Digital Lettering: Designing Typography for Headlines in a Visual Layout | Alex Trochut | Skillshare

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Digital Lettering: Designing Typography for Headlines in a Visual Layout

teacher avatar Alex Trochut, Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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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.



    • 3.

      Finding Inspiration


    • 4.

      Choosing an Approach


    • 5.

      Digitizing an Idea


    • 6.

      Building the Headline


    • 7.

      Final Layout


    • 8.

      Bonus: Airbrush Drips


    • 9.

      Bonus: Vector Minerals


    • 10.

      More Creative Classes on Skillshare


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About This Class

Learn to craft expressive images comprised of typography, letterforms, and words. In this 90-minute class, designer Alex Trochut walks through his creative process of finding inspiration, sketching concepts, designing your headline, and creating a final layout.

Lessons include:

  • Finding inspiration in magazines and editorial design
  • Exploring analog techniques and texture with tape
  • Digitizing an idea
  • Building a headline
  • Finalizing the composition, spacing, and style in a final piece

Plus, this class includes nearly 30 minutes of bonus footage: real-time demonstrations of Alex showing airbrush dips and vector minerals.

Alex works in Adobe's FreeHand MX, but students are welcome to use Photoshop, Illustrator, or any digital illustration programs they'd like. This class is perfect for designers, illustrators, and photographers looking to add new techniques to their toolkit and create infinite possibilities.

Meet Your Teacher

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Alex Trochut



Alex Trochut was born in 1981 in Barcelona, studied graphic design at Elisava, and started working as a freelance illustrator in 2007. His illustrations, designs, and typography take the modern notion of minimalism and flip it on it’s side. Alex is driven by a desire to constantly evolve and his work has been honored by the TDC, D&AD, and ADC. He has worked with a wide-range of clients including Adidas, Burton, MTV, The New York Times, Universal Everything, and The Guardian. Alex currently lives in Barcelona and Brooklyn.

