Lettering Essentials: From Sketch to Vector | Isabella Lion | Skillshare

Lettering Essentials: From Sketch to Vector

Isabella Lion, Lettering Artist & Illustrator

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15 Lessons (1h 40m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Lettering vs. Calligraphy vs. Typography

    • 3. Guides & Optical Adjustments

    • 4. Letter Styles

    • 5. Contrasts & Calligraphy Foundaments

    • 6. Serif & Sans Serif Types

    • 7. Shadows & Decorations

    • 8. Choosing Your Word

    • 9. Thumbnails

    • 10. Sketching

    • 11. Digitizing Your Word

    • 12. Basics of Vectoring

    • 13. Vectoring Your Word

    • 14. Choosing Color

    • 15. Final Thoughts


About This Class

In this almost 2-hour class, you’ll learn the first steps of creating a lettering piece from sketch to vector! Isabella will teach how to concept, design and finalize a lettering word in vector for any use by sharing her own personal lettering process with a lot of tips and tricks.

You’ll learn:

  • Why calligraphy is so important for lettering design
  • How to sketch a consistent lettering piece
  • Digitize your work and using vector points
  • Techniques for creating color palettes

After finishing this class, you’ll have a finished lettering word and a huge list of skills to create incredible letters.


1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Isabella Lion and I'm a lettering artist and illustrator for over five years and currently living in St Paulo Brazil. In this class, you'll learn how to create a lettering piece from sketch to vector. We'll start from the very basics like references, and concepting, and sketching, and photographing to a computer vector work, the caller process, so you can have a lettering piece created all by yourself from scratch. If you're interested in creating your own lettering piece from scratch subscribe and let's start sketching. 2. Lettering vs. Calligraphy vs. Typography: Hi. Before everything else, let's understand the difference between lettering, calligraphy and typography, and when is the best time to use them. In a very summarized way, calligraphy is the art of writing letters. Calligraphy is the base of everything, and you can learn a lot within the history of calligraphy. You can understand how the letters are built, how to determine where the thicks and thins should be, why it's thick and thin in determined places, how to make it legible, and how to improve the quality while you're drawing letters. If you want to immerse inside the calligraphy world, I recommend you to take some Jackson Alves class here on SkillShare. He's an amazing calligrapher, and he has three classes about calligraphy that can help you a lot. You can also see some book references over here that I'm leaving below in a PDF file. Typography is the letter formatted to be used inside a computer, or a book, or anything that you can print. Typography was born because it's a more practical way to write than calligraphy. It's practical and it's quicker than calligraphy. This is why the printing press and the Gutenberg Bible were invented. Lettering is a illustration that you make with letters. You can use other elements of illustration too, but the main thing are the letters. You can use a lot of styles, colors, and materials, and you can create in infinite ways, the letters that you want. You can use as a book cover, as local type, as wall art, as wallpaper, and you can finalize with infinite ways. You can finalize with food, random objects that you can find your houseplants, if you're a plant lover. You can finalize in Procreate, you can finalize in vector drawing. In this class particularly, we're going to finalize in Vector, but you can finalize also in water color or gouache. For this, the sky is the limit. I hope you got it. In the next class, we're going to learn how to use the guides to create our lettering. 3. Guides & Optical Adjustments: Let's talk about how to use guidelines and loved core adjustments. Let's start by drawing a baseline over here, and over here. This is basically called the x height, because it's for letters like a, or other letters like x. This is why it's called x high. Yeah, pretty obvious. With our x height, we have also our ascendent line that is for letters like, letter b, or letter d. With that in mind, we also have the descendent line for letters like j, not a very pretty j, but I think you understand, and for letters like p. These are ascendent, and these are descendent. As you can see my handwriting is not as good as the lettering, but that happens to everyone. With all that in mind, I'd like to show you why usually the capital letters aren't in same size as the ascendent one. Let's create some space over here. Is just because, if you draw a capital letter on the exact same size as the ascendent it will look much bigger because the capital letter is naturally larger than the others. This is why it's just a tiny bit. We have to put just a bit smaller because they're already larger, they're already bigger. This is the capital letters. With this in mind, we can start talking about optical adjustments. Imagine, or just see because am going to draw, that you'll have the letter h, the letter o, and the letter a. The h can be represented for a square. The o can be obviously represented by a circle, and the a can also obviously be represented by a triangle. If this square has exact the same size as the circle, and triangle. They will look smaller. Optical adjustments is making this circle, and the triangle just a bit bigger than this square, because of this tiny top over here, and also over here, and in the bottom. Now coming to the letters we will make the same thing with round letters, and pointy letters like the letter a or the letter v that will be on the bottom. It's just a tiny bit. Don't, push so hard on the top or bottom for the optical adjustments it's a very small thing that side makes all the difference in the end. I believe that's it, and let's talk about letters styles on the next class. 4. Letter Styles: Hi, let's talk about some letters styles. Remembering that you can mix all the letters styles if you want. Because for lettering, remember, the sky is the limit. We have the Condensed and it's very, very narrow. We have to expand it. That's bigger than the Condensed. I'm going to exaggerate so you can see it clearly. This is the Light, that it's a lightweight, it's not too thick. There's also a Bold letter that is the exact opposite of the Light. We also have a Geometric style that the A can be the exact shape of a triangle. We also have inside the Geometric style the O, that will be the almost exact shape of a circle, but the circle would have optical adjustments. It won't be the exact shape of a circle. Some other letters that we have, the Stencil, that was mostly used on airport signs. Those old ones that make a lot of noise when they're being updated. For street style like this, we have the Square. You can draw it squared line letters or a squared O. We can also have a Humanist that will have like some serifs fancy and discrete serifs and a difference of contrast between the shapes. We can understand nobody's perfect, right. With this Humanist style in mind, let's explore some contrast and calligraphy fundamentals on the next class. 5. Contrasts & Calligraphy Foundaments: Every style of letter created with a specific tool. In this class, I'll show you that we can replicate all those calligraphy styles just by drawing with a pencil. These are some of the tools that we can use. This is called broad nib, it's a square nib. It's a square tip, like this. It's one of the most ancient drawing materials. Here is the Pilot parallel pen, that is a technological version of the classic broad nib for calligraphy. For this one, you have to always maintain the same style, the same angle, like this. You never change the angle. You always maintain the angle. This is not so pretty. Let's try another one. You always maintain the angle like this. You can see a lot more of calligraphy in Jackson Alves calligraphy classes. Also The Art of Calligraphy, a book by David Harris, that is the calligraphy bible. It's the main book about calligraphy, it explores a lot of different styles. It's a great idea if you want to understand how contrast works. With this in mind, we also have the pointed nib for the copperplate alphabet. The broad nib, it's flexible, the pointed. Sorry. It's flexible, and the contrast is defined on how you press like this. The copperplate alphabet is mostly used for wedding invitations, on these days at least. Technological version of it would be a brush pen that is even more technological bender brush. We have like this. The more you press, the bigger is the line. You also can use the same angle to maintain. It usually works, you press when you're going down, and you release when you're going up. Press, release. You press, and release, you press and release. That a very ugly. you press, and release. That's a pretty one. You can also fix it before we're making these stencils, it's totally fine. If you want to explore more about the brush pen, but you are a starter, you can use easier Version 2, but it's a felt tip instead of a brush, and it's harder to press. Like this. You will need to change it more frequently because they start to get too used. This you can use like this, like this, or like this. It always depends on where you are holding the pen, like here, like here or here. Now, with all that in mind, let's start talking about how is this related to contrast. The contrast is determined by the tool that you're using. Now let's draw, so you can understand better. This is basically a no contrast at all letter. I can also make a no contrast at all with any tool with a round nib. The pencil is a good one. Also, we have the low contrast that could be determined on the thicks and thins. But the low part is determined by this. On this case, the difference between the thick, that's the part that you with a broad nib in this case, you usually go down, and up, and down. This is why this would be a low contrast. The difference between the down and the up is very minimal. This will be a low contrast. A high contrast is determined like this. The down and up are very different between the two. We can also represent like this, down, and up, and down. This difference is very high. This is very thick, this is very thin, and this is also very thick. This is a high contrast. Another high contrast would be, if you think like this, and this, also a big difference between the two. But in lettering, we don't need to draw with the calligraphy materials. We just need a pencil, and eraser, and the paper. Let's draw an 'o' with a high contrast, so you can have a better notion, like this. There you go. With this 'o' in mind, the inverted contrast would be, instead of going down and press, and going up release, going down, release, going up and press. In this case, this 'o' would be like this, using this inverted contrast thought, this would be our 'o'. Considering this would be the letter, our 'n' could be like, in this case this would be our 'n' an inverted contrast, where it was supposed to be thick, is thin, and what's supposed to be thin is thick. Lets make some adjustments here, and that is it. Inverted contrast, high-contrast. Another high-contrast, low contrast, no contrast at all. Now let's talk about some serif types. 6. Serif & Sans Serif Types: After understanding some those calligraphy basics that contrast, let's talk about serifs. I'm going to draw some example of serifs. This is an old style one, you can make it a slab, that is very similar to the old style, but on this parts, it's not rounded, we have the triangle, you can also make your art with bifurcated style, to look more like a festive lettering, like circles related, or something like that. [inaudible] If you want to go wild, you can make a trifurcated lettering like this. These are very difficult to vectorize. If you want to go wild, go, but be careful. Have a notion of what you're getting yourself into, or a classic humanist, we can also make a model like this or just going to go crazy on the modeling and put two lines on it to be just thinned depending on your age and you don't even know who Jackson's is. Its just sketching like this. Talking about sans serif types, we can make square. We can make it rounded, we can make it like this or the opposite side. We can also make some style that I really like, that is something like this. It's not very difficult to vector It and it different, it gives a nice feel to your lettering depending on how you're doing it. We can also make something like this. Basically every single shape, you can transform it to a serif. You can go crazy on this serif. You don't need to draw exactly the way that I'm drawing in over here, you can make your serif, you can make this also. Just going crazy. So now let's talk in the next class about details, shadows and ligatures and flourishes and all that nice stuff. 7. Shadows & Decorations: Let's talk about some details, shadows, flourishes and swashes. What does it mean? First of all, before talking about letters, we're talking about shapes. This is a cube or a square, because this is going to be transformed into a square. Here I'm going to draw a very close to the square line, just repeating deep part of the cube, but just with one line. Now let's erase it so you can understand the shadow in it. Where does it come from? How does it work? This was supposed to be a cube. We can make it on the other side too, but I chose for this one, this side. This is our line shadow, just one line. Now you can understand where did it come from. In this second square or a cube, we are going to draw a different shadow, is going to be a multiple line one. Not touching just following the rhythm of the lines. Now am going to come with a new razor so you can understand the main reason of it. This is another shape that is very used by people, multiple line one. This one is hard to make on the vector, but if you want to use it, you can use it. There's a lot of tutorials on the Internet that helped me when I was starting with this one, and from those three that I'm going to do, the third one right now. This one is by far the easiest one, because it's just a line. Now let's try the third one. We are going to paint it, this is going to be solid one [inaudible] is