Readers’ Request: Create Your Own Subway Art

Subway art is hot, right?!
Well even I didn't realize how hot.
My inbox is FULL of comments and questions concerning this birthday subway art for Little Man's big Toy Story birthday bash.
Well, you asked for it... you got it!
Here is a little Photoshop tutorial.  You can easily create your own subway art with just a basic knowledge of Photoshop.  (By the way, I use Photoshop Elements, and love everything about it!  I don't think I will ever upgrade to the full version of Photoshop... Elements does the job for me!)
Start out by creating a new blank file in Photoshop.  You can customize the size.  I made my file 16x20 because I wanted to print it at this size.  I set it at 300 ppi (pixels per inch) so I was sure to have high resolution.
This is how your file will look.  I chose not to have a background color, so I left the background as is.  You could certainly have a colored background by filling it with the Paint Bucket tool.
Using the text tool, I started typing the lines.  I chose some Toy Story slogans as well as some slogans unique to Little Man.  I chose to type some lines in a "rainbow" effect with all 3 colors.  (You can change the colors as you go up at the top of your screen.) But most lines just use one color--the red, yellow, or blue.
I didn't pay a lot of attention to sizes of my fonts as I went along.  I would type my line, and then use the "Move" tool to drag my words to the proper size.  I was just careful to line up the beginning/end of each line so they were flush with each other so it would look like this...
I continued typing in all of my phrases and slogans, a line at a time.  I varied my colors in a pattern of blue-yellow-red with a few rainbow lines thrown in here and there.  It was a matter of trial and error to see how many total lines I would have room for.  I knew I wanted his name to stand out a lot, so naturally this was easy to make larger because it was so short.  I tried to vary the longer/shorter lines to get the right flow.
I actually decided to make one more NEW blank file (also 16x20), dragged my completed image inside, and then adjusted the size so it was just barely smaller.  It was important for me to have a bit of "wiggle room" around those edges.  I wanted the whole image to be centered on the page and I definitely did NOT want the edges to get cut off when printed.
Last step:  Just save the file as a JPEG image and save it in a location you can find easily when uploading it to your favorite photo printing shop!  I printed my image at Costco, threw it in a frame, and I was done!
Several of you have asked what fonts I used for this project. Here is a font profile from the project:
If you google any of these fonts, you can find them easily available for free download. I am a font-a-holic for sure.  Isn't it wonderful that so many are available for FREE?!
If you are creating your own Toy Story themed subway art (like me), here is the color profile I used for this project.  You can use the color codes to get the same exact shades I used.  (I matched mine to a digital Toy Story scrapbooking kit.)
Let me know if you still have any more questions.  I hope this helps you to venture out and create your very own subway art!  You can do it!
Have a great weekend, my friends!
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  1. Thank you for this wonderful tutorial, very helpful!

  2. Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} says

    Your fonts are too fun! Great tutorial. I'm wondering if I can come up with some fun things for one to go in my little guy's new big boy room. This is just the tutorial I needed to get me jump started!

  3. Crystal Annie says

    Thanks so much for the tutorial I am so clueless at Photoshop.

  4. awesome tutorial! i've always wondered… thanks! enjoy your friday! love, Jello

  5. Thank you so much! I just made 1 for my sons 2nd birthday in April…blues and greens because it's a frog party 🙂

  6. Kim @ Party Frosting! says

    great tutorial!

    hugs! Kim @ Party Frosting!

  7. ashleigh says

    thanks for sharing this!
    im so excited to make one!
    ahh =]
    i love photoshop =]

  8. Jen-CraftOManiac says

    HEY CUTENESS… GUESS WHAT??? YOU WON MY YOURS TRULY EASTER LOOT GIVEAWAY… ROCK ON! woot WOOT! happy for you! Send me an email at so I can get your mailing address. Have a super SATURDAY. xo jen

  9. Thank you so much for the tutorial! 🙂

  10. Last Minute Mel says

    Great tutorial…I am sure it made your little guy feel very special!

  11. Tammy @ she wears flowers says

    How did I miss this one? I'm normally not a huge fan of subway art, but this one is amazing–I love it! Thanks for sharing the fonts and color codes, too!

  12. Anonymous says

    Great tutorial, thanks so much for this . I have been seacrhing web for subway art tutorial and still trying to figure out how people make all these lovely labels for parties and weddings and sweet jars. Want to make some for the jars in my kitchen but myknowledge of photo shop is limted and I can't find a tutorial anywhere . If you knwo of a great place I would be so pleased to hear about it.

    Thankyou so much

  13. Thanks for the helpful tutorial, which guided me through the process in GIMP. It was much easier to do than I thought!

  14. I’ve been using PSE since our computer upgrade about a year ago, and I hate it. I really don’t understand what all the fuss is about. However, until I can afford the PS upgrade, PSE is what I’m stuck with. Thank you for the tutorial. Maybe now I can get through it on my own.

  15. Great article. I will be facing many of these issues as well.
    Learn to do scrapbooking recently posted..Learn to do scrapbookingMy Profile

  16. I really love and enjoy are your craft projects, especially the subway art! I was actually wondering if you have a tutorial on the Mickey Mouse subway art, or a template?

  17. Thank you for your post on how to make subway art with Photoshop Elements! I’m going to give it a try. I have had PS for a few months and have gone through some of the tutorials and find it overwhelming. I’ve seen subway art with vertical text. Do you know how to put in vertical text insubway art through PS?

    • Hi Carol! If your right click on your text tool, you will see several options come up, and one of them will change the direction of your text, so you can switch back and forth between horizontal and vertical texts. I hope that helps!
      Alison@Oopsey Daisy recently posted..DIY Milk GlassMy Profile

  18. I linked back to your post on my blog. Your tutorial was really helpful as I worked through photoshop for the first time:


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