Calligraphy III: Experimenting with Layouts, Surfaces, and Digitization | Bryn Chernoff | Skillshare

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Calligraphy III: Experimenting with Layouts, Surfaces, and Digitization

teacher avatar Bryn Chernoff, Paperfinger Calligraphy and Hand-Lettering

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.

      Project Decisions: Surface, Mood, and Size


    • 4.

      Digitization: Calligraphy Examples


    • 5.

      Digitization: Scanning Sketches


    • 6.

      Digitization: Preparing Artwork in Photoshop


    • 7.

      Digitization: Vectorizing and Color Settings in Illustrator


    • 8.

      Styling: Layouts and Sizes in Wedding Invitations


    • 9.

      Styling: Printing, Drawing, and Details in Wedding Invitations


    • 10.

      Styling: Menus and Text-Heavy Pieces


    • 11.

      Branding: Calligraphy for Commercial Purposes


    • 12.



    • 13.

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About This Class

Create a one-of-a-kind piece for an event using a calligraphy style that perfectly captures the feel and mood. Is it a fun birthday dinner? A formal wedding? Consider invitations, menus, maps, transcriptions, cards, welcome signs, banners, and more.

Explore the possibilities of calligraphy in this one-hour class with Brooklyn calligrapher Bryn Chernoff. Emphasizing creativity and exploration, she breaks down the considerations at the start of every calligraphy project, reveals her start-to-finish process for digitizing calligraphy in Photoshop and Illustrator, and explores a wide range of project examples to show how a project's text and tone affect layout and styling. With special attention to save-the-date cards, wedding invitations, and menus, it's a perfect class for those looking to apply their calligraphy skills in both traditional and unexpected ways.

Curious about calligraphy? Be sure to explore the other classes in this series!

Meet Your Teacher

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Bryn Chernoff

Paperfinger Calligraphy and Hand-Lettering


Bryn Chernoff started her calligraphy studio Paperfinger out of a true love for writing by hand. Paperfinger provides modern, hand-drawn calligraphy and illustration for everything from weddings and events to graphic design projects, keepsakes, commercial and custom work.

Her work has been featured in Town & Country, Real Simple, The New York Times, Refinery29, Cool Hunting, Martha Stewart Weddings, The Knot, Swiss Miss, 100 Layer Cake, and countless others.

Sharing her love for calligraphy, Bryn also leads a number of workshops and offers private instruction. To follow her work, explore her portfolio, online shop, and blog.

