Hand Lettering: Design a Poster from Sketch To Vector | Jeremy Mura | Skillshare

Hand Lettering: Design a Poster from Sketch To Vector

Jeremy Mura, Brand Identity Designer & Strategist

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6 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Inspiration + Sketching

    • 3. Inking Layout

    • 4. Vectorizing Lettering

    • 5. Adding Detail

    • 6. Create Poster Mockup


About This Class

Learn how to create a super simple poster using a pencil and some hand lettered words!. I show you how to use turn a sketch into a vector so you can have a cool poster for christmas.

  • Hand lettering made easy
  • Turn a sketch into vector
  • Make your letters stand out
  • Use a mockup to make it look great

All you need is Adobe Illustrator cs5, cs6 or CC (Free Trial)) and adobe Photoshop (Free Trial).

Students of all skill levels are welcome in this class!



1. Intro: Hey, I'm Jeremy and I'm a designer and an illustrator from Sydney, Australia. You can see I've got this funny hat on because it's Christmas time and it's a great way to celebrate and design some cool stuff. So we're going to be doing a hand-lettered poster with some illustrative elements on it. I'll show you how to create it from sketch to vectorization. So we're going to do the inking, do the sketches, get some ideas, and then bring it to Illustrator and really build up the topography, the hand-lettering, and build out our poster and then chuck it on a mock-up to make it look really cool, or you can even print it out and stick it on your wall if you want to celebrate that Christmas spirit. So I hope you guys enjoy the class. Click "Enroll" and we'll get stuck into it. I'm going to show you all the tips and tricks that I use to create a poster and do some cool hand lettering. So yeah, thanks guys and don't forget to enroll in the class. 2. Inspiration + Sketching: I love finding inspiration on Pinterest. I've got a few boards that I usually go to and I always add to it. You can see here I've got a poster design bond, just some that I'm working with at the moment, but I'm going to add some extra stuff later on. You can see you can get some inspiration. This one's pretty cool. It's got a mass color palette, you got some cool hand lettering. Most of this pins you can find online. A good one is LetterShop, Mary Kate as well. They're really nice. You can also just search up hand lettering poster, and you'll find some interesting stuff. You just get some ideas like, you can be a script phone or can be sans-serif or slab serif, it can be playful, it can be a 3D type, whatever you want when you're doing your poster. So don't stress out to much. The best thing is just to get a nice layer composition and use some cool words and layer all the letters until you get something that's looking nice and cool. It can be fun and play around with it, and it's really good. I have another board here as well, hand lettering board, which I usually go to as well. Here you can seen I've got some cool hand lettering stuff, shots as well, from some sweet artists. I love hand lettering, its lot of fun, and it's a good skill to have if you're a designer because you can always customize type the way you want to. So here are some other examples that I like as well, which are pretty cool. I might use some of these color palettes as well, because I kind of borrowed that. Yes, so just get exploration, found out what you like, and then start working with cool phrase or a quote, and create something awesome. Once you've picked your quote or your phrase to use, I'll just write it out on the top for my page. Remember the reason for the season. So put that on my page, and you could see how I've started to sketch out some boxes. What I did, I just grabbed my a half ruler. I put out this square boxes and I start doing different iterations, different versions of how I'm going to fit the phrase or quote within my box. Usually a post takes around an A4 size or A3. That's why I've done like a rectangle. You can see I've just done different versions, playing around with shapes, playing around with types, even adding a bit of illustration elements, using words and shapes and lines and that cool stuff to make it have that cool Christmas Eve feel to it. You can see that's what I've done. Once you pick one that you like or a layout that you think is resonating with you, then we usually go on and start doing other iterations of it. I'll use a bigger size, so I'll blow up the size so then I can bring it into Illustrator and trace it in, but I'll just show you here what I usually do. To create a nice effective typography, you can just create shapes. You can see how, just on a circle here, these one I've just done like a straight line and at the top I've made like a dent in it. Then this one is more of a one that's just blowing out from a small to out up. That's pretty much how you create certain looks, but the shapes and the typography, it's pretty simple. Use the shapes to try and fit that type within it and it really helps out to get a cool look. You just do that, and then once you've done that, you can start sketching out a bigger version of your poster. After you've done that, take a photo with your phone or with a camera so we can bring it into Illustrator and start vectorizing our artwork. 