Category Archives: Tips

Working On My Use Of Fonts In Photography and Graphics

I’ve been updating my understanding of modern HTML5 and CSS3. One of my weaknesses has always been graphic design. It was one of the things that stopped me from wanting to start a freelance web design business. Seeing I’m on a self improvement kick, I figured it was time to update some of those design skills as well.

One of the things I’ve wanted to work at for a while now, is how I utilize fonts in graphics and photography. I’ll be sharing a bunch of my work on Twitter and other social media sites. I spent the afternoon playing around with some font work. I’ve got a long way to go but I did like the way this one turned out.

I’m not going to do a full out tutorial on this, although I will be posting tutorials again soon. I did want to share this though, and just briefly explain how I created it.

photo and c;loud quote

Keep your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground.

This was a simple edit I did, taken from a blurry image I took at the boat races. I cropped out a section of the image because I loved the way the clouds looked. Then using Gimp I went to Filters/Map/Make Seamless. That gave me the layered cloud effect and it can also be used as a website background or graphic filler without the text now.

Here’s the image I took the clouds from. Terrible composition and blurry.

blurry image of boat races.

I cut out the clouds from the upper right hand corner. Added some text with an inspirational quote.

The font I used is called CAC Champagne. The text was written out in sky blue lettering. I created a second transparent layer then created an alpha selection with the lettering. I grew the alpha selection by 2 pixels, then used a black flood fill on the transparent layer. I then removed the alpha selection and used a gaussian blur on the blue lettering.

I really like the way the font effect came out. I’m planning on doing a bunch of these inspirational style quotes as a way to improve my font work. I’ll post my progress to the blog regularly. I’m not the greatest at Gimp, but I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made with the program. The important thing is that my clients seem happy with the work.

Here’s another image I posted to my Twitter earlier.

inspirational quote and photo of bird

Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.

One of the most important things I’m learning is how a font can set the tone or feeling of the project you’re working on. Whether it’s photography, graphic work, or web design, the font selected helps set the tone of your content. I experiment with colors, tones and fonts till the project has the right feel to me.

Content Creation and Stock Photography

One of the projects I’ve been working on is a Spanish language blog. I’m not fluent in Spanish, yet I wish to be. So I decided to create mi-palabra-del-dia.com as a way to stay motivated each day and learn and practice my Spanish.

Each Monday, I usually spend the afternoon editing photos I’ve taken over the week and creating that weeks content for the blog. This morning I realised I really didn’t have any good photos pertaining to that subject matter. What to do ? morguefile.com is the answer.

When you’re in a pinch morguefile.com is a great place to grab some free stock photography for your blog or website. The term morgue file comes from the old newspaper days when journalists would need a picture for a story but didn’t have one. The photographers had what were called “morgue files” of images that could be used in a pinch. In a pinch the journalist would go to the morgue file and look for an image that pertained to their subject matter. I’ve used this site in a pinch for a long time now and you can find some really great photos there. The site really lives up to its name.

As far as I know , the only rule is that you can’t use the image in a standalone manner. In other words you have to edit the images a bit and personalize them for your content. Just what I needed. Here’s a couple examples of some things I created using there content.

artwork for my spanish blog

Strawberries for my Spanish blog. Las Fresas Amigos !

La ardilla, a squirrel for my Spanish blog.

la ardilla, the squirrel. Cute little guy isn’t he.

The top image has really been manipulated using Gimp. I did a cut out of the image using a font as a mask to cut the image. I then added a border, some more plain text, and the original image of strawberries. For the second image I simply added a little text and my site url.

I’m pretty sure using the images in a stand alone manner pertains to offering the images by themselves for download. However, you could simply add some text, a border, or create a collage out of a couple different images. I’ll explain more on these things in future post and maybe even use some of these photos for examples.

For the tweeted version of this post: “If you need stock photography in a pinch, try www.morguefile.com

If you open an account, make sure to follow me here. http://morguefile.com/creative/newaeondesign

Learning the hard way !

I was going through some of my graphics folders and came across some really great designs that I wanted to use for other things. These were projects I started when I first started learning graphics that came out really good. In order to save hard drive space once a project is completed I would save it as a jpg file, or gif file instead of say an xcf file for Gimp or a psd file for Photoshop.

Yup, it does save some hard drive space. The only problem is when you want to use those designs for other projects they pretty much become useless. I would strongly suggest to anyone just starting out, save your work in a project file. Use xcf, psd, or whatever your program saves them as so you can edit them in the future.

Sometimes you may want just a piece of clipart from the project. Maybe a background came out just right and would make a nice tile. You get the point. Saving your work in a project file makes all these options available to you. Note to self and anyone else just learning: Save project files in editable format !

93 93/93

A design I wanted to use for something else. It would of been nice to easily remove this background and use for another project. Now I’ll have to recreate the entire design. Save your work in an editable project file so this doesn’t happen to you .