Lex Deletia (afeastforme) wrote in turnleft_icons,
Lex Deletia

127: Text Guide (sort of)

This is the hardest thing I had to do in a while, but since so many asked so nicely I'm gonna do this.
My font list is a bit of a messy thing, but I'm going (for your sake and mine) to divide my favourite fonts for type.


Why I like these? Because you can just use one word and they will work perfectly to express a concept, the idea behind it or all that. Cubano is usually my way to go, I always try that one first even if I know it's not what I will need (creature of habit me.)
Some ~examples

#1 CUBANO LOVE IS CUBANO (see, cubano!)
#2 Futura is perfection here tbh.
#3 Guess which one! (CUBANO)
#4 Nouvelle Vague
I don't really do anything special to these fonts, some of those (Futura for example) have some interesting variations on their own so it's easy to make it look like you're playing with more than one when it's really the same font.

What I take care of is to set ALL my text on SMOOTH. Because -and here I'm guessing it's like this- on my monitor all the other options (crisp, strong and the others) make the font looks too pixelated and I noticed that I tend to use MORE blur then needed. So SMOOTH it is for ALL MY TEXT.

Blending mode may really save the day sometimes, not always, but yeah. This one:

Which is intro, has the layer (rastrerized-blurred-) set on screen. Also, I've used a colour picked from Sherlock nose/cheekbone zone.


Forgive the shitty handwriting on tiny canvas, but the concept is: MOVE YOUR PICKER, just go to more saturated colours or more desat, just move. White is nice, but it's not always the best choice especially if you need your text to be BLENDED to your icon.
You can also move your picker up and down, so to the -example- greens or the -still example- the reds. ALWAYS consider your base. A nice mix would be: if your icon is cold-toned, go to pick something warmer, or vice versa.

Another thing that I usually (and for usually I mean 9 time out of 10) is the Drop Shadow, on normal or soft light, with a colour picked from my icon, so NEVER totally black, because yeah, I like my text to blend a bit with it's surroundings.

Intro font with two colours picked directly from the icon (corners), upped to be lighter, with a shadow that's picked on the bottom of the icon (it's something like a very dark purple).

Another Intro font with a dark green shadow.

As you can see, the shadow really helps to blend it down, especially if you pick it directly under the text layer.


The good thing about this font, as you may notice is that you can really pull of a lot of text without feeling it overwhelming. I'm not really one for WALL of text, but for example this:

Which is basically all text is written with Mrs Eaves using variations of the font style to not make it boring.

Here too, the same ~instruction applies: smooth, use colours from your icon colours, use a shadow just a bit darker then the text but not black and such. Nothing really fancy here.


No, seriously, these are the one that I use when I want to get a certain ~feeling.
rabiohead and levi marker (and... SORRY benedict cumberbatch) are my favourite simil-handwriting. If I need a legible tiny-hand text I always pick one of those three because they really work and are nice. My handwriting is something I use when I feel the "need" to be personal about something, especially because it's a very difficult thing to do.

theotherayn specifically asked about these:

Both have my handwriting on it, the only thing that changes it's that on Morgana's (#2) icon I wrote directly into the canvas, while in the Parade's End (#1) one, I've created the text in a bigger canvas, then dragged it into the canvas, duplicated it and resized the copy. ALSO, and this you'll love, I never write on an empty layer, but I use the Colour Fills and the masks, this helps if you want to change the colour of your text fastly.
Also, writing on a bigger canvas helps you to regulate better the pen pressure because you use a bigger brush instead of paying a shittons of attention to every single pixel on a 100*100 canvas.

So, okay. That part is done.

And now I ask your forgiveness because you probably will only get an enormous rant about feelings and stuff. SO SORRY.

I'm going to pick some icons and analyse the whys and hows because I think it will be easier for us all to understand. All the icons I'll analyse are very recent so this is my ACTUAL way to go.


