Last week I was invited up to London to take part in the Dell Sessions based at the Bourne and Hollingsworth buildings (AKA the most Instagrammable place in existence) to try out the new Dell XPS because - let's face it - us bloggers are suckers for new gadgets. I spent the day surrounded by some of my favourite people, swapping stories and snapping Instagrams in the designated flat lay station. And no, I'm not joking. There was an actual work station there to help you create your own flat lays. Best thing ever.
Anyway, whilst it may have just looked like I spent the day snacking and socialising (which is only half true) I did get to grips with the new Dell XPS laptop and, guys, I kinda need one. Here's me typing away on a laptop that barely stays charged for three hours, and then there's Dell's version that stays alert for up to eighteen hours. That thing stays awake for longer than I do.
Not only that, but during the event we were also treated to a few masterclasses from famous faces in the industry - which is what I've chosen to share with you today. The second session of the day was hosted by Shini - who as we all know is the mastermind behind the blog Park & Cube and Cube Collective - and focussed on a bloggers graphic toolkit.
The session focussed mostly on how to transfer your handwriting onto the internet. You know how you log into Instagram and you see millions of inspirational quotes in beautiful calligraphy? She taught us exactly how to do this. Or at least, kind of how to do it. The fancy writing part was lost on me and so I simply decided to embrace my toddler-esque hand writing and go with it.
Shini talked us through the process and encouraged us to step outside of our creativity comfort zones. She advised us to stop copying and pasting various fonts online into our own spaces (ahem, guilty..) and instead inject more of ourselves into our posts by literally hand writing it. Or at least, a few words of it - don't go expecting a handwritten blog post from me any time soon. That's a big old hand cramp waiting to happen.
Anyway, to celebrate the return of my Tip Tuesdays I've decided to share everything I learnt during that session, in hopes that some of you might get some use out of it for your own blogs! You can thank Shini Park for this one, but the handwriting is all me baby.
As if that's anything to be proud of.
how to create your own handwritten font
Get a plain piece of white paper and start sketching! Be sure to use a dark ink to make sure it shows up well enough for the next few steps. The trick is to keep on doodling your life away until you come up with the perfect typography. You can easily mix and match the letters, so don't fret!
Once you're happy with what you've done (woo!) get yourself in some decent lighting and snap away in flatlay format. Obviously the better the quality of camera, the better the outcome of the image, but an iPhone works just fine. If you have one, try scanning in your work for the best quality possible.
Next it's time to upload your images which you can do by either uploading in the bog-standard way or emailing yourself the photo. Open your typography flatlay and your chosen photograph into Photoshop (or your photo editing programme of choice!) and select the image with your writing. Next, click on the image tab, scroll down to adjustments and select the levels option.
This might look a little intimidating, but levelling out your text is a piece of cake. The aim of the game is to get the white as white as possible, and the black as black as possible. You can also do this by upping the contrast and brightness, but changing the levels takes just a few seconds. Play around with the three arrows underneath the graph until you get the perfect pic.
Now it's time to desaturate your image. It doesn't make too much of a difference if you're using black ink and white paper, but I do it anyway just to be safe - like I said, we want the black as black can be, and same for the white. You can find the desaturation option by selecting the 'image' tab and however over the
'adjustments' option. Click that for instant B&W.
Now we want to select the words / letter / doodles that we actually want to use on our final piece. To do this, select the 'lasso' tool (near the top of the left toolbar) and roughly draw around the text you want to include. Don't worry about the extra white space for now. Next, hold down the 'CMD' key and drag your selection over to the image you want to put the text over.
So now we have this big old blob of white with some text on top. Not quite what you were looking for? No sweat. Whilst you've still got that layer selected, head on over to the tool bar on the right hand side and find the drop down menu highlighted in the picture (it'll probably be the menu with the word 'normal' on it by default). Click that and voila! No more white background.
Now all you have to do is shift your text to it's desired location and there you have it - you're officially on your way to becoming Shini herself. Ahem *goals*. Anyway, be sure to fiddle around with different materials (inks, markers, biros - you name it) to find out what mediums you prefer. Other than that, it's all about practise, practise, practise!
*This post is in collaboration with Dell, but all thoughts, opinions (and handwriting) are my own!*