. We are all using the Adobe PDF Print Engine, although ours is an earlier version.

We output literally 1000s of pages a week and I've yet to ever see this exact problem. I suspect it's a combination of the contstruction of this particular font (missing high-res vector information??) and our the inability of our RIP to interpolate the information @ 2400 dpi.

Any thoughts?
You don't mention what version of Acrobat - so that would be helpful.

But more important is if you could post the PDF itself. I am not familiar with that font nor do I know what software was used to embed the font in the PDF. The problem could lie in either place.
If I was to guess what was going on, my initial inclination would be that there was something funky in the “hinting” of the font which is effectively a program in TrueType format. There may be a cutoff point at 2400 dpi where the hinting does something different than at lower resolutions.

For these fonts, there aren't low resolution versus high resolution outlines. And there isn't any “interpolation” done to get to 2400dpi.

For this type (no pun intended) of issue, you are best off directly contacting Kodak support and if they can't figure out the issue, they will forward it to Adobe's team that develops and maintains the Adobe PDF Print Engine technology.

- Dov
Some additional info: The artworked used Galaxie-Polaris Bold type in several places. On the specific page we had trouble with the font was used at 26 pt. On all the other pages the Galaxie-Polaris Bold was used at 13 pt and imaged fine at 2400 dpi. Not sure why the size mattered. I've asked the designer to send me some samples of that font at different sizes to test.

Hi Dov,

I did speak with Kodak, and their explanation was the same as what I described. Thanks.
Whoever you spoke to at Kodak grossly oversimplified the actual situation, quite unfortunately.

What is interesting, is that following the link provided by abc in this thread, the normal distribution of this font is not TrueType, but rather OpenType CFF (i.e., OpenType with Type 1 Bezier outlines and hinting). If the fonts you have are indeed TrueType or OpenType TrueType, perhaps what you have is a poor conversion of the font from one format to another and obtaining the OpenType CFF version of the font(s) may resolve the issue.

- Dov
What happens if you outline the font to paths in the PDF? Do both the 13 and 26 point sizes outline correctly? Was the original font fully embedded or subset?

Stephen Marsh
What happens if you outline the font to paths in the PDF? Do both the 13 and 26 point sizes outline correctly? Was the original font fully embedded or subset?

Stephen Marsh
Whether the font is embedded “fully” (actually no TrueType fonts are really ever “fully” embedded in either PostScript or PDF files, just the outlines and a subset of the metrics and feature tables are) or “subset” (of glyph definitions) should not make one iota of a difference if the program generating the PDF properly generated the PDF including proper embedding of the font (making sure that all glyph definitions for all glyphs used are in the embedded subset and properly encoded).

- Dov


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