The Golden Secrets of Hand-Lettering: Create the Perfect Postcard | Martina Flor | Skillshare

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The Golden Secrets of Hand-Lettering: Create the Perfect Postcard

teacher avatar Martina Flor, Letterer & Designer

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. Introduction

    • 3. The Project

    • 4. Looking for Inspiration

    • 5. Letter Design Basics

    • 6. Rough Sketches

    • 7. Refining your Sketch

    • 8. Vector Drawing Techniques for Letter Shapes I

    • 9. Vector Drawing Techniques for Letter Shapes II

    • 10. Color and Texture

    • 11. Conclusion

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About This Class

Berliner Letterer and Designer Martina Flor will introduce you to the Art of Lettering and will teach you the principles behind letter design as well as effective techniques to think, sketch and create a lettering piece from scratch. Martina believes that drawing letters is something everyone can learn and is willing to unveil all secrets behind this art.

She will also show you how is the professional work with custom typography and lettering, including tips to improve your work process. You'll walk away from this class with a sharper eye when working with typography and essential and practical tools to draw lettering and to guide your own improvement afterwards. After this class you'll see typography in a completely different way.


Class Outline

  • Trailer. Have you seen a beautiful postcard, and wondered exactly what was involved in  its creation? The source is actually a profession called lettering art. This process includes creating concepts, sketching outlines, and digitalization. In this class, letterer and designer Martina Flor will show you how to make unforgettable postcards.
  • Introduction. This course will teach you how lettering, calligraphy, and type design are different. For example, a calligraphy letter is more flowing and artful than lettering designs. Type design is about matching combinations of stylized letters for mass production, rather than creating something like a postcard. Lettering has more of an emphasis on storytelling and is more commercial than calligraphy art.
  • The Project. Your project is intended to design lettering for a postcard. The card will only contain a few words, but you will need to put a lot of time and care into each letter. You can use Flor’s examples to inspire you and grasp an idea of what you can create. You will see how simple combinations of shapes, color, and typography can express relatively complex messages and emotions.
  • Looking for Inspiration. Look at some design websites, which can help you understand lettering. Then you’ll become inspired to make original postcards. Photos of physical signs can be useful templates as well. Everything from chrome on car logos to street art can catalyze your creativity. Try taking a walk and looking for examples.
  • Letter Design Basics. You will master three basic lettering shapes: square, circle, and triangle. Most letters embody or fall under or embody combinations of these three broad categories. However, there are differences between capital letters and lowercase letters.
  • Rough Sketches. Now it’s time to dive into the project. You will learn about the different materials and styles that might be optimal for creating lettered postcards. For example, it might be helpful to use tracing paper in addition to regular paper. Some artists use multiple mini-sketches, while others reserve a whole piece of paper for one draft.
  • Refining Your Sketch. You will learn how to use tracing paper to refine your rough sketches into beautiful designs that are fit for postcards. This technique allows you to improve your drawings layer by layer.
  • Vector Drawing Techniques for Letter Shapes I. Vector drawing is a valuable skill for any design career. You will learn how to transform drawings into digital assets, which use vectors to mimic and expand rough sketches. This process will help you develop sharper shapes, curves, and edges. The instructor will demonstrate fundamentals of vector drawing, including extrema points and handles.
  • Vector Drawing Techniques for Letter Shapes II. Now you can use your knowledge of extrema points and other aspects of design to draw vectors. You will practice the manipulation of extrema points, handles, and strokes. This project is a great opportunity to improve your skill through Adobe Illustrator.
  • Color and Texture. You will learn some techniques for adding color and texture to lettering. This part of the project is another opportunity to improve your skills in Adobe Illustrator.
  • Conclusion. By the time you’re finished with this class, you should have a grasp on the fundamentals of lettering art. Perhaps postcards will only be the beginning for you.  

Meet Your Teacher

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Martina Flor

Letterer & Designer


Martina Flor combines her talents as both a designer and an illustrator in the drawing of letters. Based in Berlin, she runs one of the world’s leading studios in lettering and custom typography, working for clients all over the globe such as The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, HarperCollins, Monotype, Etsy, Adobe, Mercedes Benz, Lufthansa, and Cosmopolitan, among many others.

