Author Topic: Centering  (Read 1609 times)

Offline JanisTX

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Centering
« on: September 22, 2020, 01:09:43 PM »
Let's start this discussion by me admitting that I am really bad about centering text.  I almost always start too far to the left.  I am having to center a bunch of names on some award certificates & I came up with my own solution to this problem!  It's not perfect or fool-proof, but it comes up with a result that is quite acceptable.  I use a font (Edwardian script) that is very similar to my Copperplate.  I type out the person's name, centered on the page.  (All of the names are on the same sheet of paper, resulting in a centered list.)  I adjust the font until it's approximately the size of my handwriting.  I then print the list.  I carefully fold the paper in half, vertically, so that I can determine where the center of each person's name falls.  My pinkie finger is about the size of my lower case/miniscule letters.  My index finger is about the size of my capital/majiscule letters and the space between the person's first, middle, and last name.  I put my pinky finger on the center of the line of the certificate & then start moving it to the left, once for each letter to the left of the person's middle letter.  I use my index finger for the uppercase letters and for spaces.  Once I get to the beginning letter of the person's name, I use a pencil to lightly mark the starting point.  I then letter the person's name.  I'm very critical about things being centered exactly & I am pleased with the results that I am getting.  This is a work-around that I can live with!  I hope that this helps someone else!   :)

Janis

Online AnasaziWrites

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Re: Centering
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2020, 03:27:09 PM »
Let's start this discussion by me admitting that I am really bad about centering text.  I almost always start too far to the left.  I am having to center a bunch of names on some award certificates & I came up with my own solution to this problem!  It's not perfect or fool-proof, but it comes up with a result that is quite acceptable.  I use a font (Edwardian script) that is very similar to my Copperplate.  I type out the person's name, centered on the page.  (All of the names are on the same sheet of paper, resulting in a centered list.)  I adjust the font until it's approximately the size of my handwriting.  I then print the list.  I carefully fold the paper in half, vertically, so that I can determine where the center of each person's name falls.  My pinkie finger is about the size of my lower case/miniscule letters.  My index finger is about the size of my capital/majiscule letters and the space between the person's first, middle, and last name.  I put my pinky finger on the center of the line of the certificate & then start moving it to the left, once for each letter to the left of the person's middle letter.  I use my index finger for the uppercase letters and for spaces.  Once I get to the beginning letter of the person's name, I use a pencil to lightly mark the starting point.  I then letter the person's name.  I'm very critical about things being centered exactly & I am pleased with the results that I am getting.  This is a work-around that I can live with!  I hope that this helps someone else!   :)

Janis
Gee, @JanisTX , that seems like so much work.
There is a simpler, faster, more precise way.

First, write out the names exactly as you would like them to appear on the certificate (same size, script, etc.), one per line. They don't have to be in any way centered.

2. Find the center of each name:  measure the length of each name, call it x, draw a little vertical line through the name at 1/2x from the beginning edge of the name. Measure how far the point where you begin the first stroke of the first letter of the name is, call that distance Y

3. find the center line of your certificate.

4. Write you name on the certificate , beginning at Y distance left from the centerline of the certificate. The name should be perfectly centered. 

If you are using a light box and guidelines beneath the certificate, it goes even faster. Draw a vertical line on the guide lines sheet and place it so that it is the centerline of your certificate, place the sheet with the names and their little vertical centerlines beneath the certificate such that the centerlines of the names align with the centerline of the guide sheet (and thus, certificate). Place a little pencil dot on the certificate where you begin the first letter of the name and begin writing the name on the certificate at this point. Or trace the name itself. Very quick and easy.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2020, 03:30:12 PM by AnasaziWrites »

Offline JanisTX

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Re: Centering
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2020, 08:37:19 PM »
Hi, @AnasaziWrites!  The stupid envelopes are “security lined”, so that I can’t see a guide sheet through them. My little work-around works for me!

Janis

Online AnasaziWrites

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Re: Centering
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2020, 10:21:41 PM »
Hi, @AnasaziWrites!  The stupid envelopes are “security lined”, so that I can’t see a guide sheet through them. My little work-around works for me!

Janis
Oh, so sorry. I thought you were doing certificates. Glad to hear what works for you. Rock on.

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Centering
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2020, 11:25:10 PM »
I do the same with a font. But I have a question ... instead of trying to measure with your fingers, why not draw the side lines for the edge of the envelope/certificate/or what-have-you down the paper. Then fold the paper behind itself horizontally just at the top of each name and then just mark where it starts on the envelope? Unfold and then fold for the next name?  :)
Truly, Erica
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Offline JanisTX

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Re: Centering
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2020, 12:22:16 PM »
Because it was an official certificate, I couldn’t make a fold. No one wants a fold down the middle of their framed certificate. My centering was not perfect, but it was acceptable. Thanks for the suggestion, though!

Janis

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Centering
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2020, 09:03:21 PM »
Oh, I meant fold the paper that has the name printed on it - not the certificate. Then mark with a pencil on the certificate where it starts. But it sounds like you have worked out a way that works for you!  ;D
Truly, Erica
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Offline handmadeletters

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Re: Centering
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2020, 09:55:22 AM »
Thanks for the tip, Janis.
I hate centering and admit to being very bad at it too. If you ever start a club, I would be your first member.

I don't have anything to share but perhaps reassurance... In different Flourishing classes, Pat Blair and Suzanne Cunningham reassured that calligraphers are human. No matter your best efforts, bad centering happens. When in need, use an exit stroke flourish on your last letter to help center the name. Suzanne said in a recent workshop that it's always better to start too far left because that exit flourish may save the day.

It wasn't something I noticed right away in either Pat or Suzanne's work, but after they made those comments, I did see the use of exit flourishes for balance. Our eyes can still compute what we see as being balanced, even though as calligraphers we know what's actually going on there.

Offline JanisTX

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Re: Centering
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2020, 01:23:38 PM »
@handmadeletters I've had classes with both of those & I have picked up some tricks.  However, I didn't know about the exit flourish trick!  Thanks for the tip!  I'm going to try that!

Janis

Offline Erica McPhee

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Re: Centering
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2020, 12:49:42 PM »
Thanks for sharing that Janice! That is a really good tip!  :)
Truly, Erica
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Offline Ken Fraser

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Re: Centering
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2021, 07:00:01 AM »
Like Erica I use the computer to speed things up.

Some time ago I wrote out a long line in Italic and then spent some time finding a font which closely matched my writing
(not necessarily in style) but in size and position.
I noted it and then did the same for various styles -  Foundational. Blackletter etc.

Now when I have to write involving centering, I type out all the information, centre the printed copy and then match the position in my final writing.

Offline Inked botanicals

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Re: Centering
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2021, 01:17:23 PM »
Once I had to do some diplomas that had a quite long text (a different one each of them) and needed to be perfectly centered and in a very limited space. And, if that was not enough, I had little time for them, so making them twice (one for measurements and the final one) was not possible. I ended up making a font with my own calligraphy in one of those websites that give you a worksheet for you to write on and then scan it, and the font is magically done and ready to download. I then use it to write the long texts in a word document, center and print. And then I just traced them with a Lightbox. The font making part was a bit time consuming, but in the end it was less time that it would have been writing them all by hand.
Alba.

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Offline JanisTX

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Re: Centering
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2021, 08:18:31 PM »
I don’t know anything about those websites. I’m going to go exploring!

Janis

Offline Elissa K.

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Re: Centering
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2021, 10:48:58 AM »
I loathe centering as well but two techniques have helped me.  One is the typing-out approach mentioned by Inked Botanicals.  The other is one I used after nearly tearing my hair out with my latest project.  Even after doing more than one pencil draft, the text still was not centered, and I have trouble keeping numbers in my head.  What I did was to take a spare strip of Bristol paper and fold it in half.  I then measured out the distance to each side for certain lengths of text and then marked both end points and labeled them with the FULL length, not half the length.  In other words, 6" goes from one 6 mark to the other 6 mark.  It looks like this (not exactly, but to give you an idea):

'    '    '    '    *C*    '    '    '    '
6  5.5 5  4.5    '    4.5 5  5.5  6

I lengthened the marks on the strip as needed to fit in another row or two of numbers in the right place.  This is working really well to give me both a start and end point.  I just put a center line on the piece and center the strip over it, then mark both ends of the line to make sure I start in the right place and don't end too far to the right.  No more pesky calculations!!!

Offline handmadeletters

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Re: Centering
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2021, 10:32:03 AM »
This is a nice trick, Elissa. Thanks for sharing it!

I keep thinking that the more I do centering, the better I'll get at it and it will come naturally. That is definitely not true!