Handmade Hometown: Creating Word Art from Your Favorite Local Landmarks | Erica Kosa | Skillshare

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Handmade Hometown: Creating Word Art from Your Favorite Local Landmarks

teacher avatar Erica Kosa, Entrepreneur + Creator + Teacher

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Finding Inspiration

    • 3. Google Image Search

    • 4. Utilizing Fonts

    • 5. Installing Fonts

    • 6. Creating a Silhouette

    • 7. Creating Word Art

    • 8. Adding a Silhouette to Your Word Art

    • 9. The Wrap Up

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About This Class

Explore how designer Erica Faye Kosa from EFK Couture Crafts takes local inspiration and turns it into practical application. In this 30-minute class, you’ll learn how to make word art (aka subway art) in Photoshop using your favorite local landmarks as inspiration. From researching landmarks, finding free fonts, using photoshop, and saving your image, this class covers all the steps to help you create a keepsake hometown print. This class is perfect for beginner designers, DIY entrepreneurs, and hometown enthusiasts. No prior knowledge of Photoshop is required. By the end, you’ll have everything you need to create your own work of word art.

Meet Your Teacher

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Erica Kosa

Entrepreneur + Creator + Teacher


A forever learner who loves to share! Erica is a former recruiter turned entrepreneur. She has a BS from UT Austin and a MA from Lewis University with several years of experience in the engineering community, higher education, and recruiting. When she is not working on her career development and consulting business, her hobbies include jewelry making and graphic design. Erica has a passion for learning and sharing that knowledge with others.

