Hack your hand lettering: Digitize, tweak, and print imperfect hand lettering work | Carolyn Haines | Skillshare

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Hack your hand lettering: Digitize, tweak, and print imperfect hand lettering work

teacher avatar Carolyn Haines, Design + Lettering + Music

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (1h 5m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Tools

    • 3. Lesson 1: Creating Guides on Paper

    • 4. Creating Guides with iPad & Procreate

    • 5. Lesson 2: Creating Iterations on Paper

    • 6. Creating Iterations with iPad & Procreate

    • 7. Lesson 3: Photoshop

    • 8. Conclusion

    • 9. Lesson 4: Illustrator

    • 10. Lesson 7 Finalize

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About This Class

If you’re not quite an experienced hand-lettering artist, it may be difficult, time-consuming, and frustrating to get just the right layout and execution of a hand-lettered piece on paper. Don’t give up!

I’m Carolyn from Loud River Creative, and I will take you through the workflow I use to digitally put together final lettering prints when the pieces aren’t quite perfect. You will learn how to combine the best bits of your hand-lettered work from paper or tablet and bring them into the computer to correct imperfections and create a final printable piece. You will be creating a vector version of your art (we’ll start by lettering your name) that can be printed at any size, in any color. Some basic experience with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator is beneficial, since those are the tools we will be using in class.

If you’re an artist, designer, or hobbyist looking for ways to tweak and digitize your hand-lettering or calligraphy, this class is for you!

Meet Your Teacher

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Carolyn Haines

Design + Lettering + Music


Carolyn Haines is a designer, artist and musician. She is hell-bent on making a creative living by living a creative life.

