Tuesday, March 4, 2014

How to Use Word Clouds to Create Stunning Graphic Designs

As writers, we work with words.  Today I’m going to share with you part one of a two part series about word cloud creation tools.  Wordle is a tool that has been around for a while.  Most of us have seen Wordle Word Clouds. Wordle allows you to choose font, color and arrangement of the words to make very attractive visual representations of the words you input.  The feature that I love most about Wordle is that the more times a particular word or is input, the larger the word becomes in the final design.  This is a fun way to analyze your text.  For example, I took the text of Dr. Seuss’ Oh the Places You’ll Go and made a word cloud out of it.  I thought it was interesting that the words waiting and go showed up so large in the design.  It’s kind of fun to see how those two words pop out of the design.

I have a PDF of these steps at the bottom of this post.  

It’s really simple to create a basic Wordle.  Simply copy and paste in your text.  (There is a more advanced set of features which we’ll look at later in the tutorial.) Then hit GO.

You’ll see that it randomly arranges the words, chooses fonts and colors for you.  If you like it, swell.  If you don’t, all you need to do is make some adjustments.