Digital Text Tip from Deena Wuest

Hey CKers! Deena Wuest here! It’s so hard to believe that it’s almost October! With the whirlwind of fall activities, cooking, shopping and family gatherings, the time between Halloween and Christmas seems to pass by in a flash. We all know the holidays are busy and wonderful and magical but they’re not a great promoter of scrapbook time. So instead of finding yourself staring at an overwhelming pile of unscrapped photos in 2012, let’s be proactive today! What if I told you that you could create a mini album with all your favorite 2011 photos (with placeholders for your upcoming holiday photos) in a single evening? Think it can’t be done? What if I told you that 80% of the work has already been done and it’s 100% free? Ah ha. Starting to look a bit better, right?

The secret lies in layered digital templates. Anyone familiar with digital scrapbooking realizes their value and appreciates their amazing flexibility. For those of you who have yet to try digital, here’s your chance to dip your feet in the digital waters while creating a seasonal coffee table album that will be a family favorite! Using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements and premade templates, simply drag and drop a photo over a shape, right click on the photo layer, and select Create Clipping Mask. You can then reposition and resize your photo until you get the perfect composition. No measuring and no cropping! We love that!

Today I’d like to share with you one of my favorite tricks. I love using text directly on a photo, but what happens when the photo background is too busy or similar in color to the text making it difficult to read? There’s a quick and easy solution! Creating a subtle gradient between the text and photo gives the type a nice backdrop increasing readability.

1.       Locate the Gradient Tool on the toolbar (which is hidden behind the Paint Bucket Tool). You can either right click on the Paint Bucket icon to bring up the Gradient option or press G and then Shift+G to alternate between the two tools.


2.       On the Gradient Tool Options Bar, click on the down arrow to open the Gradient Picker and select the “Foreground to Transparent” fill option. (If you want a black gradient make sure your foreground color is set to black.)

3.       Create a new layer in the layers panel and simply click and drag the pointer across the canvas to create your gradient. A longer drag of the mouse will create a gradual gradient while a shorter drag will produce a more compact gradient. Press and hold the Shift key while dragging the mouse to create perfect alignment.

4.       Now simply move the gradient layer directly above your photo, right click and select Create Clipping Mask. You’re done!

It’s a subtle change but you can see the dramatic difference it makes on the readability of the title.

For more ideas on Scrapbooking 100 photos in an evening, check out this article.

-Deena Wuest, Contributing Writer

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7 Responses to Digital Text Tip from Deena Wuest

  1. sara says:

    Wow – a huge difference indeed. I don’t work with PSE, but I have Storybook Creator Plus from Creative Memories. I’ve done something similar by adding a GLOW around my words to match the main color (or slightly darker) from the photo, especially if it’s just a pattern that’s too busy. It gives that same separation to the words and the text. But I see how well the gradient works here and I’m sure I’ll try that too. :-)

  2. Anna says:

    Awesome tip!!!

  3. NancyD says:

    SUPER useful tip, Deena! Thank you!

  4. c@rol w says:

    Thanks so much for contributing an article for digital scrappers like me! Paper is fine but it’s more fun to scrap on “the dark side”. Great tutorial, Deena! Thanks!

  5. Cindy Tobey says:

    Great tip Deena!

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