Add Pizazz to Your Documents with Custom Word Art


Plain documents can be boring, but with word art you can spice things up and find just the right touch of visual contrast. Below I use word art to embellish a short report I wrote about Louis Armstrong. Since the software’s smart, it knows exactly what the boundaries of the word art are, and can wrap the text around it accordingly. There are so many options for colors and shapes, you can design all day. Realize however that there are limits to what the software can do. Like below, I found out I was restricted to a maximum of nine stacked lines of text. No bother, I just created another matching piece of word art below it and picked up where I left off. I was going to make it into a trumpet shape, but then it started getting difficult to line everything up, so I just stopped while I was ahead. The yellow-gold word art is set in Jackson Burke’s Trade Gothic. The ‘call out’ and body text below is set in Bodoni Seventy-Two, since I really like how it looks big.

Word Art 1

Word Art 5

Above, one of the options enables a quick, mechanical unicase – setting all the text on the line to the “Same Letter Heights.” One of the drawbacks to using this option is that punctuation such as the comma above tends to blend in with the rest of the letters when adjusted to the same height.

Word Art 2

Word Art 3

I would go into more depth, but these samples essentially make themselves. All it takes is a little inspiration, some futzing around with the settings, and a discriminating eye. The above samples are set in Robin Nicholas & Patricia Saunders’s Arial, and Geoffrey Lee’s Impact.

Word Art 4

Thanks everyone for reading. After creating that last sample I couldn’t help but think, “Hey, I could use this to make logos!” Using Type continues here Thursday.


  1. Posted April 1, 2013 at 6:02 AM | Permalink

    Dude… what the f!

  2. Posted April 1, 2013 at 7:11 AM | Permalink

    April Fools!

  3. drew b.
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    thought you guys lost your-you-know-what for a minute there.

  4. Posted April 1, 2013 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    Looking forward to seeing those logos.. especially if they are as beautiful as these samples. Wow! Golly! I haven’t seen anything to rival these since my new passport arrived. (Thanks for the good grins.)

  5. Susan Culligan
    Posted April 4, 2013 at 6:31 PM | Permalink

    What’s the stunning typeface of the first paragraph “Louis Armstrong…”? How gorgeous!

  6. Posted April 5, 2013 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

    Hi Susan. This is ITC’s Bodoni Seventy-two Swash.

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