Hi! It’s Mandi from Making Nice in the Midwest. Although I studied interior design in college, I had the opportunity to mix in some graphic design classes along the way. Looking back, I really wish I had taken advantage of every assignment in those classes, but the fact of the matter was I had a heavy schedule full of difficult studio classes and just didn’t have the time to relax and have fun with projects, even the exceptionally cool ones. Typography 101 involved learning about and exploring the different forms of type, including creative projects that looked at new applications for type, à la David Carson. We were encouraged to cut up, rearrange, blow up, and shrink type like we’d never done before. Honestly, I don’t even remember how my project turned out in the end! But the premise of that project came to mind recently when I was considering styles of DIY art for my home.
This project is pretty simple and really, there are no rules! I simply dug through some old magazines, brought along my scissors, glue, and paint for the ride, and created my own typographic art that I transformed into this large-scale print with the assistance of a copier. Check out how I did it below!Supplies:
– Scissors or X-Acto blade
– Glue stick
– White paint
– Paint brush
– Access to a large format copier (I used Office Max’s Copy Max center.)
Supplies to mount on a canvas, as I did:
– Permanent spray adhesive
– X-Acto blade
– Canvas (I used a 30″ x 40″ canvas.)Step One: Look through the pages of a magazine and cut out the words that are the biggest and boldest. Fashion magazines are usually the best, but you can have fun looking through all types of magazines for large headings and titles.
Step Two: Lay out all of your clippings and decide which ones you’ll work with. I decided to stick with sans serifs and mixed a combination of large bold letters and smaller, medium weight ones (“Born To”, “DOLCE & GABBANA”, and “BEAUTIFUL” as seen above).
Step Three: Cut up the magazine clippings and arrange them however you want on the paper. There really are no rules! You may find that you like more random arrangements, or you can even mess around with creating a sort of pattern. Just do what you want for once, why don’t ya?
Step Four: After the clippings are all glued into place, lightly brush over them a bit with an almost dry paint brush that has been dipped in white paint. You can mess around with splattering paint techniques too. Again, it’s totally your choice.
Step Five: Take your final piece to a copy center and blow it up so that it’s cropped how you want it. Since my final canvas was 30″ x 40″, I enlarged my original art to a 7.5″ x 10″ piece. After enlarging, I also used the copy machine to invert the colors of my copy, or make it a “negative,” as the copy machine options described. Then I took my inverted 7.5″ x 10″ image over to the large format copier and blew it up to 400%. Note that I waited to invert the colors on the smaller copy machine until I had blown up the image because I wanted the extra black border around the edges for mounting later.
Step Six: I knew I wanted to mount the print onto a large canvas, so I made sure there was enough of a border on my print to wrap around the edges of the canvas. I sprayed permanent adhesive onto the back of the print, which was lying face-down on newspaper in a well-ventilated area in my garage, brought the paper inside the house, and laid it face-down onto a clean, hard surface (our kitchen floor). Then I laid the canvas down on top of it and pressed the back of the canvas onto the paper using sweeping motions. I cut out the square notches at the corners so I could wrap the edges of the print around the edges of the canvas.
I really enjoy the look of dark, oversized prints, but if you prefer lighter colors in your artwork, then by all means skip the step of inverting the colors on the copy machine! Above you can see what my final print looked like without inverting the colors and adding some splatters of paint. This is a great simple project for creating graphic artwork in your home or for creating backgrounds for your art journal. Just get creative and leave the rules behind!
Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson