Poster on Impermanence: FastStone Image Viewer

When I was at the Taiping Temple besides organising events I was having to adverstise them also and was therefore making posters every week to let people know what events we had coming in the temple.

I became quite expert at quite quickly getting up what I hope were eye-catching and attractive posters in an attempt to interest people in our events.

For the most part the posters were made in a humbly named programme: the FastStone Image Viewer, which is a free download for Windows.

Despite the name there is really much more you can do with it than simply browse your images, and it is in fact a fully-featured image editor as well as browser.

To make the poster related to yesterday’s blog there were several steps involved. Here is the original photograph, which was taken at the Chetiya Giriya Aranya, when I was staying in Sri Lanka:

The Buddha's Parinibbana
The Buddha’s Parinibbana

The first thing we have to do is change the canvas size, so we have somewhere to write in. This is easily done in FastStone, using the resize canvas facility. The original image is 1280px x 960px, and we want to keep proportions, but double the height and make the background black:

Changing the canvas size and setting the background colour
Changing the canvas size and setting the background colour

The next thing is to write in the text, which can be done using the Draw Board facility, where you can set the font (I use a special font for the diacritics, so this is important), the colour (I used a colour-picker to match the skin colour in the photo), and many others settings we are not using here:

Writing in the text in Pali and English
Writing in the text in Pali and English

and some more text in a different colour and size of font, using italic text this time:

Writing in some more text
Writing in some more text

The poster is now ready to be saved. For working purposes I normally keep a .png file, which has a reasonable balance between quality and output size, but for publication I normally use .jpg. Here is the finished poster:



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