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1. Introduction: Hello, everyone. Welcome, Teoh Handmade hometown. Today we'll learn how to create unique, customized ward art using local landmarks as inspiration. Before we get started, I want to take a moment to introduce myself. My name's Air Cosa I have so what some might call career a D. D. Well, I've tried a little bit of everything during the work day. I'm a career counselor and resume writer, but by night I'm a designer of all things handmade. But mostly I consider myself to be somewhat of a modern Renaissance woman. No, no, don't get me wrong. I am no Divinci and more like his second cousin, twice removed. Basically, I love learning and sharing that gift with others. When I see something unique or beautiful, I study it, break it down and learn how to recreate it. This passion is what led me to skill share, and I'm so happy I'll be able to share my tips and tricks with you today. The focus of this course is learning how to create a destination inspired ward art print Ward art, also known a subway are has become increasingly popular. You've probably seen all sorts of typographic prints, whether on Facebook, Pinterest, or even maybe, etc. Well, here are just a few examples that I created for this class. As you can see, there's lots of variety, and you're gonna learn how to do it. But before we get started and you dive into the class, let's make sure that you have all the necessary items. You'll need basic computer skills, Internet access, an adobe voter shop elements. You can also use regular Photoshopped illustrator or another image editing software. However, all the demonstrations for this class will be in Photoshopped elements, since it's a pretty popular image editing software that's very easy to use in order to create yours custom subway art. We're going to look at each element separately. First, we'll want to find our inspiration through research. Next, we'll learn how to work with fonts. Then we'll create our background image. Finally, will put all of these elements together to create a unique word art print inspired by your favorite local landmarks. Let's get started 2. Finding Inspiration: Sometimes the hardest part about getting started is finding the right inspiration. It's difficult to create something you love if you don't know what direction you're going to go in for. This project will examine a few ways to spark some inspiration into your ward art. First, you want to determine the content of your word. Art research is important because it insures you have meaningful content that you could include in your word are Brandon Words would no relationship to another. They might look pretty with the right bonds, but it's not going to create a meaningful piece of art. By doing some simple Internet research, you should be able to narrow down the words that you would like to include in your art print. Start by asking yourself a few questions. What location? What I like to feature. Are there any famous landmarks that represent this location? If you don't know off the top of your head, that's fine. You'll use your favorite search engine and start exploring. Look for things like Top 10 List Examples could be top 10 tourist attractions in Texas or New York state, fax or even California historical events. This should give you a slew of ideas to get those creative gears churning. As you find the words that speak to you, write them down. Don't just stop at 10 words. You want to make a long list. You want some extras on your list, just in case you have extra space available, or decide that you don't like something you had originally selected. It's always easier repair your list down later than to need to go back to do research again when you're already in a designer mindset. Once you have written the content for your subway art, you've been focused on your end and search. Depending on your moon or the topic you've selected, you might want to feature nice silhouette, black and white image in the background behind the text. Or perhaps you would like something more colorful and lively. Try to settle on its hype of image you would like before you start searching, but you can change your mind later. It's okay to do that. It's all about being open and playing around with what you have in front of you. Here is a list of websites that I compiled for you to help with your image search Each of these websites has royalty free images that you can download. What is royalty free? That means there really free. For example, on splash dot com, one of my favorites offers free, high resolution images that you can use for personal or commercial use as a side note. Several of the photos I used in my presentation for this class came from these websites. Most of the time, you will only need a personal use license. But if you want to sell your subway art in a local boutique, our gallery or on etc. You'll need to look for an image that offers a commercial use license. The website you're using will usually include a section on usage rights below the photo or in the about section of the website that explains how the image can be used. You'll need to make sure you spoke. Pay special attention to this. It's if you are planning to sell anything that you create now, say you want to find an image the old fashioned way. No, not by cutting things up out of a magazine and taking a photo. But through an image search. Ah, using an Internet search engine when you're looking for images, you're gonna want to focus on a few things. You want to focus on images with either high contrast or low contrast. What does that mean? Well, you probably want the colors to feed into each other and be almost blurry so the detects can stand out on top of your image. A monotone image works great for the background because it Bolin's into the background. Now, if you want to do a still about cut out, you could find a high contrast image, so that would make it easier for you to create a silhouette in photo shop, which I will demonstrate later in this class. If you're searching on an Internet surgeon directly for a silhouette image, you'll want to find one where the background is transparent. That makes it easier to edit and voter shop. And no one likes wasting time erasing a background they don't want. For all of your images, you're gonna want one that is high resolution so that when you print it, the image won't look pixelated. Google Image Search is a great place to start. I personally prefer their search engine because it's