going to be real treaty effect. It's going to be a blocking square. We can apply the same thing with letters. The same thought. That's it. We can do the same with letters. These are the three of the infinite ways of making shadows within your letters. Let's talk about swashes. This is a swash. A swash is a flourish that is less exaggerated. You consider the baseline is here and here, considering optical adjustments. A swash is just a letter that goes a bit away from the baseline or the x-height, or depending on what you're making. The difference between the swash and the flourish is that the flourish is way more exaggerated. As you can see, the swash is just like as small flourish, more shy flourish and flourishes while go wild. The flourish is more exaggerated than the swash. If you really want to go crazy about the flourishing, you can make something like that. Now let's talk about how do you create your letter from scratch? Because you can`t put all the details before drawing the skeleton. Let's start with an A. Am going to draw a very big one so you can see clearly. I'm not going to touch This is the skeleton. Let's make it thicker. After making our A, boulder, I'm going to put some details in it, but small details. Now I'm going to put the shadow, i could draw the A, looking like a block. Considering the light's coming here, this is our block. We don't have to think about this skeleton on the details right at the beginning. We need to go step-by-step, no hurry and thinking a lot of what we're doing. Of course, during the process, we have to enjoy the process. We don't get anxious. This letter is a little weird, the shadow is behaving weirdly. You can have a better notion on what's the deal with it. As I told you before, this shadow was behaving very weirdly. Shadow is becoming very awkward. I'm going to leave the 3D shadow only on the letter A, not on the cutting part of it. We make mistakes, we are humans and this kind of stuff always happens. Shadow comes behind right behind our A block. That's our letter. So skeleton first, thickness and contrast Later. After all that define, you put the details like this one, after everything else, you put the shadow. On the next class we are going to talk about brainstorming on your final project. We're going to choose words and talk about what can we do with our brainstorming with our word. 8. Choosing Your Word: Let's start our brainstorming with a word. As this course is created for beginners, let's start with just a word or two, max, but definitely no more than two. Otherwise, this can become very difficult when handling compositions. Let's start our brainstorming and choose the word that we're going to do for a final project. I will choose the word congratulations. That is something that I can give as a gift to a postcard. But you can choose anything you want, like your name or someone's name, you care for. For this brainstorming, I'll write anything that comes to my mind around this world. My lettering won't be just about beautiful letters and can show some feeling when you see the final one. Let's do this. I'm choosing the word congratulations. Let's see what comes off my mind. Let's just write it down, anything that comes to your mind. Don't worry about making a beautiful brainstorming. This is supposed to be a mess, so it's totally fine to be a mess. Congratulations. Well let's think about confetti, sparkles, joy, party, celebrate, drinks, champagne, cheerful, playful, fireworks. For this course, I'm not going to teach you how the vector I script word, because that's a more advanced skill. Lets do this, not script, so I can remember not to do anything with script. That doesn't mean we won't have any flourishes or any ligatures or stuff like that. It's just is not going to look like a handwriting word. Maybe a convincing font, because the word congratulations is 15 words, that's a lot. I can also think about, instead of writing congratulations, I can write congrats. That's a much better one. I think I'm going to try both and see what happens. With this brainstorming, I'm just going to think, what letters should I write for it? Let's just do a C with some different styles so I can explore and have a better notion before making that some news. Let's try a different shaded and see how it goes. On this stage I just explore, without thinking too much, just what some options that I have on these limitations. Especially on the condenser and not script. Because I really like making script things. But in this case I can't, so this is a bit of a challenge out of my comfort zone. I'm using this tool to erasers, this a smaller, much smaller one. It's not mono 01 from Tombow, it's 2.3 millimeters. This is just a normal one. I use this one much more than this one for details. But you can choose whatever you want, whatever you feel comfortable with. I think I have some pretty good options over here. It's not supposed to be organized and all neat, it's supposed to be a mess. The brainstorming process is not an organized on, it's super okay, to be a total mess, because you're putting things that are inside your head and onto paper. Everybody knows that our head is not exactly the most organized place in the world. Sometimes we have to organize our thoughts to draw it like random ideas and usually the first option. We're seeing this process, I didn't write too many words. I believe I could write much more, but I think these are enough. Let's highlight some of the words that I think I can use, very, definitely, playful typeface, [inaudible] happy it's totally related to the color palette we're going to use. That has to be a happy color palette. Probably a more saturated, sparkles. Not exactly this one, I think I more liked to pick up this one and this one. This one is nice, but I'm not exactly sure. This was my brainstorm process, I'm looking forward to see yours. I really want to see the mess that's inside your head onto paper. I think it's going be very interesting. Put all your ideas, all your mess onto paper and let's start sometime else. 9. Thumbnails: After our brainstorming over here with a lot of mess. Mine is not exactly a mess but it's supposed to be a mess. Let's start with our [inaudible]. Well, in this case, for the word, congratulations. I like to write the word on top of the page just to make sure I'm not missing any letter. It's very common for literary artists and type designers to write a word and then they realized they missed a G or an R, it's funny sometimes. For this case, I'm going to choose a horizontal paper. I'm just going to draw a square over here so I can have a better notion of what's going to happen. Let's start with, congratulations. I can write like this, but it's some very big word, so I don't think it's going to fit everything, so let's do another. In this case, you don't need to start about drawing the details of the letters are choosing typefaces or anything is just about composition and how to fit the word you're doing on the best way as possible. For very big word like this one, diagonal is much better so we can fit everything inside. Let's try another one. We can pull it in another way,like this one, it's wavy but also diagonal, can be a little confusing, but