See full profile

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1. Trailer: Calligraphy class number 3. We're really going to open up all the possibilities of how you can use calligraphy. I'm guessing that a lot of you might already have an idea of a project in mind that you are ready to dive into, and that's awesome. We'll talk about it, I'll guide you through some key steps in a common selection of project ideas. In this course, we're going to talk through some really specific things about different types of projects. Hopefully, whatever you have in mind or whatever you're considering, we'll get to that category and I'll be able to give you some pointers about how to approach it. You'll realize there's a million options. You can write anywhere or on anything, and it'll add to every kind of project you could possibly be working on. 2. Introduction: In calligraphy class number three, we're really going to open up all the possibilities of how you can use calligraphy. I'm guessing that a lot of you might already have an idea of a project in mind that you are ready to dive into, and that's awesome. We'll talk about it, I'll guide you through some key steps in a common selection of project ideas. But for now, just think about all the possible things you could do. I mean, there's sort of the obvious ones that you think at first, addressing envelopes, writing plays cards, all the things that come up around weddings and events. Writing out the text for an invitation, creating menus, programs like guest books, signs that go up around an event, maybe table signs, maybe there's escort cards, you could make programs, you could make welcome books, you can make maps, you could use calligraphy around events in every possible way, and it's a really important category to pay attention to since it's kind of the meat of the business for most calligraphers. But then there's tons of other stuff and I like to diversify my own work, not just in weddings and events, but you can expand it to any printed goods. Maybe you're designing menus for a restaurant, or you're working on branding packaging with a graphic designer who's developing a logo or a whole set of graphic materials for any kind of business, you could be providing the hand lettered calligraphy that comprises advertising components. I've got my own lettering in these cosmetic ads, like there's a million places where people want to see something that's clearly hand-on and businesses value it even more. I work with a lot of different companies for personalized gifts, or special notes that go out to their clients because they know that nothing grabs people's attention the way it hit something handwritten or calligraphy does. So there's that whole world. Maybe you're doing other things that are not necessarily transformed into print but they're going from your page scanned to something else, like somebody's skin, there's so much work for calligraphy and tattoos because people love having something hand done, personalized just for them as a part of their tattoo art. Like it's a whole little business within itself and it's such a natural connection and it is an area where people love that level of personalization. Or you could just be making somebody's header or logo for their own small business, their own personal website, maybe it's just their own portfolio, or it's headers or web graphics that are being used for any kind of site. All of that when you bring handwritten calligraphy into the digital realm, it even has this whole other cool impact, because you're in this digital context where maybe everything super clean and type-based and modern, and then you slap in some calligraphy and you have this beautiful contrast. So, you could be creating calligraphy that's being used in business cards or even just the whole letter writing thing we've talked about is another area for just sending your mail beautifully, and there's just a million different places that you can apply calligraphy both professionally and personally, you can write gorgeous gift tags, you could then have your calligraphy transformed into stamps or to wrapping paper, you could take it into your graphic or illustration design, you can make prints that you then frame, you can have designs replicated and made into cards. It just kind of goes on and on, and I think there's more and more excitement around calligraphy these days. So people love to see it in every possible context. So, you might find it on fabric or in textile design, you can see calligraphy in drug design, you could find it kind of anywhere, and that's what's so fun about it is if you have some kind of project in mind like fit calligraphy, and some really cool results will follow. So, in this course, we're going to talk through some really specific things about different types of projects, and hopefully, whatever you have in mind or whatever you're considering, we'll get to that category and I'll be able to give you some pointers about how to approach it. 3. Project Decisions: Surface, Mood, and Size: Most of the time when I'm talking about calligraphy, I'm talking about paper as that's the most common material and substance you're going to be writing on. But, it's not necessarily the only one. I have had projects that have required writing on store front windows, to a surfboard stuck into the sand at a beach wedding, to giant chalkboards, to zinc little signs and place cards. There's all sorts of surfaces, wood painting, and each one is going to be its own beast. It can be a little intimidating when