Posts filed under 'CreateSpace'

A Surprising Slant on Type

4 comments December 11th, 2011

Working lately on two books by self-publishers, both autobiographies, I reached the point where one was ready to upload to my client’s printer. In this particular case, that meant CreateSpace, the wing of Amazon that provides services, including printing, to self-publishers.

Interestingly, when I uploaded the printer-ready PDFs I had prepared from InDesign files of the interior pages and the back cover/spine/front cover document, CreateSpace’s Reviewer utility sent me error messages—the interior pages file needed fixing. The first, I must admit, was helpful. The Reviewer found two or three of the dozens of artfiles were in the RGB color space, instead of CMYK. In jockeying some art around at the last minute, I overlooked the need to convert them to CMYK, which CreateSpace requires.

Good enough. That was certainly better than having the whole file or just rejection notices emailed back to the client.

But there were still a handful of problems, all the same. Text, the Reviewer noted, was running into the inside and outside margins. Repeatedly. This problem text turned out to be italic, lowercase “effs” at the beginning and end of lines. Take a look at one:


Even given that this blog does not display in the typefaces I used for the book, you can see the source of CreateSpace’s problem, although—admittedly—if you’re displaying this in sans serif type the problem may appear faint at best.

The first ones I spotted when looking at the pages the Reviewer utility had singled out were at the ends of lines. See the top of the “f”? It slants rightward, as italic type should. But as the last letter on a full line, principally as part of the word “of,” it did, technically break into the margin.

On the inside part of pages, it happened with words beginning with the letter “f.” Notice how the bottom of is to the left. That was, again technically, into the margin. Of course, we are only talking a matter of a point or two. I mean, if this were the National Football League, and the “f” were a ball carrier, and the margins were the goal line … well, touchdown. But it really is crazy splitting of hairs in typography.

This book has two versions: one where my client-author’s art—mostly photos of his paintings—is in black-and-white, and a second version where the art displays in full color. I actually went back and did some type manipulation to eliminate the offenders.

And still, the Reviewer pointed out, more remained.

Except the “more” turned out to be the roman variety:


Do you see it? The crossbar on the left side is what ticked off CreateSpace’s Reviewer.

On this second, the color version, I had had enough. I clicked the “Ignore Reviewer” option and crossed my fingers. As far as I know, there have been no dire mishaps.


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