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1. Trailer: I'm Alex Trochut. I'm here in Brooklyn. We are in my co-working space. This class as usual, I'm going to make an image made out of letters. It's going to be an opener for a magazine, that would be a great application for it. This class it's for everyone, it can be whoever that wants to create an image made out of letters. The idea for this project is that we will have a big amount of different results. Let the image tell you where to go. We think about creativity like we're supposed to do things in a certain way, and that we have a creative identity, but this creative identity, it's infinite. For this project, I think it's really important that you find your own way of looking at functionality. It's about looking at this image and putting your letters next to it, and seeing a connection. First seeing it just to get your head into something that really really excite you. 2. Introduction: I'm Alex Trochut. I'm here in Brooklyn, we are in my cool working space. I'm a freelancer that came from Barcelona one year and a half ago. I'm basically an illustrator and graphic designer but most of it I think I'm like a digital crafter. I work a lot with images and this is really what I like to do. I don't work in the context of the whole alphabet, normally I just work with a few letters that are required to work on a headline or on a logo or something that is very particular in a particular context. I love playing with letters because they are an abstract material that allows a lot of expression. They don't belong to nature, they're human creation. So this class in Skillshare it's aiming to provide students the idea of like jumping to a new way of doing things, and we're not going to focus on letters by itself. We would like to try to generate some lateral thinking on how we look at the source outside of our regular medium so when we're thinking about letters, we think about letters. So this time we're going to try to do it in another way and hopefully this will bring to the letter, a bunch of sparking imagination. The students are going to create an opener for a magazine and this opener is going to have a relationship with an image, and we can choose this image from wherever we want. This image it's got to be something that inspires you and something that basically makes you excited about something that you haven't seen before. Jumping to the unknown a little bit and do something that we don't really know how it needs to be done but we will discover. We have some examples that we will look through but we're trying here to generate an image out of letters. So make an analogy between the image that you see as part of the magazine as photography, and then how the letters interact with that and make a complete circle. For this project, I think it's really important that you find your own way of looking at functionality. Functionality is something that everyone needs to resolve in its own way and there's many ways of doing that. So the idea of working with this context which is particularly very open because functionality here is about being expressive and making something visually entertaining. So we're not talking about the signage system that you're in a hospital or in an airport you need to get to a place very quick, so let's not play around with letters. But in this case, we are in the context of, for example a magazine. So we can be very expressive and we need to make people, grab their attention. As a general methodology, I think what we're going to do is to pick up some images that we really like then through these images, write a little list of words that resonate or describe that image in a way. Then after that, look for a mood board that can have all kinds of image from typography, texture, color and then finally pick up a text and put it all together in the mix and make some letters out of that. The idea of this project is more to do some, create an image that in a way it's going to make us discover something about ourselves that we didn't know, to generate some new methodologies and new tools, and then we're going to grab that into our daily basis having new techniques in our backpack. It's going to be fun and probably it's going to unblock some barriers that sometimes we put to ourself. We think about creativity like we're supposed to do things in a certain way many times and that we have a creative identity, but this creative identity it's infinite like we don't have any limit. We put those limits because our experiences limit us. So, we're going to try to put an experience that's going to open those limits a little bit. It's about remixing, it's about taking things from a different place and putting it into your own box but especially trying to make different associations. So, everything is already invented and everything can be improved and especially remixed. So, we're not going to try to do something completely new, we're just going to try to maybe relocate some things. So, we'll get a new product by a new way of looking at things. So, we're going to take for example, an image that comes from nature from a puffer fish that glows in the dark and then apply that to letters. So, we're not creating anything new, we're just joining two different things and tried to create something new with them. 3. Finding Inspiration: I have here two of the biggest influence I got when I was a student and this was in the early 2000. First of them it's Tokion magazine. By that time Diane Cherkasky our director of this magazine. The work that Diane was doing was really putting the goals towards another context. So, in this case she was playing with very imaginative tricks like for example, this is threat making that sort of threat. Let's see what we have here some are the big one. This is for example playing with a water color. Here we have a better example of how she was playing with Fred, and it just a matter of like, what are your goals? Because, the main goal people saying, "I want to do a great magazine". But how you're going to do it right? I think that was the first time that I saw somebody thinking about something that nobody thought before. Let's do something very crazy with letters. This is another example from Tokion magazine. And, this case this is like a modular lettering. In this case, we're going to see like many ways of doing letters that we could do something from scratch or making a modular typeface that doesn't exist before. So, this is a good example of that. As you can see every magazine was, every issue was changing completely the typeface. When we work with modular type we focus a lot on the structure itself and not so much on how we play with texture and stuff like that. So, this is a methodology that we could use. Looking at letters as pieces of a Lego for saying in a way. This is another way of looking at letters saying modular type. In this case combining with color is a bit more complex, and this is also something completely Balliett if you want to play with the structure of the letter. When you work with modular type, you don't really need to be very careful about the many shapes. So, in the end with very simple shapes you can create a whole alphabet. So, with a vertical shape, diagonal, and semicircle you almost can do all the letters. So, once you've got those elements it's about repeating them and replacing them and creating all the structure off of the whole alphabet. So, now we're going to jump to another big reference for me which was the headlines at non-format detour Wire Magazine. Again, this is something that existed at the early 2000 and the case of non-format magazine, non-format for Wire Magazine. I think it is still very temporal. Here we have another example, so, these are modular. But in this case it's from an existing font. They were placing illustrative elements on top of it. This is also a good way of working with letters. So, we can see who is they are playing a lot with black and white, positive, negative