Module 2, Chapter , Activity 1

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Activity 2.1.1 Samples of Fonts on Computer

Some of the fonts available on Microsoft Word, printed on tracing paper (I know, I got a bit carried away with it) and stuck on to paper which was painted with mauve emulsion and decorated with rows of the letter ‘a’ in wax crayons. It’s not very inventive, but I really like this – I like the colours, and the effect of all the rows of ‘a’s. And I love the contrast between handwritten and printed letters.

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This one is quite straight forward, with some sample texts in different type faces, printed on a piece of decorated paper from Module 1.

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Below are Microsoft Word Art samples on painted and crayoned tissue paper. The blobs on the bottom left are where I went wrong trying to group some words together  when I formed them into a square –  I don’t think I’ve done stuff like like this since I enrolled on a computer course after I was made redundant seven years ago!
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And another go at printing the page, without the mistake, on painted paper. I must admit, I was really surprised at the variety of fonts available through Microsoft, and the effects you can get, especially if you use Word Art as well.

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Below are links to some websites providing fonts for free, but I think the paper (another piece left over from Module 1) is a bit too busy to make for easy reading.
Samples of free fonts – again, the paper makes it a little difficult to read the text.
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And here are some notes about the fonts available on emails and blogs.
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The next few pages are about Drop Caps – they’re a slightly different sort of font available on the laptop (from Microsoft and from a free website) and when I was subbing I used to love using them mainly, I suspect, because it was one of the few ‘clever’ things I could do on my own, without losing the page or the copy I was working on!  So I’ve included some stuff about them here.
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Something else we used to do occasionally when I was working was to put headlines on a photo – or even partially on the pic, and partially on neighbouring white space. It was something to be used sparingly (it was very easy to overdo it and detract from the heading, the photo, or both). It wasn’t one of the things I was very good at, but it can look really spectacular, and I’m always reminded of the technique when we have lunch at one of our local pubs. On one wall they have a fantastic display of photos of Tamworth, some of which have been Photoshopped (or something similar) to distort the images, and text has been applied as well. I think they are terrific, and I’ve been meaning to try and do something along the same lines for ages, and now seems to be an opportune moment.

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I absolutely LOVED working with my photo of Tamworth Castle and changing it and adding text. I never knew you could be so creative with a computer, and I can’t wait to play around with Gimp and take my new found knowledge and enthusiasm a little further, and try to put some pictures together in a hand-made old fashioned album. But I think it’s something best left for a rainy day, when I’ve completed a few more activities in this module.

Meanwhile, here is a collection of printed papers, some experimental, and others fairly straight forward. I feel as I could have been a little more adventurous in my choice of papers, fonts and decoration, but I always tend to ‘play safe’. And I’ve had tremendous fun messing around!

First up a traditional nursery rhyme. The page was painted with emulsion. I’m hooked on those little sample pots – you can get the hugest variety of colours, dead cheap, and you can mix them together, or water them down, and use all kinds of other mediums over the top of them, or try wax crayons or liquid acrylic wax underneath. I even mixed some with Polyfilla for the sea pic in my zigzag book for Module 1, and at some point in this module I want to try mixing emulsion with a small quantity of plaster of Paris, to try and create texture. Not on this Chapter though – I’ve already upset the printer by trying to feed it with newspaper covered in gesso, and it’s been playing up ever since.

Anyway, I took the margins off on the laptop, and used WordArt to print outline shapes of the letters of the alphabet, then overprinted it with ‘A Was an Apple Pie’, in a smaller font, in red. Not really very imaginative, but I quite like it.

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Next is a piece from one of my favourite poems, by Carl Sandburg, printed on the back of some Christmas wrapping paper – it’s really thick paper, and looks as if it’s been hand printed in brown parcel paper, but I like the reverse aide.

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Below is The Creel, by Kathleen Jamie, another of my favourite poems, printed out on a page from a pad of decorative papers intended for journaling or scrapbooking I guess. Again, I took the margins off so I could print the entire paper, in very small print, then re-inserted the paper and overprinted the page, in a larger font.

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This one is the first stanza of a GK Chesterton poem. It seemed an apt sort of message to print on an old map. The map is stuck on red tissue paper. I really enjoyed doing this one – I’d like to do more work with some old maps.

