Jazzing Up a Font
Wow, how much the world has changed in one short week! Our provincial government has declared a state of emergency, although the total number of cases of COVID-19 in our province is still under 100. We’ve been sticking close to home since last Thursday night, which is giving me time to do all the things on my task list. This post is late because I got sidetracked painting the family room… hope the buyer – whoever that ends up being -approves! But let’s get into distraction mode for a bit.
Maybe you’ve seen my layout in the Gallery, the one where my granddaughter is eating her peas with her tongue. This is how I created my title. I started with one of the fonts I linked you up with last week Floral Capitals. Everything I’ve done in this tutorial has been shown to you at least a couple of times before, so if you’re a faithful reader, you might even predict what’s coming next as we work through. There are a lot of steps but I’ve taken the guesswork out of it for you. Whenever I do something that I’m making up as I go along, I like to make some copies of the original layer so I’ll still have one untouched one should I need it. Here I made 2 copies and turned their visibility off.
I analyzed the font’s appearance and had an idea of what I wanted to do. I knew the border would be different so I started off on the bottom layer by Erasing the middle parts of each letter, leaving just the border. Then I made a copy so I could quickly reset if I did something I didn’t like.
Next, I Selected the edges of the floral design by Clicking on the Layer Thumbnail of the lower copy of the original.
Now the Marching Ants come into play.
Now that Elements knew I wanted to work with just the Selected areas of my title, I added a new blank layer between the copy of the border layer and the lower copy of the entire title.
With the new blank layer active, I hit Select>Modify>Expand. I want to adjust the areas selected just a tiny bit.
But I only needed to adjust it a smidge, 1 pixel wide.
Still on that blank layer, I added a Stroke to the Selection. Edit>Stroke (Outline Selected Area).
Again, I went with a skinny stroke, only 2 pixels wide, and I chose this carnation pink, pulled from one of the papers I planned to use for my layout. (Diva-tude from Jumpstart Designs.)
Here you can see the pink a little if you squint.
When I turned off the rest of the layers, now I could see clearly where the Stroke went.
Using the Paint Bucket, I filled in all the letters with the same pink.
Yep, then I Erased the fancy parts, leaving just the pink letters.
I zoomed in quite a lot so I could clean it up to the best of my ability.
To give the letters some more presence I went to the Styles menu and chose Bevels.
I like to use Simple Pillow Emboss, because it’s pretty predictable.
See how it adds weight to the letters, and puts a bit of shading around them too?
The Bevel default is 21 pixels, which is a bit too much for the look I’m after, so I decreased the size down to 7 pixels. Now the letters look like die cuts.
One way to check for stray pixels after you’ve extracted something, as I’ve done with the letters, is to apply a Style or a Shadow. Those stray pixels pop out like zits before a big date. That makes them easier to remove. (If you’re only looking for stray pixels, you can clear the Layer Style when you’re done by right-clicking on the layer in the Layers panel and selecting Clear Layer Style from the menu.)
Okay, mission accomplished. Onward and upward! I turned off all but one of the layers, the lower copy of the original title. I Erased the borders on this layer, since I have plans for the ones I’ve saved down at the bottom of the pile.
As I was getting the screenshots edited I discovered I’d missed one… an important one. I added a black chipboard Layer Style from Ooh La La Scraps’ All Hallows Eve to this layer. It adds just a bit of a flocked look to the outline. I played with the Layer Style settings.
But all I did was increase the Bevel a bit, from 10 pixels to 15. That sharpened the edges just a bit.
Next, using the Rectangular Marquee tool I dragged out a box just inside the outline of the first letter and used the Paint Bucket to Fill it with this dark olive green, also from Diva-tude.
And I did the same with all the rest of the letters.
It’s looking pretty good but it still wasn’t where I wanted it so I added a few more little tweaks.
I turned the border boxes layer back on and took a good look at them.
They needed to be punched up just a tad, so I added a Stroke.
It had to be a narrow one so the border didn’t run into the fancy part. 3 pixels worked. I could have put the Stroke outside the boxes, but then the boxes might have coalesced. Instead I centered the Stroke on the lines.
I found this perfect pink Glitter style in ADB Designs’ Holiday Joy styles kit. So it went on the borders.
OOH! So close!
Last thing I did was to add an epoxy Style (from Mommyish at another store) to just the pink letters.
And then I was happy!
You can use these tips on other detailed fonts, and experimenting is fun! I hope you give it a try!