by Andrea Steed (Mar 30, 2004)
When it comes to scrapbooking, I can’t live without my computer. Whether it’s through titles, journaling, photo editing, or simply doing research on the Internet, my computer has become my most valuable scrapbooking tool.
Computer journaling is one of the most common uses of computers in scrapbooking. While handwritten journaling will always be an important part of scrapbooks, there are times when using your computer to journal is a fantastic choice as well. Computer journaling allows you to have:
Using the following guidelines, you can create custom journaling and titles for your scrapbook pages.
Choose the Font – When choosing a font, consider your photos and the subject of the page to help you decide what style is best. Try using handwriting-type fonts, sans-serif (clean line) fonts, or fun and loopy fonts with playful, whimsical photos. A more formal set of photographs can be accented with a calligraphy font, a formal script, or a simple book-style font. Be sure to choose a journaling font that can be read easily. Intricate fonts are better suited for titles rather than journaling since the details of the font are lost when the font is small.
TIP: Take notice of the fonts used in product advertisements on television, billboards, and in magazines. Since most advertisements are created by professional graphic artists, they are a fantastic lesson in how fonts can be most effectively used.
Change the Size – Each font will vary in appearance as the size is changed. Even the most basic font, Times New Roman, has a completely different look when it is used as a small journaling font compared to as a large title font. Preview your journaling at different font sizes for even more options and effects.
Make it Fit – One of the best things about computer journaling is that you can make your journaling fit just about anywhere on your page. Simply measure the space on your page where your journaling will go, and use the ruler in your word processing program to alter the margins of your page before printing.
Dress it Up – Most word processing programs have a feature called Word Art or Text Art. This feature can dress up your text with three-dimensional letters, a mixture of colors, or by filling in the letters with various patterns. Greeting card and flyer software also offer different effects. Journaling software such as the Journaling Genie by Chatterbox™ is also available to format your journaling into interesting shapes and designs.
TIP: To open Word Art in Microsoft® Word, go to “Insert” on your top toolbar, choose “Picture”, and then choose “Word Art”. To open Text Art in Corel® Word Perfect®, click on the “ABC” button on your toolbar. Both programs will give you font style and size choices to allow you to customize your text.
Print it– Once you have formatted your text, it’s time to print. If you’re an 8 ½”x 11” scrapper, you have the option of printing directly onto the background paper of your layout. The larger 12” x 12” sized paper will need to be cut down to 8 ½” wide to fit through a standard ink-jet printer. Most cardstock, vellum and patterned papers can be run through an ink-jet printer.
TIP: To print on a small piece of paper, first print your journaling or title on a full-sized sheet of scratch paper. Then, using a re-positional adhesive, adhere your cardstock, patterned paper or vellum on top of the journaling on the scratch paper. Finally, run the paper through the printer again, and your journaling will be printed perfectly on your paper.
TIP: Proofread your text carefully before you print it!
Cut it – To use a computer font as a lettering template, use your word processing program to format your text. Next, change the print options to “mirror image”. This will print your text as a mirror image on your paper. Print directly onto the back side of your cardstock or patterned paper. You can also print on a piece of scratch paper and then glue the scratch paper to the back of the cardstock or patterned paper with re-positional adhesive. From the back side of your paper, cut each letter using a craft knife and a sharp pair of scissors. The front of each letter will face the correct way--without any visible printer ink.
TIP: When you are cutting intricate fonts, first cut the centers of letters and any detailed curves using a very sharp craft knife. This helps avoid tearing small connection points in the letters.
Article originally printed in the Ivy Cottage Creations June/July 2003 issue.