Designing Hand Lettering Systems: From Single Motif to Cohesive Project | Mary Kate McDevitt | Skillshare

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Designing Hand Lettering Systems: From Single Motif to Cohesive Project

teacher avatar Mary Kate McDevitt, Lettering and Illustration

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Project: Create a Lettering System


    • 3.

      Inspiration for your System


    • 4.

      Sketching the Ex Libris Page


    • 5.

      Sketching the Title Page


    • 6.

      Sketching the Back Cover


    • 7.

      Illustrating the Ex Libris Page


    • 8.

      Illustrating the Title Page


    • 9.

      Illustrating the Back Cover


    • 10.

      Wrapping Up


    • 11.

      More Creative Classes on Skillshare


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About This Class

Push your hand-lettering projects to the next level! Join lettering artist and illustrator Mary Kate McDevitt for this two-hour, in-depth class on creating cohesive lettering systems.

Mary Kate will take you behind-the-scenes on a real client project and share how to create a system of multiple illustrations and lettered blurbs, tied together with a single motif to create a cohesive and beautiful system you can apply to any large project.

This class is great for the illustrator or designer looking to push their work a bit further and create something big. You’ll learn to tell a larger story with your lettering and illustration using hierarchy, color, and style to unify your drawings.

Every lesson progresses in bite-sized, step-by-step demonstration. Mary Kate uses a book cover of her own design as a starting point, and then illustrates an ex libris page, a title page, and a back cover page with a hand-lettered blurb. She sketches multiple concepts for each element, and refines her drawings until she lands on final illustrations for each, creating a full lettering system for the book. Ultimately, all of the drawings are tied together with a uniting concept and aesthetic — and her careful demonstration and explanation demystifies how.

You’ll leave this class with frameworks to pinpoint what makes an illustration or lettered phrase work, and you'll learn how to unite multiple applications of your illustrations.

Meet Your Teacher

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Mary Kate McDevitt

Lettering and Illustration



My new book Illustration Workshop is available for purchase on Amazon and a book store near you!

You can purchase it online here!

I'm excited to announce my new journal Every Day is Epic is officially out today! This journal takes the pressure off documenting a regular day by framing it with illustrations, funny quips and plenty of places to doodle.

To celebrate with all of you, I'm offering a giveaway to 5 Skillshare students to win a copy and one grand prize winner will also have a 30 minute portfolio review/consultation. Use the hashtag #EPICSKILLSHARE to enter through instagram with a link to your project.

Contest Details:

