Tutorial – Make Your Own Word/Subway Art

Word art and Subway art are all the rage right now! You can find cute sayings to print and frame all over the web. Some are free, some charge a nominal fee – all are sweet! I’m going to give you some tips on how to create your own word art in Photoshop using guides, grids, and rulers! It’s easy peasy and I know you’ll have fun designing your own!

1.Open up photoshop and click on “File>New”. When the little screen pops up, you can name your printable, then choose what size you want it to be. I chose it to be 6 inches wide and 4 inches high so it would fit in a regular 4X6 frame. Make sure the resolution is set to 300 pixels/inch! Click OK.

2. In order to get that evenly spaced wort art, you’ll need to view the rulers on the top and bottom, and the grids. This will make your life SO much easier and will turn out a flawless print. To view the rulers, click on View>Rulers

3. You should see a ruler on the top and left side of the screen. Now you want to view the grids. You can click “Ctrl+’ ” but I’ll show you the settings I’m using first. Click on Edit>Preferences>Guides, Grids, and Slices.

4. So, I want to see a grid line every 1 inch with 4 subdivisions. This works well for most projects. You can play around with the settings, or just use these ones. Click OK.

5. Now you’ll see these lines on your blank canvas. These will not print out, they are just there to help you line things up.

6. Now you need to decide where you want the words to be. How big, how far across – whatever. To make things easier you will select the move tool, then click on the ruler and drag. You’ll see a line appear. Drag two from the top, and two from the side. Move them to mark the edges of your text. Like below:

7. Using your text tool, type whatever words you are using. You can resize the different lines of text so the edges match up with the lines. You can have fun here, using different sizes, different fonts, different colors – whatever! You will most likely write each line on a different layer so you can resize individual lines. But, you can see how the edges of each line match up to the blue guidelines I made earlier.

8. If you like the look of a colored background with white text, simple add a new layer right above the background layer by clicking Layer>New, then using the paint bucket tool to fill it in with whatever color you choose. You will want to type your text with white, for it to show up.


9. One last tip. The grid lines make it easy to create a little outline around the text, to give it that polished look. Click once on the background (or color layer) to select it in the layers palette. Select the rectangular marquee tool (the one that looks like a box with marching ants around it). Drag out a perfectly spaced rectangle using the grid lines as guides. Then, click on Edit>Stroke and add a white 2px stroke. Click on “Select>deselect” for the marching ants to disappear. Done!






15 thoughts on “Tutorial – Make Your Own Word/Subway Art

  1. Your awesome tutorial came at a perfect time for me. I have been buying word art and some times getting it for free but have been wanting to learn how to make my own. I am going to give this a try and hope that I can finally make my own. 🙂 Thank you very much Bobbi.



  2. Hi there- thanks again…so much fun playing with this! I'm just learning photoshop- I set up the ruler and graph/slices….now I can't figure out how to remove them! Could you help me- thanks- Irene


  3. Wow! I looked up “how to make your own subway art” and your tutorial was the second entry on google. And, lo and behold —– it is the 13th article of faith!!!! Thank you so much. This is awesome – when I have that imaginary time on my hands I am not only going to learn how to make my own subway art in photoshop, but figure out how to change your 13th article of faith background to dusty pink for my daughter – It's the youth theme this year (I think)
    Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  4. Thanks so much for sharing this great idea – I cant seem to get the grids to appear, not sure what I am doing wrong, have been trying for hours, but wanted to say thank you for taking the time to try and share.


  5. Thank you for this tuorial. Do you have any instructions for saving your word art and posting it for folks to download?



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