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1. Intro: Hey, guys, I'm Caroline. I'm a designer and hand lettering artists from Loud River Creative. And this class is called Hack your hand lettering. We're gonna be learning how to digitize and tweak in perfect hand lettering so we'll be learning how to make prints kind of like this one. And this is really class for people who are still in the middle of their lettering journey . So you probably done some practice. You taken some tutorials, your not quite where you want to be, but you want to start making stuff. And in my opinion, the world needs more stuff. We need more art. We need more artists, and people need to make stuff. And not just when you're a xgo good as you want to be, make stuff all along the way. But if you're a little self conscious, maybe your lettering has some wiggly lines for maybe you have you struggle with the letter s. Whatever the problem is, I'm gonna show you the method that I use to create lots of iterations of my lettering, either on pen and paper or on an iPad with an app called procreate. It's really great. So we'll cover both methods are really similar. Once you do, lots of iterations of your lettering will bring them into the computer. And I'll show you how to use Adobe Photoshopped, an illustrator, to digitize and vector rise your lettering so that you can come up with a polished finish piece that you're happy to share. And please, please share. It's all about making stuff, and you don't have to be the best artists in the world. You don't have to be at the end of your lettering journey. You don't have to be a professional. Just make stuff. It will make you so much better at practicing and will make you feel better about where you're at and where you're headed. I'm a huge proponent of making stuff all along the way, so you'll need some basic experience with Illustrator and Photoshopped you don't need on the software. I'll throw some links for free trials into the project description, but basically we're going to start by lettering your name. It's nice, simple one word, and I'm gonna take you all the way through the very beginning steps to creating a final printed piece, so I hope you find it helpful. Thanks for checking out the class. Let's get started 2. Tools: So the Children you for this method, no matter which medium you use. Whether you use the iPad or you use paper, you'll need Adobe Photoshopped in Adobe Illustrator. If you don't already have them, you can download a free trial. So just look in the project information in the class and I'll drop the Lincoln there so you can get those programs to try out. If you don't already have them the rest of the supplies, they're going to depend on the medium you wanna work in. If you want to work with an iPad. Pretty basic. You just need your iPad and a stylist. I use an apple pencil and we'll be using the procreate app. It's a couple bucks, but in my opinion it's totally worth it. So it's this guy here, so we'll get into some more detail about how this works. But it's a great app for lettering. So for this method, that's what will be using if you're in an iPad. If you don't want to work in an iPod, you wanna work from paper. Just any kind of regular letter sized printer paper will work. Um, you'll need a ruler pencil and eraser to create your guides. If you have some extra pencils, I take a couple together to create my guides and all show an example of how that works. It just makes it a little bit quicker to create guides that we're gonna work from. So you'll need, uh, pencil Arista rule for your guides. Once your guides air done, we'll start creating reiterations with a Pender markers. You don't need anything fancy. What you're really looking for is something that's dark black, if you have it so dark, thick and solid, um, Crayola markers will work perfectly fine. These are just the big old Figel regular Crayola markers, these air Crayola super tips. So they're sort of Korea was take on a brush, and then it was a little more flexible. So it'll start to write a little more like a brush pen, and it's a little thinner than these bigger, typical kind of grade school markers. But those will work fine. If you're into more kind of artist supply type of tools, these Air India ink are dispensed. It'll work great to on there just different sizes, but you'll notice that these laid down a solid black ink. There's no transparency anywhere like you would find if you were lettering with the water color or a really faded marker. That's just gonna make it trickier when you get in photo shop because basically, in photo shop, we need to separate the ink from the background. So if it's light or if it's transparent in places, it just makes that a little trick here. So you want a good black, solid ink and then something that's doesn't necessarily have to be this fat. It can be a little bit thinner. You just don't want anything that's too too thin to hairline, kind of on the more delicate up strokes. It's just gonna make it a little trickier when we get into Photoshopped and Illustrator. So for this learning face as I'm showing you the method, just I think some things got a little bit of meat to it. So yeah. Oh, and you'll also need almost forgot. You'll need smartphone if you're working from pen and paper, either a smartphone or scanner. And that's just to be able to take to get a photo of your lettering into the computers so that we can get it into Photoshopped in Illustrator and go from There. All right, that's all you need. Let's make some guys 3. Lesson 1: Creating Guides on Paper: the first thing we want to do before we start creating our lettering generations is creating guidelines down our page. So the end goal of these guides will be the same whether you're on paper or in the iPad. What? I'll show you how we create him both ways. So on paper, pretty much all you want is pairs of lines down your page. You want a consistent X height, which is if if you've studied lettering, you probably heard this term before. But it's just the spacing where lower case X would fit. So, uh, say a T or B. Something within a sender will come up above this, but like a lower case, A would sit right in right inside of this excite. So you want that to be the same all the way down your page, and it's not a strict you must stay within these guys kind of thing. It's more just a visual reference so that you know, when you're varying, you know that you're doing it. And in your final piece that variations like that can add they had interest in fun, but you want them to be intentional. You want to know when you're doing that. Otherwise there's a good chance it could look like a mistake rather than an intentional artistic choice. So you want pairs of lines all the way down the page with a consistent X height, and these are a bit dark. I just wanted you to be able to see them in the video. So, um, we'll set this aside and I'll show you a couple different ways that you can do this and save time. If all you have is a pencil and a ruler, you want to do just really light really like pencil lines, cause we'll be erasing these pencil marks before you snap a photo or scan your lettering in . So you want pairs like that all the way down the page. Now, the space in between the lines like this space here, you connive all that. That doesn't need to be precise, but you want enough space that if you are writing, you know, a lower case, why and you like doing big scoop guys like that, you want enough space that it's not gonna get tangled with the line below it. Same thing if you're going up, you know, big lower case be or something like that. So I leave about an inch of space here. Um, but it's all gonna kind of be relative. Teoh. How large the like, Teoh, how large you like