Typography How-To

Yesterday quite a bit of you asked for a tutorial of how I (with a lot of help from my coworker J) made the letters with our vows inside. So here’s your how-to! I’m going to show you (via screen shots) how to do the A because it was the harder of the 2 letters since it has the hole in the middle. Start by opening Adobe Illustrator (that’s the program I used) and select Create a New Print Document. This will give you a standard 8.5″ x 11″ picture to work with. Once your page is open select the Type Tool (it looks like the letter T). Type your letter in the middle of the page, select your font (I used Monotype Corsiva), and increase the font size to 800. You can use the Selection Tool, the black arrow at the top left of the tool bar, to drag your letter around the page and position it where you like. For script font, like the one I chose, you may need to make your letter thicker to allow for more space for your words. You do this by selecting Stroke and increasing the weight to your desired thickness. Mine is increased to 28 pt.

Next you’re going to adjust the angle of your letter, if you so choose. For me the angle of the A in this font left too much white space on the page so I adjusted it to make the A more centered, but still kept the script font I liked. You’re going to click Transform and then in the lower right of the box that appears there is a skewed square. Click the box and use your mouse to scroll until your letter is at the angle you prefer. 

Select your letter and go to Object in the toolbar across the top of your page. Select Expand.

Make sure the boxes next to Object and Fill are selected and click OK.Go back to Object and click Expand again. This time your options are Fill and Stroke. Make sure both are selected and click OK. Your letter should now look like this.

Now right click your letter and select Ungroup. Do it again.

Highlight your entire letter and go to Pathfinder and select Expand. This is going to, in a sense, melt everything together and give you one thick letter.

Right click your letter and select Release Compound Path.

Right click again and select Ungroup. This will allow you to type inside your letter without text filling in the holes in your letter.

Click and hold the Type Tool until a list of other options appears. Select the Area Type Tool.

Click the upper corner of your letter. A flashing cursor should appear and be in 800 pt. font. Reduce your font size to 12, or whatever size you want, and paste your text inside. It helps if the text is not formatted. You’ll need to paste several times to fill your letter.

Select the Selection Tool and right click your letter, select Create Outlines.

Select the middle triangle of your A then go to Pathfinder. This time select the 2nd Shape Mode icon which is the Subtract from Shape Area icon. Then press the Expand button.

If for some reason this doesn’t work (it look me awhile) then just select the triangle and change the color to white at the top of the page.

From there you can make your letter bigger or smaller, then print it out and you’re all done! 🙂 When I hang it up in the new house I’ll probably use a deep purple mat to add a little color, but I like that it’s so simplistic.

Not only would this be super cute to just hang in your house all year round, but it would make a great Valentine’s or anniversary present for your boo! 🙂

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