Martina Flor earned her Master’s in Type Design from the esteemed Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, The Netherlands. Since then she has dedicated a large part of her time to teaching lettering and type design. She has published two books in several languages,  The Golden Secrets of Lettering a... See full profile

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1. Trailer: My name is Martina Flor, and I'm a lettering artist and designer, working and living in Berlin, Germany. I run my studio on lettering and custom typography, were I work on projects of different kind for fans around the world. I guess it's called, The Golden Secrets of Lettering, and we will be going through all the process of creating a lettering piece from scratch, from concept, to sketch, to digitalization, including some tips to add color and texture to your final art. This final art would be used for a postcard that we could send to someone we like, someone we would like to get in touch with, or a complete stranger. The concept of this class is based on my letter collections online project, where I design and send postcards around the globe, and I will share my making that process with you. We will start by training our typographic eye by looking at examples of typography or typographic faces that surround us. I will show you some theoretical principles to understand the structure of letter shapes, and I will share with you the clinical use to achieve more, extreme, personal, and unique result when working with lettering. This class this suitable for beginners as well as for those with previous experience, who want to go a step forward into the art of lettering, and expand their set of creative skills. After this class, we will see typography in a completely different way. 2. Introduction: Hi, welcome to my class. Before we start or to start, I actually would like to start defining a little bit what lettering is. Lettering is often confused with either calligraphy or type design. Actually lettering is a discipline on itself. Lettering is drawing letters while calligraphy is writing letters, this means that in calligraphy we try to master a certain tool following a certain model to write beautiful letters and calligraphy embraces a lot the randomness and the surprise of a certain stroke described by this tool scratching the paper. In the case of lettering, it is more a design discipline. It means that we decide or we made a certain decision on how do we want a certain letter to look like. How do we want this A to be. How do we want this curve to look like. In this sense, it's pretty similar or is related to type design where also the type designers decide on a certain shape they want their letters to have. The case of type design, what a type designer does is to design an alphabet where every possible combination of letters works. This means that the resulting font, I can install it in my computer and I can write any word with it, and every combination will work. In the case of lettering, we are producing custom work. We're producing work that is applied on just one or a few applications. I designed a lettering piece for my studio. I have this hanging on my studio wall to explain my colleagues and also my clients a little bit about what my work is about. I often say that lettering is telling stories with letters. It sounds a bit poetic, but at the same time it explains why lettering is different to type design. We are designing letters. We are working with letter shapes, but we're also telling a story with that, we are communicating something. In this sense we combine letter shapes, color, texture, and also composition. We decide how this certain design is sitting on a certain page. We try to tell a story, to communicate something with that. This is a little bit about lettering. Finally, I come from a type design background. I got my master in type design in the Badlands. After that, I specialized in lettering. Actually the big challenge on my career was to actually get loose, to actually achieve colorful, interesting, and very extreme results. You see that the technique I'm going to share today with you is informed by these two facts in my career. On one side, the very nerdy background that has to do with knowing why the letter shapes are how they are and what's the basics behind letter design and on the other hand, a technique that I developed with the time that allows me to create very expressive and extreme results. These combined is what I'm going to share with you today. Stay there, we're going to see now what the project we're going to develop in this class is going to be about. 3. The Project: The project we're going to do together in this class is designing a lettering for a postcard. I think it's a good way to start to focus on a word or a couple of words so we can actually get the best out of this class. I would like to share with you some of the pieces I did for a side project of mine called Lateral Collections; it's an early project where I design regularly a postcard that I would send to someone around the world. Most of these postcards are a way to explore different lettering styles and a way also to create series of lettering using same style. This is one of the postcards I made in my project. In this case, I used a lettering style with open serifs and I chose a color scheme that works nicely with this concept. Blue and orange and black, don't have so much contrast among them, however the white is bringing the type to the front of the postcard. A series I did for this project is illustrating all the seasons, so in this case I illustrated Autumn. The letter shapes are based on these broken or using this broken dry stroke endings that reminds to the trees in Autumn, as well the decorative elements that are surrounding the lettering piece have to do with the Autumn. The texture that I'm using inside the letters also reminds to the textures found on a tree or on the leaves. So altogether is speaking about Autumn, the color scheme that also has to do with this dry leaves and with these dry trees is speaking together with the letter shapes and the texture use. On