The Hungry JPEG has released a new bundle of 12 crafter friendly fonts specially coded to work with Character Map/Font Book. That means you can get to all the swooshes and swirls with software built in to your machine. Use code Silhouette20 to get an extra 20% off. See this post about a similarly coded font, Samantha, for FAQs and tutorials.
I’ve found yet another way to take advantage of my beloved Paint Bucket Tool in Inkscape…this time as a shortcut for offsetting text or any solid shape. (Offset is used for many purposes, including making shadow or matte layers, thickening up thin or delicate fonts, and creating knockouts, etc.) This technique is very simple but I’ve made a video, as well as step by step instructions for those of you who might not already be familiar with this tool.
Open Inkscape, select the type tool and enter your text, change the font and size as desired. Select the Paint Bucket Tool.
Check that the Fill by setting is on Visible Colors, the Threshold is on 15 and that Fill Gaps is set to none. Change the units under Grow/Shrink to pts.
Set the numerical value to a starting value for the width of your margin. (72 pts = 1 inch; 36 pts = 1/2 inch; 18 pts = 1/4 inch; 9 pts = 1/8 inch)
Click on a solid portion of your text. Undo and adjust your pt value as desired.
Shift-click each additional section of text with the Paint Bucket to add to the offset.
Double click the offset to enter point edit mode and delete points of any unwanted inner pieces that may have resulted from the offset process.
Click the selection arrow to exit point edit mode, then click on a color swatch to fill your offset with a color and shift click the empty (X) swatch to set its stroke to none.
Click on the filled offset to add another layer.
Change the color and stroke of the new layer as for the first one. Click the Send to Back button.
Select the middle layer and click the Lower Selection One Step button.
Select your original text and Path>Union to change it from text to path (you might want to make a copy of it first because it will not be editable as text after this step).
Check your file in Outline View (View>Display Mode>Outline) to verify that your cut paths look correct (solid text indicates it has not been converted to a path). The status bar is another good way to check information about any object in your document.
Save your document. (Inkscape saves natively as SVG)
When you import your SVG into Cricut Design Space, each offset will have its own layer as shown below.
I want to share a quick Mac tip on how to install a bunch of fonts quickly, even when they are in different subfolders. This comes in handy when you purchase a font bundle, for instance. It’s really much quicker to do than to explain. I put together a 3 minute video, as well as written steps for those of you who prefer that. Of course this same process of using the Mac’s smart Finder windows is handy for lots of other sifting tasks as well, and once you get the hang of it, you will use it all the time.
1. Locate the bundle folder, usually in your Downloads folder. If it is zipped, double click on it and it will unzip automatically.
2. Double click to open the bundle folder and you will see a bunch of other folders.
3. Type the letters “otf” into the search bar and select Postscript OpenType font from the menu that drops down. (I install OTF as a rule of thumb, but you can use TTF if you prefer.)
4. Click the name of the folder in the Search header.
5. Select any one font name, then type command-A to Select All. Tip: You can select individual fonts and preview them by pressing the space bar. If you don’t want to install all the fonts, you can command-click to select just the ones you want.
6. Open the Font Book application (its built in to your Mac, type Font Book in the Spotlight Search bar to find it quickly) and (optional) make a new Collection by clicking the plus button at the bottom left.
7. Bring the Finder window back to the front, or side by side, and drag and drop the selected fonts into the Collection of your choice or onto “All Fonts” at the top.
8. When you let go, a verification window may appear asking for your password. If so, enter it and click OK. Your fonts will be available to preview in Font Book under All Fonts or by clicking the collection you installed them into. They will also be available to all of your software applications the next time you open them.
Want some bundles to install?
The Sweet Type bundle is covered in this post and there’s another crafter friendly font bundle covered here and yet another holiday bundle reviewed here.
You’ve been hearing a lot about font bundles here lately, because that is what I am getting the most questions about. I’m pretty particular about what I consider to be “crafter friendly,” which is why I don’t recommend all of the bundles that come along. I was privileged to work a little with type designer Emily Spadoni of Sweet Type early on as she and the craft community discovered each other, and it has been a blast watching her soar in popularity!