you've never written on a surface before. You have no idea what kind of material, what kind of ink, what even kind of nib or writing tool will work, and it's just going to take experimentation. So, ideally, you have some advance copy of the actual surface that you're going to be working on. Maybe you can get whatever that clamshell, get an extra couple over to your desk before you have to really start on trying it out. Or you can test it out on a cheap little chalkboard before you really launch into your whole finished piece, or maybe that chalk wall that you've been daydreaming about decorating. All of it is just really helpful to test it out and practice first. So, that's the main thing. The main challenge for any unique surface is what materials are going to work. So, for envelopes in particular, which is a really common use for calligraphy, you can watch the class two unit where we really walk through the steps of how to address and create a nice professional and beautiful looking finished piece. That will really give you some great tips on how to approach the project. In any kind of calligraphy project where you're writing individual pieces, you want to think about how the finished piece is going to be used. Like, is this going to sit outside? Is this going to sit in a dimly lit room? Maybe you're working on place cards and escort cards for an event, is this going to be like a candle lit dinner or is it a sunny afternoon picnic? All of these things are going to affect the kinds of color choices you want to make, the materials you're using. Like, is it going to fly right off the table if we're having a summer lunch outside? Or if the lighting is super dim and romantic, is it going to be really hard to see inks that don't contrast really dramatically against the paper you've written on? So, think about where it's ending up, and make decisions around how you approach the project with those end points in mind. Otherwise, you might find yourself with a disappointing surprise at the end like, "I can't see my name at this table." Ultimately, these things all have to function. It's not just purely about producing beautiful work, you want people to be able to read it and find their name, or read the sign pointing them in the right direction, or understand the words of the poem that you've transcribed so beautifully. So, think about that endpoint whenever you're starting off a project and you'll have much more peace of mind throughout. Same goes really for signage, which is a lot more about distance. So, when I'm thinking about a table number say, which we do a lot of in calligraphy. All sorts of different kinds and colors, and these are all decisions that I make either on my own based on what I'm envisioning for the event or maybe it's something I've talked through with my client. You have to think that it's not about just you sitting at your desk looking at whatever you're working on. Like, is this going to be experienced from 30 feet away? Do guests need to find their tables hung in a sea of 30 tables and if so, are there huge bouquets that are dominating the whole table? You really want to think about the context as well as literally like doing your work and just holding it up. Maybe you put it on your windowsill and walk 10 feet away, can you still make out what that number says? You don't have to read a place card from that far, but something like a sign, maybe an important directional or maybe a beautiful welcome banner. Like whatever it is you're working on, remember how it's going to be experienced physically in the space so that you can use the right scale, and consider your color choices and the weight of your lines to make sure that it's legible. Another special individualized calligraphy offering that you might come across, or you might want to make for a special gift or something for yourself or offer to a client are vows and transcriptions. Those are typically written individually ink on paper and as a keepsake. So, keyword is the keeping, so you want to make sure you're using an archival ink, Sumi is one of them. It'll stay archival on the bottle if it is. So, just double-check and choose a nice archival paper so it'll all keep well over the years. Because some of the stuff people want to have for the rest of their lives and for succeeding generations. They can be really, really valuable and important pieces. Those might be special poem, it might be the actual vows for a wedding. A lot of times I've done vows, where you create a beautiful piece that the bride and groom actually get to hold at the wedding, in the reception itself. That can be really beautiful and then they keep it for later, and it's even more meaningful to them. 4. Digitization: Calligraphy Examples: We're going to switch gears and talk now about preparing your calligraphy for use in print or digital context. The most exciting and liberating thing about this switch from working individually on the page, is that you can really create one perfect version, and then reproduce it a million times, and you don't have to nail it that one single time you're writing on the paper like we did in the last unit. So, that just gives you a lot of freedom to really work at it, to perfect it, to do whatever you want to do, and then you can always manipulate it on the computer as well. There's so many different contexts and uses for calligraphy and printed goods plus digital. Some of the printed things that I have just a handy, my own business cards, I have the calligraphy mixed with type, these were some fun