To be eligible, you have to have already submitted a project or submit a new project in one of Mary Kate's 6... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Mary Kate McDevitt. I'm an illustrator and letterer based in Philadelphia, PA. In this class, I basically wanted to talk about how a big project is created, how you use motifs and lettering styles without it feeling like you're just repeating the same style again or it's just like picking up the same exact kind of illustrations and putting them in a different kind of scenario that doesn't necessarily work. So, we're going to be working on kind of finessing those kind of illustrations and picking out exactly which one is going to be best for the project. For my project, I'm going to be doing a lettering system based on this book. This is a book cover that I already designed, and I'm going to be creating a Ex Libris page, a title page, and the back cover of the book that has a hand-lettered blurb. For each of these elements, I'm going to create four sketches, just so I can have a whole variation of how I want the lettering system to work. Rather than just creating this one of illustration where it's like, "Oh, jam all the fun lettering styles you can," this class is like, "What if I take that illustration and have to break it down into these other elements?" So, the kind of skills we're going to be covering is going to be basically really refining lettering and illustration down to the sketches and really being able to pinpoint exactly what is working for each application. So, we're going to be doing a lot of drawings, a lot of sketches, and a lot of refining of illustration and lettering. 2. Project: Create a Lettering System: The project for this class is going to be creating a lettering system. I'm going to be creating my lettering system based off this book. This is a book cover that I had already designed and I'm going to be creating an ex libris page, a title page, or a chapter page and the back cover. The back cover is going to have hand lettered blurb on the back, incorporating the illustrations from the cover. You can also create a book cover based on one of your favorite books or a book cover that you've already designed, or even you can take a quote or a phrase that you've already done and just make it into a book and fake the rest of the book. I actually just mocked this up just so I can really get the feel of what the book is going to look like in real life. It's actually not printed yet, this just happened to be the same size. But you don't necessarily even have to do a book cover. You can also do a magazine or journal or a calendar. These are some book projects that I've done. This is a book project where I actually didn't do the cover, but I did do the chapter pages. The chapter pages are just drop caps, and for this project, it was in the alphabetical order, lost language. So, old words that no one really uses anymore. Each chapter is a letter, and that was my part of the project. These all fit together, a lot of it, because they're the same color family. Also, kind of in a Victorian style, but these also fit together with a lot of etchings and funnel illustrations, like that. This is a book project that I did where I actually did do the cover and the spine and just some of the illustrations on the back. The chapter pages are introductions to different kinds of whiskeys and cocktails. These all fit together because each one has a border, there's expressive lettering and incorporated with illustration. Each one fits in the same family because they're all working in the same style. I work with a lot of the same dimensions and scale, and color is a big part of this project as well. The other thing that makes this project unique is a pattern for the end papers. That's something that you could do for your project as well. Just making it a fuller experience, creating each kind of little aspect of the book. Think of like what the page numbers could look like, if there's a little icon that can be incorporated in paragraphs separators. You really want to make it really full and everything. This is a book that I did, it's actually a journal. So, this is a journal. I did the cover and I also did the end paper. I just created a pattern out of the lettering that I used on the cover. I just really like the way it felt, really dense. I did a full page, ex libris, but just kind of this journal belongs to. It was really fun coming up with the copywriting for this book as well. All the pages kind of go together because it is in the same color family, has a really simple hand drawn hand lettered look. This is also a great project if you don't have a favorite book, which I'm sure you do. Just coming up with something that feels fresh and something that you can actually make. You can print out a journal like this and hand it out to some friends. These are projects that I worked on where I actually didn't do anything for the interiors of the books but this is a series, and there's another one coming out. But each one has a brush lettering look. So, maybe if you're not creating a full system for one book, maybe it's a series and maybe it's all just the covers, but how does that style go on to the next book, even if it's different titles, different words and even a different kind of composition. Same thing with this book cover. I did this cover but I also did some interior illustrations as well just really simple chapter headers to what kind of tomatoes they talk about in the book. Just to keep it consistent, I reused the border, just a slightly simplified version of the border from the cover. If book design or journal design isn't something that you're interested in, maybe you have a magazine that you'd really like to work for or you want to just create a newsletter for yourself, a magazine, lettering systems work for the same thing. I did the cover of this issue of Mental Floss, and I did the opener for this, the main article as well. While it feels different because it doesn't have the bright yellow background, it still works with the same colors just kind of moved around. So, it has a fresh feel and matches the illustrations. I didn't do the illustrations, that was by Julie Rothman and so that they match these illustrations and go with that style. But I used the elements that I used to separate the different articles around the whole title of the article, the headline. Also for this cover for Baltimore Magazine, it was really bright, bold, lettering that we had a lot of illustrations to work around, and I did a whole series of illustrations and headlines that had to feel like they were all part of the same system. So, I have this bold fun lettering that all had to be in black to relate back to the cover with colorful illustrations throughout that I also did. But I definitely wanted to keep each month feeling like its own personality rather than doing the same style each time. But because they're all in black and they all kind of had the same boldness, they still flow together. That's same with the illustrations. They have this off register look, simple line weight and kind of, not retro style, but just little fun. You can also do, just going to reach behind me, calendar. This is something that you can also make on your own. It doesn't necessarily need to be a book or a magazine or a journal, you can also make a calendar. It's the same kind of idea. So, this is the cover of the calendar that I did and in this case, I actually did all the interior illustrations first and then I did the cover. Sometimes, that could be helpful. But I did. I was working on all the interior illustrations at the same time. So, all of these illustrations are related to coffee and each one is a completely different color. But they still feel like they go together because it still has the same vibrancy each color, it still has the same hand lettered quality and I just made sure that they still had a feeling like they go together, and that is in your own style, or the line weight or just not going from one extreme style to the next, like nothing is overly referencing something else. It still feels like a family, like a lettering system. Under the same note, you could also do a series of greeting cards with a box that goes together. So, it's like a little container just like a really full project and that's basically what I want you guys to create. I really want just like a larger project than just like this one off illustration, something that feels like it can go together and it's when you put on your portfolio, it's like wow, look at all these different elements, but they really feel like they go together, like a brand, like a lettering system. 3. Inspiration for your System: So, when you're starting your project, whether you're starting with the lettering system, or the book cover, or whatever, you're going to want to get inspiration for your project. One of my favorite books that I know I've shared with my Skillshare classes in the past is the Encyclopedia of Advertising Tins. I have another version of this book that is all in full color. This one is in black and white. But sometimes that also is helpful, because you can get a sense of color inspiration just based on the cover, the oranges, those robin's egg, light turquoise, blues and golds. Then here, you can really just focus on the lettering styles and just see how they work together. This book is seriously falling apart. But flip to any page really and it's like, "Look at this weird border. I never would have thought of that", or how this banner works with the emblem in the middle. So, I love picking up these things. Oh, here's some color. I forgot this was in here. The photos are really terrible. These are really just meant for collectors, to get a sense of how much their tin is worth. This is a picture of a guy with his proud collection. He looks so thrilled. Nice guy. These are really great. I don't know exactly where you can get these. I think I got this at a used bookstore, but I'm sure eBay, Amazon, all those places. This book A B Z, this is one of the first books I got when I was a freshman in college and it opened up my eyes. It's so beautiful. A lot of it is a little like avant-garde stuff, but it also has these really great type specimens. These colors, I am just obsessed with. Really simple form, but with the drop shadow and the casted shadow, it just creates such a beautiful effect. Has these really beautiful type specimens, just awesome colors, just really bold. It's always great to just take a step back and look at this kind of inspiration. I'm also really into just collecting random things. I talk about a lot of my vintage ephemera collections in my Vintage Hand Lettering Skillshare class. So, if you want to see lots more of that, you can sign up for that class. But I'll just share this with you, because I just recently got these on eBay. I just love this, three for 10 cents. First of all, three for 10 cents. What is that? No one even knows anyway. But I like the color and just that for is just totally nuts. Think of ways that you can really stylize your lettering for the simplest thing. These are just price things that we'd put next to apples or something, and how you can incorporate those quirks into your lettering system. So, vintage, ephemera, eBay. Although, of course, I use Pinterest as well, and Google image search. But sometimes just having the real thing, and taking a step back away from the computer and just opening it up and really looking through the pages, or actually holding the actual thing. Through shops and flea markets, and antique stores, going to places like that, and collecting it and just really seeing in person or even just around your town, in historic district or something, places that have ghost signage on the sides of buildings, or if any place still has old neon signs still put up or just hand painted signs. It's really everywhere. I really feel like if you just are aware of it, then it'll just start pouring in all the inspiration that's out there and available to you. So, have fun searching. 