3. Inking Layout: I've refined my sketch and I just made a bit bigger. I'm using some tracing paper on top of that as well. It's just an A4 60gsm, it's pretty thin. I've traced the guides on top of it. You can see I'm just using a bull clip to put the tracing paper on top of my sketch. It's pretty much my final sketch that I'm going to use. What I'm going to use now is; I'm going to use a Copic Multiliner. You can use Sharpies as well, or some people like to use Microns, which is fine. I usually use 0.5 or 0.8 is fine as well, it doesn't matter how thin it is. What you're going to do is, we're going to just slowly trace over our sketch or our lead. It doesn't have to be perfect but try and do it steadily and take it slow, because if you go to quick, you're going to make mistakes. As you can see, I make a few. When you're doing lines that are pulling straight lines, you want to pull, or if you're doing curves, it's easier to pull. If you're doing straight lines, it's easier to push with your wrist, so from the wrist, you can push with straight lines and for curves like this, circles or the zeros, you can curve with your wrist down and it becomes a lot easier to do the lines. I'm just going through each letter and each element and just slowly going over it with my pen and just inking it. After a while, you'll see that it gets completed. Then when you do this, just take a photo with your phone. I just took a photo with my iPhone, then we're going to import it into Illustrator. We're going to do a bit of editing in Photoshop first and then once you've done that, you can bring it to Illustrator and we can actually image trace it, or we can actually just start building on top of our letters and start building our vector illustration and post up. I'm going to skip a little bit so you can see the final result. Then after this, we're going to take it to the next step and we're going to start building our artwork. 4. Vectorizing Lettering: Cool. After you've done your sketch and you've finished it, take a photo, jump on your computer, and we're going to drag it into Photoshop. So grab it, click and drag into Photoshop. First of, we're just going to drag it into the bar like that. Press N for the marquee tool, we're just going to crop out our work or our sketch. So we just cut the excess stuff we don't want and let go, and then go to image top left-hand corner and then clear down to the middle and click "Crop." That will copy the image cleaner or the excess we don't need. Then we're going to add a bit of adjustments. Get on the bottom right-hand corner, you can add some adjustments by clicking on this circle just like this. We're going to pop up the contrast a little bit and brightness and contrast. Another good trick as well is we're going to change the color into gray scale. So try and that this purple color in the corner, just like that. You want to go to Image, Mode, Gray scale, top left hand corner, click that, will just go flattened and then you can see now it's gray scale, just black and white. Now we can play with the levels and stuff more. You can go back to brightness and contrast. I also add levels usually as well, about the blacks. Then you can play with the mid tones and this is the highs. You can really bump up to get the blacks showing in the whites. So you fade out the sketch in the back and you really start to bring out that inking. You can also curves is a good one too. Usually I go to the precepts at the top end corner you can see, you can play around with this curves like this, but also good to just use what has the I usually got a medium contrast and play around with this a bit. [inaudible] play with it too much because I'm going to damage it. You can see now just playing with a little bit of this settings, you can see start getting it more clearer so we can use it. That's looking fine for now. I think I'm just going to drop the brightness a little bit down actually, just like that. Sweet. Now we've done that. We want to save it. Just save a JPEG. Go to File, Save As, then it's like JPEG, and want to save into our sketches, say JPEG_sketch_poster, just like that. Press "Okay". Now we've got our sketch and now we can just drag it into Illustrator. I just started a new document. It's A3 size, so you can use A4 and try and go for a portrait rather than landscape because we're doing a poster it's going to be vertical. I want to use that. You've dragged it in, look at my layout. You can double-click in this layer and we can call it sketch. You can actually click to "Template" to make it a template, but you can turn that off for now we're going we press "Okay". We're jut going to bring this up, we're going to try and fit it within the center of our up board, just like that. Cool. We have our sketch. It doesn't look perfect, but we're going to edit it anyway. That's fine. We got our sketch and now we can double-click it and again click template and press "Okay". It's going to lock the layer for you and it's going to dim it so we have it in the background, which is pretty sweet. You can see all our black lines and we're good to go. We've done our sketch, it's