coasters made for a custom client, stationery, birth announcements mixed with photography. All of this is hand done and scanned in and then prepared for print. Printing with letterpress, these menus or these invitations both have letterpress as well as a digital little font here that encompasses with the monogram for their wedding, there's more letterpress in watercolor combos, these are digitally printed. You have every printing method at your disposal, you have every possible use online or in digital formats that you can think up. It's just about getting your calligraphy from the page to the computer and then this whole world opens up. 5. Digitization: Scanning Sketches: Here is the scan sheets for the advertising campaign for the orphan, which I've shown you some of the images of the finished advertisements. But, this just gives me total liberty. The client never needs to see these sheets, so they don't know how many times I tried it over and over again, they don't know what experiments I did. I can just crop out and share with them whatever I want and all of these will scan really well. Similarly here I was working just purely on one capital T that I needed to place as an addition back into a document and I wrote it as many times as I could. I tried some of different techniques and one of these is what I selected to finally use on the project. So, these sheets look like they're all a jumbled. This all added up to one invitation suite and each of the lines of the invitation was then cropped out and placed into the finished layouts which I created in Illustrator. We'll walk through those steps. But for starters, if you have something you want to scan and digitize, and create for print or digital you want to start with really good clean artwork, you want to get rid of any extra pencil lines and garbage that might show up through your scan, take these and scan them at a high resolution. I do 1200 DPI for a lot of my print work, anything that's going to be used for letterpress. The higher the resolution the more information you're capturing about the picture. So, I do a black and white scan at 1200 DPI. I'm capturing basically every possible speck of black ink that truly showed up on my page and that way I have a ton of information to use when I'm editing the digital file. If you want to load something to vectorize it in Illustrator which then lets you expand the size without ruining the quality, a higher scan resolution is going to give you that ability. For most print things, even 500 and 600 DPI also work well. So, for digital work often that's a really valuable level of scanning or it's a completely appropriate one. For the rubber stamp art that I make a 500 DPI black and white scan works perfectly. It's more when you get down to 300 and under that you won't be capturing enough information to translate well into print. But, if you're working for web stuff, that might just be totally sufficient since the Web is all, it's all displayed at 72 DPI so you won't be able to even share that level of detail. If you're working with somebody maybe you partner it with the printer and you've got a team that you're collaborating with to produce a finished piece, ask them first before you scan, because they might have preferences based on their machines, their equipment, their printing, their methodology, whatever it is and check with them, because that's just the safest bet to make sure that you're capturing enough resolution from your scans. If you have anyone else that you need to have weigh in on the decision making process, you want to sketch out some ideas first before you pour yourself into the actual calligraphy and the artwork and the ink work because that's the laborious part, that's the part you're going to really try to perfect and nail. But, I always start with pencil sketches for my clients if I'm designing something for print because we flush out the plans, we also give them a good preview of what's to come and I make sure that they're on board. Then, when the calligraphy and the artwork is happening, they already know where it's going and we're on the same page and we're in agreement about. 6. Digitization: Preparing Artwork in Photoshop: So, I've scanned all these at 1200 DPI, and now I'm going to open up those scans in Photoshop. So, you can see, I've got the same exact sheets here and the scans are up on my screen. All it's going to take now is for me to select the individual lines themselves. The theory I use when I'm cropping stuff out is I want to give myself as much flexibility as I can so that when I'm placing things I'm not too locked in. So, if I know, maybe "Kelly and Clark are getting married" is going to show up on one line, and if we look back at my sketches that might have been what I imagined. But what if I want to break those lines up later in the layout? I might as well give myself the option now. So, I'm going to crop out "Kelly and Clark" because I know I want that on one line together. I'm copying it, creating a new file, pasted it. I've got my eraser. I need to make it big. When you have high resolution, you've got big files, and let's see. Let's view our rulers and bring the guide down, so I make sure have I straightened this well, and yeah, that looks pretty good. Sometimes the scan comes through really straight. And then I'm just going to save that file, Kelly and Clark, so I know what it is. We're going to save it to my folder where I'm keeping all this work, Kelly Save-the-Dates, Artwork, Kelly and Clark, and there we go. I'm going to flatten