Vintage Hand-Lettering: Styling Phrases for Timeless Appeal | Mary Kate McDevitt | Skillshare

Vintage Hand-Lettering: Styling Phrases for Timeless Appeal

Mary Kate McDevitt, Lettering and Illustration

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13 Lessons (1h 25m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:42
    • 2. Project Assignment

      4:33
    • 3. Consider Your Audience

      2:57
    • 4. Find Inspiration

      7:31
    • 5. Create a Mood Board

      4:58
    • 6. Study Your Reference Material

      11:10
    • 7. Brainstorm Copy

      8:09
    • 8. Sketching With Reference

      11:40
    • 9. Sketching From Memory

      7:59
    • 10. Sketching Thumbnails

      9:13
    • 11. Look at Your Sketches Critically

      7:45
    • 12. Conclusion

      6:20
    • 13. More Creative Classes on Skillshare

      0:33
38 students are watching this class

About This Class

Join letterer and acclaimed Skillshare teacher Mary Kate McDevitt as she explores vintage inspirations in this 30-minute, project-based class. As you watch her step-by-step process for redesigning a vintage package, you'll learn the crucial skill of how to interpret reference material without copying, while also practicing and growing your own concepting, sketching, lettering, coloring, and layout skills.

Along the way, Mary Kate shares tactics for flourishes, tips for achieving a vintage look, and useful questions to guide your own packaging project. By the end, you'll have a beautiful, hand-lettered piece to transform a soap or chocolate label, embellish a brand identity, or share with a loved one.

More than 20,000 students have learned to hand-letter with Mary Kate's first two Skillshare classes: The First Step of Hand Lettering and The Final Steps of Hand Lettering. This new class is perfect for artists, illustrators, and everyone who wants to grow their lettering skills.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: My name is Mary Kate McDevitt, and I'm an illustrator and letterer in Brooklyn, New York. I'm teaching vintage hand lettering, styling phrases for a timeless appeal. My first two classes were really about technique. For this class, we're going to be looking a lot at vintage inspiration, and we're going to learn how to pull inspiration from that and apply it to your work. The project we're going to be creating in class is hand lettering a design based on vintage style packaging. We don't really want to be creating fake-looking historical stuff. We want it to look updated, and it can be really detailed and sleek. But we're not going to be playing a textural for something and calling it a day. The project I'm creating for the class is about some greeting cards for my brand, Winter Cabin Collection. Winter Cabin Collection is a brand that I started with my boyfriend. We create hand lettered, handmade goods, like banners, wooden signs, everything surrounding this idea of living in a cabin but we live in the city. So, it's kind of this one thing, this serenity. I love lettering because the subject matter is there. You're working with letters and you're kind of figuring out a way to tell a story. It's fun to kind of manipulate the letters in a way that makes sense to the concept and make it really special and unique that way. 2. Project Assignment: The assignment is to hand-letter or design based on vintage style packaging. So, we're going to be looking at a lot of reference material and we're going to be taking parts of those and kind of creating your own composition based on that material. I chose this project because a lot of the historical reference material that I draw inspiration from, is from packaging, tins, boxes, sometimes labels, and I really love all the information that has to be put on it because they're trying to sell this product, it's just rich with a lot of inspiration to pull from. I'm hoping students will get a better sense of layout combining maybe illustrations, iconography, or filigree, and making it really work harmoniously in your layout. A lot of lettering projects sometimes feel a little disjointed because it's just like lettering style, lettering style, lettering style words kind of just stacked on top for hand-letter phrase, quote or something. But this one we really want to focus on creating this like tight composition with a lot of different kind of information in one layout. The project I'm creating for the class is a box of greeting card. So I'm going to be designing the label for the box and labels that go around the sides with other kind of information, but the front is going to have the title, some fun taglines, what is included in the box. So, I'm doing a box of greeting cards for my brand Winter Cabin Collection. Winter Cabin Collection is a brand that I started with, my boyfriend has a screen printer. We create hand-lettered, handmade goods like banners, wooden signs, pillows, chalkboards, prints, but I really want you to make this project your own. So, you don't necessarily have to do a box of greeting cards although the holidays are coming up, it could be something you want to do. But you could do so packaging, a box of chocolates, something for a brand of your own, some kind of self promotional material. Anything that has a lot of information that you can kind of orient in the layout. The trickiest part of this project will probably be to look at your reference material, and drawing it yourself, and kind of taking inspiration redrawing sum of the parts that you like and noticing that maybe isn't at the same level of detail. I want you to ignore the fact that maybe yours doesn't feel as perfect, and focus on that this is your drawing and you're making it your own, and embrace the fact that it's not a perfectly hand-drawn swirl or flourish and focus on how it works for your project. What I would like to see uploaded onto everyone's project page is their reference material, creating a mood board. Any kind of note-taking, list making, or writing like coming up with your own copyrighting material. Share that with the class because some people might want to look at other people's projects to see how they went about writing copy. I also want to see all your sketches. Basically, everything like we're going to be filling up a sketchbook with this project hopefully. So, we really just want to see the drawing and thought process behind the project more than just uploading your best sketches, your best finished product, or even before we see anything with color. We want to see the nitty-gritty brainstorming sketching doodling. It's hard to say how long exactly you're going to be spending on it. It really depends on how much time you're willing to devote to looking for inspiration. So, from that to the finish drawing it could add up to anywhere from 4 hours to 20 hours, really. I'd say if you kind want to do it on weekend is possible. For what I'm most excited to see is kind of the sketches that we create based on the historical inspiration. Just the kind of studies of like little letters, and how you recreate letters into a different letter interpreting the inspiration into your own style. I'm really looking forward to seeing how everyone involves that way. 3. Consider Your Audience: So the first thing you want to do is figure out what your application is going to be. Whether it's soap packaging, box of chocolates, a package of greeting cards, whatever it is you feel like you want to do that involves packaging. Something that involves a box is very simple but one of the great things about soap packaging is that you can basically do it all in paper and wrap a bar of soap. So when you are finished with the project, it's very easy to actually finalize it and photograph it. So when you're coming up with your project, you really want to give yourself a brief, something to work off of. Make sure that you're treating it like it's a client project. Consider who's your audience, what you want it to look like, what kind of story you want it to tell, the information that's going to go on there, all the copy writing and everything that's going to be a part of it. So when you're considering your project, think about how you want the final look to come across like. If you're drawing inspiration from something that's really ornate and it has a lot of detail, maybe you want to simplify and make it more modern or if it's something that's very simple, how can you make this more detailed and kind of figure out how you're going to put your take on the inspiration you draw from. One of these projects that I really like that is kind of based off the same thing we're doing here are these soap packages from blue Q. It's soap packaging, but it has really playful tone but still has a retro feel. But if you pick it up, you wouldn't necessarily think it's vintage. It has a very updated look to it, cute little fold-out thing but just something that you could pretty easily do yourself. So this is something that you can consider how your actual packaging is going to work in real life and something that's manageable to put together and not necessarily doing something very complicated. One thing you can do to achieve this brief is to have a conference call with yourself. Call yourself up like you have a client and discuss the project details. First of all what the project is, who the audience is, the look you're trying to achieve, the dimensions and the all the copy that is going to be going into it. And nailing down that information first so when you get into the project and start doing all the sketching, everything's finished and you know what you're looking for when you get started. As you're going through, things are going to shift and you're going to come up with different ideas and certainly how things are going to come across and how they're going to be laid out, but you might think of different copy writing that's going to be included or a different kind of way the packaging works, maybe even the audience shifts a little bit. But it's really important to have a starting off point, so that way you're not just creating things out of the blue. You have a reason and you can kind of get excited and inspired by that, just as much as the inspiration and drawing reference from. 4. Find Inspiration: So, once you have your project and you have an idea of what you want to do, you're going to want to start looking for inspiration. I like to draw inspiration straight from the source. I love picking up things from flea markets or a lot of this stuff I find from eBay or online. Sometimes I do find on Pinterest that it can be kind of difficult. Sometimes is either I've seen the same thing pinned thousands of times. So, it's really fun to go out into the real world and come across these things. All of these things I've seen online as well, but it's really fun to see in person and to get a really good idea of how color is working and how these things have been printed because that is also a way that can work inspiration into your project. Very minimal colors or color overlapping, and just kind of picking up on those details will really make your final look have a more vintage appeal. So, this is something I see everywhere and I'm pretty sure I got this for like three bucks at a flea market. But what I really love is the way that the cylinder works with the design, so it's depending on what angle you're even looking at this guy, Thomas Edison, or looking at this beautiful lettering, or this trademark and other kind of information that could be super fun if you want to do something like this. But the top has a little thing on it that's really awesome and it has the signature all the way around. I love when signatures are included. I always pick up on that and it's something I really want to include but when I do it myself it feel super forced. So, if you can include a signature in a way that makes sense, that's awesome. I also really love picking up vintage pencil packaging because I love pencils and these boxes are just so cool they don't make them like this anymore. This one's really fun. These are pencils you sharpen by tearing away the paper and the illustrator came up with these little unwind elves which are really hilarious. I love the pattern just created by the logo repeating. If you want to create one focal point of an illustration or some fun lettering here and then the rest is just a pattern of lettering repeating, that always looks awesome. I really love when you open it up, it has the pattern repeating and it has these red pencils against the green which look awesome. The back is red and white. It has the same design. I love this one just because it's so simple and I would just love this turquoise with the white. It doesn't have as much detail as some of the other things have, but sometimes it's nice to either incorporates something really simple like this. But maybe with a more detailed border or just because it has illustration, that makes it extra special. These labels are something you can get on eBay really, really inexpensive. These are actually emboss. I'm just super inspired by the colors and then this red splash right here. I'm in love with this little snowdrop mint's tin. I'm obsessed with the color and I really love that it's a different kind of styles, it's not so detailed and ornate. This is something I love working with this style. Even when something is really simple, it has this modern look, but you can tell right away that it's vintage because it's working with this fun detail and little borders here. I'm picking up on the simple things. This is just an envelope for these decals that I got. I got them because the letters are awesome, but then I kept the Pleistocene envelope, just a really bold sans serif. I just love the directions. If you can design something that has directions on it and just a lot of information, it's just like, how beautiful is that? Also, I love just really weird things like this spelling book and the student decided not to spell any words. But just this old paper, I love finding things like this. Some days, I'll take paper from this and do sketches on it because sketching on vintage found paper makes your sketches look really great. I also have these poison labels and pharmacy labels that were basically just not used. I love these labels because just the little information, but how special they look. One of the things I want to include on my project is some little sticker that's going to go around my box. That will keep it closed and it's something just more special than just wrapping it in plastic or something. It's just this sticker specifically used and specially designed to keep the box closed. But I also feel like when you open it up, you have to rip the sticker, and you open the box and things that are extra special really pull the vintage idea in with your project. So, when you're going out and collecting this kind of stuff for yourself, just basically pick up anything that really just pops up to you and you're like this is just like rich with lettering design or it's just rich like there's something unique about it. Pick it up or photograph it if it's inexpensive thing. I do think eBay can be somewhere great for you to pick up stuff like this. I got this tin on eBay for a couple bucks. Some kind of solve, who knows, but I love this border and I love the way the border works around the entire tin and how the information works like this plaque kind of badge. Look to it and all the information down here, but it has this special ribbons and things that you can obsess over. So start collecting this kind of inspiration and compiling it into a mood board or your table and photographing it and just somewhere where you can focus on the details. I do a lot of gathering inspiration from Pinterest and online, but I do love looking for this kind of stuff in the real world, because you really get to to hold it, which makes it extra special. Because these things were really meant to be held and not to be looked over for two seconds on Pinterest. Pinterest can be a great resource for collecting this kind of material, but I think it has too much of you glance over it and immediately feel like, "Okay, I got it," and you move on rather than studying it and picking up on what makes it's special and applying that inspiration to your projects. Websites besides Pinterest to checkout like antique collectors sites, these websites are awful and they're not meant for designers to look at. They're really meant for collectors to get an idea of how much things are worth and sometimes the photos are not great, but sometimes they're actually really meant to be documented and they're like scanned at a high resolution. Basically, just want to get somewhere where you can get up close to the work where you can pick up on the details that are used in these projects rather than just quickly glancing over it 5. Create a Mood Board: So, if you don't have access to kind of collecting this kind of inspiration, you can always go to books. The Handy Book of Artistic Printing is really great because it has these crazy layouts. Some of them might not work for your project and a lot of these are just kind of more for the printers, and they worked with a lot of crazy borders, and they're working with typefaces, more than lettering. I'll just go in and bookmark stuff for my project based on the four seasons I'm doing for a little critters that are going to be on the cards. So, one of them is a squirrel and there's this great calligraphic dude here with some filigree around him, and I was thinking of how I can incorporate iconography hidden within lettering, and doing this kind of calligraphic style is a great way to do that. I'll just go in and I'll just kind of take post-its and I'll do a little doodle of what I like. I love this little round emblem messes souvenir. This is definitely one of my favorites. I found this a while ago and I was kind of keeping it secret for as long as possible but I see it around a lot now and I just love it so much. It's filled with these embroidered or stitched letters and the textures and the way the stitching kind of creates this texture makes it just so much more special. If this, and this is an opinion, but if this was digital it just wouldn't have that same look to it. You really kind of have to stitch it which is something I wouldn't mind learning, wouldn't taking some embroidery classes. In the back it has a whole bunch of lettering styles to choose from. So it's like, "Hello, here you go." Some of them are just like bunkers which is just awesome and you can pretty much take this book and just fill up sketchbooks and sketch books full with ideas. I guess you can get this on eBay, possibly Amazon, I have no idea. This is a really beautiful book and it's actually super informative. I've been reading a lot of it too. Graphic Design Before Graphic Designers, and it really takes you through the history of design from printing and goes into publishing and then it goes into advertising. One of the things I really love was this one here, and it was very small so I scanned it in and blow it up so I can get a better idea what I'm looking at, and I really like to kind of see the kind of details that make it so special. It has this kind of, I believe it's one color and I think with a half tone, it kind of creates this gray. This one is actually split into like a grey, back, gray which just looks really beautiful. It's really fun seeing sketches from these kind of projects that were done so long ago because you never get to see that. So, it's really great how they were able to get that in this book. So, I'll scan in things that I like, if I feel like I'm going to post-it, noting way too many pages, and I'm going to lose track of what I'm looking at, so I'll scan them in and I'll print it out. What we'll do is I'll start kind of doodling on it myself and taking notes of what I like, that way I am on top of what I was initially inspired by. So, these are just some examples of mood boards that you can do and the images are not great because they're found and they're just in these books kind of small, and I blew them up just so I can focus on some of the detail. So, compile your mood board, collect as, you don't want to go too many, at least three, but I wouldn't go more than like 10 because then you're maybe collecting too much and it can become overwhelming. So, something that has just a mix of what your ideas and based on the briefly went over and kind of the notes you're taking about what you wanted to accomplish in your project and start thinking, I really love the colors working here but I also love the details and the kind of, it has a little sense of humor, the frozen