Posts tagged ‘font’
A while back, I posted Character Map templates for Inkscape and Adobe Illustrator. The purpose of these is to make it quick and easy to make a one page reference map of the main glyphs in a given font, especially dingbat fonts. Today I’m adding a Silhouette version to the lineup.
You can download the .studio template here, download the .studio3 template here and instructions are in the margin of the file, but here’s a quick rundown. As with all my templates, I recommend you store them on your hard drive instead of your library and that you always work from a duplicate. An easy way to do this is to Save as and rename the file as soon as you open it.
Once you’ve opened a duplicate template, click anywhere in the middle of the page. You’ll see a bounding box to indicate that the grid is selected. Click the A button at the top of the screen (not the A button on the side of the screen).
Select the font you want to map from the scrolling list on the right. You should see the characters change to the new font’s. Label the page by typing in the name of the font into the text box provided at the top of the page. This is optional, but will help you remember which font you are looking at.
Here’s what a completed page looks like for my 09kutups font.
You can print the page, print it to PDF or just glance at it temporarily for reference. If you want to be able to use the characters after you uninstall the font, click the center of the page again to select the characters, choose Object>Convert to Path, then save the file.
And if you want some suggestions for great dingbats for cutting, here’s a great place to start. Ten Great Dingbats for Diecutting
What you need:
heat transfer vinyl with mylar backing (I’m using Siser Easy Weed)
a cutting board or other hard surface you don’t mind damaging
a new or clean Ped-Egg
optionally, a new cheese grater like the one pictured from Dollar Tree
Cut and weed your HTV as usual. It’s a good idea to practice with scraps so grab some of that HTV you forgot to mirror!
Place it on your surface sticky side up and begin to scrape across it with the Ped-Egg. The goal is to cut through the vinyl layer without lifting it, and to do minimum damage to the mylar. Start slowly and lightly and increase your pressure until you get it right.
It helps to extend it over the edge of your cutting surface for better contact with the cutting teeth.
After a bit, brush the excess away from your design onto the surrounding sticky area and see what your design looks like from the mylar side. Continue with several more cycles until you reach the desired level of distress.
Inspect the vinyl surface and remove or tamp down any larger flaps or tears that would hinder the vinyl from laying flat.
Press as usual or a little shorter on time, then remove the backing and repress with just the teflon sheet for a few seconds to be sure all the vinyl is secure.
Because the teeth on the Ped-Egg are small, it produces small scale distress (the letters above are 1 inch tall). For larger scale images, try the large round holes on the Dollar Tree cheese grater. This will result in more flaps and damage to the vinyl and backing, but you can use the Ped-Egg in a subsequent pass to help clean it up.
IMPORTANT: Let me emphasize that this is experimental. This technique obviously does not allow for optimal adhesion of the vinyl across 100% of its surface and especially along the distressed edges. Some of the tiny pieces will not adhere at all because they will be upside down. I do not have long term wear or laundering experience with this. Use this technique at your own risk. And of course, use appropriate caution when handling sharp objects.
I am proud to introduce another dingbat font designed for diecutters, at least that’s how it started. Silhouette Studio, Microsoft Word and even Photoshop are among the programs that can wrap text on a path but can’t wrap objects … or so it seems. Simply put your objects in a font – problem solved. So here’s my collection of little shapes that repeat or combine to make fun borders and, for the most part, lend themselves to wrapping along a path. Hope you’ll have as much fun with it as I have.
Download Border Bits here and make my day by leaving a comment. This font is free for personal or commercial use but not for resale or sharing on other sites, please. Pinning or otherwise pointing people to this blog page is a great way to say thanks. I’d also love to see creative ways you use this font.
How to make a doily with Border Bits with thanks to Gisela!
For a video on how to use this font and text to path in Silhouette Studio see this post.
New owners of digital diecutters often ask what are the best fonts for welding (or “connecting” if they haven’t been indoctrinated into our odd vernacular yet). We may give a few suggestions but usually brush them off with something about personal preference. It turns out that there are some fonts that are inherently weld-friendly thanks to their attentive typographers.
I set out to find a dozen or so that are nice looking, fool-proof for welding (as in, type and go; no tracking, kerning, nudging or schooching required, at least for the letter combos I tested) and, best of all, free. Here’s how they look typed out and then welded in preview. Gorgeous, aren’t they?
So here they are, for your welding enjoyment.
Once you have typed your word or phrase, the letters should already be overlapping properly, so all that is left for you to do is click on the word or phrase so that the selection box appears around it and activate welding as follows:
In Silhouette Studio : Press the Cut Style button then press “Cut Edge”
In SCAL : On the Appearance section of the Properties palette click the Weld checkbox (unless it is already checked)
In MTC : Click the Weld button or press CTRL + W
It is recommended that you always do a cut preview to verify that any welding is as expected before cutting.
Now that the Silhouette SD has restored my faith in gel pen drawing with a digital diecutter, I’ve been testing various fonts for that single line look. To recap, many fonts will give a single line look at very small sizes (say a tenth of an inch high or less) but ones that look single line when drawn larger are harder to find. MTC has a cool feature to thin out regular fonts for a single line look but an algorithm is never going to match the aesthetics built in by a skilled typographer so the search continues.
I tested the fonts below with Staples mini gel pens, which have a very fine tip, in the Chomas Creations holder. You’ll get better results at smaller sizes and with broader tip pens such as metallic gel pens, for instance. A sample of my results are shown below. Click the image to enlarge it.
OK at ~ <1 inch tall
OK at ~ <.75 inches tall
OK at ~<.5 inches tall
OK at ~<.3 inches tall
OK at ~ <.25 inches tall
Whether you know them by wood type fonts, circus fonts, railroad fonts, western fonts or some other name, these decorative, 1800’s wood type inspired, shadowed typestyles are awfully popular these days. And they’re not just appearing alongside the expected themes, but in all kinds of applications with trendy craft designers like Teresa Collins and the shabby chic crowd leading the way. I couldn’t find a good list of freebies anywhere, so I made my own list. Hope you’ll find it helpful, too. Click on the font name to go to a download site.