in Illustrator, it's ready. We're going to stop burning out some guides just so we can get our hand lettering to be fixed and make it more clean and neater instead of being all wobbly. It's good to start making guides, but it's going to get about layouts panel so you can get Window, go to Layers, and you can see we've got a sketch layout. Just press this little button on the bottom right-hand corner, create new layout, click that, double-click on the type and just type in guide. Now we have a guide layout. What I usually do is I press Ctrl or Command I. You can see we get these rulers at the top and on the left. So I can drag this ruler down, one from the top, one from the left. You can see now I've got these guides. You can select them. To lock them you can go Ctrl Alt semicolon and it will lock the guides and express the same. You can also go to View and go on Guides and you can hide guides or lock guides through here. You can also make guides as well, which we're going to do in a second. I'm going to select these guides and I'm actually going to align it to the center just like that with your align tools at the top, or you can use your align panel from going Window and Align, and then you get this option C, and then we can make them in lines, just like that. What I'm going to do now, I'm going to make some guides for this topography here. Press L for the ellipse tool. I'm going to hold Option and just drag this out and then I'm going to center it as well. Then stretch it a bit down and try and line it up at the corners just so we make it balanced. Now we can select the shape and press Ctrl 5 or Command 5, and it's actually going to make a guide, as you can see which is super cool, and now I can use this as a reference. I'm going to press the P tool, hold Shift and click and click again, and then select the path press Ctrl 5. Now we have a guide for this topography or our own lettering. We can use this guide as a reference to help us guide where our paths are going to go and our strokes and our letters and something like that. That's just one guide. You can also make some more guides for this type in the middle. Well, an easy way to do that would just be make a square, 70 square. Then what you can do is I will just put a color so you guys can see. You compress P for the pen tool, make sure you select the shape press P, and you can actually create an anchor point in the middle. You can actually get hold Shift and click down just to get that cool look just like that. You can do the same for the other side as well. Then count how many times you did it for top. That's one way to do it. Here's what I'll do, I'll just press Ctrl C, Ctrl F, that copies and pastes it in front. I'll just make a double copy and you can just go like that and rotate it. Then we can just do this. Now we know it's even. Then I'll just put those two together. I'm going to pathfinder and I'll go unite. Press Shift X and now we've got our shape. I'm just going to make this smaller to our up board. You can see if I pump the strike there just so you guys can see it. You can see if what our shape that's how we want to put this type and I want make it a bit more prominent. Maybe we'll go hold Shift and it doesn't move. 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, I'll type there. That'll be pretty good and then what I'll do, I'll turn this into a guide as well, select Ctrl 5. Now we got a guide for this. That's what I pretty much do to build some guides out and it really helps you out in the long run. Now we can look this layout so we can set the guides. Make a new layout, let's call it design. Then now we can start booting out our type. What we do is press P for the pen tool while holding Shift, and you can just stop clicking on your type, just like that. Then with the pencil you can actually click and drag and it's going to make these nice curves. You can also edit these handles by holding out Option. You can drag these handles in or ever how you'd like it to get a nicer curve if you want. You can also see how this ends curves. You can also click on the end point and it's going to stop at any connection you just go straight again, which really helps out. The key here is just to go through all the letters stick with the guides, use them to help you so you can get it perfectly on say you start getting that cool shape, it looks like it's custom topography, which is pretty sweet. I'll just scroll through all these letters. It doesn't have to be perfect, you can just play around and get some cool effects, whatever you want. Sometimes it could be messy and we can just round it off like that. It doesn't have to be directly on the sketches as we did, but you can just use it as a main guide. I'm just going to bump down these points as well to dig, just using the stroke pen on the top left. You can also go window stroke down the bottom here. You can see how we can edit our stroke. We can edit our stoke white and actually round up the corners as well. You can see how it gets rounded, which I like to use as well. But we can worry about that later. So it upon back down. I'll go through all this and then we'll get to the other type. For the bottom type, what we're going to do is because this