Friday, October 29, 2010

Vintage Bus Scroll Inspired Poster

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I'm sure you've seen these vintage bus scrolls as part of interiors lately. They make such a fun graphic statement. Since the originals are hard to come by, I thought it'd be fun to make a version for our house. I decided to use all the street names where my husband and I  have lived since we've been married. But, just think of the possibilities. You could do favorite vacation spots, cities you visited, cities from your family history, a list of goals... whatever you can imagine. The picture above is found from a Flickr photo stream found [Here].

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The ingredient list for this recipe is really simple. You will need:

• A boldish sans-serif font (I used Bebas- found on Font Squirrel for Free)
• A two color palette- Black & White or Light Grey.

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First check out how you will be printing your poster. There are a lot of options when it comes to one at a time poster printing. Try Zazzle, CafePress, Overnight Prints, Uprinting, etc. They all have options for single poster prints. Look at their size & price options and decide which one you want to use.

Open a new document in your image editor to the size you want your poster. I used Illustrator and created my poster at 16x20 inches. You could use pretty much any editing program for this project and make it any size.

Fill the background of your document with black. Then created a smaller text box about 2 inches inside the border because I plan on framing my poster and want a little space to show around the words after it's framed.  Select full justified text and start adding your street names in white or light grey to the inside of the text box. I just listed each street on it's own line.

Find your text attribute option box in your program. In Illustrator it's found on your upper menu in a little blue link when you have your text tool selected. On the bus scroll example image you can see that some of the lines are really small, some are large, some are close together, and some spread way apart. This is done in the text options by playing with the font size, kerning, and tracking options. Just play around with them till you get all the streets on their own line and taking up the same amount of space on the line.

Alternately,  you could create a text box for each text line and then space them yourself. I've seen some bus scrolls with centered text of different sizes and it still looks cool. So, if that's easier for you with your available program, go for it. 

Follow the uploading directions of the printer you selected and save your new poster in their recommended formats.  Upload to your printer and when you get it back you'll have a great personal statement art piece to frame and hang.

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Here's how mine turned out. I love it! I can't wait to get it framed and hang it up. We've been married for 14 years and if you've counted them up, moved 9 times. Fun to remember all the crazy places we've been together!


I love design, illustration, crafts, & searching for cool vintage things in thrift stores. Find me blogging at The Modern Hive

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thank You Notes

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We recently established a new tradition in our family of each writing thank you notes on Sunday afternoons. I made a family thank you note binder, where I have a few guidelines for how to compose a personal thank you note, as well as a pocket to hold pre-made thank you cards and envelopes so that my children can just grab one when they’re ready to write. I wanted to make a variety of thank you notes and found some great inspiration on Typography Mania.

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For this recipe, you’ll need:

A variety of fonts in different weights, styles, and sizes. I chose Bill Hicks 5, Made, and Linear, which are all available free at Urban Fonts, as well as a couple other fonts that I already had installed on my computer.

A neutral color palette of tans and black.

Ornamental swirls and swashes

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Gather all of your ingredients. Feel free to make adjustments, according to your own tastes. I opened up a new letter-size document in Adobe Illustrator and then drew a box that measured 5.5x8.5, so that when I fold it in half, it will fit the standard envelopes that I have on hand (you can use the software you feel most comfortable using and change the size if you have different envelopes).

I decided to write “thank you” in a variety of languages to fill up the front of the card. I thought it would be an interesting twist and my ulterior motive is that maybe my kids might learn a little foreign language! I found this site helpful: Ways to Say Thank You to find a variety of languages.

After getting all of my type fit in place, I moved my file over to Photoshop for the finishing details. I used a variety of swirly decorative brushes and swashes of color under the text and on the edges of my card front. I already had these, which I got at Scrap Girls, but you can use whatever ornamental swirls you want to decorate and grunge up your edges a bit.

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Here is my finished card, which will now be placed in our family Thank You Binder!

Designer. Mother of 4.
Friend me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter, or see my digital scrapbooking designs at Scrap Girls.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Candy Boxes

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I was looking to create a candy box for a neighbor that wasn't feeling too well, but I wasn't particularly excited about any of the papers I had in my stash. Instead, I set out to make a patterned paper of my very own that I could use to make a candy pouch. Above is the inspiration courtesy, of course, of my favorite design inspiration site, Color Collective.

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The ingredients are simple:

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1. Make your repeat pattern. You can download free vector patterns here, or make your own. In a nutshell, I made a zig-zag line across my page using the pen tool in illustrator with the thickness of the line at about 11pts. After I made my first line, I selected the line with my general selection tool & dragged the line down the sheet while holding the shift & option keys. The shift key keeps the line in the same vertical as the previous line & the option key repeats the line. Once you're satisfied with the distance between the two lines, hit command D until the line repeats all the way off the page. From there, color each stroke in your desired colors.

2. Print

3. Make the pouch

4. Make the lettering for the label. I have a Wacom tablet, so I used that to write "for you" in cursive. You could scan in your own handwriting & live trace it, or use a script font (See my last post for good ones) to write "for you".

5. Make the background for the label. Using your marquee tool (the rectangle) make a rectangle the desired size of your tag (about 2"x2"). Using the direct select tool, select the top line of the rectangle, hold down the shift key & move the top line of the rectangle to the left about 1/3 of the way. This creates your parallelogram. Fill in with the solid color of your choice.

6. Print

7. Cut out.

8. Using the instructions from the Post & Presents tutorial, make a pouch & fill it with candy or other misc. goodies. Fini!

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I used baker's twine to attach the tag to the pouch. The striped twine + chevron pattern compliment each other well. Enjoy!

Friday, October 1, 2010

DIY Name Badges

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I'm in the thick of getting ready for our big Art Weekend in Salt Lake City this week. (If you haven't heard about the Art Weekend yet, and if you're in the area, check it out! We offer a variety of classes from photography to Photoshop to Illustrator to screenprinting, watercolor, calligraphy and more!)

One of the things on my to-do list is to find a way to make our name badges a little more special. Recently, Nicole Hill Gerulat who heads up our Art Weekend, did a photo shoot with Brittany Egbert of One Charming Party (who will be teaching a Party Planning class at the weekend!) where she shot a free PDF download of frames to be used in an Art Party. Nicole loved the idea of using frames on our name badges.

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For this project, all I needed was:
1 image of a frame and
1template for name badges

I looked up my name badge that I'll be using and downloaded the PDF template that I could open with Illustrator.

The image is a frame I purchased from for 6 credits.

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Open the frame image in a robust image editing program. I used Photoshop. In Photoshop, I was able to change colors of the frame by making a duplicate layer, choosing "color" as the layer blending mode, and "painting" the frame with the brush tool in any color I chose. I saved multiple colors of the frame.

Then I opened my PDF template in Illustrator. I brought the frame images into Illustrator and positioned them on the template. For this example, I just filled in our names in Illustrator. But when it comes time to print all of these, I'll print all the frames on the name badges first. Then I'll print out all the names (since I'll be given an automated PDF of name badges once registration is complete) on a separate run.

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Here are the name badges for me, my husband Mike, and Nicole! I think they turned out well and are a nice twist on plain name badges!

(If you're interested in learning programs like Photoshop and Illustrator, which I used to put this project together, come to the Art Weekend!)

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