and how they are making turn all these shapes interact with the page. Something that I really like about non-format is their capacity off from a very simple element how they can expand it to a very large system. So, in this case they weren't just playing with this kind of threat and creating many possibilities with this technique. We can see here also how they were applying it into the page. We like the way that they were playing with white space and creating tension in some parts. So,they had this quality of not being perfect, but are also being a very sophisticated. Here we can see another example of how they were playing with a negative space and using this part as the background. Another good example is this issue that they collaborated with Sy Scott. In this case the work of Sy Scott it's completely amazing, and in this issue you can see like really getting to his work at its best. Also, as I was saying, it's very important how you play with the white space in the spread. There's a lot of intrincate stuff but they're it breathe this in a nice way so it's not clutter. We have like a nice tension in some parts, and in the rest it's free. So, you can have your, there's a space for the art world to be and feel sophisticated. Some work that we could see in my book and here we could see like different examples of how to work with type. So, this is an example of an existing typeface. But in this case my friends who were espresso painted with paint on top of an existing font. The west sorry Gothic bar by and basically all the work it's inside the texture and how to, however, letters is looked as a little bit a picture. This is another example in this case, it's playing with clay and it was a collaboration I did back in this with [inaudible]. Here again, I'm working with an existing type and do an illustration on top of it, how this is interacting with the letters and how we get them. For example, if you choose a headline and you decide to break up this headline in a certain way it's important that you look at the structure of those letters and see how they're going to cross the letter. For example, we have the letter and the like maximum way of light distorting the letter and here you like it gets more fine. But you need to gradient a little bit things if you want to be completely abstract. It's not going to be functional, it's not going to be readable. So, in some parts you can be very expressive so you can be exuberant and everything, and then in others you need to be more contained. In this case we see an image that is interacting with letters. Is also something that, you're welcome to do, if you want to really apply the graphics on top of the image if you wish. In this case this was a project that first I got the images from this mother and it was a campaign for filler and the mother was doing these awkward positions. So, we decided to work on some letters applying on top of her, so, we looks like she's interacting with the letters. Another example of how to work with letters, but maybe in a very analog way. In this case, this was done in just a big piece of fabric and I was working on how to inscribe the letters in a certain design. So I designed it first, the composition of this and then what I did, it was scratching the denim in a certain direction so the thread will come out and we'll make only one part, not making a hole, but making these difference of two different materials. Also, it's very nice when you work with analog. I feel when you're getting out of the computer, way more surprises happening. You lose control, of course, because there's no undos and you feel like into the wild when it comes to mistakes. But when it comes to results, if you know what you're doing, you get way more dimension and it's a very, very nice result. So, I also encourage you to work with analog with any kind of materials you decide. So, here is another example. In this case of the work that the guys from Love magazine are doing on their logo and how this is always interacting with the image of the cover. They're changing this logo quite often. You can see there is no literal connection between the images. I like that because it's subtle and it really makes you want to grab that magazine because it's making you ask questions. I don't like when you are very explicitly showing something, it's better when you insinuate it. I think, yeah, the images are very strong, so the type, it's playing with it very well. This is an example of work I did for V magazine. In this case, I was working with references, in this case, from Vasarely, Victor Vasarely with Op Art, especially his Renault logo, back in the days. So, I was picking up this and making letters out of this example. So, taking the same kind of strokes and the proportion of the actual typography that they use, which is Champion, and then play around with these and construct the headlines. See here, it's a good example of seeing like when you work with the context of a magazine headline, you can be playful with things like these, for example, with the word STARS, letter A can become a star, and you give context through the word and you created this nice loop of, "Oh, okay, I understand, I see the star and I read it and I see it and I read it, and it creates a nice contexts." Then you can be very playful on how you variate your shapes. Letter A can be done in many different ways and also the spacing can change depending on how you do the headline. Also, it's very cool when you can work big on size, so I recommend you guys, because now you can choose your own text and this is great because you can decide how long you want it. If you want a very long text, you cannot be as expressive as if you take a word of only three letters, because then you can be way more abstract, and you have a bigger canvas to play around with those letters. So, it's nice when you have a big size for a small text. It's important to find something that is meaningful because this is what it's going to push you to go further. If you're doing something that is just like,"Oh, whatever," then you're not really going to push yourself forward and you need to really be excited about seeing the end result. After looking at some images of fashion photography, I end up finding this one and there was something to it that I really like is the high contrast of black and white. This image by Daniel Benoliel, I'll say she's having this position, it's awkward, she's not really in a standard way of sitting, he had like, it's contotion to it, and I really like also the attitude that he has. So the first thing that I did it, it was picking it up and write down a list of words that you can pick up from the image. There is a darkness to it and also his attitude is harsh or rough, and there is an elegance to that. All this mix between something that is not polite, but elegant, like in this contrast, I wanted to represent it in letters in a way, like this contradictory to things that's something that can be very wrong, but also with some touch of class. So, this idea is something that I wanted to pursue. What would I take from this image and put it in letters? I probably will take color as an important way of matching to things like the image of black and white, so the letters in this case should be black and white. What materials would I use to make it work together and work with this? I was thinking about a duct tape, because duct tape right now it's something that I think it's like a next level of punk. So, we're going to get something very shitty and ugly, and we're going to put it, making letters out of this. So, I pick up a lot of references of how this material works and how I also have these high contrast in some parts, and how it bends etc. So, I'm thinking this way of working as I did in the past with ribons, with duct tape, there's a good possibility of working very elegant and controlled, and also be kind of rough with the result. So, as a text I pick up this black, just simple and plain. I think it's better