let's just try no limits here. We can make a notch. We can also make an upside down notch like this, I'm not sure if that would be a very good option. Would be interesting if I put something like a flag for 15 letters, I'm not exactly sure. We can also do a composition that's on the top and the bottom or something like that. As you can see, I'm not putting much space where they should fit in and the drawing of the sheet itself. In any case, is really just testing, just making sure what's going to be our challenge. I think I like this one and also this one. It's going to be better for this. If you're going to draw with two words, I recommend you to understand which words needs more attention and try to do two compositions like this malware in here like happy birthday or happy birthday, these cases should be better if it was a portrait instead of a landscape. Happy birthday, birthday yields are much bigger than the happy. Both of them like this, it will be interesting. Don't limit yourself through compositions. You can do whatever you want, whatever you feel it would be interesting. Try to choose at least two compositions to work with. I'm going do this one in congratulations, and this one for congrats to see which one works better if it's congratulations or congrats. See you on the next video. 10. Sketching: After drawing our Autumn layers over here, I choose these two, and I'm going to draw each one here. First of all, let's just fold this paper in half. I choose the word 'CONGRATULATIONS' and this composition. On this case, let's not start a word on the very limit of the page. Just give it a space, some space to breath. The base line, everything is going to be capital. All the letters on this composition will probably be capital letters, so I only have to limit myself between two lines. Everything has to be condensed, don't get distracted on only one letter so you won't be writing a 'G' super condensed and then an 'R' extremely expanded. Depending on what is going to be your letter style, try to put more space between the letters, so when you put contrast and put thicks and thins, everything won't be just super squeezy. 'CONGRATULATIONS.' On this case, I have 15 letters. If you want to understand how to fit every letter on the same composition, I did this way because it's practice, but on this case, 15 letters. You can put seven, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, so seven over here and seven over here and the 'U' is extremely in the middle. You can put the letter that's on the middle before everything else and then you put the 'LATUTIONS' and 'CONGRAT' after putting the 'U.' You can make sure that everything has the same length, has the same width. Some people also divide the space within squares and you fit the letters inside these squares. But at this case, as I have the 'I' I can put right with the 'T' or the 'L' with 'A,' the 'T' with the 'U,' or the 'C' with the 'O' mingly. I'm not sure that's the block system will work for me, but it can work for you. Now, let's think about these swashes, I could do something like that, but I'm not sure it would be wise because I have all the space over here. On this stage, it could be interesting if you want to use tracing paper, that's the transparent paper that you use to just write on the top of a sketch, on another paper and just copy parts of your previous drawing. Also, this stage is interesting if you don't limit yourself on just one or two compositions or one or two examples. Do as many as you like, as many as you want and you can experiment different things, go off your limits. I have one over here and I need to put some over here. When you put the same ornament on top and bottom, I believe it weakens a bit the sketch and the art that you're creating. It could be interested if you try something new like one that comes all the way over here. I have two letters over here that gives me the freedom of a swash or ornament. This is interesting, but maybe a bit too much, let's see. Maybe it's a bit too much because I don't have too many swirls, and ornaments, and flourishes on the bottoms or maybe I put too much of attention on the top and none of it on the bottom. I like those two, but I need to make something here that gives also the same volume that it goes here, so let's see. This is a mess how can we make this not to be a bigger mess? Tracing paper. With tracing paper that I told you before, we can copy and create layers in old school style. How can we make this? We are going to copy what's on the other paper. We already have everything corrected, this is one of the sketches just one. I like this option better than this one, but I think it would be interesting if I make another sketch. Don't forget the sketches are the most important part of your creation, so it's usual to take a lot of time to make this. Don't worry if you have a lot of options and you can decide between them. Just think strategically and how you can make it better. Let's jump to our second sketch. The second composition would be to define that similar limit on a paper. I just picked up A4 paper and cutting half just by folding it. It's similar to a postcard size so it's totally fine to do this. I really like that style that we talked before but before putting everything else, I'll just start with my skeleton. As you can see, this one is too big and now I have to squeeze in everything. I'm going to try and make it different thing, making everything smaller. Considering that 'CONGRATS' let's see six, seven, nine characters, so four over here and four over here. The 'R' is in the middle. Let's do this again. I am putting a lot of space between the letters because want it to be bolder than the previous sketch. We'll have to put a lot of space considering your letter's going to be big. If you have an iPad Pro it can be quicker for you to create the sketch because you can just select and put it to the right or to the left, or wherever you need. Don't forget to make the letters to stay in the same medium lanes, because if you put a letter like an 'A' like this one and then 'AN' like this one, there's no consistency at all. Unless all the letters of your sentence has the goal of making everything different, it's okay. But if you want to make everything in the same grid then you have to consider that each letter has a width, it has has to be more or less on the same length. This is why calligraphy is so important for consistency. In the last five minutes, I was creating this ligature between the 'A' and the 'S,' but that didn't become very interesting and confused, so I just made the A'' finish here and just a little up because I am going to put a very tiny serif here so it doesn't get legibility problems and a rigidy 'S' with the same termination as the 'A.' I just finalized here the 'R.' I put his pointy part over here and to maintain this inconsistency, I did the same over here as I have this 'R' that it's an easy letter to make a flourish on the downside and I'd have some letters that can make the same thing on the upper side of my art. I just faked it. I faked an ornament and maintain this inconsistency as here. It is okay if the serifs are as exactly these equal, because this serif is