Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Subway Art Canvas

Definition of typography, n. 1. the work of setting and arranging types and of printing from them. 2. the general appearance of printed matter.


I love all forms of typography. Anything with letters and numbers, yes please! Subway art is a very hot design trend right now. These signs take their cue from the scrolls used on subways and buses in the 50's and 60's to announce the next stop along the route. They traditionally have a black background with cream letters.




Last week I finally decided I needed to whip up a little subway art of my own. This one is for a very special person, my son Ryan. And it has a very special theme, his favorite places at Penn State. We are a family of Penn State grads and this is a place we hold near and dear to our hearts.


The only purchase I made for this project was a 24" x 36" artist's canvas (Michael's 50% off!). I do not have a fancy vinyl letter cutting machine, so I went old school and used a set of 2" stencils I already had in a very traditional font for subway art - helvetica. The first step was to paint the canvas black with good old acrylic paint.








I had already asked Ryan for a list of his favorite Penn State locations and I also included the addresses of where he lived while he was a student.





Because I'm very visual, I quickly penciled out the words on a roll of art paper to be sure I liked the order and spacing.







Then I used chalk to draw lines on the canvas so that everything would be straight. The chalk just rubs right off when you are finished, although I decided that it actually gave the canvas a nice aged look, so when I was completely finished, I did rub a bit of chalk over the entire canvas. I also discovered that good old black paint and a canvas make for a quick and easy chalkboard!






Then it was just a matter of stenciling the words, letter by letter.





So as not to smudge the wet paint, I moved around a bit from line to line.





And that was it - a personalized subway art sign with special meaning made just for Ryan!




Ryan lives in a very cool rowhouse in the historic neighborhood of Federal Hill in downtown Baltimore - picture brick walls and beautiful wide plank wood floors. Most of the art on his walls are photographs taken on his amazing hiking adventures with his Penn State friends. I think this piece will fit right in!





Happy 24th Birthday Ryan, with lots of love!


I hope you have a chance to relax on the roof today and enjoy the view!




And be sure to check out the Cottage Charm Giveaway Event going on during the month of May! I'm giving away one of my Burlap and Ruffles table runners!


I'm linking to...



Photobucket

 http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com/

The DIY Show Off


Chic on a Shoestring Decorating


Photobucket






My Repurposed Life

Photobucket


HookingupwithHoH


Catch a Glimpse Button Visit thecsiproject.com



Beyond The Picket Fence It's a Keeper


30 comments:

fresh_look_furniture said...

Penn State, huh? I live in Lock Haven! :) I recognize just about all of the locations you guys picked out! :)

Kim @ A Brush of Whimsy said...

What a special gift for your very handsome son!

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

that looks so fabulous! it will look awesome in a rowhome! what a thoughful gift, sharon.

the cape on the corner said...

what a great gift-i knew right away where it was from since it was your art! the boyfriend would say it needs to have the crowbar, the saloon, and this cover band they loved up there called velveeta.

NanaDiana said...

Sharon- What a great gift! You did a wonderful job of it! xxoo Diana (handsome boy there- I have a Ryan too...we all call him MB though-for MamasBoy!;>)

A Few Pennies said...

That is a neat gift for a young adult and will look "cool" in his space. I would love it too in my little kitchen space. Great inspiration!

The Vintage Barn Antiques said...

I love that sign! I had tons of stencils from my crafting days and can't seem to find them!
Nancy

Karla said...

I REALLY love this.

Jen Migonis said...

What a great idea! Thank you for sharing!

I found you through the CSI Project, here is my unique gift idea:
http://www.migonishome.com/2011/05/match-bottle.html

Kat said...

Love this- I love this style in the CB2 catalogs..great idea!

Kim @ Too Much Time said...

Love your old school stencils....that's how I roll too! Ha Ha
I like this and I am thinking I may make one with special places my husband I love, to remind us of our younger child free (carefree) days! Thanks for the inspiration!

Jenn said...

Very thoughtful from beginning to end and just plain cool. Came here by way of Brambleberry Cottage Time Travel Thursday - enjoyed the visit. Thanks, Jenn

NattybyDesign said...

Oh wow! This looks great!

Lynn Richards said...

this really looks like a do-able project. nice work!!
lynn

angie @ the cellar door stories said...

i love how this turned out - looks great! (and thanks for doing it without a cricut or silhouette - i don't have one either!!)

At The Picket Fence said...

What a wonderful gift for your son! You are one cool mom Sharon! :-) Thanks so much for linking this up to Inspiration Friday this week~
Vanessa

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

This is fantastic and such a great gift! I love how it came out- sharing on Facebook~ Thanks for sharing at FNF! :)

Holly said...

I love your subway art...it looks vintage and authentic.
I much prefer the stencil letters to the vinyl for this. Pretty!

Holly said...

I posted this on facebook! That is how much I love it!

Jill said...

This turned out great!

LaughingLioness said...

Love it!

Dragonfly Treasure said...

What a special and meaningful gift for your son.
Happy Birthday Ryan!!

Brambleberry Cottage said...

What a sweet mom you are, Sharon! I know Ryan really appreciates having his mom just "whip up" such a special piece, with such special meaning. BTW, my son's middle name is Ryan. ;)

Thanks for continuing to link to the party - even during my horrible computer virus downtime!

Hugs,
Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage
http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

gail said...

Oh my! So unique! great gift!
gail

Melissa said...

I'm your newest follower. I found you at Polly Want a Crafter? This is such a nice and thoughtful gift. You have some great things on your blog. I'm loving the furniture redos.

www.meldreamsoften.com

imriz said...

im your newest follower, too. i take pride in your work. simple yet interesting. thanks for sharing the how-to's.

http://www.diyandmore.com/?p=481

Jocelyn said...

what a fun and meaningful gift...your son is going to love it!!!

Ladybird Ln said...

Oh he will love it, I just love it when I find cool guy friendly crafts! Found you at a little birdie told me!

Carlee
www.ladybirdln.com

Katie @ EyeSpyDIY said...

That is so cute! I love it, and think I might have to make one for my house!

Also, I have a great giveaway going on for some chalkboard labels and would love if you entered! http://eyespydiy.blogspot.com/2011/05/chalkboard-label-giveaway-from-ginger.html

Jenn Erickson said...

Sharon, your subway art turned out great and I love it that it was personalized for your son! It sounds like your artwork will be the perfect fit for his digs too!

My dad was a Penn State grad!

I'm so glad that you're a regular on "A Little Birdie Told Me..." Tuesday!

Jenn