if we have a big amount of space to work only with one word. In this case like we were saying, we're not asking for a great copy or tags, so just do something that you're reading. You have the freedom, so take it as you wish. Also, I think this text needs to be very condensed. So, I would work with a very condensed type and work as the tape it's being applied on top of it. I would probably experiment first with some tape. I would probably just take some of this and try to see what happens when I put it on the table, and how that behaves and I get some references from that, maybe a sketch a little bit. But I don't really know what is the best way of doing this, but I would start with this probably, then sketch a little bit and see how it goes. The mood board is very important in terms of how you're going to get back to your place when you get lost. Sometimes in the process you're going to get too far away from where you wanted to go, and then you're going to look back at your mood board and you say like, "Okay. Yeah, now I remember I'm getting far away." The mood board is the man that gets you where you want to go. The mood board, I take images from anywhere, especially Internet, design inspiration, website blogs, Tumblr, Tumblr is a great source of something that is not a stuck image. Normally, stuck image I don't really use because they're very cold and they don't really have that fantasy factor that you're looking for. Yeah basically, it's anywhere. Right now, what we want is pick up these images that we want to work with and then write this list of words. The words are important because it will make your head describe things that you're gaining in a way just by perceiving them. But when you need to rationalize on them, put them in a paper, you're thinking gets further and probably that is going to lead you to a concept. 4. Choosing an Approach: After doing some research and looking at many images in Internet and especially in the field of fashion photography, I pick up three that I think there are like something interesting to apply into letters and we're going to look briefly through all of them, and finally pick up one to go further to it, but we'd like to probably do a little process on each of them. So, the first image I'm fascinated with it is an image by midnight using some Alexander McQueen jewelry. Basically, we see this girl with her face full of honey and this necklace it's full of bees. So, we had this idea of being an alien queen of the bees, and it has a very interesting way of like something that it's very raw and organic. In a way, I like this luxury, but also it has a little bit of decadence, but also both things that are interconnecting and also it's something very coming from nature. It has an organic feel to it. So, for doing this, I think the word that I would use will be gold and this letter gold will be drips of honey. Basically, what I'm doing is picking up a bunch of image of how honey behaves and I like to see how soft the material is looking for this material and how the light goes through it, how the highlights behave. So, the highlights are kind of strong. The transparency of the honey, how the light gets through, for example, the highlights here, these highlights are very hard edged. So, it's not like a smooth blurred white space. It has a clean cut, so that makes it look very glossy, and it gives you a lot of information of the material. So, these kind of things when we apply it to type, it will really matter if we want it to look kind of real. So, it's important to have a big library of all these things, so you kind of like study the reference as much as you can, and then apply it to them. Okay, another example in this case, this is a picture by Anthony Mole and it's using Yuima Nakazato dresses, that I didn't know about this designer, he's Japanese, and it's a very crazy outfits. In a very fantasy way look like in a sculpture reminds me a lot of minerals. Also, it turns like this futuristic, iridescent, clowny feel to it. So, there's like these words that are around there, and for this I would like to work on letters that they have these chunky and solid look to it. So, very physical and and kind of volumetric, and the word that I will write will be rock. So, here, a bunch of references of materials especially the ones that are kind of rainbowy and like these different gradients of colors. These are very interesting shapes to understand the light to how generates different shadows. It's good to see these things articulated into letters because the letter itself will be like a very solid soy piece. So, we're going to cut this letter in different ways and try to represent all these angular imperfections, and through here also try to give some kind of rainbowy sense of iridescence. So, this will give us a good connection with the colors of the pictures. So, when we look at both, we will see like a straight connection between the dress and the letters. Of course, everyone in this lesson will choose a different technique, a different way of working with things. I choose the ones that I feel more comfortable with and because I also like to show you some of the technical stuff on how to get to a result of some of my past experiences, but the intention of this class is that you dive into something you haven't done before. It's good that you start from something that you want to get close to as a reference. So, many times how I work is to get inspired by something I don't do and try to get as close as I can, then I know I can do kind of the same, but that doesn't make my work different. So, I don't want that, so, but my ticket out of my static creativity, it's imitating something. Once I able to imitate it, then I can work on with my own intuition, and put my little step further. So, that's what we're trying to do here, give you the tools to move us further as you can, and then take your own intuition, and bring it to your own territory and interpretation. This exercise is more about creating an image out of letters rather than just creating letters. We are working with a particular context of just four, five, six letters coming together and creating a bold image. When we are creating an alphabet or a font, we're looking at that as a group, as something a tool to write text. This is more, this exercise is more based to make people watch what you are doing, and make them feel what you want to express, and it's not only meant to read, it's also meant to make people feel an emotion that you can just sense to looking at an image. At this point when we have these images, we're basically just setting up the root and the direction that we're going to end up to, and it's not something that we exactly know where we're going to end. So, something that we're going to just discover through the process and define while we're doing it, but this is basically, yeah, like how we're planning our holiday. We're going to go to Hawaii, and yeah, then we don't know what's going to be there, but our intentions is to wear a swimming suit, and see amazing things under the water, so that is more or less the plan of it. 5. Digitizing an Idea: Normally, when I start a project, sometimes I know what is the order that I need to follow or what steps and sometimes not. In this case, I would start sketching a little bit on pencil. I'm going to work on the black lettering. But before sketching on paper, I would like to actually do it for real, take some duct tape and see how that works. But sometimes, you realize that it wasn't the right choice, so you go back to computer, back to paper, back to wherever you're doing, till you figure it out. So, I'm thinking, first of all, I choose a typeface to work on that is very condensed. As we were saying, the typeface itself, it's better if it's just a text typeface, nothing too fantasy like or too expressive, so something that has good proportions and good balance between positive-negative, inner space and stuff like that. Once we've got this, now I'd like to see