Found a good single stroke font, and workflow in Illustrator


#1

A single stroke font allows you to score some text onto your pieces, rather than engrave them. Scores look very sharp, and take a lot less time. I finally found a good free single stroke font, and figured I’d share it and my workflow in Illustrator.

The font is here: https://github.com/scruss/AVHershey-OTF. You can easily download a zip file with all the font files by clicking the green “Clone or Download” and then “Download ZIP”. Once you’ve got it, open the .zip file, and install the fonts on your system. I installed the .otf fonts on my Windows machine. (This font has all of the English characters and punctuation I needed, but might leave something to be desired for other languages.)

Then in Illustrator, I typed out my block of text and set it to use the “AVHershey Duplex” font at “Meduim Weight”. Then, using the Selection Tool, I right click a block of text and choose “Create Outlines”. For some reason, sometimes every line of text is a different object, so you might have to outline a bunch of lines individually. Once it’s all outlined, I group all the text together (select it all and right-click and choose “Group”). Then I give the group an empty fill, and a 1px stroke. I save all of this in entire artwork .SVG and then upload it for laser cutting.

In the GFUI, set those elements to Score. You may want to turn down the laser power by 5 or 10% when scoring text. Otherwise things can get a little scorchy because the text strokes are so close to each other.

Middle Update: I re-tested this workflow, and clarified exactly which font face I was used. When I watched the laser work in the GF, it was scoring the outlines of the letters, and not doing a score of the letters like I thought. I could have SWORN it scored the letters themselves when I watched yesterday, but today it sure isn’t. Sorry to mislead you folks; I’ll update again if I get it figured out.

Final Update: I still haven’t found a way to get Illustrator to actually render single stroke fonts as a single stroke. In the end, what I did was use the JavaScript linked from here: https://forums.adobe.com/thread/719618 It doesn’t give you a lot of font formatting options, but it does get the job done.


#2

Oh that’s good to know - there’s a Hershey Text plugin for Inkscape, but I didn’t realize we could install one for Illustrator.

Super! :grinning:


#3

Thanks for locating that font! There has been some discussion of single stroke fonts on the forum, but I don’t recall there being a link to the Hershey font before. I’m not fond of the others I’ve seen so I’ll have to check that one out.


#4

Thank you for your post! Nice find!


#5

Thanks. I have a few single-line fonts that I have had no luck with–when I Convert to Outlines, some of the lines just vanish.

If anyone wants to take a look:

http://www.mrrace.com/CamBam_Fonts/

Edit to add:

I quickly tried another one of those fonts and got good outlines. So, I guess I should try all of the CamBam fonts to see which ones convert to outlines well.


#6

Did a whole writeup on it a while back:

Sorry…got to scoot now. :slightly_smiling_face:


#7

I was really hoping you had found something unique! When I test this font in AI, on a Mac, it creates what looks like a single stroke font, but creating outlines and looking at it in outline view above a true single-stroke font shows the difference:

upper version is typed in the AVHershey-Light font (from the link above) with the text tool,
bottom version is typed with the jongware script.

selected, you can see there are twice as many nodes.

For the time being, I think the jongware script is still the best bet for quickly generating mono-line text in AI. Darn.


#8

Here’s a test shot of all the CamBam fonts linked above. Sadly only #8 is somewhat usable, the rest all drop half the strokes when converted to outline.

Someone who knows more about Illustrator than I may have a workaround.


#9

Yeah, darn. I thought it worked the first time, but that’s just because my outlines were so close. The Jongware script did do the trick for me.