185. Create a Sales Sign
Before You Begin
183 Add a Text Caption or Label
44 Create a New Image
66 Print an Image
One common use for graphics editors such as Photoshop Elements is to create signs or posters. You might want to create a For Sale sign to advertise an item you want to sell. To do that, you'll need to create a new image, add some graphics, enter some text, apply a few finishing touches, and print the result. You could follow these same basic steps to create signs advertising a school or church event, yard sale, or a lost petjust about any image that combines text and graphics.
When you use the Editor to create signs or other documents you want to print, you have to be concerned not only about what it looks like on the screen, but also how it will look when printed. If you plan to print your sign on an 8 1/2 x 11-inch sheet of paper, you should set your image size to match so that the image isn't stretched or distorted during printing. You set the image size in the New dialog box that opens when you create the image.
Typically, a sign has multiple lines of text and some type of graphic image. When you add the text, you'll typically want to type each line of text onto a separate layer. For example, to advertise a motorcycle that my husband is selling, I would create one layer with the words FOR SALE and a separate layer for the text Off-Road Motorcycle. Placing related phrases on separate layers allows me to apply different fonts, sizes, color, and so on to the text on each layer, and also position each line of text separately.
If you want to move two text layers at the same time, link them. Just select one of the layers in the Layers palette and click the link icon (the space in front of the image thumbnail) of the other layer. After they've been linked, you can move, copy, resize, and perform other functions on the layers as if they were one. See 101 Group and Organize Layers.
Create a New Blank File
Choose File, New, Blank File from the menu bar or click the New button on the Shortcuts bar to display the New dialog box. Type Sales Sign in the Name box. To print the sign in landscape orientation on a standard 8 1/2 x 11-inch sheet of paper (allowing for margins), set the Width to 10 inches and the Height to 8 inches. Reverse these dimensions if you plan to print the sign using portrait orientation. Adjust these values if you want to print on a paper size other than 8" x 10".
Typically a Resolution value of 300 DPI works well when printing, although you might choose a higher resolution if you're going to include photos and print on photo paper. Set the Color Mode to RGB Color if you want to create a color sign. If you want the sign to be black and white, select Grayscale. From the Background Contents list, select what you want to use for the background color of the image: transparent, white, or current background color. See 44 Create a New Image for more help.
If you want to use a color for the background of your image rather than white or transparency, set the background color swatch on the Toolbox to that color before choosing the File, New, Blank File command.
Click OK to create the file. You might want to save the file immediately in Photoshop (*.psd) format by clicking the Save button on the Shortcuts bar.
Paste and position images that you want to add to the sign. You can paste a copy of another image file by copying it to the Clipboard and then choosing Edit, Paste in the new image file. When you paste a copied graphic into your image file, a new layer is added for that graphic. To reposition or resize a pasted graphic, use the Move tool as described in 99 Move, Resize, Skew, or Distort a Layer.
On the Layers palette, select the layer below which you want the new text layer to appear. The text layer is added above the layer you select.
Select the Type tool on the Toolbox and select the font, size, color and other options you want to use for the first line of your sign. Click in the image to specify the alignment point for your text, and then type the text you want to add. Edit the text if necessary and click the Commit button (the check mark) on the Options bar to create the text layer.
Repeat the process for each line of text you want to place on the sign. A new text layer is added for each line of text. If you want several lines of text to use the same font, size and other attributes, you can place all text in the same layer. To start a new line of text, press Enter and then continue typing.
You can customize the font, style, size, and color of the text you type (even after the fact) using the Options bar. See 183 Add a Text Caption or Label for more information on setting text font options.
Select the Move tool on the Toolbox and then select the text layer you want to position in the Layers palette. Click and drag the text to the desired position on the sign. See 99 Move, Resize, Skew, or Distort a Layer for more information about moving text and image layer contents.
Print the Sign
After you're satisfied with the image, save the PSD file. Then merge the layers together and resave the result in JPEG or TIFF format, leaving your PSD image unflattened so that you can return at a later time and make different adjustments if you want. Print this JPEG or TIFF version by clicking the Print button on the Shortcuts bar or choosing File, Print from the menu bar. The Print dialog box appears.
Because you sized the image to fit your intended paper size, you probably don't have to do anything here except verify that the preview looks correct. If necessary, adjust the settings and click Print to display the Print dialog box, and then click Print again to print the sign. See 66 Print an Image for more help.
If you're not printing on 8.5" x 11" paper, printing in landscape orientatioon (as shown) or if you are using photo paper or a heavy bond paper, you'll need to adjust the print options before printing. See 65 Set Print Options.