Tag Archives: adobe illustrator

DIY Subway Art

DIY Subway Art - DesignLively

I have finally succumbed to the mega-trend that is subway art.

There is a lot of “word art” out there in the world today. “Real” subway art, or bus scrolls, are black and white and use the typeface Akzidenz-Grotesk, though modern updates of any official subway signage are written in Helvetica.

DIY Subway Art - DesignLively

I created this sign in Adobe Illustrator using Helvetica, and altered the kerning (space between letters) and letter height for variation. I printed it at Staples using the “Engineering Print” category – purchasing this huge poster for $4.99. Then I spray-mounted the poster on a piece of large foam core (black foam core so the edges blended) with 3M Super 77 spray adhesive and finally just hung it up in our bedroom.

The locations I chose are all places that meant a lot to us during our days of college.

It makes me happy! And gives us a big piece of meaningful art for only $10.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

How to Make $0.24 Christmas Cards


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One of my favorite things this time of year is receiving mail. Good old fashioned, stamped, icky tasting envelope sealant snail mail.

No one sends mail anymore these days. It’s all about the modern technologies called email and text message. My mailbox (not to be confused with my inbox) is usually full of credit card offers, landscaping company fliers and coupons for dry cleaning.

But not lately! The last few weeks we have opened up cards with sparkles and photos and flourish.

I’ve finally recovered from sending out wedding-related mail and we sent out a few cards this year. While there are tons of adorable online options (like Tiny Prints and Shutterfly), I wasn’t really feeling the price tag at $1.15 to $1.50 per card. Captain Cheap-o over here, remember?

We had a friend take our picture (free!) and I put together my card in Adobe Illustrator. Then I uploaded my file and ordered prints of my card from Shutterfly. Remember to leave extra room just in case of sloppy cropping so the words or photo didn’t get sliced off. I also choose the matte finish to prevent fingerprints and look more card-like.

I ordered 50 prints of our card from Shutterfly for .09 cents each and I had an email promo code for free shipping = $4.50

Then I went to Joann Fabric’s and purchased a pack of blank cardstock folded cards that came with the accompanying envelope.

A package of 50 blank cards for $9.99 (Mine were on sale for $7.50, or you could print out a 20% off Joann’s coupon) = $7.50

Then I used some rubber cement to adhere my “photo” to the front and all I had to do was write on the inside and ship them off.

If I has purchased my 50 cards from one of the internet resources I was looking at I would have spent: 50 x $1.30 = $65 (+ shipping) total

Since I only spent $4.50 for the prints and $7.50 for the cards I spent a grand total of $12.00, bringing my cost to $0.24 cents a card.

I saved $53.00 by making my cards rather than purchasing them online!!

Now if I could figure out a way to mail them for less than $0.42 cents each…

and I leave you with my favorite Christmas song: