Digitizing Calligraphy: From Sketch to Vector Premium class

Molly Suber Thorpe, Calligrapher + Designer

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15 Videos (1h 53m)
    • Trailer

      3:51
    • Selecting A Word or Phrase

      9:21
    • Supplies for Sketching Script

      6:03
    • Determining Your Lettering Style

      8:06
    • Drawing Imitation Calligraphy

      2:36
    • Refining Your Chosen Sketch

      11:05
    • Tracing Your Refined Sketch

      5:58
    • Calligraphing with Pointed Pen

      7:38
    • Inking with Felt Tip Pen

      2:54
    • Scanning

      3:22
    • Photoshop Step 1

      10:10
    • Photoshop Step 2

      14:23
    • Photoshop Step 3

      10:30
    • Illustrator Step 1

      12:08
    • Illustrator — Finishing Touches

      5:11

About This Class

In recent years calligraphers have felt an increased demand for two unique skills: modern flourishes that are elegant (without looking like they came out of the eighteenth century) and digitized calligraphy that can be used in print and online in the form of logotypes, advertising, title treatments, printed stationery, and beyond. In this course you will learn my favorite techniques for both skills as you are guided through all the steps of creating your own flourished, calligraphic logotype.

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Learning natural, purposeful flourishing techniques is important for any calligrapher or lettering artist, but especially for those who combine script with graphic design, as it is in high demand for calligraphy’s application in logo design, book covers, magazine title treatments, and just about all other forms of hand-drawn script.

What You'll Learn

  • Sketching. We’ll start with sketching, covering the basic rules of drawing script letters, and examining opportunities to add flourishes. You will learn to recognize the difference between purposeful flourishes — those that enhance a design — and extraneous ones — those that distract and impede legibility.
  • Adding Flourishes. With a polished sketch in hand, you will then calligraph the design, with emphasis on learning special techniques for calligraphing flourishes.
  • Ink It. With the help of a lightbox we’ll ink our polished sketch using traditional calligraphy supplies: a pointed pen and black ink.
  • Digitizing. Then the computer fun starts! We will bring our design into the computer and polish it further in Photoshop, then vectorize it in Illustrator. I’ll teach you some special techniques for making sure your final logotype retains the integrity of the stroke contrast, including the charming imperfections of the fine hairlines, that it had as ink on paper.

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What You'll Make
In this class you will design a word or very short phrase in a flourished calligraphic style to be used as a logotype (or any other sort of type treatment). We'll then walk through the digitizing and vectorizing process.

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Check out Molly Suber Thorpe's new how-to guide: Modern Calligraphy: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Script Calligraphy (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013)

Looking for the Calligraphy I class? It's Molly Jacques' Introduction to the Art of Modern Calligraphy

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343 of 348 students recommendSee All

The class demonstrates the struggle of not knowing how to use the pen tool. A lot of things you do not need, warp tool applied in photoshop can give ugly results when tracing in Illustrator. Still reviewing as positive for all the work Molly put into it. However, learn the pen tool, how to work with handles and anchors, and that will save you a ton of time.
Excellent class! First time using photoshop and illustrator, and I somehow managed to complete the project!
Really useful for translating your hand made designs into digital files and how to clean them up.

7,280

Students

112

Projects

Molly Suber Thorpe

Calligrapher + Designer

Molly Suber Thorpe is the award-winning designer and calligrapher behind Plurabelle Calligraphy and Design Studio. Her custom stationery designs, branding work, and lettering expertise have appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Martha Stewart Weddings, The Guardian, Country Living, Style Me Pretty Weddings, I Heart Stationery, as well as on hundreds of sites and blogs, from Minted.com to Yahoo Makers to Buzzfeed. In addition to teaching workshops around the country, Molly has been invited as a guest lecturer to USC's Roski School of Fine Arts and UCLA's Design Communication Arts Program. A shortlist of her clients include the Google Cultural Institute, Victorio & Lucchino, J. Jill, C Magazine, and Tv Only International. 

In September 2013, Molly published the in-depth how-to guide Modern Calligraphy: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Script Calligraphy (St. Martin’s Griffin).

Molly is based in Athens, Greece, where she works with clients all over the world, from Sweden to South Africa and the U.S. to Brazil. When she’s not at one of her two desks — one for her computer, the other for calligraphy — she enjoys practicing her Greek and twirling ribbons for Mr. Marlowe, her incorrigible Bengal cat.

To view Molly’s full portfolio, visit plurabellestudio.com.