Lettering for Designers: One Drop Cap Letterform at a Time

Jessica Hische, Letterer and Illustrator

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13 Videos (1h 40m)
    • Introduction

      1:31
    • Research

      6:04
    • What is Lettering?

      4:30
    • Brainstorming

      6:12
    • Upload, Share, and Critique

      2:04
    • Sketching Tips

      13:33
    • Initial Sketching

      4:57
    • Choosing a Direction

      10:06
    • Drop Cap #1

      16:59
    • Drop Cap #2

      11:03
    • Letterform Basics

      7:39
    • Plotting Vector Points

      6:06
    • Self-Critique

      9:31

About This Class

The foundation of all lettering is understanding how to create just one beautiful letter.

In this popular class, learn how to create beautiful letters and alphabets by starting with the simplest possible project: making a single letter! You'll join acclaimed letterer and illustrator Jessica Hische as she walks through her personal lettering process and share tips and tricks from throughout her stunning career, ranging from personal projects like "Daily Drop Cap" and "Should I Work For Free" to opening title sequences for Wes Anderson.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Sketch your ideas to create a solid foundation for your design
  • Digitize your work in illustrator, including using handlebars and vector points
  • Identify what makes a letter look organic and replicate it in your own work
  • Critique your work to get those solid finishing touches (even perfect curves)

After finishing this class, you will have a finished drop cap letter and a full arsenal of tools to create perfect letters that will feel natural and look amazing for every project and style.

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1,298 of 1,306 students recommendSee All

These Lettering classes are awesome
I really enjoyed this class. Jessica has such a fun personality. She keeps the whole class informative and entertaining. I only wish my design professors in college would have been this engaging!
This course is as engaging as her work. I've been designing for almost 15 years, and still learned some great insights about letterforms and how to be the boss of the pen tool. Though the course is specific to the project (creating a drop cap letterform based on a book), the knowledge is highly applicable to all areas of design. Shining a light on the elbow greasy practice, and tedium that goes into great work is refreshing, encouraging, and diminishes intimidation. I'm also a sucker for any course that lets you watch a great designer create something from start to finish. Thank you Jessica Hische!

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Jessica Hische

Letterer and Illustrator

Jessica Hische is a letterer, illustrator, and self-described "avid internetter." After graduating with a degree in Graphic and Interactive Design from Tyler School of Art, she worked for Headcase Design in Philadelphia before taking a position as Senior Designer at Louise Fili Ltd. While working for Louise, Jessica also maintained a busy freelance career, and, after two and a half years of little sleep and a lot of lettering, she left to further her freelance career and embark on several personal projects.

Jessica has become as well known for her side projects as she has for her client work. While she doesn’t consider herself a web designer, many of her personal projects are web-centric. Her project Daily Drop Cap is probably the reason you first stumbled across her work, and she’s created several educational micro-sites including Mom This is How Twitter Works, Should I Work for Free?, and Don’t Fear the Internet (a collaborative project with Russ Maschmeyer).

Jessica’s clients include Wes Anderson, Tiffany & Co., The New York Times, Penguin Books, Target, Leo Burnett, and Wired Magazine. She’s been named a Print Magazine New Visual Artist (20 under 30), one of Forbes 30 under 30 in Art and Design, an ADC Young Gun, and a “Person to Watch” by GD USA.

She is currently serving on the Type Directors Club Board of Directors.