Thursday, February 17, 2011
An ongoing design trend is the use of watercolors, gradients, and rainbows in art. Inspired by this look, I thought I'd put together an ABC poster for the kids' room.
1) Interesting font.
I downloaded the font Kilogram from here.
2) Colorful Photograph
This carousel image is from iStockPhoto. It was a free, high-res download that I got about a year ago.
1) In Adobe Illustrator, create your document with your final print size in mind. I plan on printing this at Costco, and the largest poster size available is 20 x 30in.
2) Typeset the alphabet. This can be aligned left as in the ABC poster example above or centered. I went with centered alignment.
3) When you're happy with how the type is laid out, outline the font by selecting it and choosing from the menu Type > Create Outlines.
4) Keeping all the type selected, go to Object > Compound Path > Make. This outline is now going to be our mask. I like to color my mask black so I can see what I'm working with. It should look like this:
5) Next, place the photograph in your file (File > Place). Optional: Before placing in Illustrator, you may want to blur the photo in Photoshop by applying the Lens Blur filter to obscure the image and give it a painterly, dreamy effect.
6) Move the photograph behind the mask. Select the mask and choose from the menu Object > Arrange > Bring to Front. Deselect.
7) Select both mask and photo. Go to the menu and choose Object > Clipping Mask > Make. Now the photo shows only through the alphabet mask. (I rotated and nudged the photo around until I was satisfied with how the colors peeked through the mask.)
This method is a great way to design greeting cards, baby shower invites, or creating fun prints for your home. Below I used the same photograph, but with different masks:
(Additional resource info - 'Love Fool' set in the typeface MaSexy and vector bike image downloaded from here. Both free.)