simple to use, and we confined images that meet our requirements with just a few clicks of a button. Let me do a quick demo on Google search just to show you how easy it is. 3. Google Image Search: to conduct a civil immense search. You'll want to goto Google, and then you can click on images or you can also just type in images dot Google from, and it brings you to the same place. Now if I'm searching for, say, an image that I want to use in the background, Um, and I want to turn this one image in tow A silhouette, um, but search for, say, maybe Eiffel Tower into, and it brings up all these really great images my skin through and see. Oh, they're all great. But how do I know which one to pick which one will work for me? Now, Here's something that most people don't know about or don't use. Search tools. Search tools are your best friend. When you click on it, you'll see a menu. Papa, in this menu you can look at the size is we want something that's high resolution so we can click large and on Lee, the images that are large will come up. We can also, if we want something really high resolution. Maybe I'm printing a massive poster. I only want to look at things. Four megapixels For our purposes. You probably won't need anything that large. 10 24 by 7 68 I would say, is the minimum size you want to look for, for looking for a silhouette. We want one already made for us. Don't want to do any work. Well, I can click on black and white. Oh, that's great. When you look at these images, you'll see in the background, there is kind of like a grid behind the tower. You you can tell us as PNG. That means the background is transparent, which is very helpful. Now, if you look at a different one, this one's not a P and G. It's a J. Paige. You can see the background is white. There isn't the grid spacing when we look at the grid spacing. That's actually not going to be there when we print it. That's just signify that the background is indeed transparent and not white, so we could directly use this image or we could find another one. You want to go through and pick an image and then save it. Now say I want to make sure that the image I'm looking at is transparent and I don't want even have thing about it. You can click transparent. Very awesome. Another thing you can do is oh, I only want mine drawings. Oh, only line drawings come up there and a whole lot of line drawings. Our turn spirit, apparently of the Eiffel Tower. So we'll go back and then usage rights. This is really important. When we're talking about using an image, especially if you're selling it, you want to make sure that you have permission to use it so labeled for reused. Oh, that's great. Look at all these wonderful images. You'll notice that a lot of them come from Wiki. Um, in the common section, that means anybody can use it. So these were the basic tools that you would want to use. You won't really use the time unless you were searching for, like, a new store and you wanted a picture that was recent. So for our purposes, you don't really need that. And more tools basically just lets it show the size without you hovering. Hover over it so you can use that or you don't need Teoh. It's really a personal preference, But all of these tools that Google provides for you are right here When you click search tools, you'll just want to go ahead and start looking and tweaking. Maybe I want something bigger or I wanted to be a full color image. Um, any of these things you can quickly change. And when you will go ahead. And maybe I'm like, you know, I don't want to do the Eiffel Tower. I would rather do the Statue of Liberty. It automatically saved your tools that you tried earlier, so it's really quick. Easy way to use Google. Search to find images that fit your requirements very quickly. 4. Utilizing Fonts: working with bonds is probably my favorite part of the design process. I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for typography. Bonds can be divided into four basic categories. Sarah Sawn Sarah decorative and script Sarah fonts of hangers or ligatures at the ends of the letters. As you can see here, son Sarah simply means without Sarah or without those extra hangers on the end. Sarah Fence on Sarah Fonts are easy to read, even a very small point size these two fonds air a great choice for extra long words or breaking up even the more ornate bonds, decorative bonds or fancy or bonds. And they're just that decorative decorative bonds can be pretty and floral or jagged and rough. They really run the gamut when it comes to variety. These are the types of fonts you'll likely see in a headline, but not the entire text of a book, because it would be really hard to read script bonds or cursive fonts that look like old fashioned handwriting. Script bonds, vocus, tons of personalization and romanticism. When looking for fonds, you'll want to make sure you have a good selection of fonts from each category When you're installing the fonts on your computer, you'll notice that there many different file formats available. It could be a little confusing on which one should you choose. If you have all the options available to you, my preference is the first open type, then true type on. Lastly, post script open type is the newest font file format, and it works across multiple platforms. However, if you can Onley find the font that you want in one of the other file formats, they'll still work. So don't fret. But if you have a choice, I'd advised to install the open type format. You can download fonts from several websites. Some offer free fonts are free samples, while other websites charge you per font, with the cost averaging $10 to even $50 or more for just a personal use license. The commercial use license can even get more expensive. Now, if you're using a font for something such as a business local, I would recommend paying for one. But for the purposes of this project, we're gonna focus on free fonts. Here are two websites which offer free fonts, font and fought spring. Once you open up the font website of your choice. You'll want to download several fonts so that you have an array of choices available to you when you start designing. Think of this is almost going to the store and selecting the paint colors you want to use on your new campus or the multitudinous stickers you want to use for your next scrapbooking project. The possibilities are endless, and you can really let yourself get lost in the choices. You want to start by downloading five date options from each category, which should give you about 20 to 32 fonts for you to choose from Later. Let's go over a quick demonstration on how to install fonts for Windows seven. PC. If you have a Mac or another version of Windows, you can check the link below for detailed instructions on how to install the font on your computer. 