what will happen if I'm using duct tape to do, for example, letter B and what are the kind of effects and things that we could see when we're doing this thing. I like, for example, how these bands over here, these kinds of imperfections. Also, I've been trying to do maybe the letter V itself, it's not necessary to do, but maybe, let's try to see what we're talking about, let's do like a circular shape, how that would apply. How ugly this can end up being, but to understand a little bit how the duct tape works. Always, you need to decide from the things that you see and you make happen, what things are the ones that you will keep in the process and what things will stay in the final result of the things, you just going to not let in at all. So, there are some things here that I like, the way that this bends. Also, when we're using a ribbon, we can also make it do stuff like this, so it's more something that is making shape and it's kind of up in the air. These could be a nice shape for some part of some letters. Essentially, with the black duct tape, what we want is it looks a little bit punk and not very well done in terms like the person that done this, it's been doing fast and without taking care of details. But then, when you look at deeper in how the letters are done, I would like to put a lot of rough into it, so it looks like have this contractory feeling of something that looks very lousy but also taken care of in every detail. So, let's do a couple more as reference about what happened if this is bending like this. These kind of things are interesting because it gives you just with the black stroke, it gives you a good information here that this is a tape just by these little thing, these little details. These are the kind of things that we can use this as a part of the letter but the moment that we apply these things are going to give us a hint that this belongs to a duct tape behavior. So basically, at this point, we're just trying to understand the material, understand what is the behavior of this thing and then replicate it as an illustration. At this point, it's good that we just try to understand something and it's normal that it's going to be spending time making mistakes. That's something that we need to allow ourselves to do. In this case, we don't even need to sketch things in a paper, I don't think. We're just going to go directly to the computer. But in other cases, it's very important that we sketch with pencil very quick and get a good understanding, to think visually. So, we have this text, BLACK. We're going to put it in the background. Then, from here, I'll do a stroke that more or less has the same width as the tape. So, I'm going to make it look like this. Then from here, I'll start working with tape in a very lousy way, so it looks kind of similar to what we got. Even it's nice like some parts getting not perfectly arranged. We're especially trying to do something that looks intentionally ugly but in the end, that intention will give character to the composition. So, it depends on the concept. In this case, the concept wants to be not precious, not beautiful. It got to be in a way like with a lot of character. So, we will get that aggressivity in the shapes throughout the letters. So, when it comes to these turns here, the duct tape, it doesn't behave like that at all. So, right now, I'm just going to place this as a way of having the letters made. Then from here, we're going to put this in the background and then work again on this. Now, we have like a general sense of how this will be looking as a tape. So, we're going to put this back on the background. Here, we're going to start working with blending lines because blending lines are going to help us a bunch here. Blending lines, just basically, we draw one line and here we do like a little pinch on this stroke for example, and we do another pinch here. Then, when we blend these lines, just like making these lines repeat 25 times, or like you can decide how many times. But this is going to give, to your composition, the appearance of a duct tape. So, right now, it's getting familiar. Right now the trick is about getting familiar with how this works and how we can start working with this tape. Basically, it's two lines that are on the outside and then how we blend them. So, I will start with the horizontal lines first. Try to get crazy a little bit and see what is the limit. Sometimes, you go too far, but then you need to go back. You basically know that you've gone too far if things just look too cluttered or if you feel a little bit like you lose a little bit that elegance. There's a subtle thing that you just lose a little bit that feeling. Sometimes you feel like I like what I'm seeing, and sometimes you just, for some reason, you lose that perception of your work and you need to always be close to that feeling. If you lose it, do a few step back, look at it again. So, here basically, what is important to is try to not make and completely align as this is like too perfect when you are having these lines at the same position, move the duct tape probably will behave in a more regular way. So, let's look for those imperfections and try to replicate them. Like here. Here, we're having something that it's interesting. This will be the structure that we will base our design into. Then after that, we'll give some shading to it. But right now, working like this seems to be the right way. So, at this point, we're just trying to move forward. We're not really certain yet what is the best way to do things, so what we're chasing right now is something, it could be as small as a stroke or like a piece of a letter that we really like. Once we got that, we will be able to extrapolate that to the rest of the work. So, right now, we are chasing this thing and what I will do it's to work with, for example, the letter A and try to get it right exactly as I want. Once I got that, I will think about the next step. So, right now, we have this letter A like this. We're going to work on how we're going to do the shading of it. So, I'm going to duplicate it. A good way to work on this right now, this is just black, but we can try to just pick up some strokes from here and cut them and do some highlights. So, if the light is coming from here, from this part, this little bump, I would like to isolate some parts of this stroke and convert them into highlights. So, to do that, I'm going to just be cutting the letter in small parts like this. I will keep just some parts for the end. This and this. So, I'm going to select these pieces over here. Instead of being black, I'll make them white, and I will place them on top of the letter. So, this will be looking pretty much like this. These strokes are looking terrible. So, right now what we will do is to look into these in different ways, but probably the most safe way is to do a brush and with this brush, make it look like a shape like this. So, it has a thin ending this way. Select brush and create this object. That's going to have the shape in all these strokes over here. So now, just select brush and voila. So, we've got these and this gets the effect that we're looking for when we apply to all the rest. We've got this feeling of something that it's imperfect because we have these waves. It's looking like a duct tape. This will be after some tries maybe what you're looking for. This is the thing that you want to keep for all the letters. Now, let's see what are the next obstacles that we find in the process and how are we going to make this happen till the end of the work. When you think about your project, don't think about really the tools that you need to use to make it happen, let's just focus on the picture that you see. That picture is what going to give you the manual of instructions of your process. Let the image tell you where to go. The idea for this project is that we will have like a big amount of different results. There is not only one technique, so we will have so many techniques and