mints and it's like a snowy kind of effect to it. Basically, just start putting together your images in a way that makes sense and print it out. Something that you can take notes on. Also, post it on your project page and when you are taking notes make sure you're posting that on your project page as well and just documenting your whole process. I think that will be super helpful for you to see kind of how your project evolves and other people to see how it comes together as well. 6. Study Your Reference Material: So now, that you have your mood board put together and you've gathered a bunch of inspiration, the reason I wanted you to have printed out is so you could actually make notes directly on top of your printouts. So, what's great about this is sometimes you look at inspiration and you find something that you really like about it, and then it either gets tucked away somewhere, or its somewhere on Pinterest, and you forget what folder you've saved it to. So, just while you have it here and you can study it and just react to it immediately, and write down to what you're reacting to. So, one of the things I like to do is pick up on very odd things to do with letters, and maybe something that's not so ordinary from this little out of the ordinary. I picked up on this E in elite, it has the full swash going off, and I just thought it works so well and even it's a weird thing to do, I wouldn't think of it immediately, but I like how it fills that space, and I really love the details added to it. The fern's creating this border, and all of all the borders put together. I can tell there's a little bit of a pattern peeking around. So, the edge is probably that pattern like that tin we're looking at earlier. I also really love the more obvious banner idea, it has the little hanging things as well. I don't know what you would call it, but I thought that just looks so fun and playful. But in this very sophisticated layout, so I'll go in, and I'll just recreate some of the things that I like about it. I really love the colors in this one, and I love the way "Miner's" is creating this border based on just the colors working around it. So, I just did a tiny little sketch there just to keep it in my mind for either this project or something I want to use in the future. It's really fun to see them printed out anyway. So, again, I'll just go in and I'll just start noticing the things that I immediately like. Like this one, it is super busy, and it works for this. But it would be fun to see how this would be simplified. I really love the little star bus in between each letter, like perhaps, and then you think about the reason they did it. It's probably, maybe, it was really hard to do "Superior", I don't know what superior words. Super wide, so they needed to fill it with space. So, of course, they filled it with little filigree because they were not really about simplicity. They really wanted to make everything detailed. I love this border, so I redrew the border very tiny and it's very strange, but I love the way the curves work together. So, again, it's like I'll go in, I noticed this L and how the Seraph was super exaggerated. Then again, you think about why and it's well, everything else fits so tight that U-M-B-E-R fit so snug. If this L was open, there would be this huge space. So, it really makes sense, and it's something that you can do some wacky things with your letters, and you don't have to feel self-conscious about it. Again, with these, I just really love the simplicity of them. When little overlays happen, that feels very layered and has like an old effect. I love this very sign painterly, and I made it say Rad maker, which is cool. So, yes, so once you have it all printed, we're basically just going to go over and start pointing out the things we like. So, this is my mood board, and I made this one a little bigger for, because why not? This one, I'll just point out. It's okay, I really love the color, simple. I love the rose illustration, and then I'll attempt to draw a rose myself because if I were to recreate this, I probably wouldn't draw a rose like that ornate. I'd do it in a more simple, maybe more playful, but I'm thinking about the one color and how you want it to still have the same effect, a line drawing of it might not be super effective. This isn't looking very flowery but it will come to the other once I had. The stem, and you're really like at this part, maybe some add some swirls around it. You're really not thinking about your project, you're really just focusing on what you like about these, about your inspiration. So, another thing I really like about this is there's really subtle details in these letters. When I recreate it, I want to column out a little bit more, but I love how they're geometric but next to the exaggerated script, it looks really sophisticated. So, I'm just redrawing this B because I just want to take note that I like it. I'm not really thinking about how perfect it is. I also, with this kind of drawing, I don't use colored markers or pencils that often in my sketches especially for a client work, because that gives them an idea, that's the color you're going to be using. So, they get confused, but it looks so much more fun when you're doing it with color. Then, what I'm using is just a jelly pen. I really like, they have a really opaque look to it. But any just a red, or blue pen, or whatever, it could be sparkly. I have some of this too. So, this one, the Typewriter Ribbon 10, I really just love the colors, but I also really like the layout. It looks like in this case, they have this open space sometimes for different, I guess, stores or something, they'll probably stamp something there, which is another little thing I really like including in packaging design. Even if it's something that is going to be there permanently, just having the effect of something that would be stamped there including something in your design like that is really fun. But I really love this seal, because it's like gold seal, everything has gold seals on it. So, if you want to just put a gold seal, it doesn't need to be actually certified. So, why not? I just love little things like that that holds information because they're just trying to sell you it, and adding these final details like the seal, just to make it super fun. So, think about how you would want to incorporate that. Like one of the things on mine is calling out that there's four designs, because there's four seasons. I'm being like, "Ha, super obvious about it." But I'm really excited to include a number in my design, because numbers are super fun to include, because they just makes that effect of different information. I love that this one has the address on it. Let me just take a note of that real quick. I feel when I see a number, it's just breaks up the layout a bit, or something and they're just maybe that unexpected. But when you see so much lettering on a piece like this, then there's like a little number in the corner called out. It's like, I'm just drawn to it for some reason. Maybe start thinking about ideas and how that would work for it. But right now, we're just like documenting it here. So, I've mentioned color a lot here, and I think what draws me to this, is basically when I was going over my brief, I think of how I want the packaging to look, and I think about the rest of the winter cabin collection, the brand and the color store we already have going. So, as you can see, I have a lot of reds and oranges with gold, black, and blues. The green pops up out of nowhere, but I like the different kind of variation of that. So, I already have a very clear color story just based on what I collected. Whether it was something that was very thoughtful, and I was keeping that in mind, or just something that happened. That happens a lot where I'm collecting images for a mood-board, and it's like, "Oh, it's very obvious I have a color palette already in mind here." So, when you are looking at this and you're noticing with colors, think about how that's going to relate to your final product. So, the color palettes are actually quite simple. If you are working with the one color, you have to keep hierarchy in mind when you're doing the lettering, and what you want to read first, and make sure that's very bold. Whereas, something like this, where you have different colors and different places that you can put the lettering, that can also help break up hierarchy and what you're using. If you're using a gold seal to call something out, this is Typewriter Ribbon, and maybe that's the first thing you want people to see. Then, you want people to read that, "Oh, it's Little's Typewriter Ribbon," and then whatever copy would have been going there. So, when you're going through and you're pointing out the things that you like, you want to think about what you like about them, and how it relates to your project. So, when I pointed out that I was really liking this drop cap, I think that's something that I could use in my packaging because I wanted to call out that S for seasonal greetings. Because seasonal greetings is a long word, so you need more space to have the lettering work in the layout. But you really want to add something special, so that's why I think a drop cap is a really great example of that working. When you're looking at things and you really like when there's illustration included, well, maybe that's something that you could be incorporating in your project. Why it's important for that to come into play into your project? If it's something that is some gum or chocolate, how you're going to, maybe it's cocoa leaves, and it's something that can tie into the concept, and your project as well as what you were initially inspired by when you're looking up inspiration. 