Chapter Five in the Easy Wall Art Ideas series is here! If you’ve been following along, I hope you’re having fun creating these fun projects – or pinning them for a rainy day. This chapter is Meaningful Quotes and it requires virtually no art supplies or skill. score.
All you’ll need for this project is a computer and printer – and a nice frame for the finished product. I use my own printer because the quality and color is really good. If your printer isn’t high quality, or your print is oversized, I suggest taking your file to a local copy center like Staples or Kinkos and they’ll print it for you. They have nicer, heavier paper stocks to choose from too so it’s usually worth the trip. The costs are minimal – usually just a few dollars.
First, you’ll need to find a good quote, inspiring words, or song verse that’s meaningful to you. If you need inspiration, click here to visit my Pinterest page of inspirational quotes as art. You might find some good ideas or do a general online search. It helps to know where your art will be displayed so your quote is appropriate. If it’s going in a girl’s room, a quote about empowerment might be good. Or a quote about work would be perfect in a home office. I love this quote about talent and hard work. It’s the perfect piece for a teenage boy’s room I’m designing. And it only cost $9 (including the frame).
Next, Set up your file on your computer at a size to fit your frame. Mine is 13″ x 19″. An 8″ x 10″ size is a good general size with standard frames to fit – or add a matte and go for an 11″ x 14″ frame for it. Experiment with different fonts and colors until you get the look you want. A few things you can consider when stylizing your type:
– Do you want it to be big and powerful and take up a lot of the paper or do you want it to be more delicate with a lot of white space?
– What’s the tone of your phrase? Is it silly, powerful, lighthearted, serious…? This will help determine the style font you select and how it appears on your page.
– Try mixing things up. Your quote doesn’t have to be centered, or the words don’t have to all be the same size or color. Try emphasizing important words.
– There’s a lot to consider the when it comes to creating art from typography but it’s not rocket science. Have fun with it. This is a meaningful quote TO YOU. So make it how YOU like it.
Here are a few suggestions from a graphic designer’s view on typography:
1. K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid. This was an acronym one of my art school teachers would always use (it wasn’t just to me so I did’t take it personally). I could go on and on about how this applies to design but I think I’ll keep it simple and just tell you it’s a great way to approach a project. Don’t over think it, be smart.
2. Font selection. There are um-teen million fonts out there and you could spend a lot of time and money on new fancy fonts. If you’re struggling on which fonts to use, refer to #1. And if you want to try a new, trendy font, there are plenty of places to download them. Some can be pricey but click here for a few free font options. These are a few of my favorite fonts that I use frequently: Gotham, FB Californian, Berkeley, Formata, and Isabella.
3. Kerning/Tracking – these terms describe the space between letters. Kerning is the space between certain characters and tracking is a standard spacing that applies across all characters. I would’t worry too much about this but if your program allows it, you can experiment with it. I suggest reducing the tracking on your letters a bit. This will bring them closer together and make them easier to read and work better as a graphic unit.
4. Leading – is the space between lines of type. Play with this too. Maybe your quote looks better in a tighter formation. Or maybe really spaced out?
5. Limit the amount of different fonts you use to a maximum of three. More than that and you’ve got chaos. Not really, but it’s just a good eye-pleasing, design rule. And don’t compress, stretch or skew the words. Typefaces have been meticulously designed and distorting them will take away from their intended look.
6. Use creative license. This is your creation. You can capitalize words, add quotation marks, delete punctuation – whatever looks best to you.
7. Color. Go crazy – or not. I have an art print in my Etsy shop about rainbows so I colored each letter of the word rainbow a different color but I kept the rest of the words black in contrast. It works for that saying.
When you get the look of your quote how you like it, print it out. If you’re bringing it to a copy center, I suggest saving the file as a pdf or jpeg – those are universal formats that most will accept.
Then you just need to add a frame and hang – or lean it – as you’d like.
You just made art! And meaningful, inspiring art. Pretty cool. Stay tuned for more in the Easy Wall Art Ideas series. We’re not done yet!