Emily’s approach is to break her fonts down into “sub-fonts” so that all you need is the keys on your keyboard to get to all the goods. For instance, her beautiful font, Secret Garden, is actually a set of 5 font files. Getting a custom look is as simple as choosing a different font for the first (secret garden Alt Left) and last letter (secret garden Alt Right) and one or more letters in between (secret garden Alt 1 or Alt 2). Here’s a screen shot of what that looks like in Silhouette Studio. In Cricut Design Space you will need separate text blocks for each font.
Right now there’s a Sweet Type bundle deal going on over at revolge with 12 text fonts, 2 floral dingbat fonts and lots and lots of easy to access swirly extras. Commercial rights are included so you can use these fonts on items you sell.
If you just want to try out some of these, as well as others from Sweet Type (for personal use and without the extras), check out Emily’s section on Dafont.com
Disclosure: The above post contains affiliate links. I did receive this bundle for free, but I was already a satisfied customer, having purchased a number of Sweet Type fonts in the past.
There’s still time for this font bundle with oodles of bonus holiday graphics, too.
Merging two of my favorite things today, word art and seamless patterns, to bring you a nice set of freebies for your holiday projects. Silhouette users can drag and drop these patterns directly into a shape just like any other image, or place them in the Library. If you need a refresher on using seamless tiles in Silhouette Studio, see this video. Those of you that have the Effects feature in Silhouette Studio v3 (all Mac users and Windows users with a compatible graphics card) can change the color of the tiles to get just about any color you need.
A note to Cricut users: I originally made these for Design Space’s new pattern fill feature, but, unfortunately, a bug leaves a thin white gap both on screen and in print so that seamless tiles do not function, well, seamlessly. Please let Cricut Customer Care (support@Cricut.com) know that you would like this bug fixed. In the meantime, you can use the 12 x 12 versions, which my digiscrapper friends may also find useful. In Design Space, be sure to upload these files using the Pattern button.
For the advanced Silhouette users, I also made a couple of transparent tiles. Right click and “save image as …” to download these. For details on how to use these, see this video.
And if you want some more graphics and fonts for your holiday projects, check out the great bundle that I detailed in my last post!
I often do mini-tutorials in response to questions on Facebook. Several of you have requested that I post them here on my blog so that they are easier to find and refer back to, so I’m going to try and start doing that more. They aren’t as detailed as what you normally see here, and they aren’t pretty, but I hope you will find them helpful nonetheless. This first one gives 3 quick steps to making any font or image into an outline version in Silhouette Studio.
For more info on why this is, see this cheat sheet.
DealJumbo just released a Christmas Graphics and Fonts Bundle and when I started looking closely at it I discovered to my delight that all but one of the fonts is already in what I consider to be a crafter friendly configuration (and that one holdout, Whartillax is soon to be). In addition to full access to every single glyph these fonts have to offer, there are a few other favorite features that I want to point out. The Coffee family comes with a Sans and a Script; and the Typolicious set has 5 coordinating fonts. I love it when pairing fonts is a no brainer. Alberts Handwriting Land is one of the more beautiful thin monoline fonts I have seen. Again, those are great for drawing/writing with a pen in your diecutter. But I suspect Leslie and Victoria with their long and lovely swirls, with and without hearts, are going to be your favorites.
As far as the graphics, all but three of the sets (Christmas Illustration Creator, Christmas Scene Creator and Christmas Cliparts) come with pngs you’ll be able to use for print or print and cut, or as pattern fills. So that’s pretty good “gravy” to go with the fonts. If you have Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator, or even if you are handy with Inkscape, you’ll be able to get even more use out of these graphic sets. And, the bundle includes a $6 coupon towards a future purchase. Just a few samples are pictured below.
Purchasing through my affiliate link helps me defray the cost of this blog. Use code 25SC for 25% off thru 7PM EDT Mon 11/16. You will see a green text link below the total after you click the first purchase button. Use that to enter your code.