to write. I tend to write kind of small, just it feels a little more natural a little closer to my, um to my handwriting. So what I do to create these lines is like, take two pencils together because that space here is about It's about the height that I want to write anyway, so this just makes it much quicker. You get nice, consistent lines all the way down without having to kind of pick up your ruler for every single line. If you write a little bit bigger, I just wedge like 1/3 pencil in the middle there. So if you like to, you know, kind of more big organic brush style lettering. If you're you still lettering larger, you can just dio extra pencils like that. Go on. You know, I'm starting to get a little cricket, but it's not super important. You just kind of wanna. It's just most important for these lines to be the excite to be consistently spaced you want light lines and you want enough space in between the line pairs for your senders and dissenters and another little trick you can use instead of the double pencil thing is, if you just grab book Great book, by the way, I totally recommend it. But you can just grab kind of the spine of a book that's about the right size and use that to make your guys all the way down the page. So your goal is like this all the way down the page, and then we're just gonna fill her up with lots of different versions. And if you need a couple of these makes money, you need all right now I will show you how to do the same thing in procreate. 4. Creating Guides with iPad & Procreate: Now that you've got the basics, I'm gonna show you how to create guidelines using the procreate quick lines tool. So just create a new document. I usually just use this. The very top prompts screen size, only better. You slow, huh? We'll be quick. Um, so once you're in your canvas, it doesn't matter if you work horizontally or vertically. It's totally up to you. So I just kind of mostly film my screen, But where I still want to be able to see the edges of the page here. And there's a greeted background. Uh, that's pretty faint behind your behind your canvas here. So those will just help you line up these quick lines that we're gonna create. So first of all, go to your brush tool scroll all the way to the left, to the sketching category, Select the six B pencil, close this, top your color picker and just pick something like a bright some kind of bright color, like a bright pink or bright blue, something that will stand out from your black lettering so you can go ahead and close this , um, over here on the side, make sure the capacity of your brush is all the way up the bottom slider here. And the top slider is your brush size. And, um, this one doesn't really matter is much so maybe just kind of drop it somewhere in the middle there. And so the quick line tool and procreate is a quick method for making perfectly straight lines. So rather than kind of trying to do something like this and it's all wiggly attack with two fingers 200 the quick line tool lets you draw. So if you start drawing something kind of straight and leave your pen down, it will snap to a perfectly straight line like that, and then you can move. As long as you don't look for your pen up, you can move the line around to where you want, and there you go. So rather been trying to eyeball straight lines. Just draw quick line, leave your pen down at the end and then drag it to be perfectly straight. So I'm gonna undo. But that's the method that were going to use to create the lines in the same way that we did with our pencil. On paper, you want pairs of lines that are consistently spaced and then, but the space between the pairs doesn't matter as much. So let's just start making all the way across here some quick lines. And this is where in the background, this grid you can just kind of. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it'll help you line up to be a little closer to straight. So go ahead and make your first pair of lines like that. So now that you have a pair, we're just Instead of drawing pairs all the way down, it's another little shortcut to go to your layers palette. Here, um, swipe to the to the left and you'll get a couple of options here. Click duplicate. So that's going to just make a copy of this pair of lines that we just did. So with this duplicate copy selected contact. The layer icon again will close that panel. Go over here to the kind of mouse cursor that's your move tool, so that will select this new layer we've created with new pair of lines at the bottom Here , there's some icons in a couple of options. There's free form and magnetic, and you want to select magnetic for what we're gonna do here and that will just keep it will keep your movement more constrained because what do you want to do is drag these while they're still highlighted. Drag him straight down and this sort of blue line that it's creating in the center here that's just telling you it's it's moving it perfectly straight down. You're not weaving off to one side or another, so just bring this pair down a little bit and you can tap your move. Tool again will undo your selection. It's not even bring new Caroline, so just do that all the way down your page. By continuing to duplicate the previous layer. Select move, make sure you're in magnetic and just slide it straight down. So now I have guidelines all the way down my page, which is exactly what we want. Now when you go to your layers palette, um, kills all these layer one layer one layer one, and it just might be might be kind of annoying. It's completely up to you, but I like to keep my layers palette pretty clean. So what you're gonna do is if you kind of lightly swipe these to the right. You can select the mall and they'll turn kind of a dark blue when they're selected. And then there's an icon up here that has two lines kind of nested under a top. So that's gonna group whatever layers selected. So tap that, and it's gonna pop everything into a new layer group that you can collapse. So I like to tap the name here. You'll get the option to rename and let's just call this guides. All right, so now we can start creating our iterations. 5. Lesson 2: Creating Iterations on Paper: way of our guide strong. We're going to start creating our lettering in orations. For starters, when you're learning this method, I recommend Just pick something that's one word. So you get the hang of the method and then once you're comfortable with it, you can create no longer phrases quote. So our little fun sayings that you like, but just to learn it, let's just stick with one word. So I've made a little larger guidelines. I want to use my my chunky, uh, India ink pen here, my big marker. I'm gonna be lettering. The name Oliver. It's gonna be a little fictional puppy. I'm gonna turn into a print towards the end so you'll see just kind of, ah, finished piece. Come together. So once you have your guys, just start start lettering, whatever your word is, and we're just gonna do it over and over on, fill the page up, give ourselves lots of options. So I'm gonna dio kind of a chunkier, chunkier style. Just something kind of fun, maybe fitting for a little puppy. Now, if you see stuff like this, I'm hoping you can see it in a video. Maybe I can get a little closer. So see Harrell like there's kind of just a wobbly like a bump in my, oh, they're in the upstroke on my V is kind of wobbly. That's the kind of stuff we can start to correct an illustrator. So that's what I mean, when, when you're still practicing or, you know, maybe you haven't warmed up or you're testing out a different style or you're still settling into your own personal style. You might just keep running into that kind of stuff that just drives you crazy. But that's what we're gonna do is we're gonna take it into computer, and we can fix all of that and make it into a final piece that we're not embarrassed. Oh, my lines or so wiggly or, you know, I don't like that letter. We were gonna fix all of that stuff. So as you're still learning, this is a really great way to come up with complete products. Says you're still discovering your style or practicing your art. Or if you just want to dabble and you know, maybe you don't have the desire to become a super very professional lettering artists. Maybe you just like, hey, I want to make a fun print of my dog's name. There's nothing wrong with that. Just wherever you're at is fine. I'm just kind of showing you some ways that you can still get nice pieces no matter where you're at, so feel free to try different. Um, you know, different, uh, cases of letters. So feel free to try a lower Casey or an upper Casey or just different kind of fun versions . And you can dio more calligraphy style connected letters. I'll show you an illustrator how to cut them apart. But again, for this learning phase, this type of style is going to be a little bit easier. But, um, I know that our cursive and brush lettering is huge. It's a huge style. So I will show you how to cut pieces apart when you know if your letters air connected, we'll get into that. But this is just kind of the style that I wanna explore for my little puppy print. So just keep going and fill er up. And sometimes if you start to notice, you know, when I do my owes, like I'm always getting some little legally pieces and maybe I want some extra owes to give myself to work with. And you have a little extra spaces like this. I just kind of world to see, you know, you just keep doing them over and over the spins. Not bad. So when you get something, like just for a little star to help remind yourself I kind of like this the way this l and I are working together, I'm gonna put a little star by that. Put him too close to your letters because we'll have to cut around these in Photoshopped. But you just want a visual marker so that want to you scan it in. It'll be a little bit easier for you to go back and find the pieces that you like. So doing stuff like this will just I'm noticing that my my Oh, I see. No, I've drawn for and I don't I'm not totally happy with any of these. So wherever I have space, I'm just gonna get myself some extra Oops, some extra O's to choose from. So you might be saying, Why did I bother talking about X height when my lower case letters are almost never fitting within it and the excite doesn't it doesn't need to be a really rigid structure that you always work with them. Like I said, it's more to just give you a visual reference of when you are going above or below. And if you're consistently going above and then you draw letter right within here, it might send to look more like a mistake than an intentional variation in the size of your letters. So really, these air really just heared so that you can keep track of of when you're going outside them. How often? How far? It's just a visual reference to kind of give yourself a baseline of of in general when when someone looks at this, I want the eye to see pretty similarly sized letters. But I wanted to be fun. I wanted to bounce. I want some variation. That's what these guides will allow you to do is just to keep your eye on that. So you know when you're doing it, you're doing it on purpose, and it's not gonna be something that looks like a mistake in your finished piece. So in this example here, I like most of these letters. The E came out a little bit funky, so I'm gonna mark this one since there's a lot of stuff I like in it. And then later on, maybe I will go back and grab like this e or this one, or just one that I like a little bit better. So that's the kind stuff will be able to do in the computer is kind of fixing and replacing little bits like that. And you'll see that while I'm continuing to vary the different ways I'm writing each individual letter. Sometimes I'm kind of stacking them together more like puzzle pieces, sometimes their capital or lower case or slightly different styles of lower case. All that's fine. You just want to keep the relative thickness of your lines the same in the overall style, the same so that when you are picking apart pieces and putting them back together that you're finished sort of compilation, they all look like they belong together, so you don't have some letters that are kind of really thick and fun, and then others that air thin and wispy so you don't want to mix. You know what heavily mixed styles, but you can have a little fun within the styles. Okay, so I filled my pager and I marked a few as I went that I liked. But I'm gonna go back now that I can just kind of look at him with a fresh eye and mark the ones that I really like. So I like this last one that I did here. I'm kind of liking this guy the way that these letters fix our fit together. So just go through and Mark, um, you don't need a ton. I maybe 345 would be plenty. Uh, so just kind of make a note to yourself where the ones are that you like. And you know what? If you got through a whole page and there's not a single one that you like, that's totally fine. Make another page of guides and just just keep going. This isn't necessarily a, you know, a shortcut of how to make something awesome in five minutes. You know, a lot of times when you're still learning and art, if you want to do something like this and try and make finished piece, it might take you a little bit longer, but you can still end up with a piece that you like, and it really doesn't matter where your current skill level is. So go through and mark up the ones that you like. And then the next step will be Teoh, snap a photo and take these into the computer. Okay, Before we snap a photo or scan this into the computer, you don't want to erase all of your pencil lines all of these guides. So if you use the marketer that has kind of watering, something needs to dry. Let it dry completely or you will smear it all over the place. But once it's dry, just go ahead and race everything Okay? So once you have, once you have all your pencil lines removed, you're just gonna want to snap a nice clear photo with smartphone. Or you can scan this into your computer if you're going to scan it in. Um, I'd recommend just doing a like a J peg would be fine and about I wouldn't do any less than 300 dp I you want something that's gonna be big enough for us to work with, So if you scan it in 300 dp, I was a jape head that would be totally fine. Otherwise, just find, like, a table or something next to, ah, window. You just want kind of nice, even light. And then, um, you want to make sure there's nothing casting shadows onto your onto your piece. I'm I'm just from straight above it. As you can get. Just snap a nice clear photo on your phone, so that's really all you need. And then, if you want to just email it to yourself or however I usually just airdrop because I have Apple devices, I'll just airdrop this over to my computer and then we'll open this up in photo shop. 6. Creating Iterations with iPad & Procreate: Okay, so now the River Guide set up, we're gonna create lots of it orations that we can then bring into the computer. So same thing that we kind of went through on paper and pencil. We're just gonna do it in the app. So again, I have gone up here to make sure that my ink is black, that my pain colors black. That's gonna work best for this method. Go to your layers panel. Just create a new layer. You can tap it, select rename. And let's name this lettering and you can create as many of these layers as you need is. What we're gonna do is export a Photoshopped file and it's gonna maintain all these layers . So if you