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creative direction SHINI PARK photography assistance SIMON SCHMIDT in collaboration with DELL

So, it all starts like this: I like computers, I like pictures, I like not moving. I also happen to like burritos, and DIY (once upon a time). Drop all this into one cauldron – add bat-wings for double-jointedness – and brew 12 years… POOF! out comes a Graphic Designer. Apparently. (Hey, this story needs to be in my LinkedIn profile. *goes and adds*)

A fortnight ago, Dell threw a two-day workshop shindig around the adept new Dell XPS – sessions that were fine-catered to productivity and professionalism for influencers, and I was graciously invited to lead a one. One might note, that by this point in time I was determined, if not hell-bent, on starting a serious conversation with my fellow online publishers regarding branding and professionalism in the industry. So I accepted. Gladly. Twitter conversations are SLOW, what we need is a round-table discussion.

Photos 1,3,4 courtesy of The Apartment

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Between the inappropriate/dad jokes, I cautiously raised what it is to be a blogger in this day and age, how we are – so to speak – dime a dozen, and why branding is perhaps the single most important thing we need to invest in. As a matter of fact, what I really wanted was to be frank, pound the podium, beat the gavel. Alas, what authority did I have, other than some pixel shifting know-how?

But what I didn’t realise then was how crucial this #WeLoveYourWork Dell XPS event was to be for those participated. My gig ran after a VAT & tax 101 class, and then was succeeded by panel discussion session on Influencer professionalism & growth the following day… guys, sign me up, I think I’m ready for another degree. No cauldrons – I do it right this time.

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One of the easiest branding tools happens to be integrating your own personal handwriting into content. Give it a go yourself, the tutorial is available below.

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#Weloveyourwork #DellXPS

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organic handwritten typography: a how to
Easy as a microwave dinner
what you’ll need

Some paper (I keep a cheap sketchbook aside), scanner or smartphone, A brush, ink or paint, Adobe Photoshop (Pixlr is a good online alternative). Any other writing tools such as coloured pencils, markers, pens, watercolour… etc.

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Clockwise from top: Watercolour, marker, ink – all three have slightly different textures

1.
Decide on the words, and write the sh*t out of them

Write repeatedly until you have a few potential candidates, work on letters separately if you’d like – everything can be pieced together later. Try different writing/drawing tools, and brush size. Try wet/dry application. ParknCube_Dell-XPS_009b

2.
Scan

Once the ink is dry (and do make sure it is fully dry, especially if you opted on using the scanner, as the some ink can dirty and even stain the glass surface).

Alternatively, you can simply snap the page with a smartphone. NOTE: For maximum results, make sure to snap on the highest resolution possible, under brightest light – watch out for shadows. Using flash also helps.

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3.
Set up shop

Open Adobe Photoshop CC. By clicking File > Open, open the image you want to work on (you can choose to work on a blank canvas too, in which case, click File > New and set your canvas size). Open the scanned files as well.ParknCube_Dell-XPS_013

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4.
Grab that lasso

Using the lasso tool (shortcut ‘L’ on Photoshop), roughly select the version that looks best.

Copy (Ctrl/Cmd + C) the selection, and paste (Ctrl/Cmd + V) into the working canvas, or drag the selection over.

Repeat for the rest of the words.

5.
Black & White

Working on the typography layer that was just pasted in, click Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation and pull the Saturation all the way down. (Or Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+U shortcut)

Click Image > Adjustments > Levels (Ctrl/Cmd + L) to clarify the image – play with the three arrows to make the white, whiter and black, blacker.

* For white font, invert the colours by clicking Image > Adjustments > Invert (or Ctrl/Cmd + I). The font should appear white on black.

6.
Multiply or Screen

On your layers panel (bottom-right of screen), change the blend option for the typography layer to ‘Multiply’. For white font, select ‘Screen’.

You may need to adjust the Levels again (as above) to clear away any ‘dust’ in the white. Alternatively, use the Erase tool.