the results should be very different. It's about looking at this image and putting your letters next to it and seeing the connection. So, at this point it will be good that once we know the move or the direction and more or less what we're trying to do is start sketching of this and either a fitting paper or either a fitting computer, whatever medium you feel more comfortable with. It don't even have to be any of these two, maybe just like a picture of something that you have in mind and you could represent or express. So, trying to build this very early sketch, but it's going to be something at least that you see that has a potential. So, now that we've got this letter A more or less in this technique that we like, we don't need to go through all these highlights for all the letters. So, we're going to keep working on the structure. We have another thing that we need to pay attention to. Like, for example, how this B bends here and see it's like these couple of letters, we don't know how we could do this. So normally, a duct tape will work. It will be like we've seen before. It will have like these tiny bands over here, and it will have some wider ones over here. Let's see what happens when we mix this together and we got this. So, more or less, this give us an idea of how this could work. We need to keep these ribbon with the same width, which is like sometimes it gets all wrapped up and pinches. So, that's important, but it's important that we never go too far away from it's width. So, this will be a possible way of doing this shape. Another possible way would be to have letter E turning around like these. So, this way, we would have like this way of crossing each other. Normally, when I work with these things in reruns, for example, if I'm drawing letter E and I want to do a rerun, if I do like this keeping the same angle. This is one way, but normally, I prefer when the angle is more like calligraphic, so it doesn't keep the same number all the time. So, it bends in a way that we have here. Let me just put these in a red color. We have one shaped like this and another shaped like this. So, in every curve, we have this behavior not this. Make sense? But right now, we need to make a decision of how we are going to do the letters this way, or this way. Somehow, I feel that this is more real in terms of how it fits with the reality, but I think the reality is one of those things that you might need to get out and not let into your final result because it's going to take a bit of the elegance that you might be looking for. So, I would stick to this way of doing things and complete the homework. So, after working on this for a while, this will be looking like this, and here we almost have letter black complete. Copying design. We will apply the highlights to this and basically, complete the whole composition. 6. Building the Headline: In this case, because this is very organic and real, doesn't have like really a geometry behind. Like when we work with logotypes and we work with icons, we really want to make a synthetic version out of it and look for the geometric structure behind. Because, in this case, what we're looking for is like some reality connection. So, we want a lot of imperfections, little details, so geometry will be simplifying that a little bit too much. So, in this case, the geometry or the bones behind this are the letters you choose at the beginning of the sketch. Those decisions are very personal, I guess, but also the decisions are something about when you hear music, you like it or you don't like it. It gets to a very subjective point of view but in the end you're creating a sense of harmony that is personal. So, if you stick to those convictions, that will represent all of your creative personality. So, it's important that you follow those inner voices a lot. Because I think that will make your your style become more and more you. At this point, what we have is just five letters and in as a group they are a little system of variations. So, always we need to move in these terms of being consistent but also try not to be boring. Because, if you are too repetitive into one rule you just end up being something that it's already expected, it becomes boring. So, it's important to have a little room for unexpected choices and stuff like that. When we look at the shapes in black and white, when we're looking at this sketch, that needs to work already, readable. When we're working on these shading details, readability is not something that you will maybe you might improve it a little bit, but you cannot count with that too if you want to correct it. So, the structure that you got below and the structure that we got as a pure black and white, when we reduce it and we'll look at for a far distance that needs to be readen and if it doesn't, then it will not get better for more layers of treatment and illustration you add to it. It will just add more intruncating the composition but not really improving readability. Because I need only a B A L C and K. That's the only letters I am going to worry about right now. Also, this is going to allow you to be way more expressive. You're looking at these letters, letter, for example, B just need to take care of how it mixes with letter L that goes after it. When you're looking at an alphabet, you need to care about all possible combinations and in this case it just this context and not anything else. That allows you to have more the room for flexibility and more crazy about it, for sure. Right now, what I'm basically doing just preparing all the highlights in another layer and probably you don't want to put too many of them. Because if we look at the image it has probably an 80 percent of black and 20 percent of white. So, we will like to keep that relationship also into letters. So, we have the same lighting for the dark tape and the girl. So, it's important that all these things are individual, highlights. To remove all these points that's it's important too and pretty much we got the highlights over here. Now, we're going to save the document, because that's important, sometimes, files crash and it's a bummer. Let's go back to our below friend letter A. So, right now we have these as a reference and we're going to copy this is style to the whole letter. Apply that effect. It happens to me and I think too many people, designers especially, that they could be working on a design and they don't see that there's a spelling mistake and that could be for days, because they're just looking at the shapes of what they're doing. At this point, it's just. 7. Final Layout: So, at this point, we should be looking at our first image and our last image in terms of type and we need to look at those things working together, seeing a connection. Right now, what we have here is a picture of the girl and just the headline, and at this point, it's nice to decide to what is kind of like the size that you would like to places if this is an opener and where do you think it works best. In this case, the size, I wouldn't do it too big because I think it will kill a little bit the look and feel. It's nice to play with the white space to create some tension in the page, especially the picture of the girl is having these kinds of angle over here that is kind of interesting. Anything is what makes it kind of sophisticated and weird in a way, the position that you add. So, we can have that in our letters to as a direction. Maybe, I don't know, we can play around with some compositions like maybe it's not a bad idea to turn it around, again play around with it, and think about tape for example like always try to put into the skin of the materials you've been working with. So, if this is tape, how it will be placed in a magazine and what are the things that will make it work. Again, these relationships, this invisible line that we have from the K to the girl, I think it makes a nice connection over there, and then, we can decide on terms of how we're going to place the text in the