Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Using Creative Lettering to Enhance Your Layouts

[Note: This was an article that I found at Gather.com and I thought that it had some great advice that I wanted to share with you. The focus of this article is for traditional scrapbooking but it's a great source of info and ideas for digital also.]

When you're putting together a scrapbook page, it's the little things that make it unique.  The carefully planned layout, the choice embellishments, and the shapes of your pictures all come together to make a page special.  To top it all off, you need some beautiful lettering for your title and journaling.

Some scrapbookers shy away from doing their own lettering, usually because they are not pleased with their own handwriting.  They use stickers or die cut letters to make titles and do their journaling with their word processing programs.  While there's nothing wrong with that, it doesn't provide for much individuality.  Learning to do your own creative lettering gives you much more flexibility.

Creative Lettering Books and Software Can Help

There are numerous books for scrapbookers that focus exclusively on creative lettering.  Most of them have lots of different alphabets, complete with samples of every letter and number.  Some are easy enough to do freehand, while more complex ones require tracing.

There is also creative lettering software.  It also includes a large selection of fonts, and some programs allow for searching available fonts for certain characteristics.  These programs can be used to print out titles and journaling directly, or you can type them in, print them, and then trace.

Creative Lettering Tips

Creative lettering isn't something that you can pick up in a snap.  It takes practice.  Here are some tips to reduce the learning curve:

* Choose a lettering style that fits well with the subject of your page.  For example, if your page is about a visit to the beach, a highly formal alphabet is probably not the best choice.  Selecting one that is pretty yet casual will make your page flow better.
* For your first few attempts, you might want to do your lettering on a separate sheet of paper, then cut it out and paste it onto the page.  That way if you make a mistake, you can simply start over with more paper rather than having to completely redo your page.
* If you're worried about making your lettering straight and uniform, draw some very light lines in pencil to go by.  Using three lines, kind of like the paper that children use when learning to write, will help you keep both your capital and your lowercase letters the right size.
* Don't try to use an ultra-fancy style when doing extensive journaling.  It's better to stick close to your natural handwriting when writing long passages.  By all means, feel free to embellish a bit and emphasize important words, but don't expect yourself to write hundreds of words flawlessly in a style that's far from your own.

The right lettering has a way of pulling a scrapbook page together.  And it's even better when you do the lettering yourself, because it adds a certain amount of personality to your pages.  Creative lettering might seem intimidating at first, but with some practice, you'll soon be making lovely titles and journals.

Do check out more Free Scrapbooking Ideas and Digital Scrapbooking Ideas to help you create that beautiful scrapbook!

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