Digital Lettering: Designing Typography for Headlines in a Visual Layout

Alex Trochut, Designer

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10 Lessons (1h 37m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Introduction

    • 3. Finding Inspiration

    • 4. Choosing an Approach

    • 5. Digitizing an Idea

    • 6. Building the Headline

    • 7. Final Layout

    • 8. Bonus: Airbrush Drips

    • 9. Bonus: Vector Minerals

    • 10. More Creative Classes on Skillshare

13 students are watching this class

Project Description

Letter a headline from a favorite publication.


Design a headline for the opening spread of a magazine article. The goal of this project is to play with letterforms, think about topic and tone, and create some one-of-a-kind editorial lettering. It's perfect for lettering enthusiasts as well as pros looking to add some fun to a portfolio. Depending on your experience, this project may take you between 25 minutes and 3 hours total.

  • Start by collecting inspiration from photo portfolios, museums, magazines, and blogs. Look for ways that type is used in interesting ways. Then, choose your article. You'll be recreating its headline, so find one on a topic you find interesting and fun.
  • To recreate your letterforms: sketch your ideas, choose a font that matches your creative vision, then create custom vectors for your letterforms. Add textures and details, then build out all the letters you need to create your final headline.
  • For the final piece, measure your favorite magazine to help determine the size, or go with the standard 8x10 inches for the page size. If you really want to go far, lay out your letterforms as an actual headline for the opening magazine spread, and integrate the copy, author byline, and any photographs. Share your final layout in the gallery.

Most importantly, have fun!


Share your completed headline in the project gallery. A complete project will include:

  • Inspiration images and/or moodboard
  • Link to your article and headline
  • 3-5 concept sketches
  • Basic font outline for your headline and/or custom vectors
  • Final headline
  • Final layout (optional)


For this project, you will need:

  • Paper, sketchbook, and drawing materials for sketching

  • Scanner or camera to capture sketches

  • You can use Adobe Illustrator or other vector software programs of your choice as we won’t be covering specific software features

Also be sure to download the step-by-step class guide below!


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