very different from this one. I have this, I some have a few things to erase also so this skeleton is two here on this 'N' and this 'R.' It's totally okay if your sketch is not perfect, you'll have to at least have a better notion of what you're going to do when you vector it. It's okay not to be perfect, but it's not okay to have a very rough sketch. Because when you start the mechanical process of lecturing all in your sketch has to be very clear. This shadow I'm going to make, it's not supposed to be perfect because this is just a sketch. When I thought this on Illustrator, I'm going to finish all the main letters before, and after that, I'm just going to copy and paste the lettering and around to the shallow. I'm going to teach you how to do this. In this case, I forgot to tell you I put the light coming from over here. We have the sketch and we also have this one, although I like both, I think I'm going to stay with this second one. On the next class, I'm going to show you how do I digitize my sketch? All you're going to need is our phone with a camera. The camera, the better your sketch is going to be. See you on the next class. 11. Digitizing Your Word: Okay, so let's digitize our sketch. I chose this one. I'm going to digitize this with my phone. I have an iPhone eight plus. I really like this camera. I don't have a scanner because I'm a very minimalist person. If you have a scanner, it's even better. But if you don't, you can use your phone. For this one, I'm going to just turn on my camera and I'm going to take out my arm so it doesn't appear. Anything else, take it off everything. Okay, that's it. Let's take two more just to make sure. If you are not going to scan, if you're going to take a picture, the same as I am, pay attention to the lighting. The more natural light you have, the better. Here's the photo. It's a pretty good one. I usually edit my photo exactly here on this app called Snapseed. Tap anywhere. Let's rotate. It's not a very clean sheet of paper. Let's just put it black and white. Let's just make as clear as possible. I'm not going to post on Instagram, so it's totally fine to use a lot of brightness in this. Contrast, that would be interesting. Make sure you are going to edit your photo to appear, as many elements as you can. Yeah, now we're talking. Because this is going to be important for you. We're going to use the photo with a bit of opacity on illustrators. It's even better if you have all the elements very neat and clear to see. On this app, you can just press the screen and see the before and after. It's very nice, I like this. No. Yeah, that's it. No, definitely not. Okay. I'm just going to export and save on my phone. Let's modify the initial picture that I did. Now I'm going to airdrop it, this picture to my computer. That's it, that's our picture. That's what I'm going to use it. Okay, let's just transfer it and see you in the next class. 12. Basics of Vectoring: Welcome to class 12. After digitizing your sketch and before putting on illustrator, I'm going to show you some basics of vector. First of all, let's draw a circle. I just created an illustrator, A4 size here. Let's put it on the outlines. Yeah, that's it. What happens to this circle? As you can see, I put Command Y to put it in this preview mode because it's going to be easier for me to explain it to you and zooming in, so you can see properly. In a circle, we have this points on horizontal and vertical. As you can see over here, this curve is supported by this handle and this handle. As you can see, if I push this handle up, the curve is not going to be natural. So like this. This is what is going to happen. If we put everything back, it's going to be a perfect curve or almost perfect. All of those handles have to work together. The same thing happens to our sketch. But how do we put all the handles straight like this? Pressing "Shift". This is what's going to happen, if you press shift. But if i release shift, the handle is freely moving. So press on this here. Then that's it. Now, instead of a circle, I draw a rectangle, here you have four anchor points. There it is, four anchor points. They don't have any handles. If I put any handles with the Pen tool, that you can activate by pressing the letter P for Pennsylvania. This is what's going to happen. But if I hold "Shift", I can put like this. If I hold option, I hold this. You can learn a lot with the anchor points and the handles and beziers by playing the game called the Bezier Game. This will be included in your PDF and you can play the game so you can have a better notion of how to work properly with the Pen tool. It's practice, it's not talent. It's not a gift. It's just practice. So practice a lot with the Pen tool. On the next class, I'm going to show you how to use our Pen tool and our handles and our anchor points properly by creating our final project. 13. Vectoring Your Word: Let's start vectoring our art on this class. What's happening over here? First of all, I'm using Illustrator, but you can use any tool for vectoring you want, so that's not exactly a problem as long as you know how to use the software. I really like Illustrator because I use it for years, so it's a huge comfort zone for me. I put the art over here and put 30 percent with opacity and I created a second layer with a guides but the lines that I'm going to use for the letters and it's really okay if this is not right, I will correct later and you will see and I also put the guide layer on opacity. This one is for the 30 percent and I usually create a third layer with the art. This way that I'm factoring, this way of organizing I learned from Jessica Hische, Skillshare class and you can also check her amazing class because she's an amazing artist. After you learn about the square and the handles with the anchor point to the circle, I'm going to show you how to make with the letter. We are going to put the points on the extrema. This is one extrema point, this is another one. When the lines and the drawings are crossing is where you have to put your points. Here we have a another one, I'm putting in the middle because I already know where it is so to make the line straight, it's always on the extrema. It makes no sense if you put a point over here and it makes the line non-natural and the same thing's going to happen with the o. The o is going to be here and here. We can correct this later, if I see that the points are not exactly in the best position, the curve is not exactly supernatural. We can correct this. I'm going to group this and put this at 20 percent opacity, so it doesn't really know how it's going to be this bad. Lock the group and put everything where it is needed to be. Usually, I don't use too much vertical points. Usually my points are only on horizontal except on the cases that the curve is not exactly really good, so I put some vertical points, this one right like here and here. Further for creating the points, you are going to vary a lot between Pen tool and the Direct Selection tool, that's the pen tool. Shortcut for the pen tool was letter s, because I vary a lot between this one and this one, that's the shortcut a, s and a so it's easier for me to press both when they are close