it so it's not a immense file. So, if you're really new to Photoshop and this feels a little overwhelming as you watch my process, a basic intro course to Photoshop will really cover the tools that I use day-to-day, and Skillshare is full of great courses that can give you that introduction. So, I continue to move through my scans cropping out everything, and I'll show you what results. Here, we have my folder. Now, all the cropping is done. This really is like Martha Stewart. Magically, the pie is ready. Now, it's a collection of all the files which are clearly labeled so I know what they are when I go to pull them. The actual date, each phrase is cropped separately, like I said. So, I have total flexibility, all the different versions of the illustration that I might want to use. Everything has been cropped and saved at the exact same resolution at which I scanned it, so that it's going to be a really high quality file print-ready when piece it together. Here's the second version of Kelly and Clark that I saved just now for you. Sometimes, I'll save myself a couple options of the same phrase if I wrote it a couple of ways and I've not decided yet about which one I'm going to want to use, because sometimes those decisions aren't easy to make until you're actually in your file working on it. So, after everything has been cropped, let's see. Everything's been cropped and we're ready to start our layouts. I typically prepare all my print files in Illustrator because you have the most flexibility. You can vectorize things, if you want to be able to expand the size without compromising the quality, and you can also edit colors really well. Most printers of all different kinds, most print shops, they'll be very happy to work with Illustrator files or PDFs that you prepare from Illustrator. So, the simple process is- and we'll start with a blank Illustrator document, and then I'll show you the finished one. It's going to be a print doc. We're going to set our own dimensions. Let's say this is going to be six inches wide by four inches high. Okay. So, I've got my file, and then all I need to do is place each of those artwork items that we scanned and carefully cropped. I'm going to be placing them into the file. I don't want that one. I want the ones that belong here. So, let's start with Kelly and Clark, what's going on there. This is where you might want to set shortcuts for common tools that you're using in your work. So, I'm just slowly bringing in all these elements. Then what I'll do is work on the scale of them, I'll work on the arrangement. Here's "Kelly and Clark are getting married". So, you'll see, everything is coming in at the same size that I scanned it. It's all high-res. You can always shrink down without any trouble. If you want to enlarge anything you want to vectorize it first, otherwise it's just going to make up information about how to expand itself, and therefore compromise the quality. We'll get into a little bit about basic vectorization next. But in the meantime, let's look at what the finished layout looks like. Wait a minute, let's see. I have to link this. Hold on. There we go. Okay. So, here we are. In the file, I have now placed all of these phrases in. I've placed the artwork and I've arranged it. I've really worked and played with the layout. I haven't done any of the vectorizing. I haven't needed to enlarge anything. In fact, I wanted to shrink down some of the lettering because I knew that, in my design, I had this as the main heading here, Kelly and Clark, and then the smaller text for the details about the reception, and even smaller for a link to the website as well as the note about invitation to follow. I've created a bleed on this file because I knew I'm going to have the illustration extending to the edge of the page and you always want to make sure you have a bleed so that the printer is prepared to print to the very flush edge of your card, and it's basically in great shape. At this point, I would save it as a PDF and prepare it as a proof to send to my client because I want to make sure that she gets a look at it before I take it any further before I invest time in color. So, here is the black and white PDF proof. I save that purely by going to File, Save As, PDF and save it. It gives me some options. This does not need to be a high-res proof. I want her to see it in actual size, so I'm going to her the trim marks. Otherwise, I'm just saving it pretty simply. Here is the one I just made. That way when she goes and gets this in her email, she can print it out at home, she can cut it out and really see the actual size. I'm going to do the same. I'm going to print this out at my desk and make sure that it looks good. Is the spacing right? Before I even send her the proof, I'll print it out and check it myself, because sometimes you size things on the screen and you print them and you're like, "I can't read this," or like, "Oh, this looks way too big." It really matters that you see it on the page the way it'll show up in print. 