Earlier this week, Neisha wrote a great article full of essential tips for selecting and using journaling fonts. I know I’ll be referring to this article many times in the future! While journaling and fonts are fresh in our minds, I wanted to share my all-time favorite, most-used text “trick.”
Have you ever wished you could make your text look more realistic (as if your digital layout was actually a paper one)? Journaling text can often seem to float above the page, instead of looking as if you had actually written or typed on the background paper, tag, journaling card, etc.
There’s plenty of ways to manually adjust your text for a realistic look, but I’m impatient. And hey, if someone else has already done the work, why reinvent the wheel? And so I present my (not so) secret weapon: Tangie Baxter’s PaperWorn Art Styles. As the product description says, “These 7 styles will make your elements & text look worn over your background paper, as if they are really interacting with it! No more floating paint or titles!” She has some excellent samples in the product previews, but I whipped up a couple samples of my own, too.
First, I chose a very painty, mixed-media paper from Sissy Sparrows’ Anything Goes paper pack. I typed the same test line in three different fonts (Another Typewriter, The Liana, and Jane Austen) and demonstrated each of Tangie’s seven styles. The labels (Style #1 and so on) are in Century Gothic, with no styles applied.
I did a second sample with a darker paper, from Valorie Wibbens’ Under the Sea paper pack. On this page the first four sample lines are in black, the last three in white.
The most important thing to remember when using these styles is that every single paper reacts differently. They work best on textured, painty, grungy backgrounds, although I use them on basically every bit of text I put on a page. Tangie also includes an action that allows you to customize how the styles are applied, but I usually just click between the styles until I find one that works.
Curious to see the difference on an actual scrapbook page? It’s not a huge change, but like great shadowing, sometimes the little things can really make a page. Here’s a page I scrapped today – look at the text on the little tag in the lower right-hand corner. The top page’s text has no style applied, while on the bottom page I applied Tangie’s “artjournalgrunge2″ style. See how the text interacts with the lacy “stamp” on the tag? (The bottom page is linked for full credits.)
Bonus! These styles aren’t just for text! Try them with all sorts of paint and brushes to create some cool, realistic effects. I like to apply one of the styles to paint smears/splats over a textural background paper (like wood grain, corrugated cardboard, etc.). The “foruseonBLACKpapers” style creates a nifty light wash effect when applied to a paint splat on top of a lighter background paper, which is exactly what I did here (paper from Sunkissed – Picket Fence Papers by Mari Koegelenberg; paint from Splatz Mats by CD Muckosky):
A few final tips: Make sure your text layer is directly above your paper, journal card, etc. Unlike a regular Photoshop style, you won’t see that fx icon on the layer in the Layers palette, but trust me, the style is there. If you want to clear it off, just like clearing any other style, right-click the text layer in the Layers palette and select “Clear layer style.”
Do you have any tricks for making your text look realistic? Please share with us in the comments!