Personalized Birthday Videos

Spicing Up Your Typography

In humble pursuits of my birthday video business idea, I may have gone a little overboard.

You see, I started trying to make my own personal rendition of happy birthday and it wasn’t going well. While I’ve shared my music production skills (some may call them attempts), in the past, I just couldn’t find my mojo. Every instrument I tried sounded wrong to my ear.

Let There Be Video

In an effort to save the day, I switched over to making the video. Here’s what I know I want in each video:

  • The person’s name
  • Lyrics on-screen (for our hard-of-hearing friends!)
  • Some animations

And that’s as far as I got.

After a little brainstorming I came up with the idea to have the lyrics on balloons or frosted on cakes. Since “Happy Birthday” is a 10-second song and I’ll probably be playing it twice anyway, why not both? So today I tried doing both.

The Importance of Typography

Before I go any further, I want to briefly mention how important font choice and typography is. Since this is my entire birthday video, it’s especially important to nail in this video since it’ll be the only thing people see. But even on our blogs it’s important. We can convey feeling and honestly, a sense of competency. Personally, I take blogs with nice graphics and fonts more seriously than ones with mismatching ones.

But on most WordPress plans, there isn’t really much of an option with fonts. The next best thing without emptying your wallet is to focusing on graphics within posts. I’ll do my best to provide as much information as I can below so you can implement any strategies you see fit to your future graphic design pursuits.

The Balloon Text

It may go without saying, but this morning I had no idea how to make text look like a balloon. Shocking, I know.

So I spent a few minutes perusing the internet to find a handy tutorial and lo and behold, YouTube had exactly what I needed. Here’s a link if you’re interested:

While I am no stranger to Photoshop, this tutorial was a doozy. I’m not kidding, it was probably about 200 steps. Thankfully, the guy that narrates it took it nice and slow and was very easy to follow. After beveling and embossing until my fingers bled, I managed to obtain a pretty similar result:

Not bad if I do say so myself. For my reproduction, I used the public domain font Fulbo Tano which produced a nice balloon shape.

The only downside to this effect was that it wasn’t really a font. While in the video the narrator explains how you can get the text to read other things, my Photoshop had enough of me and was throwing a bit of a tantrum. In efforts not to anger the Adobe gods, I just created PNGs of the alphabet. So to “type” anything, I have to copy letter-by-letter. Maybe I’ll try and fix this later, but I am so over it for now.

The Frosting Text

Riding my highs of my last beautiful plastic-y creation, I turned to make a frosting text. Again, I found a handy tutorial, though this one was an article. Look at how cute it is!

Final product image
From (tutorial linked here)

Loving the piped work, I set my sights on sugary glory only to fall flat on my face. I have followed each step and it stamps on instead of paints? As of my last attempt, I’m stuck with something that looks like it lost a gingerbread contest:

I’m giving up for today, but in the back of my mind part of me is hopeful I can also master the ambitious no-video tutorial.

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