The First Steps of Hand-Lettering: Concept to Sketch (Lettering I)

By ·Letterer

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Class Project

Hand-letter sketch your favorite quote, title or phrase

My name is Mary Kate McDevitt and I'm proud to welcome you to my Skillshare class, where we will cover the first steps of lettering.

If you find letters beautiful and want to turn your handwriting into artful drawings, this is the class for you. It will cover the fundamentals of hand-lettering - and, while it is geared towards beginners, even skilled letterers will learn new tips on what to avoid when lettering, how to create a more conceptual hand-lettered illustration and how to make a clean final drawing ready to scan.

In this class, we'll work with different types of applications for lettering. Start with your favorite quote, title or phrase. Consider where it will end up: a poster, magazine article, book, greeting card, sign, label, or T-shirt. The focus will be on bridging this gap - on translating your idea into a beautiful hand-lettered final drawing. 

I believe the first steps of lettering to be the most important - and yet, these are often rushed through (or skipped entirely!). By building a new routine around a well thought-out concept and layout, you will position yourself to make faster and smarter decisions when it comes to lettering.

This class will be broken down into 4 units: 

1. Researching and Brainstorming. You'll learn how to research and brainstorm ideas for your hand-lettered phrase, as well as different possible applications. 

2. Sketching. You'll learn how to sketch out concepts that fit your idea. 

3. Exploring Styles. You'll learn how to develop a clear concept and explore styles appropriate to the application - all while keeping your style. 

4. Finalizing. You'll learn how to finalize a drawing that is ready to scan. 

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Also see: The Final Steps of Hand-Lettering (Lettering II).  

Prerequisites

This is a beginner-level class, which means no prior lettering skills are required to participate. You'll need all your favorite drawing materials; sketchbook, paper, tracing paper, pencil, soft pencil, pen and micron pen.

Level: Beginner

Mary Kate McDevitt

Letterer

My name is Mary Kate McDevitt, and I've been working as a full time freelance letterer since 2010. I've had the privilege of working for a number of great clients, including Nintendo, Sesame Street, Nike, O Magazine, Chronicle Books and CMYK Magazine and more. I take on a variety of projects; everything from editorial illustrations to headlines for advertising, to book covers, journals, posters, wine labels, and products.

I live and work in Brooklyn, NY with my boyfriend, the screen printer Fred DiMeglio, and my fluffy cat Peppy Mew Mew.

For more information and to view my entire portfolio visit marykatemcdevitt.com

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    • 11 Video Lessons
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    • 97% Positive Reviews (147)
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    Enroll for $9.95/month
    or Purchase for $20

    Free With Membership

    Become a member to get access to this class for only $9.95 a month. Or, purchase individually for the list price.

    Learn More