Big Letter Journaling
by Jenifer Juris
Combine the power of the Type Tool with a magical layer mask to create a stand-out title with journaling.
Step One: Create a New Document
- Create a new document (File > New > Blank File) that is 12 x 12 inches at 300 ppi with a white background. (Photoshop: File > New.)
- Press the letter D to reset the Color Chips.
Step Two: Create a Big Letter
- Get the Type tool.
- In the Tool Options, set the Size to 600 pt. Open the Font Picker and choose a chunky font. I’m using Abril Fatface.
- On the document, click in the middle of the page and type a letter. I’m using the capital letter T, but any letter with a wide horizontal stem will work. Depending on the font you choose, the letters C, O, G, Q, and S might not be good candidates for this tutorial.
- Click the checkmark to commit.
- If you’d like to adjust the font or size, make sure the type layer is active in the Layers panel, then adjust the settings in the Tool Options.
- Press the Ctrl key (Mac: Cmd key) and click and drag the letter into place. In my example, I’m placing it in the bottom left corner.
Step Three: Add the Journaling
- In the Layers panel, click on the Create a New Layer icon.
- In the Tool Options of the Type tool, set the Size to 14 pt. Open the Font Picker and choose a journaling font. Click on the Color Chip and choose a color other than black or white. I’m using Josefin Sans Bold with Hex #959595.
- On the document, hold down the Shift key and click and drag to create a text box over the portion of the big letter you wish to add journaling to.
Note: Pressing the Shift key before clicking allows you to create a new type layer directly over an existing type layer.
- Click on the handles of the bounding box to adjust the text box so that it is perfectly aligned with the edges of the big letter.
- Type some journaling.
- Click the checkmark to commit the type.
Note: If your journaling doesn’t all fit within the text box, you will need to lower the font size, change the font, and/or type less journaling.
Step Four: Justify the Journaling
This journaling technique looks best when the type has been justified to the edges of the text box.
In Photoshop Elements Only:
- In the Layers panel, double click on the thumbnail of the journaling type layer. All the journaling should now be selected.
- Press Shift Ctrl J (Mac: Shift Cmd J) to justify the type.
- Click the checkmark to commit.
Note: This justification shortcut will justify the last line of your type to the left. If you want the last line to stretch all the way across the text box, simply add spaces between the words in the last line until the last word reaches the right side of the text box.
In Adobe Photoshop Only:
- In the Layers panel, click on the journaling layer to make it the active layer.
- In the Menu Bar, choose Window > Paragraph to open the Paragraph panel.
- In the Paragraph panel, click on the Justify icon you prefer. I’m using Justify All.
Step Five: Mask the Big Letter
- Get the Rectangular Marquee tool.
- In the Tool Options, click on the New Selection icon. Set the Feather to 0 px and the Aspect to Normal. (Photoshop: Set the Style to Normal.)
- On the document, click and drag a selection around the portion of the big letter you wish to hide. Press and hold the Space bar while dragging to reposition.
- In the Layers panel, click on the big letter type layer to activate it.
- Holding down the Alt key (Mac: Opt key), click on the Add Layer Mask icon.
Step Six: Change the Journaling Text Color
- In the Layers panel, click on the journaling type layer to activate it.
- Press the letter D to reset the Color Chips. Black should now be the foreground color.
- Press Shift Alt Backspace (Mac: Shift Opt Delete) to change the color of your type to black.
Note: If you want to use a different color, feel free. Just keep in mind that this technique looks best when the journaling color matches the color of the big letter.
Here’s what my completed page looks like after I added the rest of my title and finished the page.
In case any one wants to know, the size of the W and O on my completed page is 300 pts.
I can’t wait to see your creations in the Digi Scrap Tutorial Gallery! I hope you enjoy playing with this idea and have fun being creative with it.
Page & Photos: Jenifer Juris
Tutorial: Big Letter Journaling by Jenifer Juris
Kit: Spread Your Wings by NewLifeDreams Designs
Fonts: Abril Fatface, Josefin Sans, Bellwethers
Author: Jenifer Juris | Contact Us
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This was a fabulous tutorial. ♥ the shortcuts–very thorough lesson! Thank you for the PDF, Jen!
Thank you so much, I’m so glad you like it!! 🙂
Thank you Jen. I enjoyed playing with the big Letter Journal tutorial.
You’re very welcome! 🙂
Thank you so very much! Cool technique, and I really appreciate the PDF!
You’re so welcome! I’m so glad you like it!! 🙂
This so unique and eye catching…Love It! Thanks
Thank you, Bonnie! 🙂
Wonderful tutorial. Thanks so much
Thank you! I’m glad you like it!! 🙂
Jen: This is such a great idea. Thanks for sharing your talent!
Thanks so much, Terri! 🙂
I love, love, love this tutorial. You just keep amazing me week after week after week.
Thank you so much, Vivian! You are so nice and made my day!! 🙂
Just saw this today and I absolutely love it! I, too, cannot wait to try it … thanks for the tutorial.
Thanks so much, Donna!! I can’t wait to see how you use it!
I love this kind of tutorial….looking forward to trying it out. I think your page is terrific. Thank you!
Thank you! 🙂
Love this Jen!! Can’t wait to try it!
Thanks, Kathy!! I’m so glad you like it! 🙂