is a more hand lead scripts [inaudible] style. It's a little bit harder. With the points what we do is you want to make sure that your handles are straight. I'm going to click on my first point here and show you what I mean. Click there, you want to try and get to the furthest point from the North. Think of the clock you got 12 o'clock, six o'clock, three o'clock, you want to make sure and try and get the furthest point. That's how you get the best curves. I'm going to click my anchor there and what I'm going to do, I'm going to click and hold Shift, and you want to try and make sure it's vertical or horizontal. You can see my my handles are completely vertical, and we want to make sure it's always like that. A good way to do this is always holding Shift and clicking and dragging and get that curve and then make sure you're plotting your points and you want to make sure you're handles are not going further out from each other. You can see this one's short, but this one's really long. We want to click this with the direct selection tool and drag that back in just so the curve is not too wonky then we'll drag this one out like that. You can see we are starting to get this nice curve. We don't have to have too many anchor points, the less anchor points that better. So we just go through each of the letters and we continue along. Remember triangle for the most furthest point, and then holding Shift, then we're going to drag these points out. It's not always going to be perfect, you can always edit it. We'll do that for all the letters. This is the best way to vectorize script letters and most hand lettering pieces. These heaps are good. Other Scotia classes, well, on skill share, you got Jessica, Haitian and Mary Kate as well. They're awesome. They do great, great hand lettering work. You can see I'm just going really fast just to show you guys how you can do it. Then see I'm selecting. When you're on the pay toll pencil, you can hold Alt Option, and you will see you mouse change and you can edit the phase really quickly or you can use the direct selection tool, top left hand corner. You've got direct selection and then you got your normal selection. You can also use that to click and drag as well. We'll just do that one. It's okay if it's not always perfect, but try and aim to make sure that all vertical went straight and you can see how they all handles are straight like that. Sometimes it might be a bit wonky. You can see that. You can even round it off if you want to. It's going to make two anchor points, but that's okay. That's just too much about that. Let me just clean it up a little bit. You can even program it like that, it's up to you. So it doesn't have to be perfect. Sweet. Let me have a letter. We'll just go through all these letters and do the same to do all these connections. What you want to do, you want to try and keep the letters separate. So we'll just go and do this a and when you're doing the connecting, you will cut it off here. I'll cut it off and then go through just like that and I'll see the handles are sweet, and I'll just cutoff there because you want to make sure it's separate because if you have these big long thing, it's going to be harder to edit all these points and these curves when you start finishing it up and adding different touches or shadows or whatever you're doing. You want to try and keep it separate and then go along the lines, you're best as you can. Then as you can see, I'm going to cut it off again just so they can have these shapes separately. Just makes it more flexible and it gives the editability later on. Sweet. That's looking good. We'll just go through and do all that. You can even use shapes as well. For this, I'm going to use is a circle and that's going to be a perfect circle. Mathematically correct because I'm using the shaped tools, which is pretty awesome. 5. Adding Detail: So after you've built your main type of the poster, you can start adding some illustrated elements and start tracing over it your stuff that you've drawn in. I'll zoom in here and see what I've done. You can see I've just done simple shapes for the animals at the top here. I've done the manger and baby Jesus there and got some hay and three wise men. They are just simple shapes, you can see this is broken out. I kept it really minimal because the main focus of the poster is the typography. So you don't want make the illustrations too harsh. You can see that it does all separate there. You can see how we've turned, added some effects on these type. Made it look a bit 3D, make it stand out a bit more. These elements here they're pretty much just highlights using the pen tool and making just shapes. Just for the shadows, is just the circle shape. You can really create this really easily just by copying this circle, by selecting it, press control C, control F, and copy that on top. Then you can just bring it on the top here. I'll just change color so you guys can see it. Then you want to make a copy of the bottom one as well, so control C, control F again. We have a copy. Then you select that one and select the top. Then what you can do is use the shape builder, shift M. Then you can see you can cut out the shape, just hold minus and cut these out. So now we've got the shape here. Just go to your transparency panel. Go to Window transparency if you don't have it opened, go on the bottom here, and you'll get this panel here, you can just go to multiply. Then I try and aim for 40 percent. Then you get this nice, cool shadow here, to give these ornaments some shadows. So that's what I did for that. Then down the bottom here, these are simple shape, you can see I just drew them with a pen tool for the presence. These are just flat. Then this is just a path, which I just created with the pen tool. Just click and drag the anchor points. You can just make that just for the presents. The same deal for these little paths here that we drew these flourishes and embellishments. What I do is just use the pen tool. You can actually just click and drag to get these nice curves. That's how you make those curves. Really simple guys, nothing too complex. But I'm going to show you how to add some of these type effects. As you can see, some patterns. Make a 3D, and that type of thing. We'll just go and bounce on this side. So I just took some of the effects here. So what I usually do, you want to group your type together. So select all your type and press control G. That's going to group all these type. What I usually do is I press control C, control F and make a copy of it. So I've made a copy. Then what I'll do, I'll move it to the left or the right, whatever angle you want. So I'm just pressing right and down. So make like a shadow. Then usually I'll pick a darker color. So you can see this maroony, red brown color is dark. To bring it to the back, press control shift, left square bracket or if you're on i-mac, it's command. Just bring that to the back. So now once it get that 3D look, you can leave it as this or what you can do is actually, you can actually double-click into the group and you're going to isolate the script. So you can see that. What you can actually do is actually use the pen tool, press p. If you want to make it look more neater, you can actually do this to make like the shadow is actually off the type. Because if you just leave it like that, it might look a bit off. But you can actually do this. If you do it the whole way around, you can create a nice 3D look. If you keep doing it the whole way around all the letters, you can see how the 3D starts coming off the letter properly, which is pretty sweet. I like doing that when I'm doing 3D type. Let's then delete those for now because I don't want the tutorial to go for too long. So we've got this, what I did to get these like nice dot like lights. Think of like an old school, tavern or like a hotel and they have the flashing banners or lights, it's pretty cool. Something like that. Make it a more retro feel. Just create a circle. Press L, for the ellipsoid, just create a circle. What sometimes I do to roughen it up, I'll go to effect to distort and transform, and then go to roughen. What we're going to do now is, we're going to just press preview on and put onto smooth. You can see it's starting to roughen. I usually just put it not too high, maybe 20 percent. You can see if you do it too much, it actually starts making it all weird and stuff, so don't dwell too much. We'll just do it a little bit, maybe three percent. You can see now it's deformed now. It's not a perfect circle which gives it a bit of a nice effect. We don't want it to be too perfect. It's not a robot or anything. So we've got this. I'll change the color to yellow. What I actually did is you can actually make a brush from it. So you can see I've already got a brush here. What I did, you can actually just drag it in, create a pattern brush, click that, and then press Okay. You actually have some control over here. Usually, I leave it on stretch to fit. You can edit the spacing here if you want. If you have a [inaudible] you can actually change it to pressure, but just leave it on fixed. I might just add a bit of spacing. We'll just leave on 100 percent. We change the method to hue shift. That allows us to pick different colors really easily. So just press Okay. So now we have this pattern that we just created. We can actually use this one on type. So now what I've done is I went into the letters. Just isolate the group. So double-click on it and you can actually go to isolation mode again like we did before. So just use that type so we are not distracted. What I do, you get the pen tool again. I'm just going in here. Doesn't have to be perfect. Just with the pen tool and creating paths. Another cool trick as well. If you just want to see the paths, you can press control Y, or command Y, and it'll take you to outline mode, which is pretty sweet, just so you can see where you're going. I'm just going to turn that off for now. So we've got our paths here. So I will just select the path we just made. Go to your brush, click the brush. So you can see you've just made these brushes now. What we can do, we can actually change the blending mode, which is pretty sweet. Make sure there's no fill. Make sure it's just the pattern. We're going to select it and we can actually change the stroke as well. We can make it really big, or we can make it 0.5, which is pretty sweet. So we're going to exit out of that mode. We want to make sure the color is right color. So go yellow. Just click on the swatch panel in your swatch panel. Then we can actually move these paths. We can edit it live. It's going to retain that pattern that we've done. So you can see now, that's how you get this pattern. You can do the same for the other letters. Just change the color so you can see it. Do the same, go to your brush preset. It's in the window brushes as well, if you don't have it. Click the pattern brush, make it smaller, top of the [inaudible] corner or we can change it in the stroke panel here. Then we can edit it. Sometimes it doesn't go all the way around, so you might have to edit the path. So that's one way of adding some effects to the type. It's also good to add some strokes as well. If I select the group again, I'm just going to re-group it. We have our group. What I can do is add the same color for the stroke. You can see my field and stroke, the left-hand side. There seems to be a problem here with this, so I'm just going to add that out. Now we've got that stroke. So it more 3D and it's got like a nice stroke, so it makes it more dominant. That's one way to create some cool effects. Other ways you can actually make patterns. So you can see here I've got a pattern. So what I did is I united all these together. You can see it's got a gradient on it as well. I made just a slight gradient. You can see it just adds a nice little subtle effect. We're going to add this pattern. So we'll just make some lines and copy it. So hold alt or option, and you can actually copy it across and then press control or command d. It's going to copy the strokes like that. Then go to your stroke panel. You can change that to round it off, pump it up. Then what I usually do, select these go object, pattern and make. So click that, make that. We're just going to adjust it a little bit. Now I've got these pattern. I can actually create a copy of this control c, control f. So we got a copy now. You can even group that as well and click the pattern. Now this line stroke. The cool trick you do, you got to object, transform and you go scale, and you can actually edit the pattern. So click off transform objects. Click transform pattern preview. You can actually change the sizing just like that, which is pretty sweet. Make it a bit thinner. Press Okay. You can also rotate it by doing the same thing in clicking rotate. We can rotate just like that or we can copy it. Then you can even change the blending mode like that to get a cool effect. That's how you add some effects to your type. I hope this was helpful. 6. Create Poster Mockup: So once you finish your design for your poster, what you're going do is you're going to select it all and you want to see if there's extra stuff hanging out. What I usually do is make a box, press M for the marquee tool or the box tool. We're going to just select everything on your design, press Shift M, for the shape builder and just minus off this excess, just like that. You just want to make sure that it's all clean. Now what we can do is just select all this and press Control C to copy it. What you're going to do, you want to open up Photoshop. You can download free mock-ups on freedesignresources.net. [inaudible] on Freebiesbug, Pixelbuddha. There's heaps of cool software you can download free mock-ups, so that's pretty sweet. So once you've opened it, you usually get folders. You usually get the background, get some color, adjustments, some shadows, that's other stuff. You'll also get this file that says you can replace your artwork here and it's a smart object, so you can just double-click on that. This is how you edit your artwork for the poster. So what I used to do, I just turn off the type. Then because you've just copied out artwork from Illustrator, press Control V, to paste it in. You'll see paste. You want to make sure that's a smart object because it's better if it's scalable. So when you scale, it doesn't lose its quality and it doesn't turn into pixels. Then what we can do, we can scale it up really big if you want or you can just scale it into the middle just like that. What I'm going two do is press Control S and it's going to save it. You can see it's added it to our poster which is just pretty sweet, but you'll see here these white bits because over here, it's not far enough. So what I usually do, I will create a layer, click on the bottom write down here. We're going to make a solid layer, solid color, and just copy the background color of the poster, just like that. Use the eyedropper tool. You can see you can select different colors. Then we're going to press Okay. Then press Control S again on this file here. Now you can see the background's fully yellow. That's how you add your preset artwork to our mock-up and then he can close that, and that's it. Then you can just save this up. You can go File and Save as. Then you can save it as a JPEG if you want or PSD and just save it out. Then, that's it. Thanks for enrolling in the class. Hope you guys learned some tips and tricks on how to do some hand lettering and create a cool, festive poster. Hope you enjoyed it and I look forward to creating more classes for you in the future.