the other hand for instance, for Spring, I draw a much more friendly letter shapes or much more elegant letter shapes with this soft terminals that are combined with a spring color scheme, help me communicate the idea of flourishing and of sun and flowers. This is a German expression, in German geil means hot or cool, so this means super cool or super hot. What I decided to do for this is to use very sharp letter shapes that are combined with this golden effect, express the idea of super hot or cool or super glamorous. I liked this project because it allows me to develop series of the same lettering style. In this case, I was using this 50s lettering style and I could create two different postcards and explore what are the possibilities of this lettering style and I used also different color schemes but they have a relationship to each other. To speak about, excellent, I draw very neat and very elegant and sharp letter shapes. I combined them with these very thin and joyful flourishes and the color scheme, a little bit laid back but at the same time with a lot of contrast, is helping me to express the idea of excellence and perfection. In the same direction but in an ironic way, I used the same elements for this postcard. In this case I was trying to be ironic, say something awful or not really nice to someone in a very elegant and refined way. Sometimes the selection of certain shapes help you either to be ironic or either to reinforce your message. The last one I'm showing you is this one from a quote from a German artists, where I used the idea of artists and the idea of strokes and very expressive gestures. I translated this into very flamboyant strokes and in my topography. The idea, whatever you want to communicate, is also related to the combination of color, letter shapes, texture. So in this first exercise, we are going to concentrate on combining all these elements into one postcard. I recommend you to just choose one word, maximum two or three, so you can get the best out of it. In a second trial or in a third trial, you will be able to draw probably more words than those. But I will recommend you to start by small piece of lettering. Go choose your word and we see each other in the next lecture. 4. Looking for Inspiration: Now, I would like to show you a couple of sites and places where I looked for inspiration for my work. We are surrounded by typography, so we can find inspiration everywhere, in the street, on the newspaper, on the packaging of the things we eat. We are surrounded all the time by typography, not necessarily good or well done, but hopefully, this class will make our eyes sharper so we can actually differentiate or recognize the things that are well-done from the things that are not so well done. I have two sites that I would like to share with you. Vernacular Typography, it's a project by Molly Woodward and I assume she lives in New York because she has a brief stance archive of typography in New York divided in different categories. For instance, she has gold lettering, so you can scroll through all the different types of gold lettering in New York, and you can have more or less an overview of which letter shapes are used on this technique. Some pictures are better than others, but the archive is Briggs tense. You have also, for instance, neon&lights, so you can already see a difference, how the material that is used to build that sign is affecting the letter shapes. Usually, with neon signs, you have to try to keep the light tube in a piece throughout several letters. You can see here the connection between the B and the A, and the connection between the A and the R. This is pretty interesting to see there's a lot of other categories. I will also like to show you typography in other places in France, for instance. It's interesting to see how the lettering is speaking about the identity of that place, and how letter shapes are starting to have a relationship to each other, and how they also change according to the material they are made of, whether they are made of metal or wood or neon as we just saw. It is pretty interesting to see how, for instance, lettering found in France looks in combination with lettering found in Italy, for instance. That is a mix of all sorts of street art, but you can already find some interesting pieces, and how the shapes are starting to have a relationship to each other. Look at this R for instance here, and look at the R on this other sign. Now, they have a relationship in shape, and perhaps, it's not a coincidence that they are found on the same city. Scripted typography or connected typography and as well neon typography. This is a pretty interesting one to go through. There's another one that I really like. This is chromeography. It's a project by Stephen Coles and it's a collaborative project where everyone can actually submit pictures. What I find really interesting from this is that it's very specific. It collects only pictures of the chromes found on the cars, and I found incredible that they're so different from each other although they're using the same material and they're used for the same purpose, as a name tag for that car. What I also find very interesting from this is to see how they relate to the car and how they express a certain feature of that car, whether that car is fast or modern or very fancy or whether that car is for families or a family car. By using the same material, the possibilities are multiple or infinite. I actually recommend you to go out and start looking up in your city and your neighborhood to try to identify the topography pieces that are calling your attention. They will be pretty useful for later when we start training our eye on being critical with those shapes or those lettering pieces. 