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How to create a transparent background on brush lettering and handwriting

January 8, 2016
How to create a transparent background on brush lettering and handwriting | Zuer Designs

One of the things that really puzzled me when I first started out digitising my brush lettering was how people managed to layer it on top of images to use as watermarks. I knew that in order to do so, I had to make the background of my scanned brush lettering transparent.

One of the ways that I knew how to create transparency was to use the magic wand tool in photo editing programs. However, this was best done on brush lettering that had crisp lines and edges. Trying to keep the texture of my brush lettering when using the magic wand tool was almost impossible. With brush lettering, you often want to preserve the brush strokes, so I did some research. I then found the simplest way to create a transparent background using your scanned brush lettering, with just a few clicks of your mouse.

To do this, I use a free photo editing program called Paint.NET. It is actually comparable to Photoshop, provided you use plugins. First, you’ll need to download the program Paint.NET, and then download and install the dpy plugin. From this, we’ll be using the Black and Alpha+ function.

zuer only 2

Open up your scanned image into Paint.NET. Here, I’ll be using the new Zuer Designs brushed lettered section of the logo as my example. You’ll notice that in the ‘z’ and the ‘r’, there are brush texture bits that I want to preserve.

transp 1

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All you want to do next is click on Adjustments, then Black and Alpha+, then hit OK. Don’t play with any of the settings.

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Your final brush letters should be on top of a white and grey checkerboard. That means the background is transparent! Save your image as a PNG file to preserve the transparency.

That’s it! How simple was that? If I had known this little trick earlier, I would never have had to use the magic wand tool for so long! I do hope this short tutorial has helped you out!

Stay creative!


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  • Reply hannahswifi January 8, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Thank you so much!! I’ve been wondering about brush lettering transparents for ages now….

    <3, hannah

    • Reply Jo Cheung January 8, 2016 at 9:16 pm

      I’m so glad it’s helped! 😊

  • Reply Williamnit May 21, 2016 at 6:20 am

    I value the article post.Thanks Again. Will read on… Gemmel

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