4. Sketching the Ex Libris Page: So, now we're going to start sketching out ideas for the Ex Libris. Now, the Ex Libris is basically this book belongs to and a place to fill in or the person who owns the books name. I have in my sketchbook, I just have these preprinted templates of the page sizes, and I'd like having these printed out so that I can just make tracings on my sketchbooks so I don't end up using a lot of printer paper and I can just quickly draw out the template and get started on thumbnails and rough sketches. So, I actually already did some very, very rough thumbnail sketches for the Ex Libras. In the same way, you go about designing the book cover when you're brainstorming and writing lists of words that relate to what you're designing, you really want to do the same thing again when you're doing the inside illustrations as well. Because that way, you can point out what exactly are the key elements and the motives that you're going to carry throughout your book. I basically just wrote down all the things that I saw that I already included on my book cover light, stars trapeze artist, clowns, ladders, decorative borders, swirls, circus stage, circus style, lettering, ringleader, the dog, the dog is really important for the book, and audience, colorful, and just these kind of words that all relate to the themes that run throughout the entire book. But I'm not going to repeat the same design from the cover throughout the book because otherwise it gets a little boring and I'm not going to draw exactly the way this clown is draped on the ladder like this throughout the whole book. He needs to be moving around the same thing with the dog. You want to introduce new little vignettes throughout the book. So, I'm just going to get started on these sketches. I have my templates all roughed out and this is the page size. So, I know I don't want to really fill the whole page because that would feel really jam-packed. An Ex Libris usually like a sticker that you can put on any book. But since it's actually going to be printed in the page, it works better when it's a little bit more simpler. So, I'm going to make sure I'm not going to the full edge. If I am, it's more of a border element or some extra element but I'm going to keep everything centered here and I just watching to make sure everything's in proportion to the page as well. You don't want to suddenly have something that square because then you have all this extra space on the top and the bottom. So in this sketch, I'm going to keep the actual Ex Libris border really simple. But I think maybe on the full bleed of the page, I'm going to include the lights that I have on the book cover. These are a lot of strange lights everywhere that give it a more eventful feel but I'm going to just wrap it around the whole corners of the page. Right now, I'm really working quickly. It doesn't necessarily have to be perfect but I'm just getting my idea down and just roughed out a little bit better than the thumbnails. So, because the border and everything is really simplistic and I'm not planning on putting illustration in this one, maybe I can make the lettering style match more of the circus style lettering I have on the cover. I'm just going to stack the words Ex Libris and I'm going to work in the same bold Sans Serif style lettering that I have for Mr. Maybe I'll include a little doodads, little swirls around them. Close that gap a little bit more. Then for Libris, I think I'll probably have that on a curve. I actually gave myself, it's actually a pretty narrow area. Well, Libris isn't necessarily a long word this style with the really exaggerated Serif can take up a lot of space. So you really want to make sure you're always allowing yourself and envisioning the word drawn out before you start sketching. Otherwise, you're going to run out of space. These sketches are pretty small but these are just the rough sketches. Now, I'm noticing that it might be better to use the L to go under the rest of the letters so that I can just nestle right in the L's little neck. That will work a lot better. I'll continue the little swirl to go under the rest of the letters. Then I'm going to create a little, not like another border not even another banner has a space for the names because I've just really wanted to be subtle. So I'm just going to use some of the swirls that I have going on the cover and I'm just going to put some stars around everything to continue all the stars here just so that everything's just constantly sparkling like a circus stage. That one was pretty simple. So, my next one I have this idea of having the ringleader announcing that person's name. I always liked to include little elements like that. It gives the character more of a personality so you can really see him come to life. For this one, I'm going to do a simpler version of the border I have on the book cover. In this one, I'm really using the full page. The words are still going to be pretty much centered in this space. So, it's still really easy to read. So, I'm just recreating this really thick border because I'll probably also include these little dots around the border too. You really want to make sure when you're doing these borders that it's even all the way around like if say if you were an illustrator and you use the pen tool to make a stroke, it's even all the way around. But here we're just hand drawing it so you kind of have to eyeball it. Even though this is just a rough sketch, you still want to get as close as possible. Then quickly just throw some dots in the middle of it. Yeah. Then I'm going to have him peeking out from the bottom. On the cover, he's facing the crowd and the title of the book, here I'm going to have him facing you more. So, I'm going to use the illustration I did for the cover as reference but I'm going to change him up a little bit just so that it looks like I'm just copying and pasting him. So, he has a megaphone and then Ex Libris is going to go up here and I'm really going to work more and the simpler Serif style. I think I'm going to do that thing with the L where the eye tucks into that little neck because it also just creates a fun, like not so straightforward look to the letters too and much more custom. That's not exactly centered but that's okay. That's something we can always go back and change. So, in this sketch, just the way Gallianos is underlined with the swirl, I want to recreate that same thing here. The shout lines coming from the megaphone are also the swirl banner that's going to hold that person's name. It's just including the motives that I have going here, but kind of using it a little differently and giving this a little bit more personality. I think it's tying in a lot to the cover and I think perhaps it could be fun to even work with a less decorative border, maybe something that isn't so, because now seeing it sketched out tighter than my thumbnails, it's like maybe it would be more beneficial to have a simpler border. That's something you can play around with and that's why it's important to sketch out all these ideas. Kind of give them a top hat and a big mustache. Another idea is and a lot of these are including the characters and just the way characters can hold whatever information you want them to display. Like this is what I'm talking about are the trapeze artist maybe they're hanging, like the way they are on the cover. This is when, especially when you're doing illustrations, you're like, how does a person look when they're holding a banner upside down? So here, I think it would be fun to have a kind of flag introduced and that's not something that's necessarily on the cover, but maybe there's flags, I'm sure there's flags, banners in circus shows. Maybe that's something that you can start introducing throughout even in page numbers, or chapter headers, or any other kind of like pool crew kind of thing you want. Think about the kind of system you want throughout the rest of the illustrations that you're going to include in your book. Okay, so she's kind of holding on to this banner. That's also like drape from the corner of the page. I also like how this example isn't centered. This one is a little off center and so it has its contrasting from the cover, and then I'm just going to have a clown kind of on a ladder again, and he's going to be holding a card where the person can include their- put their name. If you want, instead of putting Ex Libris, you can say this book belongs to, it's more words to play with which is fun but actually it's always kind of looks cool. Then with the card that he is holding, you can play with different little borders and little things to kind of make it more decorative as well. Maybe even putting a line just so they have somewhere to write their name. Then this one's fun because there aren't as many like this one has a border, this one has a border, this one kind of has two going on. So, it kind of breaks it up from the cover a little bit more and it's just like a full page illustration more than just like a little badge or kind of logo type thing. Then I'm going to fill the rest of space with the stars. For the last one, maybe I do something similar to this where I don't necessarily have anything containing the lettering. I'm just going to really roughly draw guidelines so that it's staying nice and centered. I'm just going to erase them lightly so I know that they're not really meant to be there. Similar to the first one I did, like you're always kind of basing your lettering style off of your cover but just rethinking it. For example, I'm not going to include the same kind of inline details that I did in 'circus' because I don't have that much room or I just want it to be a simpler version of it. Or maybe I could even just like have the L, have all that detail but then maybe the rest of the letters are even more simpler like the simple serif style I have. Then maybe I'm just kind of create like more of an open-styled border with some of the swirls creating a border, but nothing like closed off and ends. Just so it has the same energy as the cover, but not feeling so enclosed. Okay so, then we're just going to have like a really simple place for them to put their name. So, I think I have some really great options for my Ex Libris. I think I might consider revising this one a little bit more. I like this idea a lot. I'm also really enjoying the way this looks. It's just like when you go from a cover that's this dense and has all of this stuff going on, I think going with something a little bit more simple, it's actually like oh, it's a breath of fresh air, and the focus is more on who the book belongs to, rather than recreating the cover like to the exact, you know, all the characters, all the stars, and glistening whatever. So, but it's still kind of has a relationship to the cover because we can also include these kind of ideas in other spots. If you really are attached to, like since I like the idea with the megaphone, swirls, kind of creating the banner, for whatever type you want to put there, maybe I can use that in the chapter headers or maybe in a call out that says like, this book is dedicated to. Because really you can make this book full and dense of your illustrations and make this like a really full project. So, there's a lot of things you can play with. 5. Sketching the Title Page: So, now, I'm going to get started sketching