Smart Art

February 10, 2014

If you’ve ever hosted guests at your house for a weekend or a few days you have probably been asked this exact question at least once over that time period…

“What’s your WiFi Password?”

Now, you might actually know your Wifi password by heart. If you do– you’re better than me. But a lot of people (I’m looking at you Mom…) just kept the same numbers that they were given when AT&T, Comcast, or whoever came and installed your network. And quite frankly, remember that number is fairly LOW on my totem pole of tasks.

I have my password saved in my phone— somewhere, but to go look it up means I have to 1) Find my Phone, 2) Find the location where it’s hidden and 3) read it off CORRECTLY for my guest.

So the other day I was blog hopping around and happened to come across this post over on East Coast Creative (Who, if you’ve never checked out— you need to get your shit together. They’re the hosts of Creating With The Stars, my DREAM competition.

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Basically they were just talking about how you could turn your wifi password into cool art. GENIUS. Even better— I LOVE TYPOGRAPHY. Match made in Graphic Designer Heaven basically.

But, I wanted something less…. obvious. So I stored the idea in the back of my head for a bit.

THEN, I came across this AWESOME Etsy shop: ElAtlasParlanchi

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Seriously these maps are freaking awesome and I totally want to own one at some time. However, in the meantime I decided to try to attempt something KINDA like it.

This is my “Wifi – Smart Art”
(before you ask, no– this is NOT my actual password.)

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Cool yes? Want to know how to make it? Great…

You Will Need:

(1) Frame with Mat
(1) Map (make sure it’s larger than your mat)
Exacto Knife
Pattern of your Wifi Password (tutorial for this below)
Background Paper (make sure it’s larger than your mat window)
Glue Stick

ONE// Grab your laptop and lets make your pattern of numbers. I used Illustrator to create mine, but you could easily use  Word or Paint. The big words you need to know here to make this project work are “tracking” and “leading”. Tracking is the amount of pre-set space that the font creator sets between each letter. If you adjust the tracking you can move your letters closer together or father apart from each other. Leading is the amount of space that the font creator sets between two or more lines of text. By adjusting leading you are adjusting how close two lines of text are to each other. In this case we want the numbers/ letters to overlap on all sides; top, bottom, left and right. If they touch then when you cut out your shapes they all stick together in one bunch.

So, in illustrator it’s really simple to adjust these two items. As you can see below I’ve selected the text I want to edit and am hovering over the menus that control these two settings. Adjust as needed.

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If you are doing this in word make each letter or number a different piece of word art and manually layer them on top of each other to make all the letters touch on all sides. Paint- Same thing, each number/ letter is a separate text box.

*PRO TIP* You want to use a chunky, bold font for this project. Thin fonts won’t show as clearly and will be MUCH harder to cut out.

TWO// Once you have your pattern created it’s time to cut it out. Easier way to do this is to do the small pieces first. All the spaces in-between the letters and the holes in the 0’s, 4’s, 6’s… etc. Save the outside cut for last. Make sure to tape your numbers down!!

THREE// Once your letters are cut out you need to secure them down to your background. Since I used map for mine, I decided I wanted to go with a pale blue to represent water.

FOUR// Pop that baby in your frame and call this project DONE. Hang on your wall and let people wonder what it means until your guests ask you that pesky little question…

What do you think? Good idea? Bad idea? Would you hang your password in your house? Would you do it differently?

Blogger, Out.

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