7.
Transform

Resizing should always be done at the very end, (for more than one layer, select multiple by holding down the Ctrl/Cmd key while selecting) click Edit > Free Transform to resize and adjust your handwritten elements.

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8.
Now play!

Experiment with the best placement for the text (generally white font looks cleaner on busy backgrounds). Handwritten elements look handsome mixed with other typography.

Save for Web by clicking File > Export > Save for Web. (Or save normally as a *.psd if you’d like to revisit the work.)

Think outside the box, consider scanning in your own doodles, sign-off signatures, patterns… the possibility is endless. Good luck!

some inspiration to get you going…

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Write a Comment

44 Comments

  1. Ahh! Thanks so much for the tutorial! I’ve always wondered how bloggers are able to do this. Definitely going to give it a try this summer and experiment with getting more personalized with my text on photos.

    <3 Gemma // http://activelygemma.com

  2. Love this! Can’t even begin how little I know about Photoshop, doing a course which could help me with the website would be my dream right now. Thank you for the guide Shini!

  3. Thanks for sharing this post! Clear explanations for a lovely result x

    http://jessicawoods.fr/blog/

  4. I’m awful at Photoshop but this sounds easy enough. Famous last words…
    Ana
    http://www.champagnegirlsabouttown.co.uk

  5. I remember doing this a zillion times during my university days and only recently have I gotten back in touch with my graphic designer self, during the new rebranding of my brand and blog. Boy-oh-boy, how I can’t wait to have it all ready to go!

    Thank you for the ongoing inspiration.

    Kiara x // http://www.lioninthewild.com

  6. […] post Tools of trade appeared first on PARK & […]

  7. Thanks so much for the tutorial, & like always love your work. :)

    http://www.thequirkyminimal.com

  8. Interesting tutorial!

    Don’t miss my monthly outfits recap…concentrated inspiration!! ;)
    .
    .
    ❤ Kisses from http://www.withorwithoutshoes.com

  9. Your content always blows me away, but I particularly love this post! This is such a great technique and you’ve made it sound so easy – who knew you could just use a phone?! Mind = blown.

  10. WOW. The writing looks amazing!!!

    xo Vanessa | http://www.TheTrendique.com

  11. Great post dear!
    Xoxo
    ______________________
    PERSONAL STYLE BLOG
    http://evdaily.blogspot.com

  12. This is such a helpful post! Thank you! x

  13. I would love to see more tutorials like this! Obsessed with your blog!

    http://www.mentaljunk.com

  14. […] post Tools of trade appeared first on PARK & […]

  15. Thank you so much for your tutorial! I have seen this on some blogs and it looks really pretty. I will try it next time, even if I have no experiences. But with your instructions it won’t be too difficult. Thank you!!

  16. La Bijoux Bella | by mia

    Always fabulous and overflows with creativity . . . Simply fabulous! :)

    La Bijoux Bella | by mia

  17. Love this! I am definitely going to give this a go for my next post! Thanks for sharing xx

    http://www.girlglobalising.com

  18. pia

    this is incredible!
    Fash ‘n’ fudge
    Fash ‘n’ fudge

  19. Thanks for this useful tutorial, I like so much your blog.

  20. Alice

    Thank you for this beautiful tutorial and the inspirations! I used to be more fancy with my images but lately I’ve been lazy; this is definitely motivating me ;)

    xo, alice / T Y P E N U

  21. Insightful and creative as always! Wish I could’ve stopped by, from the looks of Instagram the workshops looked really helpful and informative.

    Have a lovely week,
    x
    Emma » Paris by Friday

  22. LOVE this post and how beautifully it’s portrayed. I need to try this once I have the actual time to. Really really inspirational to see how such gorgeous images are made.

    michenn

    michenn Skincare Sundays

  23. Love this tutorial Shini! I’ve been wanting to try this for a while now but I’ve always been too lazy to actually do it (ms Procrastinator here..)
    Have a great week ahead Shini!
    http://theavantguardian.com

  24. I love it! Thank you for sharing Shini. Now, the only problem remain, my handwriting looks like I was six years old..

