I have had an obsession with Rome for years. That’s where we went on our honeymoon, and ever since then I am drawn to all things Roman. There is something about the combination of history and beauty and timelessness that really draws an old soul like me. I have “Rome” searches set up on my eBay and Etsy accounts so I can always find unique things having to do with my favorite city. That’s why I was so excited when I found this Roman subway art on Etsy by seller GoingUnderground. I’m redoing my office and this would be the perfect graphic for a blank wall. Here’s what it looks like:
As an artist myself, I want to support this shop, but unfortunately the smallest available size she prints (11×14″) is $54, and I cannot justify spending that much on something that I could easily make on my computer. I opted to use for PicMonkey at first because of the color options in the app and I figured it would be very easy. Wrong. For some reason I could not get the text boxes to work and was having problems stretching the words out (as you see in the above picture,) and I think I spent over an hour trying to use it without success. If you know how to stretch the words out in a text box using PicMonkey let me know for future reference. (I am using the free version at the moment.)
Frustrated, I decided to do my own thing and pull out Canva.com. This was the best decision and was almost too easy! Once I got the first subway panel done, the other two were completed within minutes. It was so simple that I definitely suggest using Canva.com all the way!
The first thing in Canva you do is select “Create Design” and then “poster.” A new page will open up.
Next, I clicked on “Text” and dragged 6 separate text boxes onto my blank page using “Add Heading” at the top. It doesn’t matter if they’re lined up straight, or any of that since you’re going to edit it all in a sec. Just put the boxes there for now.
Also, leave the colors alone for now, we’ll reverse the colors at the end. Now you can edit the text boxes. Using the Canva fonts, I selected the “Norwester” font in size 64. Stretch the edges of the text box to the edge of your background/paper. When you type your subway stop (ex. San Lorenzo) then click on the drop down arrow next to the fonts and click on “Text Spacing.” Then drag the letter spacing bar until the words underneath are stretched to the edges of the design. *Note, make sure that you leave a little room for the frame, so you aren’t cutting off any lettering. Complete the rest of the text boxes with their subway stops. Make sure they are each lined up and spaced somewhat close together. I didn’t worry about looking exactly like the original, but I did want to be consistent. (My example below is not lined up perfectly, etc. but you get the idea.)
When everything looks good you are ready to change the background. Simply click the “Background” tab, and then click the color you want, ( I chose black.) It automatically reversed the colors for you!
Voila! You are done!
Now for the printing…I wanted to find the best price on printing, so I shopped around. I looked at Staples, Vistaprint, and finally settled on FedEx Office Print Online. When you go to select the print option, do NOT choose “Poster.” The pricing is much higher and I think the smallest size poster they will print is 16×20″ and I know my space will need no more than 11×17″. So instead, choose “Print Your File.”
It will give you the option to upload the file from your computer. You will then get a message saying:
Click “Review Options” and it will ask you to convert the file to a standard size. I chose “tabloid, 11×17”)
Then continue to “Print Options.” You want to select “Color” even if it’s black and white, because that’s the only way the 80 lb paper is available. If you select “Black” then you get a lighter weight paper, and I wanted more of a poster. So then select the 80 lb paper under “Paper Selection.”
Once that’s done just add it to cart and place your order!
Update I just picked up my prints and even though they gave me the heavier 80 lb paper, they only charged me for black and white, which made my total for all 3 prints a whopping $1.52! I am over the moon. Now to find some good-looking frames! The best place I’ve found so far is Joann.com. Every so often they have 50% off their frames. I’ve looked at Hobby Lobby and Michael’s as well. Their prices were higher. Go with the wider frame too, don’t get the small poster frame size….these look nice well-framed.
Ok, so I’m waiting for my frames to come in still, UGH! When they do I will update this post so you can see the finished product! See you soon, friends.
Here is the finished product. I think they came out pretty well, what do you think? You can do this with any city, so it makes for really cool decor.