out ideas for the chapter header. Now, this book is actually a collection of short stories. This particular collection of Enid Blyton's stories are all circus related, so they all basically fall under the same theme. Now, the downside of that is that I don't get to draw numbers, which I think are really fun. So, if you are doing a book and you're doing chapter one to whatever, it's really fun to play with different style numbers. I like drawing numbers because it's just different from letters, slightly, and it just feels more exciting. So, it's always fun to kind of have play with those ideas as well. So, the story that I'm going to be doing this example of is Circus Days Again, and the way I'm thinking about how I'm going to do this chapter header is also going to relate to how I do the rest of the chapters or the story titles, because you definitely want to keep in mind that this is a system that you're putting in place for the rest of the book. So, I definitely want to put ring leader, megaphone, swirls, but also like the stage or- because they comp the ring, the dog, flags, kind of anything that I feel like could be included. It's also really helpful to read through your brief again, or read the book again, or just kind of skim through it and get ideas of what kind of stands out as some kind of motif that you can include or something that is a subtle hint at the story of the book. Sometimes I really like when people do that, when that's included in these kind of chapter headers because it's like you read the chapter and it's like, "Ah, I see why that illustration was there." It's because the ring leader did it the whole time. That's not anything to do with this story, but. I'm just going to kind of guess where I want the illustration to start. You can also, like maybe there's drop caps included; and let's say, this one start with an eye and then that kind of creates more illustration on the page as well. So, I'm going to have this guy peeking out over, let's say, it's like the side of the stage, the ring rather; and maybe there's even this kind of zigzag pattern on it. So, it's kind of carrying this motif into the chapter headers, but it's not so obvious. It doesn't look like I'm taking this and just placing it here, it's so much simpler version of it, but I'm going to kind of draw him similar to how he is in the cover. I got to make sure that the megaphone is at an angle that it makes sense where the banner comes out. And then, of course, this lettering style would be really simple because it's basically like a speech bubble and I don't really have that much room to include the really kind of decorative lettering styles I have going here. And if you think about it, you're going to have to be doing this for 20 chapters, a really intense illustration could be a lot; but right now, we're not working with any particular deadline, so you can really make it as decorative as you want. But I really want to make sure that it's not feeling cramped either, but I don't necessarily want to make it so small that it feels hard to read. So, just like how I draw any kind of banner and curves, I'm always just making sure that I'm drawing it really smooth and that there's no kind of kinks or any weird edges to the curve. I'm going to have to move this down to give enough space for the arm. And if I think about this as a series of chapter headers, whether, maybe it's a different character, maybe it's a dog kind of barking out the chapter header or it's the audience kind of, maybe there's always someone different that is saying the chapter header or the chapter title rather. Okay. So, ideally, I'll probably actually give myself a little bit more room because these are, I mean, these are a lot smaller than the actual drawing is going to be. So, when I refine the drawing, I'm going to make these bigger so I can work full size. But just as a rough sketch and just flashing out the idea of more than just the thumbnail, this will work fine. So, now, I want to work on just only lettering but still just taking up the top section of the chapter header. So, then, maybe there's still a break here, but maybe it's some could be a robe dots or maybe there's a star in the middle and that's kind of taper off. And then, that divides the chapter title to the beginning of the paragraph. This one is going to reflect the cover lettering style more. Especially with this curve and serif style, because that way days can tuck in right there. And days could be a simpler style, more like a story collection. And then, again, maybe it has this kind of style but it's a little bit more extended, as in wider, so it fills that space. And then, this one, it's not really including any of the characters from the book. And then, maybe sometimes that's helpful especially in book design, especially children's book or some kind of story about people where you're not constantly including the illustrations of the characters, so then the reader can come up with their own idea of what they look like. So, sometimes that is a much better example of what to include; and then, maybe, for example, these balls or something maybe that's something you can include around, something that is not so personal. So, the next one I want to do is, let's see, I think maybe the trapeze artist that's holding the card or the flag, more like, what I was working with on that style, ex libris. But I do always like this because it isn't centered, it's a little off-center, because this is so symmetrical, the cover, it could be fun to kind of switch it up where the chapter headers are off-center and a little asymmetrical. And then, this one wouldn't actually need a divider, but maybe it would be fun. Let's see. Let's have this sentence start with an S. And then, on this, you can also create a little border and maybe there's little dots around it, maybe it's even light, it's like a marquee, although that's not necessarily circusy. And then, you can fill this poster with really heavy-duty circus lettering. Filling up the whole thing. So, I think that actually looks really fun too. And I just draw these lines to fill in like, "Oh, what would the page actually looked like?" Okay. So, then the last sketch I want to do is this idea of having the full pattern, and this is just a full page for the paragraph, actually it doesn't start on this page. Unless you could do, like the very first paragraph, you could create its own little border and own little vignette just for the beginning of the story and then you have all this illustration happening around it. That could be fun too. Let's try that. And then, maybe that border gets a little decorative. And then, maybe there's just a little bit of a deckle edge. So, think of all the patterns that would be included in a circus, like just stripes, polka dots, but all the different kinds of prints you see from a circus on every- completely different every single page, and you can even do that kind of thing for the end papers too. And then, for this one, it will kind of be like this style lettering again, but maybe I'll change it up because the pattern- the background pattern would change each time. The way the lettering kind of happens would change each time because you don't necessarily want it to be like, "Okay, the first word is always on an arc, the second word tucks in right under that." Because not all of them are going to have three words, some are going to be one word, some could even be one really short word. So, you want to make sure that you're not- it's not so systematic that you're falling under the same kind of repetitive thing again and again and again. So, I'm going to draw one big C and then maybe like similar to how I changed up this one just a little bit, although this looks pretty similar. But I have this on a curve like that, and then maybe similar to how Galliano's is all kind of, that's how I will do curves right under it with some swirls kind of happening around and little dashes to kind of keep it centered in that space. And then, again, write over it. So, it's a little similar to that, but it has a different kind of feel to it just with the subtle changes I made. So, while I'm always working in the same kind of styles that I had included in the cover, just the way that they're oriented a little differently or just the fact that it's on a different background and it's on a different setting, and when there's not characters included, it still feels like it's part of the book; but it's not just doing the same thing over again, it's including little surprises every time you get to the page of the book and it's an illustration, it's like, "Oh." You open a book and you want to see all the fun little illustrations that are included. So, those are the sketches I have for the chapter headers or the story titles. And I think each one kind of has its own place, like if I think about how it would be included, if I were to choose one of these, how would it change each title? How would it change- what kind of new things could I include? So, it's not repetitive but feels like it's part of the same system. And I think there's a lot of good ideas here, and I'm really excited to get started drawing them out and getting the manked up. 6. Sketching the Back Cover: The final thing we're going to work on is the back cover of the book. Now, typically the back cover of the book is sometimes like a little review or it could even be about the author. In this case, I'm going to do a full page, a full back cover of this blurb that I was given. So, the blurb is, "Roll up! Roll up! Mr. Galliano's famous traveling circus is in town. Join Jimmy and the Brown family as they meet the elephants, monkeys, and clowns, and step into the ring of the most famous circus of them all." And I have just sketched out already the back cover. I really just wanted the back cover to have the same border and kind of the same feel as the front cover or the back cover. And then just the way the spine just these borders that it creates like when you open it up I just like the way that looks. So, that's all going to have the same border. But you really can have something completely different just depending on what your front cover is. Sometimes it's fun to have a little extra surprise on the back. Those are things you want to think about just like your experience with the book. So, I also have another template of the pages in a larger format here. I'm not going to do that many sketches for this because it's longer and I have a general idea of what I want most of the letters to look like because it's going to be more simple. It's not going to be- not every single word is going to have a new style because that gets harder to read. So, I'm really just focusing up on, "Roll up! Roll up!" having more of the style of the front cover lettering. But just to get an idea of how I'm going to fit all the words in the space, I'm going to just quick really rough sketch it all out here just to know where I'm going to break the sentences. Okay. So, I know I want "Roll up! Roll up!" to be like a fun announcement. And that could even be fun just to include a little icon of the megaphone and not necessarily including the ringleader just because he is right here and he's kind of shouting the title of the book. But maybe just like a really smaller version little icon of the megaphone included here, could be fun as well. You can really easily just sketch out a bunch of guidelines. They don't necessarily have to land on it, but you can use it as a really rough guide. But you could also count how many lines all the lettering is going to be and how it's going to take up. But I think it's easier just to really rough it in and play it by ear. So, I want this blurb to have the topsy-turvy look of