Say It with Style: Word Art Made Easy

09Christmas500 300x300 Say It with Style: Word Art Made EasyWord art can bring a fun or elegant touch to your layouts and there are many great word-art artists out there!  But sometimes, you can’t find what you need or have a special quote or phrase you’d like to use – so the only solution is to make it yourself! I've developed a quick five-step system for putting together word art that's perfect for greeting cards, gift tags or layouts. Here's how:
  1. Find the Space. Lay out your page (or card or tag) first, so you know what shape the space is that you need to fill. Is it square? Tall and skinny? Diagonal? Not that you can't change it later, but it helps going in to have an idea of how much space you've got to work with.
  2. Find the Words. This probably could go without saying, but sometimes you need a shorter or longer quote depending on the space you're trying to fill. Could you leave off part of the beginning or the end? Add another sentence from the poem?
  3. Find your Fonts. You'll need two. One font will be for your highlight words and another for your regular text. Some things to keep in mind when selecting word-art fonts:
    • Highlight fonts can be more ornate, grungy, funky.  Use what is called a display font. Display fonts can be hard to read when used for a lot of text, but you'll only be using one for a word or two.
    • Regular fonts should be easy-to-read as they will form the bulk of the words in your art. You can either choose a style that complements the highlight font (as in the layout above) or choose one that contrasts (for example: a script regular text with a grunge highlight text).
  4. Type It All. Type all the words you want to use in your word art on a blank page with a transparent background. I like to put individual words or small groups of words on separate layers. This gives me maximum flexibility for combining words and getting the placement I want.
    • Photoshop Tip: In Photoshop and Elements when you have the Type tool selected, hold down the Shift key and click somewhere else on the page to start a new text layer!
    • Don't worry if your words overlap or are in the wrong order, you're going to move them all anyway!
  5. Play! Look at the way the words want to fit together.
    • Change your key words to the highlight font and everything else to your chosen regular font.
    • Move and re-size the highlight words so they look pleasing to you. You'll want them larger than the other text.
    • Fill in with the rest of the words. Try tucking them between uprights of the highlight words or off toward one side or another.
    • Photoshop Tip:  When you get a combination you like, in PS/PSE hold the Ctrl key and press Shift+Alt+E all at the same time to put everything you see onto a new layer! Now you can turn this layer off by clicking on the little eyeball to the left of the layer, then try again. When you're ready to save each version, just turn off everything but that layer and save as a .png file.
Once you're done, save your work as a .png file to preserve the transparent areas and now you can drag your word art onto your layout. Give creating your own word art a try and you will surprise yourself! You can come up with something that helps your layout say what you feel and creates the perfect mood for your project. Short on time? You can download the word art from my layout above here.
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