page. Normally, we'll have like a secondary headline that in this case, I will choose similar font from the one that we got before. Yeah, white space I think it's very important to create an accent to certain parts, and sometimes it's about taking away, not adding too much stuff into something. That subtle deal touch can make a big difference and just can convert your piece into something that looks very elegant and sophisticated. So, it's important that you kind of try out things without an experiment with it. Normally, we have the tendency of covering everything up, but sometimes, a white page, it has way more impact than a page full of things. So, the order or back way is something that I don't really like. I really like things that are very complex in terms of detail, but I like that tension to like sometimes when you have something that has a big amount of time being bored on the details of it and then a huge white space that give context. It's like when you go to a museum and they pick up some of these art pieces. It's the context of the white space that make piece really pop up sometimes. So, if you take something like berry, I'm sure, for example, the pieces by basket in the middle of New York in the street in that context, they had less impact than maybe in a white gallery with white space, something like that. So, it's like that white space is really pushing that piece to another level on our perception. So, work a lot with that and try to be clean. With that, it's going to help a lot the composition. So, at some point in the process, it's more about finding the right balance about the amount of elements, and sometimes you've been working a lot on details, zooming in too much and you need to step back, and instead of adding stuff, start to extract, and the moment that you start doing that, things will get to a really nice, balance. It's always like there's a backwards process in the end that just give it the right amount of detail or whatever it is that you've been adding. So, I wouldn't go very wild on terms of like how we're going to lay out this composition as a double spread. I think everyone should look at the image at the spread as just like a very simple right page, photography, and left page, text. I will like that. So, everyone has the same rule. So, we can focus on these exercise and seeing the connection between both things. Basically, where we will need, the ingredients that we need to cook with right now, just the headline and then some small text that we can place. However, if we feel- and there's like many rules that we can apply, the width of column and everything, but ultimately, we're going to think is that you need to lay out these little amount of texts next to the picture in a way that helps the headline you created to be accentuated. Well, we need to play around with in here is our headline, the subtitle and a legal amount of text. Basically, just worked with a white page on the left and try to make a composition that just like potentiate your work and place a subtitle. Normally, I would use a typeface that it has more or less the same proportion, so you'll be using for creating your headline. So, it kind of feels connected. I wouldn't choose like a completely different typeface. It's nice to have that relationship. Basically, right now, it's a matter of how you feel it right. At this point, most of the work is on, just about there are certain rules that you will follow, you're going to be effective. This is not the focus of this class about laying out in editorial compositions in a magazine, but if you follow certain rules of having the right amount of white space, placing the subtitle in the right font, right size, not too big, not too small, and have a lot of white around, you will have a nice frame for your artwork. So, at this point, we are already completed our lettering and we're ready to play sit next to the picture and share it with the rest of the students. We will need to look at these double spread in a magazine in a very simple way. I would not focus a lot right now on how you need to lay out these, but they're like basic rules that you can follow. I would stick to the basics like full picture on the right and, in the left, just place your text but you're able to experiment with this, and if you are into editorial design, I'm sure there are a lot of options to explore here, and basically, this will be like the moment where you look at the image and you look at your text and you see that they're kind of brother and sister. Here, it's about using the same ingredients but making as many different flavors possible. So, there's different ways of doing this, but sometimes when I look at the design and especially going into modular type or it's topography that is using a rule that you predict too much how it's going to end up looking, for example, you look at modular type and you see all the time, the use of certain things that they're- of course, they're consistent and is like logic, you do it that way, but it's just not surprising. At some point, that gets boring. It's important and I think it's a smart when you are showing some kind of variations that people don't expect but they make your work surprising and had like this little perfect error that just make it right. 8. Bonus: Airbrush Drips: So, we're going to choose some type that has a bold feeling to it and horizontal. But normally, in this case, I would totally change it quite a bit. I don't have a san serif right now, but I'm looking for it. So, at this point, I will just do something quick to get the feeling of the fun that I'm looking for. So, I will just make it happen. The proportions are not very important in this case, because we're going to draw on top of it. So, we just want to get general sense of a typeface that has a look that looks from a cosmetic or something like that. So, what I would do is just to condense these parts of the letter and make it look, we'll say this point, more like this. Let me put this contrast. So, more or less something like this. I was saying this G looks very very terrible, but at this point, I'm not worrying about that. I just want to make it look more or less as a shape that I can use for drawing on top of it. Again, we can do these by hand or we can do this with computer. The important thing is that we get the sense of the aesthetic that we want to achieve, and this is completely possible with computer for what are we trying to do here, in this example. Just some drips, we want to make this look like honey. So the drips from honey are very long and soft. So, let me try to work on that thing and get a general look through the whole headline. So, when we zoom out, we should get that thing. So, we got this composition and it's matching more or less the shapes that we see in this picture. Right now, what we want to do is replicate this in a very honey-looking behavior. So, instead of looking like paint or something that is dripping there, needs to be very soft. So, very continuous, these lines. Sometimes it's good to just copy reality as it is and get this sense. These inclinations are the ones that we're looking for, to have in here. So, I'm going to start doing that like this, pulling the points with a heavy weight, like this. It got to be very soft and continuous, and some tension in some parts, like here. Some irregularities on the top might be good too. So, we can have some volumetry at some point and then basically drag these very continuously towards. Yeah, and you don't need to follow completely your sketch. Right now, it's more the time to improvise some things and make them look more sticky. So, we're going to do the same with the other two. It's nice to do some little holes in some parts. You can get a little bit imaginative on how this behaves. Check that you don't have anything stupid like this, weird. So, this point, we have our headline ready, and we are going to put this into Photoshop. So, we're going to get all these things looking like honey. So, I'm