5. Installing Fonts: installing bonds on a Windows PC is surprisingly easy. You want to go to the folder at where you saved your thoughts. This is probably my documents. May be your desktop or your downloads folder. When you see the fonts in this folder that all beings it files most likely for a zip file that contains a font you don't actually have toe unzip the file to install the font. You can if you like. You just right click extract all tell it where it wants to go extract. And as you can see, there's a new folder with the thoughts in it, and it's not accept. But let's say I want to get that stop, but just go straight tent installing. I'll open that file and I'll see this. Fought in particular, has several different variations. We have bold italics, light regular, so each of these different variations will have to be installed separately. It also has a user agreement which will contain the licensing information, which is like we discussed earlier. Important, especially if you want to sell your work. If you're using ever personally used, you don't need to pay it much attention to this. What we'll do is we'll click on each farm, just double click. It brings up this menu and you want to install, and that's it. Your font is and sob and you'll do us for each bond. Each font each font variation and say I went through. All the funds have been installed all the variations, and I'm ready to install some more fun. I'll just go up one folder and select the next one. This one also has a license agreement I'm ready to install. I couldn't Oh, wait, This one's already installed. So I don't need to do it. Just something to keep in mind. Um, when you're going through, I would recommend going and downloading all the phones at once and then installing them in up both order because they can be really annoying when you're going back and trying to install fonts and then you keep running. Oh, I've already did this already done this. So for this, I already install it so I don't need to replace its all say now. That's pretty much it for installing bonds 6. Creating a Silhouette: Now we're gonna learn how to create a silhouette image in a photo shop. The first thing you're gonna want to do is select an image that has high contrast. Those tend to be a lot easier to create into a silhouette than those that are more mono town. So this picture is pretty good. Um, very high contrast between the blue sky and the wire framing on the Eiffel Tower. So I'll go ahead and save this. When I opened it, I just opened the J peg image. So I want to save it as a photo shop. So we're not overriding that J. Paige. So we saved it as a photo shop. And you noticed this layer is locked, so have it so that we can actually work with that. We're gonna have to unlock it. So I'll double click here and press OK, now the layer you can see it's unlocked. I always create a duplicate layer. So right click duplicate layer, um, and then hind the bottom layer. My reason for doing this is because if I ever must up, I can go back to my original layer without having toe undo through a ton of different steps . So now I have my image. It's ready to go, and we're gonna want to do is cut out all the backgrounds so that we can create a nice silhouette, black and white image. So the first thing I'm gonna dio I'm not gonna go in and immediately start selecting because that is going to select in much higher level of detail. And so the Underoos might come out jacket e in my silhouette. So what I first want to do is kind of softened my image and make it more silhouette ready. In order to do that, I'm going to go to filter artistic and then poster edges that really stylized is the edges and makes a lot easier for the selection tool to pick up the edges and delete the background a little bit easier for you. So when this you can play around with the thickness, the intensity, I just went ahead and set everything at the highest and then we'll press OK, there you go. You can see now is pasta rised. So what will want to do now is start deleting the background and the most important thing will be paying attention to the tolerance. If you have too much tolerance, is going to select the whole image or most of it. If you have too low, it's only gonna select teeny, tiny bits that you can't really see, so they want to find a good middle ground. I for this image around 50 is pretty good. You can see it kind of gets some of it left out, but that's fine. We'll go ahead and select, and then you can at it cut or at it. Delete. I just press the delete key on my keyboard so we'll delete will select another section will delete it. Another section. Delete so forth until you're down with your entire image. Awesome. And so, as you can see, if you select the background, you can see where there's like little spotting that got missed because it probably was a lighter shade that was close to the color of the Eiffel Tower. So then what? I'll go in and just remove that extra that got missed. I'll select my, um, marquee tool. You can do the rectangular or the circle, whichever is easier for you, and then I'll just go in and select and then dilly and we'll just keep doing this until our image is nice and cleaned up on the edges so we don't have black spots around our silhouette that would kind of defeat the purpose. So I'm going in. OK, looks good. There's a little blue spot there that doesn't really matter. Kind of looks like it could be a part of the trees, So we're going to ignore that check and make sure there is nothing else. Okay, there's some spots. If you look really closely at the top, so that's no fun. We'll just go ahead and delete those. Make sure we got them all and do this for your whole image so that nothing gets left. Now, Um, once your images pretty much cleaned up and you are ready to go, that's when we'll create a clipping mask. And the clipping mask is what will turn this until black and white silhouette image. So I'm gonna actually go in close and take off these little fingers on the side, smooth it out just a little bit more until I'm happy. You can also go in and do this with the eraser tool. If that's preferred for you, whatever you need to do to get rid of these little a specks of dust that are