Faded Markers for Rustic 3D Typography

Before you toss away those dried up, fading markers, give this technique a try! I had a set of markers in a drawer for years and almost threw them away, but faded markers can add interesting visual texture to 3D-looking text on a scrapbook paper base when combined with one fresh, working marker.


What you need:

  • faded marker(s)
  • marker in working condition
  • stencil
  • thin pen
  • patterned cardstock
With this style of text treatment, you work with the imperfections instead of fighting against them.
  1. Using the thin pen and stencil, trace out the word you’d like on your scrapbook paper.
  2. Using the fresh marker, thicken the outlines on all the left edges and l the bottom edges to create a 3D effect. Try to imagine the sun hitting from the edges from the top right corner. Where would the shadow be? (You can also experiment with different light sources.)
  3. Using a faded marker, messily shade in the letters. Leave gaps between the edge of the letters for a more rustic feel.
  4. Finally, to create a distressed effect, lightly drag a very faded marker in horizontal lines across the text, as much as you prefer.

This is the kind of treatment that you can do multiple times and pick the best of the group for your scrapbook page. Next time you have a fading marker, keep it around a little longer than usual and play with the fading, nearly transparent colour before tossing.

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