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Digitizing Calligraphy from Sketch to Vector

Molly Suber Thorpe, Calligrapher & Graphic Designer

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15 Videos (1h 53m)
    • Welcome!

    • Selecting A Word or Phrase

    • Supplies for Sketching Script

    • Determining Your Lettering Style

    • Drawing Imitation Calligraphy

    • Refining Your Chosen Sketch

    • Tracing Your Refined Sketch

    • Calligraphing with Pointed Pen

    • Inking with Felt Tip Pen

    • Scanning

    • Photoshop Step 1

    • Photoshop Step 2

    • Photoshop Step 3

    • Illustrator Step 1

    • Illustrator — Finishing Touches


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.


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.


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.




+ Check out my two 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!)

+ Follow my Instagram and tag me in your projects: @plurabellestudio

+ Sign up for my Workshop News Bulletin to stay informed about my upcoming classes.

+ Visit, my newest venture: a massive online resource guide for lettering artists and creative freelancers, with 1,000+ recommended supplies, books, online classes, and helpful links.



439 of 444 students recommendSee All

Very informative! I learned alot of great details on this subject. I will probably watch it again.
Yes, very in depth and useful
Gorgeous teaching!!!
Sandra Brezina-Krivda

Graphic designer, lover of creative letters





Molly Suber Thorpe

Calligrapher & Graphic Designer

I work as a freelance lettering artist and graphic designer, specializing in hand-lettered branding and spot calligraphy. Most of my work starts as ink on paper but ends up being digitized for a variety of applications. Just about all my non-work hours are spent on creative endeavors, from knitting and Tunisian crochet to illustration (which I'm slowly but steadily learning!).

>>> See my portfolio

I'm lucky to have worked with some awesome clients over the years, from Go...

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