Designing with Dingbats

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JenWhiteTOTW_shadowYou've got nothing better to do, right?
I mean, if you are anything like me, you can waste a good hour or two looking online for that perfect free downloadable font. It's a girl thing. It's okay.

Well, bad news. Searching for the perfect dingbat is not any speedier.
But here's good news: dingbats are WAY more fun than fonts, and they pack the same smart vector properties. Which basically means that you can let your 8yr old play with them and they'll still look as new as the day you downloaded them.

So can you hear it? Can you hear the dingbats calling your name? Ok! Now get out there and search like you mean it!
This is gonna be good...

For Adobe Photoshop Version click here.

Step 1: Download Dingbats

  • Find. Your PC or Mac comes with several dingbat fonts. But if you are looking for something particular, you’ll most likely have to turn to the web. Simply browse for “Free Dingbat Fonts” and you should get about 95,000 results! This is a screen shot from "Faux Snow," a dingbat set I found on the web.

  • Download. Once you settle on a dingbat font, click on the download link (sometimes hard to spot) and save it to your desktop. NOTE: I recommend keeping your downloaded fonts in a separate file folder and keeping that folder backed up. If you ever have to restore your computer, you will loose any fonts that did not come with your original software.
  • Install. Installing a dingbat font is the same as installing any font.

Step 2: Type Tool

Ok, here’s where the fun starts. You have your dingbats installed. Now let’s add them to a scrapbook page.

  • Open your scrapbook page in Photoshop Elements.
  • In the Layers panel, activate the top layer or any layer above the background paper.
  • Get the Type Tool.
  • In the Options Bar, choose your newly installed dingbat font, increase the size to around 200pts, and make sure Style is set to None.
  • Also, click on the Color Chip in the Options Bar to choose a color for your dingbat.
  • Click on your scrapbook page and type out the dingbats you want. You can also try playing around with typing different letters until you find ones you like, if you don't already know which ones you want to use.

Step 3: Mix It Up

Your imagination is the limit with dingbats. Consider trying these quick and easy edits.

  • Opacity. Simply changing the Opacity of a layer can make it look entirely different. The Opacity of a layer can be changed at the top of the Layers panel.
  • Size. Making each dingbat on your page a different size will make it look less mechanical and will draw interest. Simply change the font size up in the Options Bar.
  • Color. Even the slightest color change will really make a difference. To do this, type the dingbat first, then click on the Color Chip in the Options Bar.

For my scrapbook page, I typed three Faux Snow dingbats: a capital K at 258pts with 75% opacity, a capital U at 227pts with 50% opacity, and a capital F at 188pts with 25% opacity.

I’ve finished my scrapbook page that features this tip…check it out below. I hope you’ll do the same and share it with me and the rest of the gang in the Tip of the Week Gallery at Digital Scrapper. Have a great week!

Credits:
Tip of the Week: Designing With Dingbats, by Jen White
Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 9.0
Photo: by Jen White
Featured kits: Project 365 / 4 Seasons by Micheline Martin Designs and Cherish This Moment by Digital Scrapper Designs. The Cherish This Moment Kit is currently available in our store.
Font: Faux Snow BRK – snowflake dingbats, Times New Roman.

Download a PDF version of this "Designing With Dingbats" tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose "Save Target As" or a similar command.
Mac: Click on the link to download the file.

Step 1: Download Dingbats

  • Find. Your PC or Mac comes with several dingbat fonts. But if you are looking for something particular, you’ll most likely have to turn to the web. Simply browse for “Free Dingbat Fonts” and you should get about 95,000 results! This is a screen shot from "Faux Snow," a dingbat set I found on the web.

  • Download. Once you settle on a dingbat font, click on the download link (sometimes hard to spot) and save it to your desktop. NOTE: I recommend keeping your downloaded fonts in a separate file folder and keeping that folder backed up. If you ever have to restore your computer, you will loose any fonts that did not come with your original software.
  • Install. Installing a dingbat font is the same as installing any font.

Step 2: Type Tool

Ok, here’s where the fun starts. You have your dingbats installed. Now let’s add them to a scrapbook page.

  • Open your scrapbook page in Photoshop.
  • In the Layers panel, activate the top layer or any layer above the background paper.
  • Get the Type Tool.
  • In the Options Bar, choose your newly installed dingbat font, increase the size to around 200pts, and make sure Style is set to None.
  • Also, click on the Color Chip in the Options Bar to choose a color for your dingbat.
  • Click on your scrapbook page and type out the dingbats you want. You can also try playing around with typing different letters until you find ones you like, if you don't already know which ones you want to use.

Step 3: Mix It Up

Your imagination is the limit with dingbats. Consider trying these quick and easy edits.

  • Opacity. Simply changing the Opacity of a layer can make it look entirely different. The Opacity of a layer can be changed at the top of the Layers panel.
  • Size. Making each dingbat on your page a different size will make it look less mechanical and will draw interest. Simply change the font size up in the Options Bar.
  • Color. Even the slightest color change will really make a difference. To do this, type the dingbat first then click on the Color Chip in the Options Bar.

For my scrapbook page, I typed three Faux Snow dingbats: a capital K at 258pts with 75% opacity, a capital U at 227pts with 50% opacity, and a capital F at 188pts with 25% opacity.

I’ve finished my scrapbook page that features this tip…check it out below. I hope you’ll do the same and share it with me and the rest of the gang in the Tip of the Week Gallery at Digital Scrapper. Have a great week!

Credits:
Tip of the Week: Designing With Dingbats, by Jen White
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5
Photo: by Jen White
Featured kits: Project 365 / 4 Seasons by Micheline Martin Designs and Cherish This Moment by Digital Scrapper Designs. The Cherish This Moment Kit is currently available in our store.
Font: Faux Snow BRK – snowflake dingbats, Times New Roman.

Download a PDF version of this "Designing With Dingbats" tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose "Save Target As" or a similar command.
Mac: Click on the link to download the file.