Digitizing Calligraphy from Sketch to Vector

Molly Suber Thorpe, Calligrapher & Graphic Designer

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15 Videos (1h 53m)
    • Welcome!

      3:51
    • Selecting A Word or Phrase

      9:21
    • Supplies for Sketching Script

      6:03
    • Determining Your Lettering Style

      8:06
    • Drawing Imitation Calligraphy

      2:36
    • Refining Your Chosen Sketch

      11:05
    • Tracing Your Refined Sketch

      5:58
    • Calligraphing with Pointed Pen

      7:38
    • Inking with Felt Tip Pen

      2:54
    • Scanning

      3:22
    • Photoshop Step 1

      10:10
    • Photoshop Step 2

      14:23
    • Photoshop Step 3

      10:30
    • Illustrator Step 1

      12:08
    • Illustrator — Finishing Touches

      5:11

About This Class

In recent years calligraphers have felt an increased demand for two unique skills: modern flourishes that are elegant (without looking like they came out of the eighteenth century) and digitized calligraphy that can be used in print and online in the form of logotypes, advertising, title treatments, printed stationery, and beyond. In this course you will learn my favorite techniques for both skills as you are guided through all the steps of creating your own flourished, calligraphic logotype.

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Learning natural, purposeful flourishing techniques is important for any calligrapher or lettering artist, but especially for those who combine script with graphic design, as it is in high demand for calligraphy’s application in logo design, book covers, magazine title treatments, and just about all other forms of hand-drawn script.

What You'll Learn

  • Sketching. We’ll start with sketching, covering the basic rules of drawing script letters, and examining opportunities to add flourishes. You will learn to recognize the difference between purposeful flourishes — those that enhance a design — and extraneous ones — those that distract and impede legibility.
  • Adding Flourishes. With a polished sketch in hand, you will then calligraph the design, with emphasis on learning special techniques for calligraphing flourishes.
  • Ink It. With the help of a lightbox we’ll ink our polished sketch using traditional calligraphy supplies: a pointed pen and black ink.
  • Digitizing. Then the computer fun starts! We will bring our design into the computer and polish it further in Photoshop, then vectorize it in Illustrator. I’ll teach you some special techniques for making sure your final logotype retains the integrity of the stroke contrast, including the charming imperfections of the fine hairlines, that it had as ink on paper.

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What You'll Make
In this class you will design a word or very short phrase in a flourished calligraphic style to be used as a logotype (or any other sort of type treatment). We'll then walk through the digitizing and vectorizing process.

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Check out Molly Suber Thorpe's new how-to guide: Modern Calligraphy: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Script Calligraphy (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013)

Looking for the Calligraphy I class? It's Molly Jacques' Introduction to the Art of Modern Calligraphy

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415 of 420 students recommendSee All

Gorgeous teaching!!!
Sandra Brezina-Krivda

Graphic designer, lover of creative letters

Molly does a wonderful job of breaking down each task into clear, easy steps along with many helpful tips, explanations and alternative methods. Her teaching style is very easy to understand and follow. I've been stuck between draft sketch and final, so this has helped make a HUGE difference in my process. Her years of industry expertise are priceless - I highly recommend her class!

8,527

Students

114

Projects

Molly Suber Thorpe

Calligrapher & Graphic Designer

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Molly Suber Thorpe is an award-winning graphic designer, calligrapher, and bestselling author. She is credited as a driving force behind the modern calligraphy movement and achieved renown for her book, Modern Calligraphy: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Script Calligraphy. Her second book, The Calligrapher's Business Handbook, guides lettering artists in crafting a thriving freelance career.

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Since its release, Modern Calligraphy has sold over 60,000 copies, been translated into Chinese and Spanish, and was named an "Amazon Favorite Craft Book" of 2013. Her book’s success led Molly to develop calligraphy workshops, which she teaches to sold-out classes as time permits.

Molly's work has been featured in The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Martha Stewart Weddings, Los Angeles Times, Country Living, Buzzfeed, and Style Me Pretty. Her client list includes Google Cultural Institute, Martha Stewart Weddings, Michael Kors, Fendi, J. Jill, and Victorio & Lucchino.

After spending nearly a decade in Los Angeles, Molly currently lives in Athens, Greece with her partner, a fashion photographer, and their incorrigible Bengal cat, Mr. Marlowe.

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+ Portfolio: plurabellestudio.com

+ Instagram: @plurabellestudio

+ Molly's Calligraphy Workshop News Bulletin

+ Calligrafile.com is Molly's online resource website for lettering artists

+ Molly's books:

     1. Modern Calligraphy: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Script Calligraphy

     2. The Calligrapher's Business Handbook: Pricing & Policies for Lettering Artists (new!)