circus type, but I don't want it to be hard to read. And so, when I'm doing this, I'm picking out things that I can call out a little bit more, "Mr. Gallison's famous traveling circus," maybe that's on a separate line. And then, "is in town," is much smaller. So, I'm keeping the rag and the rag is basically the way the line ends. I'm doing them centered. So, I really want to have the, I know I keep doing this, just symmetrical, but not creating any weird shapes. Unless you're doing that on purpose. I'm not going to have the lines, the ends of the words go create this odd shape. I want it to feel very natural. Like where, okay, "Mr. Gallison's famous," is longer than "traveling circus" and "traveling circus" is going to be a little bit bolder, but maybe I could have stars on either side. And those are little details where you can start including some of the materials that you're working with on the cover and including them on a completely different look. Something with a lot more lettering and this blurb. And sometimes when there's words like "the," I like to create more of it looking like a glyph, like a simpler, like a different kind of style. And by that, I mean maybe it's in a script lettering style and it has a little swish under it just breaking it up. It's like, and especially because it's like, "and meet the elephants, monkeys, and clowns." So, I'm just also thinking like okay, maybe elephants is big because elephants are big and monkeys and clowns can be on the same line. And I'm also like when I come across words like, "and step into the ring" I want 'step' and 'ring' to really be called out. Because I really want this to have a really beautiful flow of different words being called out and creating this beautiful pattern with just letters. And just breaking sentences in a way that makes sense. So, "of that" will be on its own line. So, then "most famous circus of them all" can be like the last thing called out, and not as big as "Roll up! Roll up!" but have a good ending of the sentence. Because this on the back cover, and especially because we're going to be doing it very specialized, this is the thing that people are going to get excited about actually reading the book. The cover is what pick- get's them to pick it up. You flip it over, you read the blurb, that's like okay, this is a book I want to read. So, when I redraw all of this, I'm probably going to make "Roll up! Roll up!" not as tall. It fills up a lot of space, but it's basically in the place I want to put it. And I just included some of these little characters, the lights and the clown around here and I'm going to keep him in there because I'm going to keep the little motifs and little icons and illustrations that I include within the lettering pretty simple. So, I just want to keep- I want to have just a little bit of energy, a little like character going around the border. And also because I wanted to relate so much to the cover. But I know, "Roll up! Roll up!" needs to really only take up like this much space. I want it to be big and bold, but I also want to make sure I still have enough room to make all this other fun lettering happen at the bottom. So, I have the megaphone, is going to be tucked under right where the corner of that T will be basically. And then, just like how I want the little swirls to kind of contain all the lettering, maybe it kind of even breaks through, just to give myself enough room; and then, I'm keeping this line nice and straight. So, before I even get started on the rest of that, I just want to make sure that I'm getting the right boldness that I want. I want the Ls to tuck in together just like I was doing on the Xlibris, just so those are all kind of connecting in some way too. And that's always fun to do because otherwise the Ls kind of create a weird kind of shape. I'm making sure I'm leaving enough room for the exclamation point. If you don't have a blurb for your book, I'm sure you can easily find some kind of synopsis or something online, find something that you can do or just do a pull quote, just one of your favorite quotes from the book. You can also do something like that as well. It doesn't necessarily need to be so official. This is just what I was given for this project. So, I have that kind of header all sketched out. I like the way it interacts with the megaphone and it's using the swirls that are included on the front cover. And now, I'm just going to, kind of just the same way, I'm just going to draw on these lines. These aren't necessarily, I'm going to be following them exactly, but it kind of gives myself something to base that off of. And right down here, I just sketched in the UPC code because that's something you don't necessarily need to include in your project, but it does kind of make it seem more real. But there are ways of making UPC codes fun, like I could easily add a little tent topper and the UPC code could look like the big top because I think there's really just like it needs to read those, that one specific line of the widths. So, you can actually have fun with UPC codes. I'm just going to get started roughing this in and I'm going to be adding a little bit more style and just a little bit more weight to the letters as well. And that's something that, again, I'm going to be tightening up in the next sketch and the inking stage as well. For these kind of long paragraphs of lettering, I always like mixing in script, upper case, lower case. It kind of really creates just fun little pattern because it's all hand lettered, it doesn't necessarily need to be just handwritten or even look like a font or because it's so special, it doesn't even necessarily need to be on one straight line, it can be really zigzagy; but depending on how long it is, just how easy it is to be read is pretty important too. So, I'm going to draw all these little stars around, traveling circus. Maybe there kind of little fireworks like I have on the cover. You're going to always make sure that you're leaving yourself enough room to fit the whole word in comfortably. Like for, "is in town" and "and" and "of the" those kind of words that I'm kind of using as line breakers. Think about what you're going to use to kind of call them out or just kind of not having them just floating in the middle. I love always putting little dashes, little dots. In this case, I'm going to put little arrows around them because I feel like that's really circusy. And that's a motif that you can include throughout the rest of the book too. So, I'm playing with scale on just really subtle levels. Everything is kind of, it's fitting in this one area, and just there's a little scale shifts I just think kind of create that look that I'm going for. And also, remember punctuation. Punctuation is important too. This is going on the back of a book, so even though it's lettering, it doesn't necessarily mean you can just forget about commas. Now, all 10 UPC code I made is going to run into most famous circus of them all, but I still have this nook down here that I can use, so it'll kind of just go into really straight and then a little asymmetrical, which I think will actually be fine because the clown on the left is kind of balancing it out. And I can just erase some of the stars. So, I have air around it, so you can- you see your eye goes right to it, it is not necessarily filling it so much like the cover is. So, it's like, you know that it's something that you can read, but there's little illustrations, little motifs that I'm carrying throughout from the cover to the back cover and little hints that are going to be included throughout the rest of the book. So, I'm going to scan these in and print them out a little bigger, so that I can trace them and just tighten everything up a bit more, so I can really get to inking and really just concentrate on getting a nice ink drawing ready; so that when I go to scanning and digitizing, it's much easier to work with. 7. Illustrating the Ex Libris Page: So, I basically just scanned in my sketches and printed them out a little larger because I generally have the proportions that I want to work with, but obviously since they were so much smaller I wasn't able to get the detail that I'm planning on including in all the lettering and illustrations. So, you can work larger to begin with but I generally think it's easier to work off of the rough sketches that you had out and scan them in a little larger. It also gives you a reference point. But if you're not into wasting paper, you can skip a step by doing that way. So, I'm going to just get started working on the Ex Libris sketches first. Usually at this point I'll narrow down to one or two sketches to take to refine drawings, but I really want to look at all the drawings together and then that way I can really see what exact sketches are going to work for the book. Because at this stage especially when there's this rough, it's hard to get a feel of exactly how everything's going to fit together. So, I'm going to be working on a little bit bigger and this is actually much bigger than how it is going to be in the book, but when you're working on such small striations it's good to get work a little larger than the real drawing just to get all the details. So, I'm going to start with the two sketches that I started out with first, and I talked about simplifying this border and I'm going back and forth on that. Because now that I see a little bigger, I feel like maybe I can go with a little bit more of the detailed border. So, I'm going to keep that kind of style. So, I have my light pad, this is just an Artograph light pad. It's one of my favorite light boxes because it's really super flat, the light is really even rather than some of them are fluorescent lights, this is LED. I have a big piece of my drawing paper. I like to use super B drawing paper. I'm going to be doing this drawing with my black-winged pencil. It's a much darker pencil, so it's also much harder to erase, and while I am going to be making some decisions along the way it is still pencil and it is still a sketch so when I do get to the inking stage I'll still be able to make these revisions. So with this one I was keeping it really simple. Just with the string lights. Maybe these string lights are blinking so every other one is kind of shimmering. I'm going to just include little stars everywhere just similar to this, so that everything's sparkling and has a lot of energy. It's introducing you to actually starting reading the book, and you're claiming it as your own, and just getting as much excitement about the book as possible. I really like drawing really wonky stars because I just think they're much more fun. But if you do want to draw a star like really super correct, I was just like old school style way and then trace over it. Look how much more character that one has. So, I'm definitely going to keep this border simple. I remember when I was working on the back cover illustration, I mentioned this idea about it looking like a poster for the circus. Maybe that's something that this could actually look like. So maybe this is like outside of the circus and it's like, welcome to the show. You can even change the copy to even replicate that, too. If you don't want to put Ex Libris or this book belongs to, you can come up with some fun copy to go with the style of your book, too. Which is why I think it's important for the inside of the book working on all these sketches at the same time. Because with each different, for the Ex Libris, the chapter headers, the back cover, page numbers, all the little ideas you can really come up with so many more ideas that way. And if something doesn't work for one of them, maybe it works for something else. So it's always important