7. Digitization: Vectorizing and Color Settings in Illustrator: There's two other key steps that I apply using Illustrator when I'm working on projects for print that I want to go over with you. One of them is how to vectorize your images and also as a second step, how to edit the color settings for your file so that you can preview what you'd like it to look in print as well as prepare it for the printers themselves. We've done this with Kelly-SavetheDate, but I'll just walk you through the very, very basic steps. The first is vectorizing. That will come up for you anytime you want to do something that you need to enlarge or if you're working on a logo or something that you want to have total flexibility with how it's used by changing it into a vector image. It means it's just entirely flexible based on scale and size and you can translate it all sorts of formats without any compromise on the quality. So we'll just do a little demo of vectorizing Kelly and Clark. Here we go. You can see I have a little spot from that scan still on there, and that's easy to erase once you're in Illustrator. Image Trace is the tool for vectorizing once you're in Illustrator. Well, if you're incredible Illustrator wiz, this will be really rudimentary stuff. You might think I'm dumbing it down, but I use a pretty simplified approach to Illustrator overall because I just make sure I meet my needs for my work. But similar to Photoshop, there's great courses on Skillshare that will give you either a basic intro or take you to the next level. Depending on where you're at, you can pursue as much more education on Illustrator as you want. I'm just showing you the really simple stuff that I do day-to-day, that really has fulfilled all my needs as a calligrapher. If you have awesome things you want to tell me about, for sure I'd love to hear. So, Image Trace comes with a lot of different settings and there's some ready-made settings built in. A lot of those don't work really well from calligraphy and depends what version of Illustrator you have and all of that, so I often create my own custom settings. So, I'm going to click Image Trace. It's just warning me it's big. That's cool. Now I did an automatic default trace, and you can already tell it's really cleaned it up. It smooth things out. It smoothed things out. So this looks really good. Occasionally, the default setting can work quite well, but if you're having any trouble, you can try messing with the settings here. As you see, I just accessed. I have the items selected and I pick the Image Trace panel. That's where you can edit what you want it to be and you can open up the Advanced. The nice thing is it will preview the effects as you change them. I have to reference my little cheat sheet. So, this part won't look as good, but it can be fine for the screen. So now I've applied settings that I often use, but each project is different. Different calligraphy styles call for different settings. Feel free to fiddle with it and see what changes when you change these different settings, what do you like, what do you not like, a threshold, any of them and just see what what you're getting from it. So, this will then give you a very flexible image. You can change the scale. It sizes up really well. It doesn't get blurry. It's going to work in any format. This is very helpful for taking any scanned file to multiple print uses or multiple uses in digital formats too. Next thing to do is expand, and that's the first step I take when I'm editing colors in an Illustrator file. Now, it allows me to edit colors. Once I've expanded it, you can recolor any of your work. Depending on the type of printing you're using, you'll need to use a different color mode. So, if you're printing a letter press or engraving, they use Pantone swatches. The Pantone swatch book gives this full spectrum of colors that is a universal vocabulary for printers. Digital, it prints with CMYK, so you have a different color set. This is also an area that you could dive headfirst into with other courses on Skillshare and get yourself really just well acquainted with, but you can also know simply that before you want to print anything, ask your printer what format the color should be in and what final settings they want for the file, and you're fine. I'm going to just change this to a one color Pantone job, uncoded, which is what we use for letter press. By browsing here, I can pick from the Pantone swatches. Let's say this green. That's awesome. Click it, click OK. There we go, and the color has been changed. So, that's the extent of the manipulation that I do in Illustrator. Other than the scaling which I demonstrated, you can always do simple rotations. It's really mostly straightforward. Here's the finished piece for Kelly and Clark-SavetheDates. We are printing this on a colored background potentially. This was a demo of the color options. So we're trying out the dark brown ink onto an ivory backdrop. We just made an ivory square in the background to present it. You don't ever have to actually put the paper into the design of the digital files since all you need to worry about is the layer that's being printed onto the page. So, the final result for Kelly was actually just exactly like this. So we printed onto this ivory card stock. For her Save the Dates, we got to do engraving, which is really fun. Engraving has this nice raised feel. It's hand-printed individually on a plate press and it just works so well with calligraphy. So you can see, there it is, digital and then the final real thing we printed. Her envelopes and ivory ink engraved on a matching brown envelope and then I went through and address these you can still see my pencil lines from this demo and there's the finished collection and we have both the individually hand done elements of the address plus these which were able to print hundreds. 