going to place these in here. First thing we're going to do is also place the image that we're working on, so we can have a good reference of color, et cetera. I would normally put it smaller like this. So, first thing we would do is to draw with airbrush light color, picking it from the picture, something like this and I will set up the brush, smartly apply. So, this way, when we are drawing, we are making things look darker and darker and darker as we go further. So, that gives more or less, a nice sense of how the image looks. They're saturated a little bit. So, that's probably more the color that we need to pick, so it matches the color of the picture. You'll see more or less, that works. So, now that we got this, I'm going to make a new layer, put these in multiply and better start drawing on top of this. What I would do here is place this. In this tone. Then, start drawing. The hardness doesn't need to be very high. It can be something like this. At this point, we're just trying to make a very rough idea of how this would look if it was made by honey. Trying to get the volumetry right. Some parts more accentuated, especially the ones that are on the edges because that gives a nice sense of volumetry. At this point, we can work very, very loose. We'll look the whole composition by different layers. So, this will be the first layer. Trying to add some volumetry to these parts. Basically, what we're trying to do is shape the letters as strips, so trying to put some shadows in the deeper parts. Also, good way to visualize this is to use a mask. So, with this, we're just going to mask it, so we have a better sense of what exactly are we doing. That helps. So, now, we're going to do some filter, Gaussian Blur, but not to the mask. But it's beneath it. So, we delay the mask. So we've got this. Then, we're going to do some "Filter", "Blur", "Gaussian Blur". That looks better. Then apply the mask. So, we've got these parts in better shape. Let's look at the picture to get some reference. So, we see that here, in some parts, it opens up and it gets transparent and some other parts get very dark. I would like to work on these parts here, that they are darker and we can do some highlighting. So, right now, we're going to work with another layer and we're going to use this color and apply it, to place it in certain parts. We're going to use "Screen". I think it would be the best choice to work on this. Right now, we're going to work on these highlights. A lot of this is trial and error. So, it's not a lot, but training your eye how to look at things, so you understand how you need to do it. But as you can see, it's basically painting by hand what you see. Then we're going to add some extra layer of darkness beneath that. So, we're going to do something that is way stronger. Now, as we can see, we're starting to shape a little bit how this becomes. Some parts, they are darker and we have a better understanding of the volumetry of the letters. At this point, I've not been talking, but just been thinking about what is the best way to do this. I'm looking forward to make some highlights here. But I feel this technique of taking this object and then desaturating it, taking this image, duplicating it, desaturating it and then bringing it to light and color with a very high contrast, is making the right amount of highlights in the way that I like. So, I think, this works for me. I would then need to retouch a little bit the whole image, putting some, probably saturating a little bit. 9. Bonus: Vector Minerals: So, here we are again with our mood board. The last word that we will execute in this lesson, in this case, it will be based on these pictures and we'll try to write the word rock in a rocky style, like a mineral or something like that. So, for this, I'm just going to use Ventura probably and make it thicker than it is in a very, like we were saying we are not using the fonts as they are so we're just using as a base. So, we're not really being very, very precise on how they were designed and so we're modificating them as we need. So, once we've got this, I'd like to extrude the type in a way that looks like a rock or like a solid object. So, a little trick that I used to do is put this in Photoshop and color it, certain color doesn't matter. Then do these effect, bevel and emboss and put it very high, so size. So, more or less we have a good idea of the colors, how they should look like. We can also tweak with this, the light depending on how it is projected. But this gives us a good idea of how the light should be placed. Okay, that being said, I'm going to just get this as a reference. Probably, I'm going to you know what? I'm going to change the color a little bit, so it feels more in tune with the design, maybe, something like this. Okay, now I bring this here. You see the word itself right now it feels very digital, but I'd like to have the same effect that we see on the letters. I think it's nice to have these imperfections, these kind of things, irregular. But first, I'd like to give some base body to what we have right now. So, what I'm going to do is to work on this and taking this as a base, I will work on the rest of the letters. I will give this a little depth, a little weight, sorry, and turn this into same style. Again, I'm not being very, very precise because in the end what I want with this is to break up the shapes a little bit. I just want a base so I can be more organic later. So, but it's good to have a good foundation. So, starting geometric and then from that good structure, always that way it's easier. We can go and be more destructive and deconstruct things. Basically, what we want is to make this look like it's embossed and that is like a metal object. Right now is important that we close all these paths. So, we can be playful when it comes to the shapes that we would use. So, right now we got narrow rock in that style towards, but be nice to add some imperfection to these. So, what we would do is try to maybe find the structure that we want to break these into. We can do many things, for example, from here we start adding these kind of shapes so it looks like these is breaking up. Also, we've got things like this, taking away some parts of the letter and these things are what it will make the difference and give some sophistication and illustrative depth to the illustration. So, this is where we will like to have as a continuous thing in all the lettering. Normally, when you work as this group not as individual letters, because we work on a lettering. It's nice that we treat this as a group. So, I would loosely do some lines here that define a little bit how this is going to break or what is this kind of weird breaks that the letter will have, to give some certain direction in a way that this somehow is connected from letter to letter, but just in the context of these four letters. So, something like this, I think, it would work, and what we could do is places these guides, for example, then right now start breaking the shapes as we please. At this point what is important is that you again find that little thing that you like and try to put it in all the composition. This, of course, I'm going straight to the point because I already know exactly what I want to do, because I was trying some things before and that's why we're going just straight to execution, might interest you to see how it works, but most important thing, and hopefully for everyone, this project will allow to find something different and build up your own technique for whatever you are doing. So, this little trick that I find out one day working with these kind of shapes, it's like when you find the vertex of anything, you can always put more polygons in between these vertex. Like if we have like these three strokes inter-crossing, you can always put a triangle there, where you have four, you can put square. You can also break this part. So, this part of the letter itself. 10. More Creative Classes on Skillshare: