Someone else responded to me offline and we did determine that we didn't
have the fonts installed to support the PDF conversion.
My understanding is that IBM i Print Transform Services attempts to map AFP
fonts to PDF fonts. You suggested that an IPL might be required after
installing AFP fonts. But I question that - seems rather odd.
We generate 150+ reports in our student information system, including GUI
fonts and images by generating HTML stream files which reference a shared
CSS file for styling (standard web technologies), then transform the HTML
to PDF. Have you ever considered something like that?