7. Brainstorm Copy: So, now we're going to be starting our copywriting part of the project. Basically, you want to have the title of whatever your project is, but you want to have, it needs to be like the brand or whatever it's called, like I'm calling my greeting card box, Seasonal Greetings. So, I started from there and I looked over my notes that I took when I had my conference call. I basically wrote down all the ideas that came up, or just like the basic information, like it's a pack of four, it's based on the seasons. Five by seven or four by six, I wasn't really sure. General use, I wanted it to be for any occasion. I wanted it to have a playful vintage, rustic look and then I went into some logistics like not full bleed. Not a wrap is just a label that's going to go on a box and then I went into how many colors I was going use, the logistics of how I want the product to work out, like how it's going to get printed and then that's when I started thinking about how the copy is going to work. I basically want seasonal greetings to be the main thing you see. I also want Winter Cabin Collection to be a part of it, or Winter Cabin Co and I want the 4 to be on there, because I really like the four seasons, the four cards and all makes sense. So, 4 Seasonal Critters or four distinct designs, I want the 4 prominent, but the distinct designs might be a little smaller. So, I still have some time. I came up with the tagline, "A Greeting for every Season". It fits with the playfulness. It's also just saying seasonal greetings in a way that's like, oh, okay, they're greeting cards. I go back and I look at some of the copy that is on these old tins and packaging like, made in USA or the addresses. So, something including like Brooklyn, New York could be cool. Then other taglines and supporting copy like choice grounds, the genial tropics. So, you think about what my product is and how you would describe it From Equinox to Solstice, that's like an idea for a tagline, 12 Months of Well Wishes, anything that just ties into getting people excited about sending cards that isn't your typical birthday card or a thank you card, you're going to come up with your own message, it's going to have taglines that relate to the season, but they're going to be fun like autumn acknowledgements. Just something like general, but still I quirky and has this old tiny feel to it. So, when I was coming up with different taglines and ideas for the packaging, I went in and just highlighted how I want the hierarchy to work. So, I did put in order, like I want winter cabin to be at the top, but seasonal greetings is going to stand out more. So, like how whenever that brand is, the script, it's hard to read, but like how that works. It's still the main focus like, I want people to know that it's from the Winter Cabin Collection, but I want them to see seasonal greetings first because it's going to be the main lettering style, it's going to be the biggest thing on the box 4 Seasonal Critters and then the tagline I want to play up a little bit more, A Greeting for every Season and then like this Cold Cream tin, From Equinox to Solstice and 12 Months of Well Wishes to just like wrap itself around the whole design, like in parentheses or something. Then on the sides of the box I want to have stuff going on there as well. That's when you see like maybe it's Winter Cabin Collection again, just so if it's stacked on a shelf, like you start to think about how packaging plays into display. It's about the seasons and it's about delivering cards. So, the whole old postal service, neither sleep, not rain or snow will stop them. So, it's like a fun way of saying weather and getting cards, getting mail, which is fun. When you're writing your copy and you're thinking about the tone, you basically want to be thinking about your audience, and what message. Like I really wanted to play on the old timey style of copywriting, but also incorporating my concept into the copywriting. So, I wanted to have like a little bit of like a playful tone and just like it's clearly, maybe a little obvious, but maybe because of that it's little funny, just a little bit. But if it is something that's more straightforward, even something like that could be funny, or you can just add like curse words or something and just take it to a different whole tone, and that how the copy is written, and how it's styled, is going to play a big part in, who's picking up this design and who it's for. One way to shake some ideas loose is coming up with just brainstorming a list of words that makes sense to your concepts. So, when I was writing the list for seasonal greetings, it's like, you start off super obvious and just put it all down fall, winter, spring, summer, and then I was thinking about little critters I was including and then you started thinking about mail, postage, stamp delivering, receiving, opening envelopes, and just like any word that comes to mind is really going to help take your copywriting and concepts to the next level. So, it's not so like here are our cards, like the box of cards. So, it's like a little bit more, you have a little bit more fun with it, or even if it is, like a box of cards, and you are very like, very simple with it, play that up almost to the point where it's like funny that it's so general. When you're a letterer, you're constantly drawing letters and words and phrases. So, the one thing that's great about copy writing or being able to do it is to come up with your own projects, like that's how I started adding to my lettering portfolio was coming up with ideas for posters, quotes, phrases and stuff that I was adding to my Etsy shop, and it's just fun to come up with your own idea that isn't just like, a quote from Ben Franklin or well women or something, it's from your own mind and it's in your own hand and it makes it extra special, even if it's just something you say all the time that people just think it's funny, just to have a hand lettered illustration of that makes it really fun. So, once you have your copy together, you basically going to start, it's going to start clicking; your inspiration, and you have what you want everything to say, and at this point you're thinking like, okay, well, I want this tagline to like, I really liked how the ribbon worked here and then it's really starts to make sense and you're coming up with ideas. We're going to be doing some more intense sketching shortly. 8. Sketching With Reference: So, as a warm up to get yourself more comfortable approaching vintage lettering, we're going to be doing a little bit like what we did when we were studying our mood board, but a little bit more detailed. So, we're going to be taking small chunks, small things that you really liked about it and rather than just like really quick sketches, we're going to be doing a little bit more detail and drawing doing a lot. So, this is when you start to really fill your sketchbook with ideas and just ways to get comfortable drawing in this way and drawing reference from your mood board before jumping into your project. So, I have this tablet of old paper that I got for like a buck, and I figured it was very appropriate. It just makes your sketches look so much cooler. So, if you do have old found paper I really love children's practice writing paper, it's always on this construction paper that doesn't do well in the sun, but for our purposes it does because it has this really beautiful effect. So, that's what I'm going to be sketching on. I have a bunch of different color, markers and pens like I was saying, and it'll just make it feel a little looser, but a lot more fun working with color this way because we're going to be doing a lot of pencil sketches later. So, to do this part in color makes it more fun, but if you do need something where you have to erase, you can use a pencil first. So, I'm looking at my mood board right now and right now I want to take some of I'm going to be focusing on this one, and I want to recreate it in a way that makes sense to me. So, I have this light color marker, and I'm just going to sketch it out very quickly, and then I'll just draw on top of it. I'm not worried about drawing the ellipses or anything, I'm just drawing a general rectangle. I'm drawing the layout and that will help really get to know what I'm working with and what I'm really drawn to, which is just the different horizontals that are used and how everything's laid out in this way. Like double lines, like this white horizontal here, and what it really takes to make this somewhat simple design so beautiful to make some. I really want the sketch to look cool, so I'm going to add some color. So, I'm looking at this G, and it's like a bold sans serif that just fit's up top. I'm not really worried if things are going to fit at the top here because it's round, and I can see there's a va there that gets cuff, so that's not a big deal. But typically, when you're designing a layout, you really do want to do pencil sketches just so everything fits in a way, but right now I'm just laying out some fun stuff. I'm focusing on the letters and the proportions, which is really important, but I'm loosely putting everything together. You focus on if you wanted to recreate this lettering style, I mean, it's a simple san