want to fill up three or four pages, go for it. We're going to start with just one, though, and then keep in mind when you're selecting your brush. Everything we talked about, make sure there's it's got a little bit of thickness and not any transparency. I'm gonna include a link to some brushes that you can import that I really like. Other than that, just try out different ones and see what works best for you and then using the's parallel guides that we set up. Just start. Oops. I wanna bring my brush size down a little bit over here. Make sure your rapacity is all the way up and just start creating all of your different letters you find. Sometimes you have Teoh try and find the sweet spot here, so I just kind of test. Do a couple scribbles to test and again you double tap toe undo. So that becomes really useful. But try not to undo. You know, if you draw funky letters, keep going. Now, when I get in tow, procreate and using my apple pencil of my style just kind of naturally starts to vary from when I have, uh, an actual marker and paper. And that's probably because I'm just I'm still learning. I'm, um I am not a super experienced lettering artist myself. Which is why I use my design knowledge to kind of, um make my pieces just seem a little more polished of the end. I got this first row. It seems a little heavy to me, so I'm gonna bring my brush sides down a tiny bit more. And you know, if you do something like that if you write a few and they just don't kind of feel right, you know, try a different weight for each row or a different lettering style. And when we pick him apart and put him back together, you want to keep similar styles together so that it seems cohesive. But for this stage, feel free to experiment and try doing stuff like this when you're creating your iterations . You'll notice that in these previous versions, I've kept my O and L separate and here have just I've connected them. So, you know, for this particular word, it might not be great, cause it might start to look like a lower case D rather than a known and L. But even, you know, here my, I and V are not connected. And here they are connected. So just little things like that that can start to add some variety and interest. Feel free to make each version a little bit different. They don't all have to be, you know, trying to be identical. Remember, you don't have to like the whole piece for the whole word. In order to start in this one, all I really like is, though, but I'm gonna start. So I remember that That was a pretty good option for me. Okay, so now that I have a full page of options, I have a couple that I starred. Now we're ready to export this into the computer. So, um, just to make things a little smoother for when you get into Photoshopped, just tap the layers palette, uncheck the guides layer so that all you see is your lettering. You don't see your guides anymore. Go appear to the top left and top the wrench icon. You're gonna click, share the share iPhone and then share artwork. We're gonna ask you to choose format, select PSD. That's Photoshopped file, and then it's gonna ask you where you want to send it. So if you want to email it to yourself, um, that totally works. You can send it to a drop box in that. But since I have my computer is right beside me here. I just airdrop for my iPad to my I Mac. And then we will go into the computer and fire up Photoshopped 7. Lesson 3: Photoshop: Okay, now that we have images of our lettering imported either from the photo we took with our smartphone or from the Photoshopped file we exported from procreate, we're gonna bring these into photo shop. So just go ahead and you can drag. I have both these images on my desktop, so just drag. We'll start with the paper one overtop the photo shop. I come and it will open up like this. So, um, as we sat in the description, this course we're assuming not some basic familiar to a Photoshopped. You don't have to be a a master, but, um, I'm not gonna go through every last detail of explanation and Photoshopped. So hopefully if you sit a little bit before Thean goal of this stuff is to basically get a version of our lettering that is close to as close to pure black and pure white as we can get. And we're gonna hide all of these versions that we didn't necessarily think needed a star. We're gonna hide those from view, and that is the basic goal of photo shop. And once we get to that point, we can bring it into illustrator. So the first thing to do. I mean, unlock this background layer. I'm gonna go to my crop tool by hitting, see on my keyboard, and I'm gonna crop in just around the lettering. So there's a little bit of background, my desk or whatever was in the background. So I'm just gonna crop in and hit enter so that I'm only looking at my lettering and then over here in the layers panel, I'm gonna create a layer mask by clicking the icon at the bottom. Looks like a rectangle with circle in it. So that's here and create a mask clear over here. And, um, basically, we're just gonna get rid of all of these versions of our lettering that we didn't start, but we're not gonna delete them. So this is a method of nondestructive editing, so we're going to remove it from view, but we're not gonna erase it from the file. We're just gonna hide it that way. If we need to get back to it, we can. So I'm gonna make sure my foreground layer is solid black. I'm gonna go to my paintbrush icon here. I'm going to select a brush that's not too soft. I don't want really fuzzy edges. I don't. I want to be bleeding too far around the outside of the brush, and I'm gonna select something that's about the X height of my lettering. Here you can drag to the right size and then just go through and pain over everything that is not starred. And that's just gonna hide it from view. And you'll start to see this kind of gridded pattern come through. That's, um that's just indicating a transparent background. So you're gonna get rid of everything. And if this painting is a little too tedious for you, you don't want to go through all this. Another way you can do it is by selecting your marquee tool and just making drawing rectangles around the bits you want to get rid of. If you hold down shift, that will let you add to the selection that you have. So I usually just kind of go through like this, get all the different that's that I haven't put Star around six when I wanted tea. These can all go once I have everything selected hit option the week on my keyboard, and that will fill anything that selected with the foreground color. So it looks like I missed the little some slippers here. So select that again. Option delete. And now I've got only my pieces of lettering that were started. So now I'm gonna go add some adjustment layers to try and get this closer to pure black and pure white. Right now, this is kind of a really dark gray and a really light grade. So the closer to peer black and white, you can get the easier. It will be an illustrator. So go over here. Top your adjustment layers icon. It's a little circle that's half filled. I always start by adding a levels adjustment layer. Pull these sliders and to about where you start to see these white. This white graph start to spike. So pull those around the edges and you'll see how it's starting to affect the lettering. Here. My blacks have gotten really nice and dark, and my whites have gotten lighter. So just mess with ease and get these as close to black and white as you can. Try and get rid of the texture in the background, the texture of the paper. But if you start pulling them too far, you'll see that it'll just start to look kind of funky. You'll get some weird bands that appear like this, and it just it'll start to look weird. So if it's starting to look weird, you