8. Styling: Layouts and Sizes in Wedding Invitations: There's tons of different ways you can go about working on a wedding invite and one thing you might want to think about is are you creating a collection of calligraphy pieces and paper goods for the wedding that are going to extend throughout the whole thing. So, sometimes you're making this whole ensemble from invites to programs guest book et cetera. But either way right now we're just going to think about the invite and I just want to talk to you about a couple basic good starting points. One is, what size are you going to be designing for because you have to design based on an envelope size and envelopes are standardized. There's a minimum that it needs to be in order to go through the mail which is really tiny. I think it's the four bar envelope is the smallest that you can go to. It's very easy to google these terms as well and we've got some handy links to places where you can see what are the set envelope sizes and then you should match your card to it. So, one of the most common sizes is five by seven. It's a classic and it's the A7 envelope that goes with it and one of the most classic calligraphy designs that I employ for my invitation's is just simple and centered. One thing you'll think about is almost in every design the names themselves stand out more prominently and you'll see that in a lot of my examples that no matter what's happening design wise the names pop out at you. Because that's a key part of the detail is who is getting married, drawing you in because you know them and you care about them and you want to be there. So a lot of my designs even if it's all the same style throughout I enlarge the size of the couple's names and if that's all you do as this example illustrates the names are a bit larger the rest is just centered calligraphy. It looks so simple, so beautiful. The only thing I have off center is this little side note the dinner and dancing to follow. It's nice to tuck a little message like that in and it's not really a part of the invitation text and you can't go wrong, any style as long as you've laid it out so it fits well together. This is all stuff you can fiddle with and change your sizing and illustrator. It's going to come out beautifully and this was a letter pressed example. We also did the name and address letter pressed into the envelope. So that's one simple and wonderful way to go with an invitation because then it's all about the calligraphy and it's the star of the show. Similarly, this is a nice centered design and I chose a square envelope for this suite and so therefore, it dictated the design to be a matching square card size. So you work backwards envelopes into the invite size and that might be a decision just based on what you prefer, maybe you love the experience of a nice square envelope and therefore you like the finished piece as a square. This one's fun I did a mix of my on hand lettering in caps, just kind of casual and relaxed and then I used a chiseled nib and this sort of flowy lowercase script to do the names as well as the parents names, as well as the location. So you can choose different elements that you want to pop out visually from your design. Like I said, names always want a pop but oftentimes maybe the date, maybe the place, maybe the family's name. Other elements if you want to do them in contrasting styles it's a nice idea to look for those feature pieces. But here's one where nothing is featured except the names by the design through their size. They also are the only part that's really flourished which is another way to draw attention to the names themselves and it looks great. This is like a modern script. Here's a totally different layout, I didn't center anything. It was an industry dinner that we hosted for a lot of people in the wedding and event business and I just wanted to do something different and a little more modern, a little less classic and so I did this left aligned formula. But it's still an exciting invitation it really feels like a presentation I wrote with this varying sizes and really just played with a more modern look and I was excited how that came out. Here's one where we digitally printed the calligraphy as well as a watercolor wash background which we scanned in color and then placed the calligraphy text on top of and this is just digitally flat printed it's not expensive to produce and it's a simple centered rehearsal dinner invite, where their names are prominently displayed. So there's a lot of different looks that you can choose for your invite. You could choose a crazy format and make your own envelopes. This is what we did for this large one. This one was of a small wedding and they just wanted a big, bold, and exciting invite and so this was wild organic style. I wrote it a lot of different ways in a smaller size and then sized it up in illustrator to fit this large format as well as the large addressing that went with it. 9. Styling: Printing, Drawing, and Details in Wedding Invitations: With invites, one of the other key questions that'll affect your process and your decisions as you go, is what kind of printing are you doing because that changes the amount of colors that you can use and the way you need to prepare your files. So let's say you're doing engraving or letterpress, which are both made using a plate for each individual color, and so the actual card itself has to run through the presses, a separate time for each individual color, and so they charge you based on the exact number of colors in your job. So often, just due to budgetary restrictions, you might just be limiting yourself to one color. I don't think there's anything wrong with that and sometimes you might just