Hi, I'm Shawnna

I work with micro businesses and bloggers to create cute graphics, provide brand unification and deal with DIY digital design.

When I'm not designing I'll be out walking the dogs, binging on Netflix or curled up with a good book.

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Vistaprint Custom Labels

Creating custom labels with Vistaprint with templates from Lovelytocu

Creating professional looking business stationery as a small independent business or hobbyist really couldn't be easier or more affordable these days.

Today I'm showing you how to use my pre-made return address label designs in Vistaprint. There are many other services or home printing options that you could also use... this service just happens to be what I personally use for my own printed stationery as they offer great prices, excellent quality and really good customer service.  And no, they are not paying me to say that!

Off we go...

Return Address Labels

1. Go to the Vistaprint site for your region. I'm in Canada so for me the web address is vistaprint.ca.

2. Once there, if you already have an account login or create a new account if you don't. Your design will be saved in your account for re-ordering.

3. When you're ready, from the home page, click on Invitations and Stationery and then from the drop down menu select Return Address Labels.



3. You'll now be on a page that gives you pricing in your currency and an option to upload your own design. Click here to begin.



4. Next, upload your pre-made address label background.


5. Once your background is in place look for the 'Text' button in the top left corner. Click this and then 'Add New Text Field'.  A text box will appear on your label which you can re-position as needed.



6. Add your own text, one line at a time until finished, using the text edit options for your desired font, font color, size etc. Make sure your text is well within the dotted lines. When done click the blue 'Next' button.




7. You should now see a preview of your label.  If you are happy with it approve your design. Once you click to continue you will select the quantity of labels you want to purchase and continue to checkout. It's as easy as that!




Have questions? Post them below and I'll be happy to answer!

Shawnna


Circle Labels
Address Labels



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How to Install Fonts

How to install fonts on your computer and where to find free fonts by Lovelytocu

When you purchase a computer there will already be a selection of fonts installed on that machine. However, while these included fonts are always tried and tested classics you may eventually have need for something with a bit more flair.

Installing new fonts to your computer is super easy and something that you needn’t be daunted by.

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Here are the steps for PC Desktop and Laptops:
  1. first download your new font file folder, this will most likely be a zip file
  2. unzip the font folder
  3. right click on the font file and select install
  4. that’s it, all done
For Mac users:
  1. same as above, download and unzip the font folder
  2. double click the font file and press install
  3. done
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While the process for downloading and installing fonts is easy-peasy, there are a few extra details about font files that you may care to know about.

Font files can come in 2 formats: .OTF (open type) or .TTF (true type)  So what are the differences?

It’s all about what kind of extra detail is included within the design of the font and the explanation gets a bit complicated, so as a beginner all you really need to know is that both file types work on either Mac or PC, and regardless of which format you’re given, it will work on your machine.

Different fonts you download will have one or the other file type in the folder and sometimes you will receive both options together. OTF files usually come with extra or alternate lettering options (something you might choose to learn about later) so otherwise just stick to the TTF file when there's a choice. But know that either way you’ll be fine!

Another thing to look out for and know... some purchased fonts will come with a choice of ‘desktop’ fonts and ‘web’ fonts. Always install the desktop font file. The web font version is specifically for web designers.

Have errors during installation? Ensure you are clicking on the extracted font file (not the still zipped up folder file) or that you have administrator privileges on your machine.

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Font terms of use: as with any art work you download from the internet, fonts will have terms of use associated with them.  Many free fonts are for personal use only.  Some will allow commercial use with a donation and many fonts require the purchase of the font if you wish to use it commercially.

Always respect the creators terms of use.  Artists work hard to earn a living and their generosity should not be taken advantage of. Plus you might get into trouble later.

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WHERE TO FIND FREE FONTS

DaFont - this popular site has a big collection of fonts and while a good many are for personal use only you can find some that allow commercial use

1001FreeFonts - a site very similar to above, both sharing a lot of the same fonts

FontSquirrel - a site that offers links to free fonts, all of which are available for commercial use

PremiumFreeFonts - the free section offered by FontBundles.net has an ever changing selection of free fonts with a commercial use license, it's worthwhile to sign up for their newsletter as you will grow your font collection in no time at all

TheHungryJPEG - a site with way more than just fonts, they have a free section and weekly freebies include many fabulous fonts, all with a commercial use license

Creative Market - this site is a designers marketplace and they offer up free resources every week with at least 1 or 2 fonts each week, again with a commercial use license

Do you have a favourite place to source free fonts?  Share in the comments!

Shawnna




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Image File Types

Understanding Image File Types and how to use them, by Lovelytocu.ca


When you purchase art work online, whether for your website or blog, a digital craft project or to print out and use as a physical element it is handy to know and understand the file types that are being offered with your purchase.

The following is a list of the most common image file types and design file types offered with a digital art work purchase:


Common Image Types

JPEG - this is the default file format for photographs and is ideal for any image file with complex color gradients. JPG does not support transparency and if repeatedly edited and saved will be degraded in quality each time.

TIFF - used mainly in professional photography printing this file type is not widely supported by web browsers.  

PNG - used specifically for clip art as this file type offers transparency enabling images to be easily layered into design work.  Well supported by web browsers PNG files are lossless and often provide a sharper web image for illustrations containing simple color blocks than JPEG versions.  

SVG - there is a lot more to this file type than I will describe here, but the basics are that this image file is scalable, meaning you can resize without any resolution loss.  this is a popular file type for use with cutting machines like Cricut (but typically SVG files are not layered documents)


Old School File Types

GIF - this file type has been around for a long while, suitable only for illustration images with few collars and simple design.  It allows animation with a low file size perfect for web applications.

BMP - created originally for Windows (think MS Paint) this file type doesn't support transparency but does provide nice sharp graphics.  Unfortunately the file size for BMP does not make them useful for web so they remain a print only file format when used.


Image as Document File

PDF - a file format that is used to present and share documents containing text or graphics independent of software, hardware or operating system. this offers a reliable way to present printable art work or design files. PDF files can be either fixed or editable depending on how they are designed and set up.


Software Specific Files

AI - Adobe Illustrator software files which can only be opened in software programs compatible with this file extension

PSD - Adobe Photoshop software files which can only be opened in software programs compatible with this file extension

EPS - typically created by Adobe Illustrator, the advantage of an EPS version is that it can be opened in other software programs aside from Adobe. however depending on which software you have used to open it with you may only be able to access the image preview.


Shawnna




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