hanging around . Okay, that's I'm please, that's pretty good. I'm just gonna go in and trim that up a little bit. Great care right there, I believe so. Let's go ahead and zoo mail. So then what will want to do is create a new layer which will be our black and white. Um, the layer. So new layer got it, and then you'll collect your paint buckets like the color Black is the foreground, and so that's gonna be the color that gets painted. So we filled it, and now it looks like the entire image is black. What will want to do is go, Intar layer and go create clipping mask todo Now you have awesome black and white. Um so what image? So what will want to dio is savor photo shop in case you want to go in and change something later. But then we want to save this as a p n g. Ah, The PNG is important because that makes the image a transparent in the background. The transparency is important. When you are working in photo shop, you don't want Teoh have white on the background in case you want Teoh overly taxed on the bottom or top is just easier if it's transparent cell. I want to say that as a PNG and save it doesn't really matter here. I just press none OK, and that's all you need to do to create your silhouette image. 7. Creating Word Art: now that we have all of our elements together. The text that we want to include on her image and then are still let image were ready to create our subway art. So we'll start with a blank canvas file, new blank file. And I said, went ahead and said it eight by 10 with 300 resolution. This will make it so if you want to have it professionally printed, it's ah, common size on the resolution is high enough. And then I went ahead and just did the background as transparent. Okay, now we have our layer in our blank kind of ists to go ahead and start. The first thing you want to do is just add all of your text. So for mine, I was doing Texas and inspirations, So I will add things that remind me of Texas. So maybe I just want to write taxes as one and don't worry about placement or far or anything. You just want to go ahead and get everything out on the campus. Once you have all of your text, then you can really start playing around with the fonts, So what I'll do is go in and the non Just select my first life in this one I feel is really important. So I want this one to be big and bold. All right, that was awesome. And then I can move it around, drag it at the corners, make it larger, smaller, whatever. I'd like to dio and they will want to go ahead into this for each of our sayings or landmarks or whichever text you're using in your project. As you can see here, I kind of sped it up a little bit for you. But basically, I'm just going through selecting Bonds, playing around, um, with the words and women around a little bit. Um, this is where you'll have to do your own playing and rearranging and selecting bonds that speak to you. 8. Adding a Silhouette to Your Word Art: Now that I have the text laid out, pretty much I want I can go in and tweak in here and there. But I'm pretty satisfied. I want to go ahead and lay in my background image, which will be the silhouette. So we'll do file police. I'll select my Texas silhouette image. Okay, Now, I want to go ahead and make sure that the image, depending on where you put it in, is at the bottom so that it's gonna be behind the tax. It doesn't look like it cause our text is black, but trust me, it's behind. And then on top of that will want to create a new masking layer because I'm gonna want to change the color of my silhouette. So I'm gonna go in and select a color, and I like, um, let's do kind of burnt orange, And then I'm gonna fill this with that color, and then I'll do like I taught you earlier to create a coping last layer. Create clipping mask. Uh, now we have a like orange state of Texas right behind all of our text. And if I want to go and change the size of my state or change the position, location, whatever you want to do with your image, you can play around with it. Maybe we'll make it a lighter, darker whatever you. I'm fairly satisfied with it. How it ISS, So I'm ready to save my image. So then we want to save our Photoshopped and this is our Texas subway art, So save it so we can go in and add it later. And then we'll say that as an image so that we can prove you can say that as the P and G if you want to have a transparent background, or you can also say that as a J. Paige or PdF, if you're putting on your computer, let's go ahead and say that as Andrzej pay and we want to make sure that the quality is fairly high on nine should be plenty. Okay? And it's all done 9. The Wrap Up: to wrap up this class. Let's go over a few tips to help you create ward art Magic first, as we discussed earlier in this class, research is important, especially so if you need help finding that inspiration, let your inspiration come from your roots. When something is important to you, you'll put that much more effort, love and care into it, and it shows. Now, if you're a bit of a perfectionist like me, it can sometimes be hard to just let go and play. Don't be afraid to have fun. Don't worry about messing up. Some of my best creations have come out of diving in and not looking back. So don't spend your time aligning sizing, making sure everything's perfectly right from the start. Sit back, relax and throw it all up there. Then when you're ready, you can go back and perfect. We talked about the four main categories of fonts. Sarah Sohn Sarah Decorative and script. If you feel stock and your creation isn't looking right, tribal their fonts differently. Mix it up. Try to pair opposite types together for a fresh look wide and narrow to traditional and decorative. The reason those bonds pair nicely is because they complement each other by being opposite last, but certainly not leave. Make sure you share your creation. Start by posting your warn art to the class gallery. I'm sure your classmates will be happy to ride some constructive feedback as well as positive reinforcement to help give you the confidence and momentum you need to either refine your project or dive into the next one. I also encourage you to share your artwork on your social networks or in person. Our work doesn't need to be a Picasso to move someone soul, so please share away. I hope you enjoyed this class. Handmade hometown. If you have any questions or need extra help, please post your comments in the destruction discussion section of this class. I look forward to seeing all of your beautiful creations.