5. Letter Design Basics: After training our typographic eye by looking at examples, I would like to show you some theoretical tips that combined with your observation will help you draw your letters a lot easier. When drawing letters or when working with letter design, we basically use three shapes or three basic shapes. Let me show you what I mean with this. I will quickly draw a word with a few letters in it. In this word I have the three basic shapes that I am going to work with when drawing my letters. I have the square or the rectangle, I have also the circle or the circular shapes and I have the triangle. Under these three big groups, I can group most of my letters. The H is under the rectangular shapes group, I can also name the E for instance. The L, I have it over there but I will draw it again. I have the T, I have the I. The group of the rounded shapes, I have the Q as well, I have the O, I have the Q, I have the C for instance. For the group of the triangular shapes, I have the A, I have the V, I have the W. By identifying these groups, I can also find letters that use features from several groups for instance by having the information from the rectangular group and combining it with the information I get from the group of the circular shapes, I can for instance draw a D. I get the information from the stems that I find here on the square group and I get an idea of how the rounded shapes look like from this group. Here's my D information or D and A from the square and from the rounded shapes. The same happens for instance if I want to build a P or a B, or a G. For instance, if I combine D and A from this group with the triangular group, I can get information to build a K for instance. I know how the straight stems are from this group. I get that information from here and I can find out how this diagonal shapes look like from this group here. This is concerning the capital letters. The same happens with the lowercase for instance. I will quickly draw some basic shapes here. When working with lowercase letters, we basically have a couple of guidelines to guide our drawing. Here's the x-height. This is the line that all my letters will be reaching. I have also an ascenders line where letters like B or L or T sometimes will be reaching. I have my descenders line where letters like P or Q will be reaching. I will draw my basic shapes here. By having these three basic shapes or these three, let's say key shapes from my alphabet, then I have a lot of information to build other letters. For instance, if I want to build a P I know how a stem looks from the N, so I will just use that stem for my P. I know how the rounded shapes look like from my O. I will get that belly bit from that. The same happens if I want to build a B for instance. I have my stem again, the information is here. When I speak about information, it means like how thick the stem is, whether it has a curve to it or not. All these details that I can obtain from what is already in the drawing. I have a p, I have a b and they are built from this key shapes that I have here as well. I can say I will build a K. I have again the information from the stems and I have some information from the V over there that I can use to build this diagonal shapes of my K. I have an idea of how a serif looks like whether it's rounded, whether it's spiky, whether it's splitted. Of course, this is not a mathematical way or it's not a formula to build the letters and construct them. There's of course a lot of features to each of the letters but basically you can group letters that have to do and design them together when working on your lettering. The solution for your drawing is always on the drawing itself. The last concept I want to show you that will also be helpful for drawing your letters is the concept of spacing. Spacing is the space between your letters. There's a principle that says that the space within the letter should be similar to the space between the letters. This means that the space that I have over there, if this is water, I should be able to feed the same amount of water or a similar amount of water here in between. This means that the letter itself gives you a lot of information already of how far it has to sit from the next letter. This is another thing to look at when you're drawing your letters. With this principle, the thicker your letters will get, the less spacing you will have. If my whole letter is thicker, I will have a lot less counter space or inner space and therefore a lot less space between the letters. 6. Rough Sketches: So good. Now we're starting with our project, and before I would like to tell you a little bit about the tools that I use to work. It is not much actually, I use an automatic pencil, a mechanical pencil. I don't have a preference in the brand or anything. I just use mechanical pencils because you don't have to sharpen them all the time and it's not so messy. I have with me an eraser. I don't use it much you'll see. I also prefer to work with loose paper. Its the same if it's A4 or a letter format. I think this is a good size to work on the details and to move fast with my drawing. I also like to be independent from maintaining a sketchbook, it's too much pressure. I always have the feeling that I have to keep it nice and I have to do nice drawings over there. So I'd rather keep loose paper that I can throw away if I don't like it and I can keep whatever makes sense. The other material I use is tracing paper. This one. I usually buy 40 grams tracing paper and I like to buy it in a roll. So I can get this as much big as I want. So I will show you later how to use this tracing paper. To start with I will show you how to put down your ideas on paper. When starting a project, I don't start directly on the first sketch. I usually do small sketches and then I try out different compositions, different lettering styles, and this is a very fast process. It allows me to see in which direction I want to go and it allows me to move faster. So I'm going to do a postcard. We are going do a postcard or lettering for a postcard. So I'm going to send a postcard that says Berlin, to you guys. What I basically do is I make very small sketches like this small where I can get an idea of the format. I can say, I will use Roman type with some pearls and we'll see it like this on the paper. So very quickly I get an idea of how this will look. This could be a direction, another direction. This are just first ideas. When I move forward with my drawing, this will definitely change. The process itself would change shapes and composition. Let me try one with my handwriting. I use a lot my handwriting tool to create the skeletons that I can later use in my designs. So these are very small sketches that I did in around two minutes. It gives me an idea of different directions I can go with my drawing or with my design. What this allows me is to have first overview of how the structure could be, which lettering style I'm using, whether I'm using Roman non-connected style or I'm using my own handwriting to do my design. But in very few minutes, I can decide on a couple of directions and keep working on those further. So I will just take this to a bigger scale, either by copy or either by translating this into a bigger piece of paper. 