    Daniela

  25. i’ve been waiting for this for so long???? finally some insight on your working process AND YOUR SIIKRIIIITSSS <3 thank you so much, unni!

  26. Thank you so much for sharing this – I wish I could have attended that amazing discussion that you led as well!

    I can’t wait to try this out – Ready to run to Rymans and get some paint!

    x
    Shloka
    thesilksneaker.com

  27. You are so inspiring!

    Jil,
    http://www.jildiamante.com

  28. You are so inspiring!

    Jil,
    http://www.jildiamante.com
    http://goo.gl/LfTL3n

  29. holy shit shini. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING THIS. I am consistently inspired by your work and hope that the entire blog community strives to be like you and some of the other talents in the industry. I’m going to now paint and add words to everything in my life. Time to bust out the lasso!

  30. Thanks so much for this tutorial!!!! I love handwriting and your tutorial was clean, easy to understand and so helpful! Hope to master this like you someday :)

    Characters & Carry-ons

  31. This is so incredibly cool!

    http://www.eatwearwander.com

  32. Thank you for this post. I will definitely try this. ^^

  33. The most technical post…I’ve read so far…without crisps.

    But YASSSS~ I’ve been waiting for this how-to! The first time you shared this little nugget was that one time in one of your snapchats. The number of times I re-played that ,and Simon dancing, to pull off this technique (This handwriting thing…not Simon’s dance skills).

  34. Shini, you’re a star for posting this! I love handwriting in photos but this brush type has always been a problem for me – I figured out the saturation and playing with eraser tool/magic wand tool etc but I never know what to select from the layer options (as in the Multiply and screen) to get the result I’m looking for. So, thank you!
    Kat

  35. I bet you went down a storm at the Dell event!! Wish I’d been there to hear your talk.

    Love the handwriting idea!

    Vikki, xx
    http://www.styleandminimalism.com

  36. Hey, great tutorial. I have a question, is this method also good for print? I mean, is the quality of these scanned words good enough? Thanks in advance for the answer :)

  37. You are so patient haha whenever someone asks me how to do something i’m just like “umm… play around with photoshop, you’ll figure it out”.

    “and DIY (once upon a time)” – i miss your DIY days. 7 years later and I still can’t knit that darn rodarte inspired scarf.

    xx Faiyaz
    http://www.fixatedf.com

  38. Everything looks so lovely! :) x
    Helena – Swedish girl in Tokyo
    http://www.ilenczfalva.com/
    https://www.instagram.com/helena_de_ilenczfalva/

  39. I was following these workshops over on Twitter and via The Apartment and they looked fascinating. Honestly, you seem the perfect person to impart such wisdom Shini! xxxx
    http://www.fashionnomads.com

  40. Nana

    Hi Shini,

    Totally none related to this post, but can you please share where you get your optical glasses from?! I have been trying to look for one similar to yours for a while now.

    Thanks! x

  41. Thanks Shini! you rock and I love your work too :)
    http://www.lifestylespiration.com

  42. Shaami

    Ah… I really like everything you post on the internet– your work, your craziness with Simon, your rants and stories. And I just love how everything reflects your personality, taste, and not to mention talent. My ultimate fave blougher! Xx

  43. Josue

    Very nice idea, I was searching for type of tipography in the past I don’t know how I can do it. Very nice idea for decorate my walls in my kitchen, bedroom and livingroom, I like the decoration and new ideas thanks.

    Josue
    cocinasmodernas.co/empotradas/

  44. Josue

    Very nice idea, I was searching for type of tipography in the past I don’t know how I can do it. Very nice idea for decorate my walls in my kitchen, bedroom and livingroom, I like the decoration and new ideas thanks.

    Josue
    http://cocinasmodernas.co/empotradas/