to each other. This hint I also got from Jescca Hische. This one is going to need a new point over here, let's change its color to black. I should put point over here and another point over here that's an [inaudible] section. All the job from this curve is handled between this and this and it's totally fine if everything is weird for now because I'm just starting my vector process. If you want to use before it vectoring your art, just draw lines on the extrema points so you can understand where exactly to put your points, this can help you a lot to make a nice high-quality vector art. I'm going to just erase this one, so I can. I'll just use the o so you can see one more time. As you can see in this part, this handle, let me change this color, so you can see better, green is a good one. This handle is doing way more job than this one, and that's not exactly a problem because this part is way smaller than this part, so it's okay if this handles are smaller than these ones. Just something that you'll learn with practice. For this point, you can just move this left one by pressing Option on a Mac and Alt or if you use Windows, so you move just this one like this. Option again and you and I put usually another point like this for this part. But why do I bought just one here and continue the same? Because if I need to change this handle later and design core point later, this line doesn't get affected by this one, so they are two separate lines because they are two separate points, so this is why I make sometimes a triangle. I'm doing the same over here. You pulled away a bit after, where it should be ending, Option and here, Option again, Option again, and there it is. For this one, I'm not going to use the drying parts. I put and drag this part and meet this tiny triangle here, let's make this r a little r and put it right here. The tail of the r, I'm going to draw it separately, so it's easier for me to get the structure of the r better. The key to have a better vector art, the better quality is by making your art with the least amount of anchor points as possible, so you can have a better control of what's happening and you have less points to worry about. There we have our s, all the ships are weird but it's just the beginning. At the beginning don't worry about making everything super perfect because you're just starting. One thing that I always make, Save your art, never forget to save your art. Something can happen with your computers, something can happen with your schedule and suddenly you have to turn off your computer and you're going to lose your art, and you're going to lose everything that you're doing, so save your art. Learn from all those mistakes, save your art. I lost a lot of things in the past because I forgot to save my art. Now let's jump to refining our lettering. With that in mind, I'm going to create some circles to help me understand that the fix and things measures. Let's put it like this and it's already on opacity, so it's fine. One thing that helps is in the outline mode, then you can go by common, why? The measure of the thicks and thins from the c is going to be different from the other letters on this art because the c is way bigger than the other letters. It is going to be bigger and bolder, but not too much, this case it is too much. I think cladding this r with this measure that it is already not in the circle. Put the c bigger like this. Just a bit older and they will look from the same family, and the same alphabet. The themes going to be smaller, but I think not too much, but in this case not too much. These letters are having the same thickness from the r. Let's hide our drawing for a few moments and the work without it. Sometimes when you use the normal mode, it can be a bit annoying because of the colors so I like to work a lot in black and white at the beginning. Colors don't differentiate my eyes and my judgment. Our baseline is supposed to be here. Considering the optical adjustments from now on is just an eye thing. Is just to train eye skill. Just something that we have to learn from our mistakes and by learning from your mistakes, you make the points right. In this case, I don't want it to be so pointy. One thing that is also part of optical adjustments but a vector part is this, the pose that we are using for the thicker part of the O shouldn't be the same measure of the thicker parts of the M, for example. A well-respected limits from the end, but with that in mind, all the other letters of my alphabet will have the same thickness as the end. But the O as this is a round letter, the O should be thicker but just a little bit. They Os going to have the same thickness as the G because G is also a long letter. They're from the same family. I just put another point on this part of the end because I notice that it's too difficult to have a good stroke nature curves. I put some other one to make it as a support. It's good to have your max zoom in when your are vectoring but sometimes it can make you forget to see the big picture of the art. This is why I zoomed out to make the details, the adjustment that I'm making at this moment. Those guidelines can be great if you know how to use them. Now that we made our art, we have to make it narrower respect the other letters from our art. I believe this is the good size and happily, I'm not dealing anymore with handles, I'm just dealing with the anchor points because of this diagonal. All I have to adjust is this. When you have difficulties to create a letter that you already created but it's similar but not exactly the same. Like this case, the G is from the same structure as the C. You can use one or the other as a reference. That's not cheating. That's making your life easier. It's not a game. It's your work. I think this part is too difficult to make. What I'm going to do first is to make this curve natural. That's exactly where the point should be, so we put it there, then here. That's way better than before. For this one, I removed the handles, selecting the pen tool and before clicking the anchor point, I pressed option and click, and that's it. You'll remove the handle. Sometimes this is very helpful because it makes you create the handles all over again and you can have a better point of view. You can see more clearly what you are doing with the handles. Making this point crossing these is making a tangent. This is not actually very good for when you're seeing the big picture. I would replicate this size to these size but my baselines is curvy. It wouldn't make any sense. We finished our T. So let's look at and see how this is like. Its a nice one. We are going to make some adjustments here. Nothing big. You see this later. Let's jump to our S. The S is a very beautiful letter and struggling letter at the same time. Because it's too easy to make it falling to the right or falling to the left, like this case. So the key to a good S is when the letter can sit on itself. The base in the S is bigger than the top of the S. But not too bigger, just a tiny bit. It's very fancy, but it doesn't have anything to do with your other letters. I have to make this smaller here. We're not talking about making beautiful letters. We are thinking about