7. Refining your Sketch: Now what I did is basically replicating what I had here in my little drawing to a bigger size. You could also make a copy, as I said. On this base, I'm going to work on layers of improvement. The layers are these tracing paper that I talked to you about. We're just going to place a sheet of tracing paper and what is good from this technique is that by drawing with layers of tracing paper, you pick up whatever was good from the previous drawing, you can pick it up again, you can just copy it, and whatever was wrong, you can change it and improve it. You have the chance to actually improve your drawing without actually starting over and without destroying the drawing you did before, which allows you to move a lot faster to make all the changes you want to be less careful with your own drawing. What I like to do with my designs is to try different extreme changes. For instance, in this case I have these faces but I could, for instance say, what about this being super thick? In my next layer, I can try out how this whole design using that as a basis could look a lot thicker. I usually work very fast in the beginning, I don't stop in the details I just like to define the overall shapes and move from general to particular, from the big picture to the details. I think in the beginning there's a lot more decision-making to make in the overall picture than in the details themselves and it happens a lot that in the beginning you find yourself working for an hour in a knee or drawing an N that you will later have to change because it doesn't work with your R or with your T or something. What I'm doing now is basically applying one decision to the whole design. I said, let's make everything thicker so I'm just doing everything thicker. This is my second layer, that's my first, that's my second layer. This is my second layer I have already something pretty different from what I had before. Can I continue doing decision-making changes stuff? Of course, you can. For instance, in a second layer say, I want my letters to be a lot more tall and I want some sharpness to them. I can make all my letters a lot taller and I don't have to think much, I just have to change the feature I said I will change. This makes the word pretty easy. Also the fact that you're not destroying your drawing, again is encouraging you to make changes. It's also good when you draw fast in the very beginning because it allows you to, I'm doing everything taller now, drawing fast allows you to move across all the letters more or less at the same time. If you draw slow, it means that you are staying too long with each letter and you're losing attention on the rest. Here we are with my third layer. There's a lot of things to refine and to decide on. What I wanted to show you with this technique is that with just a few operations that I did, I could walk away from my initial drawing. I think what is interesting from this technique is first that you can move forward very fast, that you are not afraid to try out solutions because you're not destroying your drawing, and that you can get to very extreme results, if you look at the first drawing or the first sketch that I did and how this turned out, this is very far away although it's speaking the same language or is using the same basic shapes. I think exploring a little bit in the beginning what your possibilities are allows you to say, I want to go in this direction or I want to go to something a bit more extreme in this direction or I want something a bit more controlled like this, or something that sits in-between those two in terms of weight. This first exploration gives you an overview of what are the possibilities of your design. In this case, I would choose one of these and I will then continue working in layers, but this same time trying to pay a bit more attention on the details on how those serifs are, if they're rounded, if they're really sharp, if the spacing between the letters fits or not. I would take this drawing here, I really like extreme fat designs, and I will continue further developing in layers and I will improve details, I will work a little bit slower, but I will get to a more neat and clean sketch. This is my final sketch, let's say. This will be the sketch that I will send to another actor in the case of a commercial commission and probably I will just also submit a color scheme that I would like to use and write in text some clarifications on concept or overall idea of the design. It is really important that you try to solve most of the problems in paper, you will see when we move to the digital drawing, that everything moves a lot slower. Having this technique on the analog sketch allows you to try out stuff and to solve problems a lot easier than it will be in digital. Now we're moving forward to scan this drawing and take it to our computer. 