to keep that in mind. Maybe it has some corner details. So I want the X to be similar to how I have mister on the book cover. Just a really simple bold san serif with an inline detail. Now that it's bigger it can also include that to really get a sense of what that looks like. I'm going to include this little swirls on the side to flank the word. And Libris I'm going to do it in a similar style of circus. That looks a little weird but definitely we can always fix it little later. I just feel like the way it tapers off here is really uncomfortable. Then I'm just going to have this line, this swirl continuing under there to fill that space and have it swirled back just like I have the swirl under Galliano's, so it's nice and contained. Then I could do a dotted inline detail, but I think I'm going to really keep it simple because even at this scale it still feels a little tight. So I'm just going to do a really simple line detail and I'm just including the inline detail on the down strokes of the letter, rather than following through each curve because then it will feel a little tight. So similar to how I have the bottom half of circus just that really simple inline detail. Then where the person puts their name, I'm just going to do a really simple line like that with some swirls on either side. Then sometimes it's also like turn on the light, turn off the light just to make sure you're looking good. Then, I'm just going to fill in the rest the stars to make it really sparkly. Some stars are outlines, some are filled in just to create a nice background pattern. Then some upside down string lights. It just not so dense. It's still more sporadic. It's has a charm to it. So, I'm just going to keep it simple just like that, and I don't need to include the page because this is bleeding off the page. I don't need to draw in that template anymore, and then I'm going to do the next sketch. With this kind of border, I actually feel you can see if I just take my hand, just line it up on the edge here. This is how I draw guides a lot of the time. This point here doesn't exactly match up with this point, and if I were to measure it, and this is how I also measure sometime, it's also not exactly centered. But I think sometimes when it's a little off, it's hand-drawn, you just embrace that, but in the computer, you could easily take this section, flip it horizontally, flip it vertically, that way, each thing is completely symmetrical and you're just reusing the drawing. Sometimes, you can do that. You do it on the computer, print it out and then trace the whole thing over by hand just so that you don't notice any of similar, like, oh, there's a little wiggle in the line here, and it's here and here and here. That way, you can see the pattern. Usually, it's really subtle, but if you wanted to do it like that, you could. But since we're up, we are still working in pencil, I'm just going to trace over and just eyeball it as much as possible to get it symmetrical because I really like these billowy borders curvy. They are just so much fun. It's like you can see already this one doesn't lineup. You can push a little bit more, but for the most part, it's all right that doesn't line exact. Now, since I want this border to be really thick, I'm going to draw the hand line again, and sometimes, that can be extra tricky because just the way they meet here, it's like the proportion kind of changes. So, you really just need to eyeball it, and just try and make sure you're lining up as much as possible. If you're not one to include decorative borders in your work, then this doesn't really apply to you. But I actually do this a lot on my work. So, you can see how these don't match exactly. It drives me nuts, which is why I usually do what I said before. I'll actually flip it all on the computer, print it out and redraw it so it's all even because I let a lot of things slide because it's all hand drawn. But sometimes when it just looks completely wrong, then it doesn't seem to have a point. I just maybe correct it. At this time, I'm actually not sure if I want to include little stars or if I want to put little swirls. In the sketch, I put swirls, but I think I would like to see how it looks simple and with more air around it. So, I'm not going to do the extraneous swirls and stuff before I actually put the meat of the project down first. So, I'm going do a similar style to here except I think I'm going to do maybe more of a stylized acerra rather than so simple. Then actually maybe these will match styles because when I have a big illustration here, maybe the lettering should just be a little bit more subtle. I have no idea why Xs are hard to draw but they are. I always draw them wonky. That's all right. Then, really I'm just tracing this almost exact. It's actually a little off center in the border. But I actually feel like the line weight is correct. That's why sometimes working really small, and then enlarging it is helpful because everything stays in proportion because you have to when it's at that scale. Or sometimes it can be a little trickier to keep the proportions even when you are drawing a lot bigger because there's a lot more room for error. Ss are always a little tricky because you want to keep that proportion all the way around the curve, and you always have to leave yourself enough room. It's a little wonky but that's all right especially because there's a little gap. Sometimes you can just fill that in full sparkles. Okay, so I think I might draw this curve before I draw Mr. Galliano because I want to make sure I'm giving myself enough room and remember it being tricky when I was drawing it small. I want that curve to tuck in right there so I can have this loop around and swirl back like I do on the cover. I'm always turning off the light just to make sure I'm on the right path just making sure I'm not drawing anything wrong. Like now, I'm seeing that it's a way off center but that's all right. That's something that I can fix when I get to inking. At this stage, I'm still nailing down the style of the letters, and I'm still making the placement and making decisions on where everything is landing on the page. A lot of times, a lot of my process is drawing and redrawing and redrawing and just really refining each step of the way. I probably need a little more reference to get him just right. But for this step of the sketch, I think he's in a good spot. Now, I like the way his top hat overlaps that border a little bit too. Then I like putting these little dashes on this little banner so it does feel more like a banner and not so open. I really wish I could just cut this out and move it over a little bit. But that's the thing I can really fix in the next stage of drawing or inking even just like when I trace over this again, I can copy and paste in real life and move my page over when I get to drawing that part. So, one of the things I didn't want to include until I had all this illustration down was what other details I want to include. If I look to my illustration, I have just these little simple swirls, and these was related to the border I have working on here. So, I actually think the swirls would make sense. So, I'm just going to put really simply and just follow the curves of the border just so they don't feel like so wild and going everywhere. So, just goes with everything, maybe these little points I have a little dot. Then over here, I create some extra curve the way I have on this border, and then I repeat that down here. [inaudible] some anyone. So, now I feel like it's not overpowering the illustration or the lettering even though the border is really thick, and I'm going to go in and put it in this little dotted in line just like I have on the border of the title of the book, on the book cover. Let's create this like film illustration. Already, I feel I like this a lot more than how I like that one. But it's important to experiment with different ideas. Just to see all your ideas fleshed out in bigger sketches with more detail really helps you decide what is going to work for the book and what isn't. So, on the same sheet of paper but upside down, I'm going to do the other two sketches. I'm going to do the same thing. I'm going to tape it. On this one, I have the Trapeze artist. She's kind of contorting her body in a way that's pretty crazy. It might be helpful to have reference at this stage because the sketch was really rough. But I just want to make sure. But it's similar to the way she is moving on the cover. So, I'm just going to kind of fake it and then if it looks so crazy, that something I can always kind of revise as well. She's kind of dangling upside down, and maybe more than holding it, she's just kind of like pointing to it. She's not exactly in proportion, I still need to figure out the way her movements are. It's just constantly kind of revising your drawings as you go. But it is also important to see your ideas fully realized before you make any decisions. So, this banner rather, is just a different kind of placeholder for lettering, something different completely from the cover but something that still has the idea of the circus. But because this one's so illustrative, the lettering is going to be very simple. Then for this clown, he's going to be holding a card which is where he would put your name for the book. Then I'm just going to create a simple border for where you put your name. Include a bunch of little shimmers all around the background. Then he's kind of like sort of stepping on the ladder, but basically falling off. So, her arms are way too short. But that's only I can change when I refine it again. So, the last one I'm going to do is the really simple one but with the more illustrative lettering. This one I'm really just following the sketch that I have. Because everything's kind of lined up, and in the places I want it to be. There, I'm putting an inline detail. I might even do a drop shadow just to really add more drama to the lettering. Now, when I had dropped shadows, you don't necessarily need to have a perspective like drawing, like a vanishing point or whatever. I'm really just roughing it because it is so short. But you can see I am following one specific angle the whole way, just so it's like still somewhat believable. But if you were to draw one that was really dramatic, then you might need to have those kind of basic drawing skills of using vanishing points and putting it in perspective. Now when I had sketch this out, I was going to do the L more like the lettering style for Circus, and then the rest of the letters being a little bit more simple. I think that would look really nice. Just kind of create different levels of style and details. Because I'm not including any illustration in this one. So, I can play with the lettering a little bit more. Then I really want to create, without putting a border around everything, I just kind of want to have these swirls and this kind of movement and energy that is reflected on the cover with just the illustration. But for this, just with swirls. Just to kind of get that idea across without including all the characters. When you're adding swirls, you really just want to be mindful, not just putting one wherever you want. It needs to have movement. Imagine water filling the gaps in a way that has a lot of movement, like if a swirl comes from this way, it's going to end in a wavy effect, if you understand what I mean. Then all the other swirls reflect that. Then I'm just going to have these little doodads kind of like an end point or a starting point. Then, I'm just adding one little swash terminals to match those little doodads, just so it has fluidity to it. All little light boxes off. Now that I see the drop shadow