This icon was a pain to make because I didn't like the palette I had to use (it was a given one with lots of pinks in it. But it actually helped to have a subject that had pink hair. Anyway when I made that icon I was full of feeling for the ending of Final Fantasy XIII-2 which story revolves around time. Time that changes. Changing the future to change the past and vice versa. So the lyrics popped right to my mind "it's future rust and then it's future dust" (spanish sahara by the fools) and I told myself: THAT must be the main thing in the icon so I went into my FONT.png file to look at some fancy fonts to use for the words "rust" and "dust". Antrokas was perfect, but while that one worked right away I had problem attaching another font, so I did the only sensible thing: same font different colours. That's also why "future dust" is in pink. I didn't try anything fancy except the different colour thing.


MY BABYGIRL. Okay, so, if you've played this game (the last of us) you know that those lines are the main focus of a couple of events. In the first one, I split the words because they have a very deep meaning for each subject, what Joel endured BEFORE the game storyline and what Ellie survived THROUGH the game storyline. I didn't feel the need to put the "and" in between because, as I said, I was relying on the meaning attached to the words. Colours were picked to be complimentary to the background (and were also picked directly from the base). Nothing fancy here either.
The second one here, played a lot with the different font weight. I can't tell you how much I weeped when she said that line because it felt like a very deep-sad-closure moment. Playing with the weight of the text helped me to put a finger on the verb. Maybe I couldn't really uncover the feelings (if you don't know the background) but it felt right to enlighten THAT especially instead of, I don't know, "nothing" which I still emphasized giving it a green colouring picked from a sliver of her shirt.


A good thing about songmeanings.com is that you can throw a word into their search bar and you'll get a tons of results. So I threw in "Wolf" and that's what I got back "he is a wolf in disguise", now, I don't think that Scott is disguised or anything, but the line works so well for Lydia too. This time the fanciness was writing each line on a different layer which I then moved around to get a nice composition. As usual, the colours of the main words were picked from my base, just pushed a bit on the saturated side (if I'm not mistaken my base was around Scott's lips). To achieve that split effect I've duplicated the "disguised" word and dragget it on top moving around the top.

Well, Sam Hunter. Hunter » Hunted, not a big leap right? The thing I like of this text is that I enlarged to desperation the space between the lines just to full fill the space. Also, rule of third still helps a lot here.


This is not something I usually do, but it has it's reasons. If you pick the pen tool and draw a path, then switch to the text tool, you can actually put your text on the path, which is very cool if you know how to move your dots to make it look nice (I once ~disastered (lol) out an icon because of this). In the Doctor Who icon I just created a classic arc and put the word each on it's own layer and far apart, I then moved then to compose my thing. In the James bond one I followed his silhouette to get the two words "bloody shot" and then followed the contour of his head and the "B" to put the "take the".
If you like to try this method remember to keep a stock of patience around because the first time I tried, I went crazy five minutes in. The stupid points wouldn't help me get the text right.

Or: what Lex does best: lie.

These are the best kind for me, the one where I cheat all the way in. #1 was made using the "arc" thing in the text tool which, now that I notice looks really gross, but anyway. The text is not really meaningful per se, but it's relevant when united to what the character is going through in the "scene" so I put it there. I always do this, I try to think about what a Character is going through and I try to express it. Also, Xtreeme fonts has such a heavy impression with some words it's amazing.
#2 I love to bits. "I do not know how to fight" were "know" and "fight" are the key words. Again the xtreeme font does the dirty job perfectly.
Now, not sure if you watch or know what Parade's End is about but, let's say that the character I love the most (Sylvia) it's not exactly the best character ever, but I think that her way to love it's very addictive. That's why "Not one heartbeat do I forget" it's so relevant to me. Playing with two different fonts here (Tw Cen and benedict cumberbatch *cough*) helps to put an accent on what's important and what's not.

Okay, GOSH, we reached the end, I really hope this was helpful somehow, if not let me know so I can rethink about my way to go (or just cry in sorrow) about text, but before saying goodbye, I will attach the updated version of "Lex's FONT.png" thingy which is simply a file where I save the fonts I like writing a couple lines to set out variations for easy picking. If you want some font you can't find, drop a comment and I'll get back to you!

Click to enlarge.
THANKS FOR READING (or scrolling through) ;D

Ask The Maker 6.0 || My Thread
Tags: !ask the maker, !text guide, !tutorial
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