making consistent letters. It doesn't worth anything. If you make a beautiful A, beautiful S, next to a beautiful T and one isn't related at all to the other. The letters need to be related. At the same time the letter S shouldn't be these wide because of these T and these A and the R and the others. They need to look like there sisters and brothers. One other detail about the S is this is curvy, curvy, curvy, curvy, straight and curvy, curvy, curvy. Unless this is your intention, this is what the S, the basic structure of the S should look like. This is also good. See this base a bit wider than the top and the top is really in the middle, so that letter doesn't look like it's going to fall right or left. When I zoom in is because I have high Myopia and Astigmatism since I was like 5-6 years old and I stopped at wearing glasses. I was healed for some time but my doctor said that If I decide someday to work on a computer all day, I will probably need my glasses back. When I entered in that school its covered lettering. That's what happened. I zoom in a lot, so I don't push my eyes harder than they can. For this reason I have to be careful so I don't lose track of the context and consistence. So this is why it's important. If you wear glasses, don't push yourself harder than your eyes can deal with. It's important to take up time off after like 40 minutes or one hour. When taking time off, don't look at your phone screen. That doesn't make any sense because you are trying to rest your eyes. Don't rest your eye is looking to another screen. Go lie down, go eat something but it's important to take a break from your eyes and vector work pushes your eyes a lot, a lot, a lot. It's important to be careful, is important to take care of your health before anything. This matter. Let's measure. A letter is sitting on itself. Yes, it is. It is rather than middle. Do exactly the way should be. I personally, don't like when we'll have a thick part crossing with another thick part. I believe it really looks like too thick. It's not you put too much attention in a detail that doesn't need that much attention. For this case, I'm going to fix this and make these part thinner. It's a bit wider than the end but I believe it's fine for now. It's better. Let's compare it to the R, yeah, it's okay too. Yeah, that it. Now, let's compare it to the A. You can compare the A with a triangle, so I believe it's fine. If we put a line over here, we can see. We have a better notion of our A, right at the middle. Yes, that's a great sign. The A is no falling to the left or to the right, so that's a great sign. The G also almost the same size as the T, also good and with the S. The height is not the same but obviously I want it to be different. But it's as wider as the G. Yeah, that's a great sign. For now, let's delete what we don't need, everything that's hidden and locked, we don't need anymore. Now, what I'm going to do is to reflect everything, to find more mistakes from a different perspective. This is calling much a lot of attention, so either I make this one, this flourish smaller or I can make this flourish thicker. The R has a tiny crop problem here, put this point right there a bit behind where it should be so the curve of the R is more natural, so we don't see at first where the point is. That's the key by the way. After seeing everything, what I'm going to do will be just some small details, very tiny details. I'm going to make this tail from the A smaller. I believe those are the mention flourishes that are calling too much attention. I don't think that's a good thing because a word should call more attention than the ornaments. Those adjustments I made, this is the letter spacing. This is wide space we have is called negative space. This T as you can see it has too much space between and the S also. What did I do? I just put the S a little closer to the T. I removed the big flourish from the A and made it smaller because it wasn't good for legibility. The space between the R and the A, it's a good space but the A has too much wide space on the outside. The R also has a bit here, here and also here. I let everything as it already was and I added some space between the G and the R, the G and the N, the N and the O, and put the O a bit closer to the C. Now, as I'm going to add a drop shade over here a 3D shadow here. After the shadow, I'll have to check this out and see how this C is working with the O if it's not too distance or too close. This is something that I have to see only after adding my details. Those pointy serifs are too pointy for me, so what I'm going to do is click on this tiny circle and make it round. If I click twice this is what happens. I'm going to put 0.53 and I'm going to do the same with all the others. Yeah, see, this is way better. I believe when there's a very pointy serif, vertex or something like that, I usually don't like it too much. Even when this one is too, if I put 0.53, it's just a tiny, it's something that only us will see. Yeah, that's it. Our main lettering is ready, so what I'm going to do now is add the shadow, put it in another color, lock the main one and drag and drop. How do I add shadows? This is what I do to add shadows. I already tried some other ways, that is way quicker for me. If you have a quicker way to add it, don't worry. It's your way, just use it. My way, I truly tried some other ways and I didn't like it. I didn't think it was so as precise as I wanted it to be. But is so weird and the points are imperfect and nobody cares, nobody is going to see, neither I'm going to see this. That's not exactly a problem. You will find a lot of other tutorials on how to create your shadow and how to create the perfect shadow. The perfect way is the way that you like, the way that makes you happy and makes your work the way you want it to be. Yeah, there it is, not so tiny shadow. Now, let's remember, what did we put? Yes, we did some inner lines. If you press Command H, you can see your line better because the handles will not appear. Anything that I select like this, the handles aren't appearing. To remember reactivating it, you press Command H again. Just try not to put exact so much on the top or on the bottom, give it a little space. In those cases, you don't exactly need the base here, points that are the extrema horizontal and vertical. On this case you can just be careful not to make a new weird and unnatural curve. Every anchor point you add to an illustrate has to be a reason. It has to hold something, it has to eliminate something, has to be at least one reason. If there is not a motive for that anchor point to be there just remove it and do the curve in other way. There you go, that's our illustration. Everything is in black and white because I don't like being influenced by colors. Now, let's just erase the colors so we can finally create our own color palette on the next class. Thanks for watching this very long one and see you on the next class where we will talk about colors and finalizing this lettering 14. Choosing Color: Before choosing the color for our lettering, I'm going to talk to you just a bit about the color wheel and how it works. My personal experience with color is very intuitive