8. Vector Drawing Techniques for Letter Shapes I: With our drawing, we imported it to our file. Now I would like to show you a technique that is used to draw letters in vectors. Digitizing your drawing doesn't mean under any condition, using the function of automatic tracing in Illustrator or whatever digital software or vector software that you're using. This outer trace function, what will do is to turn your drawing into thousands of points that will imitate this handmade feel that it has from the analog sketch. If all we want is to get really nice and sharp shapes and curves to our letters, then we have to use the technique of the extrema points. This is a technique where you use as few points as you can. The less amount of points you use is the less amount of work and the faster you can move with your digital drawing. In the beginning it's pretty hard to understand the concept of extrema points, but it's actually after a while you will see that it will make your life a lot easier. To understand this concept, a very easy way to draw a circle in your vector drawing software. If you draw a circle, you will see that you will get four points. These points are the extrema points. From each point, you will have two handles. It will look more or less like this. This handles and the points are the ones who control a certain curve. To modify this curve, to change the shape of this curve then I will have to work with those two extrema points and with those two handles. This means that if I want this curve to be a bit more blunt, then I will just make my handles a little bit longer, and my curve will become a bit more blunt. If this was my initial curve, and I move these handles to the right and to the top and upwards, this will be the resulting curves. This simplifies a lot the work to work with curves. If I will have an extra point here, then I will have two more handles that I have to deal with. To modify this curve here, I will have to move this point, another point, a third point and then 1, 2 and 3, 4 handles instead of the two handles that have now. This translate into our drawing. If I have an O, for instance, you will always find your extrema points on the horizontal axis, and vertical axis. If you draw vertical and horizontal lines, it will be a lot faster for you to find those points. Extrema points sit always in the intersection between this horizontal lines and the curve. Where the curve meets the horizontal line, you will find, stronger so you can see it well. Those are my extrema points. The location of the handles and the point is really important to get your drawing right. If you have a certain curve, you have to try to solve this curve with the two extrema points and the two handles belonging to that extrema point. This means that the location of this point is pretty important. Ideally, your handles will be working on the curve or we will be making the same pressure on the curve. In this case, this handle, it's doing a lot more pressure on this to get this curve right, and this one is doing very less work. It is very important that the location of your pints is correct and that your handles keep a certain balance, that there's not one doing all the work and the other one is just lazy, not doing anything. You have to try to keep a balance between those. To keep a balance between those, the best is to try to find the best location for the extrema points and the best length for your handles. 9. Vector Drawing Techniques for Letter Shapes II: I already located my extrema points on my drawing for better understanding how to work with extrema points. Now, we're going to draw in vectors with these extrema points. I'm going to start by locating the extrema points on the B, which is one-sided on paper. I'm going to take this tool here, the pen tool, and I'm going to start locating those extrema points. To keep your handles always straight, just click and drag, pressing "Shift" and that would always keep the extrema points on the vertical and horizontal lines. As you can see, I'm constantly arranging the handles so they can work together on the same curve. When reaching these points where there is a corner, you can break the point by pressing "Alt" and turning that handle. In the corners is the place where I can break these points. I recommend you to separate the single letters into the several strokes that they have. For instance, in this case, my B is composed by three strokes, it's the stem, the first stroke, and the second stroke, so I will just draw them individually, so I can also edit them individually later. This time I will keep the handles because I don't actually want to have straight lines on this shape. I actually want to have some curve to it, so whatever I want to have a curve, I need to have handles for it. I can turn it into black and deactivate the background layer. This is the first drawing there's a lot of adjustment to do. The curves are not looking nice. But the first step to digitize your drawing is to actually place the points where they should be. I will continue placing those extrema points on the other letters. The best is to keep the letters independent and not connected. You can move the letters around when there's a spacing problem, when there's a width problem, you can just work on that letter individually. Like in the analog drawing, remember to always turn the shape into black so you can actually see how heavy that letter is. What I mean by keeping the two letters individually or independent from each other is that I can actually say, okay, I need a bit more space. I need this to be a bit closer so I can actually move. I have some room to move the letters and edit them individually. I would just go on with the rest. As we said before, ideally, we will solve all the problems and we will do most of the decision-making on paper because it moves faster than drawing with vectors. However, this doesn't mean that we cannot change or improve shapes when working with vectors. This is the design process and it should move forward all the time. On paper as well as on the computer we will notice issues that we didn't notice before. In this case, I can already see some issue going on here. There's too many thick parts I'm going to need some thin stroke on this area. If I compare this stroke over here with all the other letters, they all have this thin stroke to it. I would like to have some of that in these areas, so I will try to add some thin stroke to this swash as well. The same is happening with the capital B. I think I will have to make all those thin parts a lot thinner than they actually are. If I compare it with the thin parts of the lowercase, then these are rather thick. I will continue improving my drawing by moving those handles and placing those points. Also, I will try to make these curves really nice and smooth. I will try to identify the problems on these curves. For instance, I can already notice these bumps over here. This is probably why these handles are too close to each other. They're overworking right there. This is a handcraft work in a digital environment. I continue refining my drawing now. This is the first digitization that I do and is the first step I'm placing the extrema points and improving some shapes. 