serif, but there's certain things that make it a little more special, than if you were just to do one at the top of your head. The ball of the P also it doesn't actually really match the R, you can see it angles down. I love the little, I don't know, it looks like a little bow whenever I notice it. Whenever I look at it it looks like that, but it's more like a hat really, but I love these little details that are included around Monitor Brand which are so strange, Monitor Brand. Also, see there's this little, maybe it's a ribbon around that corner there, which is another thing that could be really cool to include as like a little call out, imagine that filled in. You could call your thing red ribbon or something, or like it won a red ribbon. I really like the C in Mace, but I think if I were to recreate this, I would make everything a little bolder because I love just a really bold sans serif, and has a really modern look to it. I really love these scripts down here, but I think it would be fun to include a script just to break up all the sans serif. So, a really simple [inaudible] upright script that would wrap all the way around, then maybe I would add a drop shadow. Then I also really like how there's this little white, I guess it's like a banner or something, but it just breaks up all the information and also fills this corner where it would usually have an awkward space there. So, I'm just calling that out in my sketch. Then if you notice this one down here, it's a sans serif, but the weights shift, so it's a thick thin. It's pretty subtle and I really like using this style in my work a lot. I really love how there's something peeking in on the side just like little peeks of script. You've got the red ribbon sticking out. So, when you're doing these sketches, you're really focusing on just the aspects that really make it a beautiful layout and why you were initially inspired by it. Next, I'm going to recreate this border because I just think it's so special and it's something I might be including in my project. I'm just going to sketch out the basics, like the spacing of these lines, and how it'll line up with the deckled edge. Really just think about, if you were to recreate this border, how would you do it in your project? I really like borders that are when they're hand-drawn, you can really notice that they're hand-drawn. You would think that, it's not because I feel like being lazy about it, it's says quirkiness and a charm, so that it doesn't look like it's just copied and pasted over and over. It can be relaxing to draw these borders because once you have the pattern down, you just go in and add the details. Then you also notice how the blue color from this background creeps in about halfway, you tend to think to keep the color pretty minimal in a border, which I agree, but if you do it right, you can really get a lot of colors without looking too over the top. Adding borders is a really fun way to add a vintage look to your piece. Okay, so, we're going to try and recreate this script again because it's just so beautiful. So, I'm going to start off by just sketching out x-height and we're going to really let this H like here, that was a safe example of the H, but it's much more exaggerated than that. It looks like the actual stroke started here, went up, and then down and around, but just so I can get the proportions a little bit better, I'm going to start here and then I'll add this wash last. So, this is just about right. It really isn't about getting it exact, but if you're really trying to get the effect that you saw on the original piece, it's good to go for that. Okay. So, that's almost right. If you're using a calligraphy pen or something to get the stroke closer to how it was actually made, it might have the same looseness. It really looks like a signature because it's set wide apart, and it's not so exact this one I guess. I also love R to the S connection. When you're lettering scripts, you basically go back in and add the thick strokes. Okay. With the red pen, I'm going to try out this script, and I'm just going to draw the word star, stars. I really love when the in scripts and anything, when the last letter turns into a banner. This is a great area where you can include a little tagline, or any other for all ages or whatever information you want to put. Again, I just go back in and add the thick areas, there she go. 9. Sketching From Memory: So, another thing you can do to challenge yourself in this exercise, it was recreating something that you really like from your mood board and inspiration from memory. So, I really like this cold cream tin, and just so, like I've studied it and I've noticed a lot of the things I liked about it, and I'm going to recreate it from my memory and just get a new effect and a new take on the style. So, I'm going to put that away over there, I'm putting away all my inspiration and my mood boards. I'm going to use a compass because I don't really like drawing circles. I have no problem with circles, but I prefer to use a compass because when a circle is not perfectly round and you need it to be, it's very frustrating. So, this is going to be the template of it, and then it had a border, I think or it does in my memory. Then, I'm just going to draw a bunch of circles and that'll help with my placement and layout. There's a giant hole in it but I could- so, I know there was that banner here that I liked, and I love the supporting copy on either size. I don't remember what it said, but "cold cream" and maybe in the banner it said "minors". I don't know, but it doesn't really matter what it says where. But, I'm just recreating the layout for the purposes of this illustration and just like what I could be remembering and what I really liked about it and how when I recreate it, what is really going to be a part of my design. With the cold cream, I really like the way the C's are done. It has this really great curve at the top. Like that's something I would probably use similar in greetings in my project. So, in the banner, I'm just going to put here Winter Cabin Co, because that's what I'm going to be working with. Because I love this little banner idea, I want to see what it would look like if it was the Winter Cabin logo. Because it has these two diagonals, these kind of things can add character, but also perhaps challenges to your lettering. So, one of the things I'm doing, I'm making, Winter Cabin larger and then in one corner I'm putting Co. and then the other, I'm just going to put flourish to balance it. Then I'm just filling it up with borders and different ways that the copy can be interpreted. What I really like about this secondary copy, is really fitting it into spaces that it wouldn't really fit into. So, you can make some letters small, some letters big and it can jump all around. So, when I'm approaching this re-creation, I'm not really like, "Oh my God, I'm not getting it right. We're clearly not being tested on it." So, if I'm forgetting something from that, I start to make decisions about what I would do if it was this project for seasonal greetings. So, for this banner, since it was something that I really liked in my mood board and I made a note of, I recreated it and put the Winter Cabin logo in place of whatever was there before which I don't remember, minor or something. I don't think the way cold cream, which I did here, I think it might have actually been on the curve here, which I'm just going to do like a crazy border instead. Actually, I'm working small which actually can be really beneficial for something. Because when you get big, it gets harder to focus on proportions. When it's small, it makes it a little easier on yourself. It can be loose but I am drawing and redrawing as the little sketch starts fitting together and just adding little things like I think there was like a banner that said, "Generally use," I'm not really even sure. I'm going to add little ferns here at the bottom to tie into the ones up at the top. Now, I'm like I'm starting to think, well, what would generally use? What style would that be? Maybe it would be like a sans serif with a thickened detail that has that retro manufacturer style. One of the things I noted on my mood board was just borders. It just had all these crazy borders and I just thought, it looked really cool. I have two sizes. I have one that's a little simpler and one that's a little wider. I think I'm going to do a detail that I saw on something else. I'm not even sure if I had it included in my mood board, but I saw an inspiration somewhere else. So, I'm just going to do a little dot all the way around. Now, I'm starting to think of what I could do for my sketches, because we're getting to that point in the project. Then I'm going to do these little swirls, little loops, then maybe the outside I'm just going to do like a larger set of dots, which I said earlier, I always refer back to this as a border but I just think it's cute and I like it. It has a vintage feel, but it's playful and it fits with a lot of different projects. So, when you look at it now, and you think back to your mood board and the piece that you were originally referring to, it's like, yeah, there's a lot of things that I'm definitely feeling like okay, I got a lot of the things I liked about it. But if you bring it back, when you're thinking back to the inspiration, you just recreating it from memory. You're not focusing on your project and you're not even focusing on how to make it exactly like this, but you're creating a label with all the things we just went over and we learned about. What you like about the different layouts and what to notice the details in. When we recreate it, it's like, oh, you just created this custom label design that maybe is referencing something and you might have snack a peek at some of the things that you were a little unsure about which is fine. But now, it has a little bit of the inspiration and a lot of your own decision-making and it's a way to incorporate the style that you're referring to and a little bit of your own style. So, this is a good exercise to do. To break up somewhere in between, looking at the mood board and gathering inspiration to starting your own sketches and getting into the nitty-gritty of your own project. 