This post was contributed by our friend and Featured Photographer, Maryann Goldman (AKA Fotomom). Anyone asked to describe Maryann’s work would not get too far without using terms like “creative”, “resourceful” and “fun”. Today, Maryann is going to explain how she creates her “greeting card” images using fonts and applications available to everyone.
The Fonts Have It!
I often like to use my photos to create cards. For example, I recently created:
For me, I usually shoot the picture and then see something about it that makes me want to add a frame and then maybe some sentiment. I usually use OnOne’s PhotoFrame tool for the frames or use another out of focus shot of the same subject to create my own frame. Then, once I have the picture looking the way I want it, it’s time to add the text.
Deciding what to say is of course important, but maybe equally important is figuring out what font to use and how to place the text on the card. One of the tools I use for this is Photoshop Elements which provides a Type Tool as denoted by the ‘T’ symbol:
There is a reasonable selection of fonts, and you can adjust the size, shape, style, color and position of the text too.
Another tool I like to use for adding text is Google’s Picasa:
While looking at a photo, under the Basic Fixes tab, select Text. Again, you can choose the font, color, size, shape, shadow, etc. of the text.
I found, however, that after you do a few of these cards that there’s a tendency to use the same tried and true fonts. I’m kind of hooked on Liorah BT. But I discovered recently that , at least for Windows users, that fonts are controlled at the operating system level. In my case, XP installed a set of fonts at installation time, and those fonts show up in the applications I use. But I also discovered that I can add fonts to XP and therefore to the applications that I use too.
A quick Google search of ‘fonts download free’ led me to this site where I found quite a few new fonts I wanted to add to my system. Thankfully, adding fonts is pretty easy, and Microsoft provided some instructions here.
The files I downloaded were zip files, so I ran a virus scan on them and then unzipped them before following the install font instructions. I also unzipped all the new ones into one folder for ease of installation:
Here you can see the screen where I am adding them via the instructions:
After following the instructions, the new fonts automatically showed up in my Fonts list in PSE and Picasa. Look at what I have now:
I see all types of uses for these…paw prints on my next pet portrait for the animal’s name. I’ve got button letters for baby shower things, carnival letters for use with our next circus pictures, and cold letters for our next snow day. Fun stuff I think and plenty more free ones out there to grab some other day.
Give it a try and let us know what you think!
Thanks Maryann. For readers who would like to learn more about Maryann and see her photography, please visit her website here, and our Featured Photographer post with Maryann here. And thanks for visiting 2 Guys Photo!