It's much easier to create your font outside of Design Space and import it as a SVG file. Here I'll show you how to do that using the free program Inkscape.
You can download Inkscape from www.inkscape.org. Make sure you only click on the download button for Inkscape. There are no other programs you need to download/install!
Click on the link for your operating system. It will most likely be the second (Windows) or third (Mac) icon.
Click the Download Inkscape link (circled below)
You will see the "Your download will start shortly" message. Don't click on the box underneath that. It's just an ad for a program you don't need! Just wait for the download to start.
Save the download file to your computer. When it's finished downloading click on it to start the installation.
One other thing: The font used in this tutorial is called Regal. It can be downloaded for free from http://www.fontspace.com/aldus/regal
Now that you've installed Inkscape....
1. Open Inkscape. (If you get a dialog box pop up that says "There is no disk in drive..." click Continue. You'll probably have to click it 3 times. Then wait a few seconds and Inkscape will open. There is a fix for that error but I'll explain that in another post.)
2. Click the Text tool
3. Click inside the design area box. Don't drag a box for your text... just click!
4. Type your letter. (Remember... if you are going to be using Regal Font you must use upper case.) The letter will appear in whatever font is currently selected.
Tip: Press the + key on your keypad to zoom your view!
5. Click on the Select arrow in the top left of the screen and your letter should be selected. You'll see 8 outwards facing arrows around it. If that doesn't happen drag your mouse around your letter.
6. Hold down your Ctrl key then drag any of the arrows that are around your letter and resize it so it's easier to see. Provided you hold down the Ctrl key your letter will hold its proportions. No need to worry about exact size yet.
7. Double click your letter so that the cursor appears.
8. Hold down your Shift key then use the left or right arrow key to highlight the letter.
9. Click on the down arrow next to the fonts drop down box in the top left of the screen.
10. Scroll through the list to find your font and select it. Your letter should now appear in the correct font.
Next you'll resize your letter. I generally set the height of my letters to 8". You'll still get to change the size of your finished letter when you get it into Design Space.
11. Click on the Select arrow (top left) again and click your letter so you see the arrows.
12. Click on the lock icon at the top of the screen to lock the proportions
13. Click the arrow next to px (pixels) and change to inches (in)
14. Type 7.00 in the height box and press Enter and the width will change accordingly.
Now you need to convert the text to an object (or a path)
15. With your letter selected click on the Path menu and select Object to Path.
Now we'll split the letter.
16. Select Object, Ungroup
17. Click the Square icon on the toolbar
18. Click to the left of your letter and drag your mouse to create a rectangle across the letter. The length of this rectangle isn't important. Just make sure it is wider than the letter.
19. Click on the lock on the top toolbar and unlock it. (This time you want to change the height of the rectangle not the width.)
20. Type 2.00 in the Height box. (These are the measurements I use, but you may want your rectangle bigger or smaller. The size you make it equals how much of the letter will be removed.)
21. Click on the Select arrow and move the rectangle up or down to place it where you want the split to occur. Some letters will look best split right through the middle. Some others (e.g. those that have a cross bar like the A and H) look better if you split it above or below the cross bar.
If you want to split it exactly in the centre...
(Skip step 22 if you don't want it centred.)
22. Drag your mouse around the letter and the rectangle so they are both selected
Click the Object menu then Align and Distribute.
The Align and Distribute dialog box will open.
Click the Centre on Horizontal Axis button. The rectangle will move up or down and be placed in the centre of the letter.
23. With the letter and rectangle still selected click the Path menu, then select Difference.
Your letter has now been split!
Now you need to add the two bars
25. Click the Square tool from the toolbar and drag another rectangle over your image and place it so it is just overlapping the bottom of the upper part of the letter. I generally set the height at .25" and the width one inch wider than the width of the letter. (In this case the width of the letter was 6.558 so the width of the bar would be 7.558).
Make sure the Proportion lock is still unlocked if you're going to set it using the measurements.
26. Click the Select arrow then click on the bar you just created to select it.
27. Click the Layer menu and select Duplicate Current Layer. This layer will be placed right on top of the existing one. While it is still selected use your down arrows to move it so that it is just overlapping the top of the lower half of the letter.
Next you'll align the two bars so they are even on the left and right of the letter.
29. From the Align and Distribute dialog box (Object, Align and Distribute if you closed it earlier) click the Centre on Vertical Axis button. Now your two bars will be centred vertically on your letter.
Next you'll weld the bars to the letter.
30. Select everything
31. Click the Path menu, then Union
You now have one object with the two bars welded in position.
You will want to be able to move the top and bottom parts of the letter individually so you can make room for the name that goes between the split.
32. Click on your letter to select it then click the Path menu and select Break Apart.
Don't panic! It's going to look really odd..
33. Drag your mouse around the top half of the letter (including the bar) then click Path, Combine.
The top half is returned to its former glory!
Now repeat for the bottom half
34. This time drag your mouse around the bottom half of the letter (including the bar) and again click Path, Combine.
You can now move the top and bottom parts of the letter individually.
A quick note..... It's better to not move the letters apart. Particularly with letters like S, M, N... (any letter that has angles or curves basically...) as the letter looks wonky and out of proportion then.
I generally make my letters 8" tall and make the split rectangle 2". That gives me approx 1.5" space between the letters after I have welded the 1/4" rectangles.
35. Select everything then click Object, Group
36. Click File, Save As.
37. Give your file a name, select where you want to save it, select Inkscape SVG as the type of file (you can change to Plain SVG but it's not necessary for using this file in Design Space) and click Save.
Guess what? You just created your first split letter!
Your file is now ready to import into Design Space using the Vector upload option.
It looked like a lot of steps didn't it? But it's super easy to do and with practice shouldn't take more than 5 minutes!
Please let me know if you have any questions!
Maybe you'd like to post a picture of your Split letter project made using this tutorial! Just use the InLinkz link tool below!
Happy crafting! ♥
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