in X, I'm going to add it in Libris to. At this point when I'm thinking about color, I'm definitely- it's all going to relate back to the cover. But especially for this part of the project, it's like I'm imagining something like two or three color. Maybe the chapter or the story title would be one color. Just so that it's not just like full color here, full color, here full color here. It's constantly like, what color palette is on this one that it's like, "Okay maybe it's this really deep purple and the blue." Because I think those colors work really beautifully together. It's like the dark purple would be great for the outlines and just for the information to come forward the most, and light blue would be good for like the swirls and maybe even the stars. Maybe that's like the gold color. So, it's important, it's definitely important to kind of have that in your mind, especially when you're sketching because it's like, "Okay, maybe all of this is one color and maybe it is all the dark purple." Then, now it's like, okay, if you really need to think about how the decorative elements relate to the lettering, so that the decorative elements aren't overpowering the lettering either. I'm going to turn that back on and I basically just wanted to keep the place where you put your name really simple. Maybe just a really simple double line border. Maybe it's like a thick, thin style border. Okay, so I have all my EX Libris sketches kind of sketched out bigger in greater detail. Now, I can get a sense of what I feel is going to work best with the cover. Because this is going to be the first page you flip to in the book. I'm pretty sure I think it typically is. It's like, what are people want to see right after they've looked at the cover? I feel like looking at it. You know, it's possible just because this one is so much more bold, just with the drop shadows and everything, like if this had more of the detail like once this is inked up and sketched or off scanned in colored and everything, this one might stand out more. But I think this border maybe relates too much to the cover. While I really like this idea of the ringleader kind of announcing the person's name, I think it's just really is too much to the cover and I think it could actually work really well for one of the chapter herself. At this time, I'm feeling this one for the final sketch. I think that's the one I would take to inked up and finalize. It's really important to kind of see everything in greater detail. If I were to have... If it was a tougher decision I might cut this so I could see them all at the right angle instead of flipping it around but that's okay. Now I'm going to do the same sketches for the chapter headers and decide which one will work best for that. 8. Illustrating the Title Page: So, now we're going to be creating the title sketches for the story titles, or your chapter header. So, again, I just have them scanned and printed out at a larger size, so I can make the sketches more detailed. So, I'm going to start with this one with the megaphone, and again I'm just going to tape it to my paper so, it doesn't move around when I'm in the middle drawing. I'm going to use my black line pencil. So, with this one, I'm working in the same style similar to the sketch that I did for this with the ring leader and the megaphone, and this slide banner effect, is going to be holding the type or the letter. Just as a way to have him sit against something, I'm just creating this really simple line that is just going to of have this effect of edge, or the edge of this ring, in the same zigzag pattern that's on the cover. I wouldn't put that in first, just so I know where the illustration is going to end, and how much room to give myself. Really, he's just going to be peeking out, and then once I have him in, then I can really decide how the swirl is going to take up the rest of the space. Because before I did the swirl first, and I think it made it ran into the guy a little bit more than I had wanted. But I did like the way it ran into his top hat, actually so I'm going to do the same thing. So, I'm just going to change the angle of this world a little bit more than what I have for my sketch, and create that same kind of loop. Then this time, I'm going to be putting the lettering inside this swirl, and circus days again, it's a long phrase. So, I can't really go too detailed with the lettering in this small space, so I'm really going to keep it condensed and upright, and I really just want to fill the whole space to really get that effect, and I still ran over him. Says, let me I'm going to have to make a revision to. I could easily move this swirl, and just scale down. This so it fits, but just to see it, more realized this is fine, and that's something I can always draw, redraw, keep making revisions, tills just right before you get to inking. I'm just creating a thick thin style, so it has some character to the lettering. We're going to add some movement to the swirls, and fill up that space. Give him some eyes and nose. And add some sparkles and stars around. Just because those are going to be carried out throughout the whole book like the cover. So, even though I ran out of room on the side here, if I can just extend this and really it'll still fit in that space, are all still fine. I just don't want to run into this sketch. So, the other sketch that I was working with, is just only the lettering. Am not including any of the illustration or any pattern, I just want to recreate the lettering style that I have on the cover, but for this title. You really want to think about when you're doing this, that titles and the chapter headers are going to change each time, and just to make sure that you're picking styles that we'll be able to work with different length words, or maybe the style of the lettering changes each time and how that's still going to fit with the rest of the style of the book. When you're doing lettering on a curve like this, which I think it's helpful to, at least make sure that each side is ending on the same point. Sometimes, you can just make sure that they're symmetrical. You can use a compass which makes it a lot easier, and just make sure that everything's lining up on the curve. But if you draw it, it looks right, and you draw the letters on it, and suddenly it doesn't look right. Then you know from there what you need to shift around. If one side is falling at a straight angle than the other side is more smooth, those are things that just looked really noticeable, and especially when it's not so asymmetrical enough that it looks like it's on purpose, and it just looks like it was a mistake. Those are things you always want to just be careful of. But it looks pretty symmetrical even without using a compass. But it's always helpful to even just check. either one it's in the computer, or while it's still in sketch phase, which is probably recommended. So, I want days to tuck in under circus. Because I created that little and space for it. Days, I want to be in a more simple lettering style, and then again, I'm going to have, polygon to have little stars on either side just because I'm not going to make it just as big as circus. But it is going to be big compared to these, I just wanted to fit in that space better. Since it's going to be an extended version of what I have for gallium, the lettering style I did for gallium is, I don't want to overextend it where it just looks completely different. Then just to separate the story title from the beginning of the book or the chapter, I'm also putting a little divider line there, and it could be a star, it could even be one of the balls on the book cover, or a little dog. But it's something that just feels like a little icon. I wouldn't want to create a big version or just having the, what do we call, the trapeze artist. Because, then is too small, and it's getting like too different. It doesn't feel like an icon. So, these are two options sketched out, and when I go back in, and fix, revise even more, it still feels tight, and I can start making other decisions such as like line-weights and just making sure everything is fitting exactly right before I get to inking. So, I'm going to sketch up the last two versions, and I'm just flipping this upside down just so I'm not like, otherwise, I'm going to be rubbing against here. If I started it feels like, because it's such a big piece of paper. So, I'm just going to tape it, so it doesn't move around again. If you don't have a light box or light pad, you can use tracing paper. But you can also, a lot of times all just use printer paper, because this paper is still pretty transparent. If you just use regular printer paper, and placed it on top of a sketch like this especially, if you've printed out a lot darker, you can still basically see you don't necessarily need tracing paper or iPad, I find it easier for me to work on that like this. So, this one I have the trapeze artists holding the banner or poster, and the drawing for us is going to be perfect, but I just really want to get a little bit of her body shape right, and positioning. Just so when I revise the sketch again, it will be as close as possible, and sometimes it's funded, we have a weirdly exaggerated version, anyway. But instead of this one being a flag, I just want to make the border a little bit more illustrated. I'm actually making it just a little bit taller than what I had in the rough sketch. I'm always trying to make decisions while I'm sketching about how to improve the drawing, fixing things that should be fixed, just so that I'm not making these decisions later on. So, again, because I have such a small space to work with, I'm not really going to go and create lettering like this. It's not going to be super one eighth, I just really wanted it to fit in here. I have it roughed out in the right sizes and that is just fitting it. Because I had so much space at the bottom for Again, in the original sketch I had it just going straight across with really tall letters. Sometimes to help fill those areas, you can put it on an angle and fit it inside a banner or some swirl thing on an angle. Just so it fills that space more naturally rather like just feeling jammed in. Especially, because I didn't give myself enough room for Circus. So, I just turned off the light box because I'm not following it exactly and I don't want it to throw me off. Because now I can eyeball better and it fits nicely, and then it just creates a little bit more movement and a little bit more character to lettering. She looks weird, but mostly, I can always fix later. So, for the last drawing, I wanted to put a full bleed pattern behind the whole page. I think just a diagonal stripe and if I think about it in color, maybe it would be two really light colors with the lettering on top being a darker color just so it stands out from the pattern and the pattern isn't competing with the lettering. So, really you could rough in the pattern first. You really just want to draw it really lightly, because it's going to run through the lettering anyway. I'm going to do the lettering first because I'm going to have this open part for the opening paragraph of the story. So, the lettering is going to be a little bit similar to what I did here, but I'm going to switch it up just a little bit. Here, it's a mono weight. It's like really just thick weight throughout. I want to do a thick-thin version of the Serif style I have going. Sometimes when a word ends with an S, like the same way I did with Galianas, I think it's fun to throw it off and end it with a big S, rather than a tiny one. Also, because small S's are just hard to draw, but it does make it look up much more fun. Then it can tucking