Someone asked me, how wide she should cut her strips for a certain project where she needs to fit her word into a defined space. Have to say, that I've never tried to think my way through it - I just start working and make adjustments as needed, but I decided to graph it out and see if I could figure it out that way.
I cut the graph paper 8" x 27" and I didn't know if the letters were supposed to hit the edges or not, so I decided to leave an inch around the entire thing. For one thing, it's a lot easier to make a block bigger by adding on wider borders than it is to make it smaller if you overshot it (if you've already pieced it all together anyway).
I had fun drawing this out - similar to piecing it, but a whole lot quicker (and probably more boring since I can't have accidents doing it this way). To fit this space, I would cut the largest letter strips 2.5" and the narrowest 1" and for the background the narrowest would be 7/8" (that's what I use to get a quarter inch, which is what I used between the letters). I used the widest "strip" for the main chunk of all the letters, altho the i and r are a quarter inch narrower.
It would be easy to make adjustments to this, such as leaving a half inch between letters instead of a quarter inch, and making the letters go even higher and lower. If you use different fabrics for the letters, you could leave out the background fabric in between the letters and just join them up.
This is just a mock-up to get an idea of what the finished product would look like - please please please use something like this as a guide, not specific instructions.