Sunday, June 15, 2014

Making Words Look Good

By: Julie L. Cleveland

By definition, an artist is someone who is engaged in any of the ways that art can be created, demonstrated or practiced. Such is someone who paints with oils or words. It is someone who works with paper or clay. It is the one who can see things beyond what is visible to the naked eye. It is the one who sees from their imagination. By that definition, we are all artists, but only a few use that ability to create for the enjoyment of themselves or others.

I was recently introduced to word clouds. I didn’t know what a word cloud was, but I had seen them before. As soon as I got my hands on the word cloud generator, the artist in me rather erupted spouting words that I wanted to cloud.

Every day, I see the sun set in the west and cast a purple shadow onto the Bridge Mountains to the east of me. Until I saw that, I never understood the words, purple mountain majesty. So, for my first choice at the word cloud, I sang America the Beautiful.



As a writer, I see potential in this expression, and as an artist, I see a product that would be a very cool print.

There are a few word cloud sites that offer a place to play. Some are free, and others have pay services attached to them.

The first example was created in Wordle, and it is one of my favorite word cloud generators, but you cannot just save the image, so I did a screen shot for my example here. The second sample is from Word it Out and decent enough, but not my favorite.

This one is my favorite, and it is a pay site that I will pay for when I get my words together. ImageChef is a lot of fun, and it gives you the opportunity to design your words into shapes.


This one has a lot of potential from an artistic point of view, and it has commercial potential.

Here is a website that has compiled a list of the word cloud software sites that may be of interest. SmashingApps. If you like to play with graphics and new programs that help create websites and other fun stuff, you will love Smashing Apps.

Say something to the word cloud!


Julie and Blu



  1. Never knew these are called word clouds and that there are apps to create them. Love your idea and the way it came out in all three instances. :)

  2. Wow! What a lot of fun! The third one is also my favorite. Hmmmm . . . feel some play coming on.

  3. How fun this is! I'll be playing for sure :-)

  4. Love it love it love it.
    Artist is such a wide ranged term. Jewelry artisans, traditional artists, word artists.... etc.... etc.... etc....
    must try out these word clouds sometime :)

  5. Now I know what those type of images are called. Looks like a fun way to play with words to create a new effect. Thanks for sharing!

  6. What a great introduction to word cloud software. I've never used these apps, but thinking in this way is a good clinic for teaching skiing (or anything, I would imagine) We've workshopped with other instructors using word clouds. I love your idea for making them "art"

  7. This blog warmed my heart. I first saw purple mountains as my family moved to California from the Midwest -- long ago. As we were leaving the Arizona Desert, I saw the majestic Sierras in the distance and they were PURPLE! I knew I would love this place! Thanks, Julie.

  8. Thank you for highlighting and researching some of the different word cloud generators. I like the one from Wordle and imageChef. Do you know, off hand, what the licensing or copyright rules are for images created using these word cloud generators? (I'm thinking of their potential as artwork to base embroidery designs off of.)

  9. I have used word clouds sometimes to put my item descriptions in and see what they look like. They are cool to look at.