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The next page shows text printed over a children’s colouring book. You have to think very carefully about the type and size of the font you use, because anything too small or too fine just gets lost among all those bold outlines. And I did try printing over a page that I coloured in with pencils, but the colours were too bright and too solid, and the text just kind of faded into the background, which wasn’t the idea at all. Maybe I’ll try this again at some future date.

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I rescued some old music manuscripts from a recycling sack at Oxfam, and I chose Bimbo’s Pome, by artist Paul Klee (in the style of his cat), because it’s about music, and a fun font, because it’s a fun poem. I didn’t try to cover up the notes with paint or tissue or anything, because I wanted them to be part of the design.

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Next up is a sheet of newspaper, covered with white gouache, and stuck to printer paper (it wouldn’t go through the machine on its own – too flimsy perhaps). I like the font, but I feel the page needs something more.

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This paper was wrapped around a bunch of flowers, which were already wrapped in cellophane, so it wasn’t wet, or damaged, just a bit crumpled. It’s quite thin, so I stuck it to a sheet of printer paper and used WordArt to print decorative, wavy lines of text. Again, I could have done more with this – different text at top and bottom perhaps.

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I love this next one. I sploshed pale blue paint on to a strip of thickish khadi paper (I’m not sure what weight it is), the stuck it to some thinnish blue paper, and printed it with a font that looks like hand-written script, in blue, set right. Then I bolded up part of the poem (it’s from John Masefield’s Sea Fever) and set it even further right, so it overprinted the previous print, but only on the khadi paper strip. It’s one of my favourite poems, and blue is my favourite colour, and I love the font, and the contrast in textures of the two papers, and the fact that’s it’s monochrome. Additionally, for me it conjures up the spirit of a particular place (a beach in Ireland, near my grandparent’s home) and the sense of loneliness – but a happy loneliness – in the poem. This worked out exactly as I wanted it. It looks simple, but it took a lot of thought to get the two pieces of text to print out exactly where I planned!

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The top sample in the page below is the very top layer of a paper serviette, with the edges trimmed off, stuck on an oddment of pink and white spotted paper. And below that is a piece cut from an old knitting pattern (Oxfam’s recycling bags again – I volunteer in an Oxfam book shop, and get lots of things from them). The words look as if I wrote them with felt tips, but they are a proper printed font, downloaded from one of those free websites. I chose this font because it looked handwritten, and old knitting patterns often have people’s notes scrawled on them.

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I can’t eat chocolate, because it gives me migraine, which is rather sad I think, but I bought a bar of Galaxy for my husband, so I could use this wonderful bright pink foil! It’s printed all over with little white ‘G’s, but they’re difficult to see in the photo. I suppose I should have printed it with a ‘G’, but I selected an ‘A’. I tried to distress the foil by crumpling it and rubbing it with black shoe polish, then stuck it to half a piece of stripy, shiny, pink, yellow and green paper, for contrast, and also printed a bolded-up ‘A’ on the other half. I stuck the whole thing onto the sketchbook page, which was painted with bright pink emulsion, swirled around, to try and give a bit of textural contrast. This pleases me, though I’m not sure why!

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This pleases me as well, although it’s not my usual choice of colour, and I didn’t get the words in exactly the right places (though the question mark in the apple landed bang on target). This was a bit of wrapping paper left over when I wrapped a present for a friend’s newly-born grandson, and I thought I’d try and have a bit of fun with it, so I cut out the apple to reveal the red paint beneath, and tried to print the words in the spaces, which didn’t work out quite as planned, but I enjoyed myself doing this.

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Trying to be different, I stuck silver tissue paper on a sketchbook page, and used a silver stamping pad to make splodgy marks all over it (I like splodgy marks). Then I used a downloaded font (‘Bleeding Cowboy’) to print Through the Looking Glass on the back and front of some tracing paper. It might have worked better with silver foil underneath rather than tissue paper, but I didn’t want it to be shiny. I did consider trying to including a face in the ‘mirror’, but I decided it would be a bit OTT, and less is best. And I ignored my own advice about using an old credit card to spread the glue evenly, so you can see the glue marks, which spoils it somewhat.

Edited: Oops! Missing picture alert! I checked this post as well. I always was rubbish at looking through my own copy or pages – it’s much easier to spot other people’s mistakes. Anyway, the picture is there now.

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