under the banner with Days so. So, I'm going to turn that off because I'm not following any of my sketch on this one. So, it creates a different feel and also has that topsy-turvy look, just bringing more character into the lettering. Just doesn't always necessarily need to be so straightforward. Then, I can have this banner swoop in like that. Then, for Again, I'm going to do it just similar to how I did it over here. Sometimes is not necessarily with the range of lettering styles you're working with, it's also how the scale relates to what it is you're drawing and it's also just in relationship to the other words. Okay. Then, underneath here I'm just going to do just a little border for the first paragraph of the story to sit. I'm just going to do a border similar to the borders I have going here with the title and the whole border, just a mixed version of the two. But instead of following the line and creating a border similar to how I did it here, I'm actually going to put just a simple square border on the inside because then it just doesn't create weird little pockets of air around the type that's going to be set in this space. This more like a picture frame than a decorative border, but I'm going to create just little lines to add dimension to the border. Then, when I put the pattern in the background, I just want to make sure that this lettering stands out and while color is going to have a big thing to do with that, I still feel like without a drop shadow and without any boldness to this lettering it's going get lost with the pattern in the background. So, I'm going to put a fill on Days and make sure that's standing out. I'm just going to put a really small drop shadow on Circus. If I feel like later on I could maybe make the drop shadow deeper as in bigger, longer, I could make that decision, move things around. You can always make these small edits when everything's in the computer. But, like I say, it's always important or it's always good to just have these decisions made ahead of time. I'm going to turn off the light box. So, you don't always necessarily need to follow your exact sketches because you're always kind of wanting to make refinements and these rough sketches aren't necessarily the end-all of the project. So, if you turn off your light box, or take it away from the tracing paper, or just look at it with a fresh start just on the plain paper, that's really helpful to do. Because if we follow too much exactly, then you're just drawing the same bad drawing over and over again without making refinements. So, I'm going to make a deeper drop shadow on Again. One, because I have the room to do that and I want it to fill part of Circus. So, now I have these sketches all refined and I can really get a look at them and see what they look like, especially in relationship to the Ex Libris. So, I can start putting together a system. So, if I were to pick say, this version for the chapter header or that story title and this for the Ex Libris, that feels too much like their just matchy-matchy. When really, it would be better if I pick maybe this one and the really simple lettering style or maybe even this one that doesn't have the extra border. So then, they're creating relationships and they still go together. It's like a fun game of mix and match. I do feel really drawn to this one, but I do also like the really simple Ex Libris, just the plain lettering style because the reasons I was talking about before. Just, when you're creating relationships with the cover to the Ex Libris, you also need to think about how it is in order and everything. How these are all going to be seen. So, next we're going to move on to the back cover, the blurb. We're going to get that all sketched out and this should be more straightforward. We only have the one option. I just really want to tighten everything up, so I can see everything working together, and see how it's all working together as a system. 9. Illustrating the Back Cover: Okay. So I'm going to take my printed out back cover blurb. I'm going to go through the same process. So with this one, I'm actually not going to be tracing over any of the border because that's obviously already done here, and the stars down here, that's something that I can make changes on the computer, and obviously I'll delete the T. I Have this all sketched out and in place just so I know generally where everything is going to fit on the back cover, but I don't necessarily need to draw it again. But I have it as reference because roll up, roll out is going to be in that kind of style. I'm also really relating to some of the ideas I'm working with with those other sketches, that I'm actually probably not going to use in the final, but it's like some ideas you come up with and while they don't necessarily work for that application, though can always work somewhere else and they're going to still fit in and feel like they're part of the whole system. So, I'm just going to start out drawing. Drawing the letters. So, with this one, I really feel like I actually have the proportions of all the letters down pretty well which really makes this part of the process much easier, because I know I'm not going to have to really go back and make a lot of changes, and there's still another step before inking. You don't necessarily, like if you nail down the sketch at this phase, you don't necessarily need to just do another pencil sketch just to revise things that are already working. So, if this all goes well, I could potentially work right off of this drawing for the inking. And then I'm going to get the megaphone over here. It doesn't need to be so literal, it doesn't need to have the ringleader kind of shouting into it. But you kind of get the idea, and like I said before, I don't want to just like have to repeat something from the cover onto the back cover. So, I'm choosing the swirls that I include pretty carefully. I wanted to feel very fluid and I wanted to feel energetic at the same time, but that doesn't necessarily mean just like overdoing it with the swirls. You just want this world to cradle lettering. That doesn't sound too weird. Then actually I was thinking of including details in the lettering, some kind of line, but I think just with how dense this is going to be with all these little icons and illustrations and with all the lettering, I think it would actually be really not really beautiful if it just kind of stay a little simple, because I actually really like way that's looking. So, when I do notice that things maybe were squashed in a little bit at the end, I'm just going to make sure that I'm keeping everything even. I have my border her, that I'm not actually going to draw, but I can see it, and I have my guidelines. So, I just know when to scoot something over and really just kind of play it by ear, because I really want this part of the letter and be really fun and each one a little bit different, but always staying legible. I think it's fun switching between script lettering and different styles when you have something like this. When I do the script, I was kind of want to make sure that I'm adding weight to the letters, because I want to make sure that everything kind of has the evenness to it, you don't want to suddenly feel really light and you don't read it. You almost want to create a pattern. It's like you kind of want to create the same styles over again. So there's an even flow to it, because you don't one suddenly the middle to feel like overly dense or overly light. So you want to make sure that you're kind of like every other word, or every other line is a bolder line. While I'm mixing styles, I'm still introducing or not introducing, reusing the same styles that I'm in the rest of the lettering system. So it's helpful to also just turn off the light box like light pad every once in a while and just make sure you are creating that kind of even flow between bold, thin, different styles and just make sure you're still going in the right direction. So far I think everything's coming together. One thing I'll probably have to do in the computer is just making sure everything is spaced out right. You really don't want the spacing to be that tight between traveling and circus, because it starts to look like one word, especially when they are of the same style too. You can sometimes get away with it if you're switching styles, but you don't you generally don't even want everything to be so crammed. But those are pretty minor changes is not necessarily something that you would have to come back and redraw. So, when I get to the point where it starts to get a little asymmetrical, I just want to make sure that it's also still staying really balanced. So, it's going to run into the UPC code and right now I have, looks like most will kind of fit in this little nook right here. Plus I want to make sure that this is also nice and bold because it's like the last sentence of the blurb and most famous circles of them all is really important. So, I make sure it's getting the right amount of attention. So, I just love really dense paragraphs of lettering because there's always so many fun little things you can include. I like the flow, I think there's an even amount of bold and thinner styles and nothing feels out of place, nothing is overly stylized where it looks just looks finicky, because you also want to think about the scale whether these are going to be printed out. So, this is going to fit on the back of this book. It's going to be scaled down, I don't know what kind of percentage that is, but it's going to be scaled down quite a bit. So you still want to make sure that it's like when it's scaled down, it's still readable. You definitely wouldn't want to include the same kind of styles you would here for a word. That's going to be the size of the S. So, those are all things you really want to consider, especially when you're dealing with different kind of variations and different kinds of applications for the lettering, especially when it comes to lettering in a series or a system. So, I have all my sketches out. I feel like I have a lot of good options, I think basically any of them would look really fun and color. Everything was based off of the cover that was already done and so everything really feels like it fits together, because I was always referencing back to the cover that was already finished, and not introducing anything totally new but introducing enough new things that it feels like it's not so repetitive and it still feels fresh. So, I'm basically just going to choose which ones I want to take to final, and I'm going to ink them up and apply color. The other thing about the cover already being done is the colors are pretty much picked for me already. I'm not going to have to start from scratch with color, unless that's something that makes sense to your concept. If every chapter is a new color, then that's something you could do, but then that would mean maybe that the cover is really colorful or not colorful at all. There's a lot of different ideas to explore. You basically really want to feel like the book, or whatever you're applying this lettering system to, has some kind of experience and everything feels like it is going together. When you open it up, everything matches in a way, but not too matchy matchy. But you basically want to keep in mind that you're working with some fun lettering styles and still fun lettering styles first simplified versions of them. I think that's basically it. 10. Wrapping Up: So, thank you so much for signing up for my class. If you feel like you need a refresher course on illustration and lettering, check out my other classes. I can't wait to see all your projects. 11. More Creative Classes on Skillshare: