I love adding text over my photos. Overlays are a fun, decorative element to add to photos. They liven up some of the boring photos of objects.
I prefer my own organic handwriting instead of fonts. Seriously, someone invent a pen that allows me to doodle right on my photos. Until that happens, I will have to settle for digitizing my handwriting and adding it to photos digitally before printing.
In this tutorial I will take you through the steps to digitize handwriting for photo overlays. You can also convert your own handwriting to clip art and cuttable SVG files.
For the first step, write down a fun phrase or word to digitize. I choose to do three different Christmas phrases. I used a black TomBow Dual Brush Pen. I wrote each phrase down on some tracing paper. I used a grid as my background to help structure the letters.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. Make it organic! The way you write should be uniquely your own and I think that should be reflected in your overlays.
Once you have your phrase written down, scan it into the computer and open it up in Adobe Illustrator.
Open up the Image Trace Window. I used the 3 Colors preset because my image was in black and white. The less colors you use the better.
Go to Object > Expand
Now Ungroup the paths.
Select each area that you don’t want and click delete. If you only used a few colors this step should be pretty easy. You can hold down Shift to select more than one path at a time.
I copied each phrase into it’s own document. You can skip this step if you only did one phrase.
For my overlays I changed the color to white so they would show up on dark photos but you can colorize them anyway you want. Go ahead and get creative with your coloring.
Save as a PNG and you are done. You have now created a stylish, handwritten photo overlay.
Handwritten Photo Overlay Examples