10. Color and Texture: I have improved my letter shapes with extrema points on my vector drawing software. Now I'm going to show you a couple of tricks that I use or my tricks to add color and texture to your drawing. Adding color and texture to your lettering is not necessarily the last step of your process, these are important parts of the design, so you will decide on this upfront or during the process of making your lettering piece. That's it, I would like to show you a couple of techniques that I use when it comes to adding color and texture to my designs. Choosing a color scheme can be hard. There's so many colors in the world, so I always look for inspiration. In this case, the inspiration can be really clear. I'm speaking about Berlin. I can get inspirations on photos from Berlin. In other cases, I will look inspiration on movie stills or images that remind me to a certain topic or concept. I will just go to Google and look for images from Berlin. I go to my image and just tap. Here I get an overview of very touristic images from Berlin, the Brandenburger Tor, some skyline pictures. However, since I live here, I can see that this one looks pretty much like Berlin, also the color scheme, the tendency to be a little bit gray, a little bit cloudy, and this iron decks over there are pretty bigger, also this brick construction. I would take this image, I think it has the atmosphere of Berlin. I will just take this picture and I will use it to get a color scheme that I could use. I will get this green from the decks. Also this brick color over there should be a brown color. This is something that I can adjust later. I will also get some of this light gray over there. I will leave this image on the side. I will duplicate my layer to keep track on my process, vector three color and texture, how we call it. So here I have my color scheme, and I will use this to add color to my drawing. Of course this color scheme is a starting point, it's just a way of finding a couple of colors that I could work with. I can change the tones, I can change the opacity. I can change a lot of stuff when having those colors as a base. I can also come up with any color scheme that I want, but this is of course an easier way or a faster way to find a color concept. I will keep this brown color to add details later. I would like to show you as well how to add texture to your design. The digital drawing tends to look very digital, so if we want our design to look a little bit more natural, a little bit less stiff, then we have a couple of tricks to add some texture to it. Throughout the time, I've built a library of different textures; photocopy textures, all papers textures, stains textures that I use in my designs often, and I keep producing every time. I have here for instance, an old paper texture. It's just an old paper scanned, and it helps me. I would just add this. It helps me add in a little bit of all feeling to my drawings. Let me open the transparency layer. I don't like to make so obvious that there is a texture on top of my drawing, I want the type to be or the letter forms to be still the star of the piece. I can define the opacity of it by moving this handle here, but this adds already a little bit of atmosphere to my drawing, that otherwise let me put this in another layer, that otherwise will look much more digital. Let me show you another picture that I have. I will go to Place, it's called noise. It's just a noise layer. Of course this will totally cover my design, but if I use it in a very low opacity, then it's just adding a little bit of noise, so the difference is pretty subtle, but a trained eye could notice when the texture is applied or not. This is something I rather have in my designs. You can decide whether you want to have it in your design or not. If you want your design to look very digital, then perhaps this is not something you should use. I also like to have some shadow to my letters, and by saying shadow, I mean a very very subtle shadow just to make the background of the letters a little bit darker, so they can shine a little bit more. I would go to very low values. Here we go. It's really subtle, it's really soft, but it adds a little bit of contrast to my drawing. For adding color and texture to your lettering piece, I will continue adding details, I would like to use this brown to add some decorative elements to my drawing, so I hope you continue improving your drawing as well. 11. Conclusion: Good. We are done with our project. We have learned how to sketch our own lettering piece from scratch using layers of refinement. We have also learned how to draw letter shapes on digital vectors, and we have digitized our lettering piece, and we have learned how to add color and texture to our final art. Most important, we haven't done this by copying any other already existing model, but by understanding the logic behind letters and drawing our own shapes. My last tip for you will be practice. Practice a lot. This is the only way to actually get better. It doesn't matter if this time your final art doesn't look perfect. I assure you that next time you do a lettering piece, it will look a lot better. Hopefully this class has given you a set of tools to guide your own development as a letterer afterward, and helped train your eyes to criticize [inaudible] and work with it. I'm looking forward to see what you did. I hope you will post your final project in the Final Project page, and don't forget to send your postcard to the person you designed this postcard too. I'm going to send you guys the postcard I did.