Digitizing Hand Lettering: From Sketch to Vector (Lettering II)

By ·Hand Lettering Artist

Class Project

Create a deliverable vector from a hand-lettered sketch

Do you love making hand lettering, but feel that there must to be a better way to approach digitizing your work?

I want to show you the methods and processes I've discovered for getting the best results when converting hand lettering into digital format. I'm going to share the different techniques I use for various types of projects so you can apply what works best for you. 

What You'll Learn:

  • Getting Sketches Onto the Computer. We will go over optimal scan settings, but we'll even talk about how to get good results if all you have is a smartphone camera.
  • Digitally Preparing Sketches.We'll look at ways to edit your files before converting to vector, and I'll also show some approaches I use for editing and coloring hand-lettered sketches in raster format in cases where a vector isn't required.
  • Creating Organic-Style Vectors. Our primary focus will be on digitizing hand lettering in a manner that retains the organic, hand-made style.
  • Creating Precise Vectors. While there's no substitute for repetitious practice when it comes to taming the unwieldy beast known as the Pen Tool, I'll be going over where to optimally place your points and other ways I go about producing manually crafted vectors. 

What You'll Make

I'll be giving you tips and tricks I've picked up for tweaking your vectors to get the results you want faster and easier. By the end of this class you will create a deliverable vector from a hand-lettered sketch.


This is an intermediate level class because prior experience with lettering and Photoshop and Illustrator is required. Download Adobe Illustrator and ideally Photoshop as well for a free trial at Adobe.com.

Level: Intermediate

Sean McCabe

Hand Lettering Artist

I'm Sean McCabe - a Hand Lettering Artist and Type Designer in San Antonio, TX. I produce quality design products and apparel with a handmade aesthetic through my brand, seanwes. 

I've been drawing letters since I was a kid—long before I knew what "typography" was. I have an insatiable desire for creating, and my fondness type continues to increase with the years. Whether it's meticulously crafting custom type logos, or rendering my hand lettering for the next product, digitizing these works is an important part of my process and one that I hope I can share some insight.

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