How to Center a Name or Phrase

Ever wonder how to center a name or phrase between something when your painting a piece of pottery?  Here’s an easy technique adapted from way back in the dark ages, before computers and word processing software, when typewriters ruled the day and you had to manually center words on the paper.  We’ll use the tray from the Signature Plate post to illustrate how its done.

We’ll be adding the “Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary” along the top edge, there are a total of 30 letters.

If we divide 30 in half we get 15 letters on one side of the center and 15 letters on the other side.  That makes the middle of “Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary” right between “D” and “D” and that is where we start.  Paint the first “D” just to the left of the center point.

Working from right to left our next letter is “E” just to the left of the “D” followed by “W”.

Keep going until you finish the whole left side of your word or phrase.  If you have trouble spelling backwards, try this…write the whole phrase down on a piece of paper, draw a line in the middle of the phrase or word and concentrate on one letter at a time.  Instead of trying to spell “Happy 50th Wed” backwards in your head, you’ll be working on one letter at a time..ex. “D”, “E”, “W”, etc..

Next comes the right side.  For this you’ll be working from right to left, like you normally write.  Its still a good idea to refer to your cheat sheet and go “D”, “I”, “N”, etc. instead of trying to spell “ding Anniversary” in your head.

Now do “Walt & Gen” the same way.  First work right to left from the center.

Then finish up left to right, one letter at at time.

After you get all the letters on…volia! you’ve centered all the lettering right where you want it.  All without using a computer!

It may seem like a lot of work but its really not.  After you do it one time, you’ll be an old pro.  Who knows, you may even dig out your old manual Royal typewriter and…on second though, probably not.

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