Embroidery Typography

“Use your words” is a saying that we all heard when we were little, and probably said it to our own kids at some point!  Its a good saying, and we can apply it to embroidery digitizing.   After all, words are the best way to get your sentiment, mood, feelings or point across.  So why not use your embroidery words and make them into some kind of art.

I was inspired by a few typography classes that I have recently taken, as well as the fascination of Tag Cloud Art (or subway art) that I have seen on the internet lately.  I noticed that people were doing various projects with Tag Cloud Art, but no one has done any in embroidery!

Embroidered subway art
My inspiration for creating beautiful embroidery with words!

If you are looking for a quick and easy project with almost guaranteed results and a whole lot of fun, why not try Embroidered Tag Cloud Art?   you can start of small and work your way up to the detailed art!   I started off with a template from an app that I had on my IPad, but i found that i couldn’t stick to the template because the words were way way too small.  So I improvised and came up with a new plan that will work with embroidery.

First create a shape – whatever shape you want, but if it is your first try,  I would keep it simple – a circle or a heart.  You don’t need to fill in the shape, just have an outline.  If you want to bring in an image for a backdrop, you can do that also.

Second, have a list of the words that you want to use for this project.   Again, keep it simple and have 5 or 6 words of different lengths (you don’t want to have too many long words, nor too many short words.)

FONT TIP:  unless you know how well the TTF fonts work on your system, I would only use pre-digitized embroidery fonts.  When you are using TTF fonts, they can get tricky, especially when you are trying to do them small.

Pick the main 2 or 3 words and make them large and place them in the design, of course staying within the shape.  You can make the words vary in size, but keep them big.

Take another few words and make them about half the size of the big words.  You can make these words a few different sizes as well, but keep them to the medium size.  Place these words around the inside of the shape, being careful not to go outside the lines.  The design should look more filled in now.

The last step is to take a few of the smaller words and -yep, you guessed it- make them smaller than the other words.    Use these words to fill in the gaps and spaces, and further define the word tag shape.

TIP 2:  make sure that the words and the letters in the words don’t overlap each other, or you won’t be able to read anything.

TIP 3:  make sure you don’t go too small with the lettering.  We all know that small embroidery lettering is very difficult to do, so make sure you don’t go too small and you can still read the words clearly.

TIP 4:  Remember to digitize at the size that you want your final embroidery to be!  VERY IMPORTANT WITH THIS PROJECT!  Embroidery lettering can be fiddly, so there is a big difference if you digitize the whole thing at a 6×10 size, and then resize it to a 4 x 4.  Your letters in your words will not like that too much!

VARIATIONS OF THE PROJECT:  you can use different fonts at different sizes, you can angle the words in any direction and you can change the color of some of the words.  Who says it has to be one color?

Have fun with this quick and easy typography embroidery, and USE YOUR WORDS!

embroidery tag cloud art
Use your words in embroidery!




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