10. Sketching Thumbnails: So, we're ready to move on to the thumbnail stage. At this point, you basically want to have your template ready to go. I like to have my template ready and I just make a template on Illustrator and scale it down either four or six on a page. So, that way, you're keeping in mind the dimensions you're working at and not working so loose, like we were in our earlier sketches and just like brainstorming ideas. So, now we really want to start thinking about how the layouts are going to work and how all your information is going to fit together. So, you definitely want to keep in mind how you went over your hierarchy and what information is going to be most important. Also, how much information you can really fit on your layout? You might have come up with a bunch of taglines which is great, but you might have to narrow it down or just pick one or two of your favourites. That'll all come together once you start working on your thumbnail. So, when you start drawing, you can draw, keep in mind the things that you were working with and sketching out from your inspiration. Sometimes, I'll just start with the main thing you want called out. So, in my case, I want seasonal greetings to be the most important thing. I'll sometimes just start there and start working the information around it. So, like I was saying, when I picked out the paragon ribbon this tin, I really liked the big drop-cap as part of it and then the rest of the letters were secondary to that. So, I'll just start out drawing a big S off to the side. Even though, I'm just roughly sketching it out, I'm keeping in mind where other information needs to lie on the page. So, I'll draw a big S and I have a big swirl and maybe some other swirls that come off as well. Then, I'll rough out the guide of how I want seasonal to land. So, I want it to be on a curve, or at an angle, or just straight. I'll just play around with ideas. So, I'm looking at my inspiration and there's a lot of other things I'm considering. So, I'm not just looking at one thing and working from there, but I'm working from a bunch of ideas that I've worked from the inspiration and also my other sketches. So, I'm sketching out an idea of where everything's going to land on the page and I realize that the S is definitely over too far. So, I'll just move it. These are really just loose sketches. I really just want to nail down the layout and just some of the details, like how the proportions of the S are going to work in relation to the layout of the rest of the piece. From there, I have it sketched out in a way where I know what is going to be a part of it. I'll just loosely sketch in Seasonal and I'm spacing it in a way that I know I want the letters to have a little bit of beef to it because I really want it to be the first thing you see. I'll probably want a serif on this piece as well. So, I just loosely put those in and erase, move letters around and just make sure that I'm working with the correct proportions and everything is looking pretty balanced. Then, Greetings will go down here. It may actually work better on an angle. If you put things on an angle, it helps with longer words to fit in a shorter space but just a little bit taller. I think to fill in some spaces, I might work with oak leaves or other seasonal illustrations that work with my concept and add to the layout. I think I might do a banner that holds the Winter Cabin collection and that will just be incorporated into the border. So, now I feel it's coming together and I feel there's just a few things I would change and adjust. That's something you can do when you're getting to working a little larger. You can start incorporating more details, but I still want to figure out where everything's going to go. So, I know I want that number in here because I just love the way that looks. So, I'm going to stick the four down here and maybe add a little burst that has a little bubbled edge for designs. Then, maybe here in the little call out, maybe it's a banner like borders that work around it. Maybe there's other corner details that just have a very detailed illustrative look to it. So, maybe there's little corner details, maybe they get hidden with the four over there. Then this one, this will have the, From Equinox to Solstice. Then I'm going to put the tagline just in a script at the bottom, "A greeting for every season." I'm putting that in quotes because that's something a lot of these also have. I'm very loosely just sketching in a border idea like pathways, some zigzag, or maybe it is something more detailed like that. That's something that we'll come together when I'm working a little bigger and I can get into those details a little bit larger. I'll just exaggerate the border a little bit, go all the way to the edge. So, this is five by seven template we're going to be working with on my box. It's basically just going to go as a label on top of my greeting card box, because the cards inside are going to be five by seven. So, I figured the fact that it's going to be that size, will give you the idea of the size you're working with because the box is a little bit larger to accommodate all the cards. Around the edges, this is where I'm going to be putting Winter Cabin Collection. Neither sleep not snow, not rain or sleep and the sticker idea, that's something that could wrap around here. Maybe that's actually something that I could incorporate in this empty space here. I have a sticker that comes in from the side. Maybe that mentions 12, since there's 12 cards or maybe it just says 12 cards, 12 envelopes because you really want to make sure everyone knows what they're getting when they get the card, when they get the box. So, we have our first thumbnail and I think it's a pretty good option. I really like a lot of things working with it. But, I also feel maybe it's a little too detailed for the Winter Cabin brand. I think about what some of the other products and what a cabin looks like. I always want to refer back to that, back to the conference call I had with myself. I wanted it rustic, playful but simple and has a lot of bold features. So, I'm going to continue with my thumbnails and see where we go from there. 11. Look at Your Sketches Critically: So, I have my thumbnails and they're basically all fairly loose, but I have three that I really like and I just want to see them in more detail and see which one could be the final picked design. So, the three that I like are this one, this one, and this one. This one's a little bit like the first thumbnail I started working on, but I redistributed the layout a little bit so it was a little bit easier to read. Even though these are quite rough, I really like the simplicity to it and I can get some different special details in just the way it's drawn or just the way I applied color. So, not everything needs to be super ornate to be vintage style. You think about some of the designs that are a little bit more simple. So, I'm going to be doing my sketches on my vintage paper and I still want to keep the template idea in mind, and I'm just going to be working at five by seven because I think that's a decent enough size at this sketching point. When you do more revise sketches, it helps you work a little bit bigger. But for now, I'm just going to work a five by seven. So, just make sure you're not working anything smaller than five by seven because anything smaller than that is basically the size we were working on our thumbnails. So, I just have this piece of chipboard cut out at five by seven, so I can quickly knock through my sketches without breaking out the ruler. But if you want, you can print out five by seven paper and you can just work on printer paper. I'm just going to sketch out my template and I'm really just lightly filling in some of the details from the sketch, and I have my thumbnail here in front of me. Sometimes one thing you can do is you can actually scan in your thumbnails, make them bigger, and print them out at five by seven. Sometimes I'll use a light table to trace over if I feel like I have the layout nailed down, then I can just focus on the details rather than redrawing the layout. But sometimes it's definitely helpful to recreate the thumbnail from scratch so you can start adjusting everything as you go along. So, I'm working on my first thumbnail here, and I know basically I'm just sketching out the layout I have. I'm just trying to get as close to the proportions and layout I have there as well. I'm just roughing everything and very lightly with pencil before I start making everything more detailed, and then I'll start working with a darker pencil. I like to use the Blackwing pencils because they have a nice dark line to them. So far, yeah, everything's just coming together pretty well at