and doesn't have much thinking about color theory. But I'm going to teach you some things that I know, it's not everything. It's nice if you want to study by yourself, look on the Internet and look for books with color theory. But for now, what I'm going to remind you is this, this, and this one are the primary colors. So red, yellow, and blue. With those two, we have orange, that's a secondary color. With those two, we have green, that's also a secondary color, and with red and blue, we have the purple, that's also a secondary color. With those in mind, we have the complimentary colors. The complimentary colors are always on the opposite side of each other and will always have a primary or secondary color on the other side. So on this case, we have the green, that's a secondary. On the purple case, we have the yellow. On this case we have a secondary with a primary. Analog colors are colors that are next to each other, so those three are analog colors. Also those three are analog colors, and analog colors works better on illustrations. We can sometimes try to put a complimentary color, it's good. With all that in mind, we also have the warm colors and the cold colors. The warm colors here and the cold colors. I recommend that you study the color wheel by yourself if you want to learn more about it. With this theory in mind, let's start with our lettering. I have here the art that I created and I'll rename it Background, Shadow, Typography, and the Inner lines. All in black and white so the color influence my judgment. I also put my art on a new layer called Color, and I will put a lot of color options below, so you'll see. I also searched for some references on Pinterest for color palette to make things easier for you to understand my very intuitive process. I basically put typed on Pinterest, party color palette, so this is what I've got. I'm starting to work with those, but I'm not exactly sure that I'm going to use those colors, maybe some colors similar to those. Let's activate our color picker and start creating. I always switch my color on swatch to global. I have the color palette saved, so if I change this color, the part in my illustration of what I am using that color gets also changed. I don't have to keep changing back and forth. So let start. Let's try to start by using this orange. Yeah, I like this. I usually try to start with my comfort zone and I really like red or reddish arts so far the shadow, let's try to put something a bit darker and activate Command H so you can see better what you are doing. But this kind of red is not necessarily what I want to do, so no. I'll click out side and choose just a darker one. I like this very much. Yes. Let's choose definitely, no. Well, I like this one, it looks like the Congrats is popping up, and the inner lines. I usually don't like to use a lot of color inside my artwork because I have a feeling that it will be too much. This is why in this case I'm choosing no more than, one, two, three, four colors, but two are very similar. This is nice. Like this one. This one is okay, I like this. I have my first option, so I'm going to group it Option 1. Let's try again. So different background the purple one. No, not to party. Orange one. Orange is nice. Orange with purple. Yeah, I like orange and purple. What if we try a yellow? It doesn't pop too much. Yellow starts mixing with the orange on the background. So pinkish is cool. Definitely no, definitely no. So I like this one. I'd like a more yellow tone from this one. So let's make this yellow. If I don't have it, I'll make it and another orange. Yeah, I like this. I also think that this shadow may be not big enough. I like the size of this one, but I think it would be interesting if we have another one coming on the opposite side. This kind of thing usually happens, so I'm just going to make it very quickly. Here we have our second and final shadow. This is how it would look like, as a very discrete. Yeah that's it. I don't like too much this color, so let's try another one. As our background is a yellow, a very light color. So, I'm going to choose a darker one. I like this. What if we darken just a bit this blue. Wow, I like it. Not too bright colors for the inner lines, so it doesn't get too much attention, no definitely not. See, those are very opposite on the color wheel. So this is why it doesn't work. This is why it's interesting if we use analog colors. We have a yellow and we have this blue and the white, almost white, but it's kind of yellow, I like this one. Option 2, let's try a different one. As the yellow is a very bright one. Also, the white this doesn't work. But an orange works, but it's a problem with the blue and the orange. So let try to find, a lighter orange works better, I like it, but not too much. The orange and the almost white are competing for attention. I don't think I like this one. This is nice. I like this. Option 3. Let's try the same option that we tried before, but now with the second shadow. Before all those options, this was what we had. Now I am going to try to replicate this one. Yes, so we have four options. Let's see what we have for now. We start out with this and then this. Wow, I like this. Then this one, and now we have this one. Although I really liked red, I also like a lot this one. So, let's try to make some variation from this. This and this, this, and this. I liked both work really well. Let's try one last with a light background. Let's just create what to cheerful. But in this case the type should be very, very dark to maintain the contrast. Definitely not, so we have this, this one and this one and also this one. So the most cheerful Option, 5, 4, and 2. I really like the other option and this one. So I'm going to leave you with two options, and there you go. These are all final Arts. I promised you one and I'm leaving you with two. So we have two options. I'm looking forward to see what you come up with. Please send me yours if you want to print it, it would be amazing to see it finalized. If you have other skill that you want to add like animation or animate your final work, it would be also awesome because as this is a vector, you can do whatever you want, in which size you wan, so. I'm leaving you to it. Now let's go to our next class and last one. 15. Final Thoughts: Let's make your recap. We have learned there are difference between lettering, calligraphy and typography. We started with where to apply your work and what you can do with lettering. We learned about lettering styles, serifs, shadows, how to use shadows properly, how to make a good quality sketch, how to digitalize it, how to vector it from scratch, and how to choose the best colors for your art. My less advice is practice and study calligraphy. Calligraphy is the base for everything inside the lettering world and no artist can draw a cartoon character without learning human anatomy first. You have to understand the base. You can't draw a good quality lettering without learning calligraphy. I would love to see your final drawings and final project. Keep updating them here, so I can give you the best feedback I can to improve your skills. Congratulations for finishing this class. See you in the next one.