push the boundaries a little too far, so just back out. Then let's try another adjustment. Layer the other one. I like Teoh, always go to his brightness and contrast. So I bumped up the contrast here, and that'll dio usually a pretty good job of making my black starker and my whites whiter. I'll bump up the brightness just a little bit to get those whites nice and bright, but I don't want to bump it up to the point that I'm affecting the black. So this is pretty good. This is about the level that illustrator will be able to interpret the way we want it to. So this is looking pretty good. Once you get to this point, go ahead and say the PNG so file save as um, I usually just say, ready for illustrator in your file format. Select PNG. I'm just gonna save it right to my desktop. On this pop up, just click, OK, okay. And that version is now ready to bring into Illustrator. Now, if you're coming from procreate, all you really need to do is the masking steps. So rather than going through all of that again, I've already done it in this file and I'll just show you how it comes out. So this is my procreate Photoshopped file that I exported after I've done the mask. So if you go over here, you'll see my layer mask. It has already been applied. If I disable it momentarily, you'll see this is how my file came in from procreate. So it gives me all the layers that I had in procreate, which is really nice, which allows me to just click off background quickly, create my mask layer and get rid of everything that I don't need. So once I get here, same thing. I'm gonna go file, save abs. I'm gonna say this is a PNG that I can bring it into illustrator So PNG for format menu. And I'm just gonna say, ready for illustrator Say that to my desktop. We'll click. OK, and now we're ready for vector rising 8. Conclusion: all right. We did it after all that work and from pen and paper or the tablet into the computer and digitizing Here is my final finished print of my imaginary dog, Oliver. And I'm really happy with it. And that's the thing that I love about this method is. I am not a great lettering artists. I'm out of professional level lettering artists. I've been lettering for about two years, but I don't practice every day like I should. I'm not as good as I wanted me, but sometimes I wanna make a point of an imaginary dog and I would like to letter it. And I want to be proud of what it looks like so I can take where I'm at skill wise and use the computer to just enhance that a little bit to smooth out imperfections and get me to a place that I am happy sharing, which, in my opinion, the world needs more art, winning more artists. And to do that people have to make stuff. And if you're not the best artists in the world, make stuff anyways. And if you can come across little tips and tricks like this so that you can personally feel better about whatever it is that you're making. I'm all for that. So I love this method. I've used it for prints like this. It's great for gift tags or greeting cards. I even use this method to create the logo for my business because I wanted something hand written that felt really like me. But I didn't want something that with wiggly lines for that looked unprofessional. So this is the method. I used to just take those things to the next level. So I hope you found this useful. If you created a project, please share it with the rest of the class. We would love to see it. And if you have any questions, drop a note in the discussion board and I will be glad to answer them or to do my best to answer them. So I hope you guys like this class. Thanks again for watching. We'll see next time 9. Lesson 4: Illustrator: So now that I've saved up my PNG's from Photoshopped, we're ready to take this into illustrator and back to rise. So this is where it gets a little tedious but really fun. There's a whole lot you can do, so the first thing room do is open. Illustrator. Let's create a new document, and I usually work. I just create something that's 1000 by 1000 pixels. I find it to just be a good Tommy, a good starting point. The color mode doesn't really matter, since you'll most likely be printing from a home printer. If you were printing from a professional printer, you need to be in see him like a color mode. But for our purposes here, it doesn't really matter. So here it's here, I've got my our board 1000 by 1000 pixels, and I'm going to zoom out some because when I drag this photo and, like I'm about to do the photos, probably gonna be pretty big and extend to the outside of this. So let's start with our PNG that we made from a pen and paper so you can just drive that from your desktop or wherever it is from a finder window right into illustrator came in really, really big. Which is fine because basically what we're gonna ask illustrator to do is to look at an image and create vector shapes from it. So vector shapes are just rather than pixels and specific points. It plots lines and mathematically calculates the you know, the arc of a line between two points basically turns it into a mathematical equation that can be scaled infinitely. So you can make an image really, really watered or really, really small and you want was inequality. So that's the benefit of taking your images from actual image files into vector files with Illustrator. So let's leave it off to the side here and leave it nice and big. Um, we're gonna use the image trace tool. So minds in my tool bar on the side here, If yours isn't, you can find it in the window menu just down here. Image trace some to drag this out here. Now I find when I'm doing lettering like this, the preset called black and white logo works really, really well. Surprisingly well. So feel free to try these different process. They're good for different things, but basically this tool is going to show you a preview. Just make your preview. I come down here is checked upon so that you can see the changes it's making, so it's gonna show you a preview of what it thinks these shapes are. And as you can see, it's pretty darn close to what are actual letter shapes Now. Feel free to mess with these sliders. Typically, I find if I bring my fresh hold up, um, these next few down here hidden in an advanced panel. So if you're how it looks like this, just click the arrow by advanced and you'll see the rest of these options. So Paths is another one. I usually drag up corners. I'll drag up some noise, all dragged down, and, you know, to be totally honest, I don't know what all of the each individual a little item here controls. And you don't really have to just mess around with them, see what it does and see what you like. That's how I tend to figure things out. One thing notice. If I uncheck SNET curves, the lines tends to look a little bit better. I again I don't really know what that does, but it helps. So I recommend checking it and check. Ignore White. Make sure that's on. So basically, that's telling. Illustrator background is not an object that I want illustrator to worry about. I only wanted to worry about things that are non white, so it's gonna ignore the way background and show me just my lettering shapes here. So mess around with these, um, all these sliders and precepts. Just find something that looks as close to your lettering as it can possibly look. Find something you're happy with when you're done. Go up here and click expand, and that is going to actually bought all these points and anchor points that we talked about. So I push my image trace grab corner here, hold up shift scale just so that I can actually bring it over here to my art board and work on it. Zoom and by sending a command plus my Mac, or you can tap C on your keyboard to get to this in tool. So what it's done is it's created vector versions of all of these letters, which is exactly what I wanted tea, but it created it as one big objects. So if I move one thing, everything moves with it. So you don't want ungroomed them, right? Click on the object on Select on Group. So now everything, uh, that's not connected. Basically, everything that stands alone is its own shape. So I go through first and I delete all of these cars and any stray marker points like this guy, they're gonna get rid of that and another thing to be aware of it. This step is really don't separate everything. So Illustrator doesn't know that this dot is connected to this. I want you on group it. It isolates everything into its own shape. So I usually go back through. And I'll select both of these and either command G to group or right click and select group , and that will just make sure that my dot travels along with the rest of my eyes. So I do that right off the bat just to make sure I don't move a letter and lose something that was part of it. All right, so now we've got this, and before I get into the tweaking, it's moving. I'm just gonna bring in my version from procreate as well, so that I could decide which style I'm liking better and what I want to put into my final. So I'm gonna hit shift Bo, taking into my art board My our tools. I'm gonna hold down all and drag a copy of this art board so it gives me another workspace . It's exactly the same size exit out of that. By so, like, guy selecting be that'll take me back to my just regular kind of move tool over here. So select all this and get rid of it, cause I'm gonna bring in my version from procreate, which I have also over here on my desktop Can dragon in from there or from your finder window. So again, I'm gonna wait to scale it down until after I've done with my image trace. So I select the whole image file my preset, I'm gonna use black and white logo. And again, I'm just gonna tweet these sliders until it's something that I like. Turn off the snap, cursed aligns. Turn on. Ignore White on. That is a pretty good pretty happy with with that, it's pretty true to the lettering that came from procreate so I'm gonna go ahead and click Expand. All right, click and on group thes. And then I'm gonna go through and just get rid of stars and regroup my eyes with their dots . So I'm gonna zoom in here. Command G group G G. You get the idea. Okay, so now drag over all of them and select everything because, remember, we've separated them apart. I'm gonna select everything. Grab the corner down here, hold down, shift and scale it down so that it's on my art board now. Yet into tweaking these methods, I'm showing you will tweak small imperfections. Now, if you have just completely botched a letter or you drew an r and you meant to drawn and those are gonna be a way more involved, not quite at this level that this class is meant to cover. So this is really, you know, wiggly lines or, ah, straight pen marks or something that's not perfectly smooth. Or maybe has a jagged edge like this guy here. That's the kind of stuff were gonna fix. So to start out with, I'm gonna work with this. I'm gonna work with this style here, and I'm going to start compiling what I want my final version to be. And the way I'm gonna do that is just selecting. So I say I like this phone now. I don't want to totally pull them apart like that. So I'm gonna hold down, halt and drag just a copy. So this is sort of a new version here that I'm that I'm gonna be creating. So it's Oh, I'm gonna grab this how I pull down all drag a copy. And thankfully the dot is gonna travel along with it. Since we made that into a group, let's grab this Me, that. It's kind of neat. And I remember really liking this car, so feel free to make a few different versions of these. If you want options to decide from, just pick him apart and, you know, try different combinations until you get something that you like. So these I'm I'm pretty happy with these letter farm, So I'm gonna keep these, and I'm just gonna go ahead and select everything else here, and I'm just gonna move it off to the side again. I like to do nondestructive editing. So rather than deleting all these, I'm just going to get them out of the way. So let's select this hold down shift and scale it up. So we have a nice, clear view of what we're working with and start to just kind of move these together. Now you'll notice as I'm moving these, they're snapping around. And you see all those guides those air called smart guides an illustrator. If you don't like them, click on the View menu and uncheck smart guides. And then when you move him around, you won't see that they won't snap into specific positions. You'll just be able to kind of move them around more free form. So I'm just going to get this roughly into a composition that I like. That looks pretty good, nudge things so that the space between my letters here is fairly consistent. Look where my baseline about it is about falling from my letters. So this is looking pretty good. I'm pretty happy with this. So now it's time to go in and tweak all these little all these little jagged corners, jagged edges and things like that. And, um, the same thing would apply over here. You would pick apart which whichever versions of your of your watering like so let's just quickly say I want to grab this. Oh, I want to put it here. If you have around the corners, you'll see this curved arrow that will let you rotate your letters. So if they're not quite at the same angle So I say I'm gonna move this Boesky out of here, I'm gonna grab this. This guy's pretty fun. I'm gonna much my are over. And since this is just a quick example, that's pretty good for now. So I'm gonna move everything else with my heart board. We're gonna grab this entire thing, hold down, shift in scale. So it's nice and large. Now, this one, this version has more kind of jagged edges. So I'm gonna use this one as an example of how to smooth out these imperfections. So there are a few tools you're gonna use, and for me, I like to just pull them out onto, like, out of this toolbar. And the way you do that is, you click and hold on them, and then this little arrow at the end of the menu hover over that and release, and it'll it'll spit out just a little miniature guy. So the ones you're gonna want are your direct selection tool, which is the one I've just pulled out here. Um, smooth tool, which might be buried. Some of these air nested so it might look it might be the shape or tool might be the default view on your toolbar. So just like that, get this going out. Let's grab the pen tool, Bring that out and then the last one you're gonna want is the knife tool. And in my case, when I first opened, this was nested under the eraser. So it was quick and hold on that. So these will be all the tools that we're gonna need for the methods. I'm gonna show you to smooth things out. So, first of all, your direct electoral and when you click on something with direct selection, it's gonna show you all individual anchor points and you'll see that every kind of curbing at every intersection at every sharp corner, there's gonna be an anchor point. You click on an individual anchor point, you'll see these handles pop out and these air just telling it how to bend the line between this anchor point and the one beside it, so you can manipulate the anchor points individual say, if this guy is too far, you know, maybe you have like a divot in your letter like that. You can grab them and pull them out. You generally don't want to pull them too far unless you're very familiar with Illustrator and the tool. The pen tool is what plots these points. If you were drawing them from scratch scientifically, start by selecting these anchor points, and I'll fix or roughly fix big kind of, you know, chunks that are taken out of a wondering. I might nudge this part, and if there's a lot of anchor points right on top of each other and they're creating lumps like that lump right there, there's extra anchor points. Go to your pen tool and select Delete Anchor Point tool. It's a little pen with a minus next would and just still weak a couple of those anchor points, and that will smooth out um, connection between them. So it's easy to get carried away with this, so I'm gonna undo that last one than I did. So use that one sparingly. But if there is something a little more severe. That's a great way to fix it. So what? I'm really used this. So selectors with tool and then with a path selected that where you can see the anchor points, you're just gonna draw kind of sweeping gestures as to where you want this. So I owe to just be general smooth side. So that's all I'm gonna dio strong loose line. It doesn't have to be perfect by any means. An illustrator will do its best to out that trunk of anchor points. And this is really great for smoothing out those kind of weird weekly lines that tend to happen. Or if you have maybe an old marker. That's not that doesn't have a perfectly crisp edge. This tool works really well. So to get this inner this inner path here, I'm gonna go back to my direct, select hover raid on top of this inner path and select it. So I see the anchor points along the inside of the So go back to my tool. Just keep doing this until you get something that you're happy with. So here's another example. This I has kind of a little point that's happening right here. So grab my smooth tool and I'll just smooth it right out. So this is a really good tool for just adding that last layer of polish onto your lettering . Like I said, this is It's not magic. You're not completely. You can't really completely change the way your lettering looks. But it's a really nice way to get that last kind of level of polish on something when maybe you're still you're still practicing. You're still getting better. But you want to be making stuff, so continue to do that until you have a version you're happy with. So another thing you might want to do is a few letters air connected. If you have more of a calligraphy style letter and you might sometimes you might wanna separate those letters say I want this e, but I don't want the are and they're attached. It's one shape. What do I dio? That's where your knife tool comes into play. So this is just an example, actually, like the way this year comes together, but since they're connected letters, I can show you how this knife told works. So say I want only the E or only to our I'm gonna make sure these air selected go up to my knife tool. And I'm just gonna draw like a slice. If this were an actual knife where I would about cut them apart and it's not gonna be perfect, you'll see the line kind of wiggles on its own as you're drawing it. So it's really hard toe create a perfectly straight line with the knife tool. But you don't need Teoh. So I've created this slice. Now I'm gonna go back to my direct selection tool and just click outside somewhere to de select it. So saying I want the e I'm going to select the E. And now I can move it away from the art, their separate shapes now so I can take this e just move over to the side. Here, take this E go back to my sins and I can fix these just kind of edges of say, I need to delete these anchor points here. There's too many. So now I have this e and I could take this and I could set it right beside another letter. So if this were if this were the are that I wanted you can just lay them rape right on top of each other. So that is how you would sort of dissect and reconnect letters and more calligraphy type style. Okay, so go ahead and go nuts with these different tools and, um, correct. Anything that you feel it's correcting. And then the last step is I'm gonna show you how to ladies onto an image and make something that's ready for print. 10. Lesson 7 Finalize: Okay, so now I have got my final version ready to go. I've smoothed out on my imperfections. I've picked the very best, uh, letters from all of my different iterations and compile them together into my final uttering version. So make sure that this is all grouped together, so mind still separate. Go ahead and select everything. Right? Click group or command G to group. I'm gonna show you just a fun way to quickly layer a lot of peace over photograph so that you can print it. So over is the name of my fictional dog and I've gone. If you have a picture of your own dog or your own photo, that's great. I found this little guy at on slash dot com. They're great source for totally free, high quality photos. I really great. So I've got this little dog photo in a drag from my desktop. Just bring it right in here. It's gonna come in really large, so I'm just gonna zoom out a little bit. I'll grab the corner, hold down shift and scale it down to about the size of your heart board. So it's gonna it's going to overflow and on the edges here, but I'm gonna show you how to fix stuff. So let's slide him to the side. So say, I'm gonna put I want to put my lettering right here. So I'm gonna leave some space for that whole Zuman. And now let's let's create a clipping mask so that we don't have to see these these extra portions of the image that aren't part of our art board. Because when you go to print, it's only gonna print what's inside of your art board. So if there's anything outside here that you don't want to see, or you only want a portion of an image, a clipping mask is the right way to go. So the way to do that is go to your rectangle tool and just click ones. I'm gonna create erecting of its 1000 by 1000 pixels because that's exactly the size of my art board. So click OK, it doesn't matter the color. Make sure it's filled in with a solid color, though any color, though, the it'll become invisible. Doesn't matter. Um, you like to use my align palette to get things perfectly aligned. So I'm gonna down here in the bottom. You might need to say show options to see all these things at the bottom, but a line to and make sure it's aligned to our board is selected. And then just click this horizontal align center. It's going to align it to the horizontal center here and then vertical align center. So with those two, it's gonna perfectly center this box over top of my art board. So now, with box selected, hold down shift and click on your photo back there Object clipping, mask make. So that's just gonna cut out all of the parts of my photo that extend beyond the cardboard . But it's not gonna delete them. They're still in there. So right, click on this, go to arrange send to back. So here's my lettering again so I can click on this. I'm going to scale it down. Miskin A position here and here. You can change really anything you want. You can change the color, the capacity you can apply different effects. But for the sake of time, I'm just gonna, um I'm gonna change my collar up here to white, and I'm gonna knock my capacity down a little bit. Maybe a tiny bit more. My our gets a little hard to see someone just bring this down a wee bit more, and that's looking pretty good for me. So to get it ready to print, I'm going to do file. It's gonna think a minute file save as and down here in format instead of Adobe Illustrator Murder Adobe PDS. Let's name it Oliver Final. I'll just save it to my desktop. And when you get this, um, this dialog box in the adobe pdf preset should go ahead and click high quality print. That's just gonna make sure it looks as good as it can look and save PdF. And now you have this great little pdf with your hand lettering in whatever color you want . Overtop of photo and it's ready to print. So let's print