this stage. So, I have my first sketches done and I have my three options. Some of it are a little bit more simple, some that have some fun things but are still simple, and this one is probably a little bit more based on some of the more ornate vintage styles I was looking at. But right now, I really want to look at them more closely and just get an idea of what's working and just quickly be able to decipher which one is going to be chosen to go to final. One way to do that is to just make sure you've hit all of the things that you really wanted in your initial brief and make sure you're still getting to do all the things that you wanted to do from your inspiration. So, have your mood board by again and compare your work to the work from your mood board and just see if you were able to incorporate a lot of the things that you wanted. So, in all my sketches, I decided not to do a very detailed border. In this one, I did the loop that I did in my exercise, and I think that could be effective. But for some reason, when I see it and when I see it next to seasonal greetings, it feels a little to holiday-like and I definitely don't want that. The same with my very ornate one with all the borders. I noticed that when I include leafy filigree, that also was looking a little holiday. Just based on those, I'm definitely drawn to this one more. I really like dimensional going into this border, it has a really neat effect, and I like the badge with the four and just the angles on the layout. I think it's very easy to read and I get to include four different taglines, so it has this very like full of information look that I liked from a lot of my reference material. I also included the little sticker for Winter Cabin. So, that's going to be really cool to include in the final package design. Well, this will be a label that gets put on and it goes all the way around the whole box and how that's going to work together with this layout. So, I was able to still do the big drop cap S, but I didn't do it super ornate like something like this because I was just feeling it was maybe too overdone, and I really wanted it to have really feel like it came from me and I also feel like it fits in with Winter Cabin. So, based on my brief and what I wanted to accomplish in my piece, I'm really excited to get started on this sketch. So, when I was working on my sketches, I was definitely referring to my inspiration and my reference material, but I didn't feel like I had to reference it so heavily. I was really just picking up little parts and incorporating small little sections of each into my piece. I didn't want to copy just like one in particular and really just obsess over this one because there were a lot of details that I liked from each one and I wanted to incorporate my own ideas. So, when I was doing my sketches, my reference studies, doodling part, I was learning a lot about how I interpret the inspiration, and when I draw it how it looks from my hand. So, that's something that you do when you incorporate it into your sketches. You basically don't have to have it be so referential to the inspiration material. For example, when I was doing this Cold Cream 10, I basically simplified it into a lot of ways so it wasn't exactly like this, and I had that same idea when I went to start working on my sketches and thumbnails. So, don't feel like you need to copy something exactly. Feel free to start incorporating your own ideas and your own styles and your own take on your inspiration. 12. Conclusion: So, now that you have your sketches all ready to go, we're going to be refining, redrawing, inking, finalizing, but there's going to be a lot of stages of redrawing. So, don't feel like whatever sketch you have here is the final. If there's any changes, you're completely welcome and encouraged to continue making revisions. When you do get to the stage where you're going to be inking up your final drawing, take note of how maybe some of your inspiration is laid out in terms of line, weights, and proportions. Be mindful of that when you're inking because if you're using a pen that has a very fine tip and you need something that's a broad stroke, just keep in mind that you're going to have to be drawing out that broad stroke and you have to, especially when it comes to drawing curves, you're going to have to draw and redraw and make sure everything is lining up. So, that's definitely something to keep in mind when you're finalizing your project. Once your sketches are done, refining your sketch, inking your sketch, scanning, digitizing, doing any final corrections, adding color and texture if necessary, and that'll be basically all the next stages that happened now. I'm going to be finishing my project along with you guys, and I'm going to be posting them on my project page. Because this class was mainly focused on vintage inspiration and hand-lettering, if you want to check out more detailed classes about hand-lettering, check out my two classes, the first steps of hand-lettering and the final steps of hand-lettering, where we go into greater detail about inking, sketching, and finalizing, and digitizing. When you start uploading your project to your project guide and checking out the other students in the Project Gallery, feel free to start giving feedback to the other students. Things to keep in mind of what to really say to everyone rather than just like, "Really cool. Great job.", is to note how they have taken their steps. So hopefully, they've posted their brainstorming, any of the sketching, and any of list taking. So, one thing you can point out to students on their project page is how it's related back to the brief. If their project is maybe gone off course, maybe too much, I think that's perfectly reasonable to point out like, "I really like the kind of sketches you're working out when you're referencing the Miller line packaging, and kind of how the ideas you were coming up with and generating on your own, and how that was being interpreted. I feel like in your sketches now, maybe they're a little bit further away and based on your brief, sounds off." So basically, just making sure that people are creating the projects that they initially wanted to create because it can be easy to kind of go into a tunnel and just like you're creating sketches after sketches, possibly feeling panicked that you're not maybe making it the right way. Having someone else kind of get you back on track. Another thing that's really important to point out is whether someone's layout is not working. A lot of times, with lettering, planning is so important. That's why we do a lot of the pencil sketches and refining, and making sure all the proportions are working together, and everything is laid out and it feels very balanced. If you notice that someone's sketch is feeling unbalanced and maybe the proportions of the letters are becoming uneven in a way that doesn't seem intentional, I would point out that maybe start fresh, maybe with a piece of paper right on top of it, not on a light table or tracing paper, just to kind of get the general idea of the layout. Just start a little fresh and just start refining, and redrawing, and moving things around a bit more. Also, maybe if someone is not exploring enough, I'd like to see maybe some more exploration in these sketches. I really want to see some discussions happen. I really love the community in Skillshare and how everyone is just hoping everyone has a really fantastic piece. So, don't be cruel but be kind. So, one of the fun things about designing for packaging is actually getting to be a little crafty and create it in real life. A lot of the packaging we went over, something like soap packaging or packaging for chocolate or a box of greeting cards, is very simple because it's either wrapped up or it's a label. If you get into something that maybe is a little bit more complicated, I'd say go for it, like the pencil packaging I showed you or if they're slip case. So, one other things that is helpful to do is to go out and find packaging that has this already in existence. So you can kind of take it apart and see how it's put together. Maybe some stiffer paper, if you have a good printer that can handle stiff paper, like some of the paper that I use to print stuff could easily be folded and manipulated into a box, and that's something that you could do. It could be a color printout or it could be black and white. It doesn't necessarily have to be color. A lot of the packaging that I really liked was just in black and white. So, I mean, if this was soap packaging, you could basically take your design, print it out like Kinkos on just regular paper and wrap it up, and it would be beautiful soap packaging or chocolate packaging. It doesn't necessarily need to be pristine quality, printing either. But if you are feeling extra crafting and adventurous, one of my favorite things to do is getting stamps made, and it's such a great way to do packaging. So, you could maybe get some more specialty paper and something that might not print well like the plasticine or wax paper. I showed you that the decals were slipped into. Get a stamp and stamp on it. That way, you don't need to get it letterpress or screen printed, but it's still kind of has that effect but remember the detail that needs to go into stamps. Basically, you can create it in real life and photograph it or just Instagram it and share it with your friends and make sure you share it with everyone in the Project Gallery. 13. More Creative Classes on Skillshare: