Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Turn Any Font Into a Coordinated Sticker In Four Steps

If you are anything like me, you have a ton of fonts hogging precious hard drive space just waiting for the perfect opportunity to shine. While journaling is what first comes to mind when contemplating what can be done to add different fonts to a layout, we don’t always have paragraphs of inspired literature to add. Occasionally, we only need a few words or maybe a phrase to cover that awkward gap between layers. When this opportunity arises, don’t go hunting for a last minute button, fill the space with a personalized, color coordinated sticker made from your favorite font!

For this tutorial, I will be using Celeste Knight’s Go Getter Patterned Paper Pack and CafĂ© Rojo font in PhotoShop CS6. 

Note: If you are using PSE (Elements) please remember not everything will be the same exact process, however you can still achieve the same effect using the Stroke tool.
 Now, on to the fun stuff!

Step 1: 
From the Top. I have found the best options are smooth, solid, easily read fonts. The more distressed or brushed fonts tend to leave you with uneven and rough edges, where the smoother fonts will have a die cut appearance. With that said, the more distressed fonts tend to work better for an old school rub-on look, which can be achieved using these same steps, but at the end lowering the opacity of everything instead of leaving it as a solid sticker. The color of your font is not important right now, this will be covered up in the next step. 

Step 2:
Make It Match.  Select the paper you would like the words to be in the final piece. This part is really up to you; solid, large pattern, small pattern, stripes, chevrons, anything will work. For the sample, I have re-sized the Flower pattern paper to reduce the space between the flowers and lessen the off-white color of the background in the paper so that my border will stand out once complete. 
Now that you have you paper selected, clip it to the font layer without merging or rasterizing either layer. 

Note: You may want to play with the blending mode of your paper to achieve different effects. Scroll through the drop down menu to see how they will affect your final product.  

Step 3:
Sticker-ize It. With your text layer selected, open your Layer Style menu and select ‘Stroke’. To change the color of your border, locate the color box under the ‘Fill Type’ drop down menu.

The width of your border completely depends on your personal preference. Play with the different widths until you have connected all the letters. Keep in mind the open areas of your characters, do you want those open or filled with your border color?

 Note: When choosing your border color, remember that contrasting colors will make your sentiment pop, while similar tones will have a softer look.

Step 4:
Squish It Good. At this point, you will want to make sure you are happy with your sticker. Zoom out, zoom in. If you choose to leave the open spaces inside characters empty make sure they are even. Once you are pleased, rasterize your text layer, then merge it and the paper layer. You are left with a single layer sticker.
The only thing left is adding a drop shadow. 

Easy peasy, right?


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