I had wanted to get some cut wood letters for my desk for quite some time, but realized, it would cost quite a bit. This seemed like a good alternative. Also, it seemed like a fun project. Here is what happened:
First I got the font into Illustrator and put a custom wood grain I drew behind the letters. I wanted a nice dark wood, but realized it would be very hard to see the cut and fold lines with such a black brown. This didn’t deter me. I wanted to keep the dark edges to give a nice wood veneer look. I also changed the dotted line to a solid so the edges wouldn’t stand out too much, and maybe give more of and authentic wood look. I went over to Kinkos, got a nice glossy card stock, and printed all my letters. Problem number 2. Glossy paper doesnt fold well, it tends to crack. I would suggest a nice, heavy matte card for anyone wanting to try this.
The cutting was fine, but very long, as there are lots of small angles, and like I said before, hard to see the lines. I realized that because I used white paper and dark ink, you could see a thin white line around the whole edge. I took a black Sharpie, and coloured all the edges. Seems a little anal, but hey, if your going to spend this much time, you might as well do it right. I folded with the help of a computer part I had, very handy. And glued with rubber cement.
Although the letters didn’t turn out like I thought they would, and neither did the pictures, it wasnt a waste. I love the look of the altered image. All this project needed was a bit of experimentation, and some crafty Photoshop work.
I like the overall look. But next time I take this on, Im going to learn from my mistakes. Light colours, matte paper and prep the glue properly. I think I’m going to make huge letters next time. 3 feet tall or so. It will be nice for the front window at Bikes on Wheels.