prefer it anyway, but these two are both done single color runs through engraving and letterpress respectively. But you can do multiple colors, you just have to factor that into your budget, you have to talk to your printer about what requirements they might have. But if you want to do something that's super colorful, tons of stuff, maybe you have watercolor. This one was a hand painted design that I then scanned. This is perfect for digital, or any kind of digital flat print method, because digital doesn't have any limitations. So digital doesn't have any limitations on the number of colors. It prints all at once, like you print on a laser color printer or inkjet color printer at home. It's limitless. So, if you have a design in mind that has tons of colors and you want that incorporated with your calligraphy, this one we did some fun watercolors, this was a line drawing, but then where I did some brush work for the lettering with calligraphy. I mean, I did some brushwork with the lettering with watercolor. All of these are really well-suited to digital. You have a lot of options too with paper choices in digital. It doesn't need to feel like it's dinky and like the boring economy move at all, and I think there's a lot of ways to do really beautiful, elegant work in all printing methods. But either way, just factor it into what color decisions you make as well as how you prepare your final files. One more consideration for your invite design is maybe you don't want to do the whole thing in calligraphy. Some designs, that's the appeal, it's just all about the hand lettering. But for some designs, it's really fun to mix it with typeface. So if you're comfortable using type in your layouts, working in Illustrator, it's really fun to mix it, and that way, the items that are popping is just the calligraphy. So this is a good example where the rest of the text is in this serif typeface, but the calligraphy accents the name, the date, and the place. So you have this mixture of hand drawn elements. This was the little evening rehearsal dinner-esque barbecue and square dance card that we added as an insert. You have this fun mix of the hand drawn borders, the hand drawn illustration, the hand drawn calligraphy mixed in with the digital typeface, and that's really fun, it makes for a really highly legible work, and I encourage you to experiment with it. This is another example where I did a mix of hand drawn illustrations, there's lots of flourishes here, but then we also have this old timing typeface, this was all based around a Kentucky Derby theme. One last idea and this might really speak to the illustrators out there or people who want to collaborate with an illustrator, is mixing calligraphy with your drawings. It's so fun and I do a lot of that for my clients. This was a favorite where I illustrated the home where the wedding was being held, and stitched the drawing between the invite in the reply card, which just has a nice touch. We did everything from programs to little invites that went out, we had saved the dates, and all of this was tied together visually with color, with the same calligraphy style. We had welcome booklets, and all of this, I really just got carried away in the best sense with really designing and producing a piece. So if you get into this, if you like the sort of crafting and the designing of paper goods, and maybe even more about like bookbinding and making your own really finished pieces, this is a fun way to go. I had this sort of staggered pages for the welcome book, a handwritten note. All of this was scanned and then digitally printed, so I laid everything out in Illustrator including hand-drawn map, we made little pockets with coupons for the guests. I mean, you can just go and go and go with this stuff. The programs were opened up like this to a mix of type and calligraphy, so it had a lot of function as well as just beautiful form that all went together. I also provided them with their own custom stationary, which we printed their names and letterpress at the bottom that they could use these as thank you notes for all their guests after the fact. Here's another example of a fun program. These are just simple flat printed cards which we then tied together with the ribbon. Each one was designed, I did the calligraphy on the page, we scanned it, loaded it up and prepared it for print. So, it really adds this extra element to mix in your calligraphy even when you've got something that has lots of type. 10. Styling: Menus and Text-Heavy Pieces: Menus are really fun to design for any kind of event and maybe it's a little cocktail sign that you place at the bar or it's a simple menu that you place for a private dinner party or maybe you get real fancy with it for a wedding or something more modern. There's a lot of different options. For many menus, there's tons of text. So, I really often choose a design that has a mix of calligraphy and type, because it can be a bit overwhelming to sit down at a written menu and have to read a lot of handwritten calligraphy. So, it's really fun to choose something where, maybe the the headers for each section of the meal, as well as, the titles of each dish, in this case, this is all gold foil printed and then I individually personalized each menu by writing the name up top in white. But you can see, I've chosen to handwrite which was then scanned, these headers, but then use a typeface for the descriptions. It also enabled me to fit a tight, small description in a small typeface without really taking up too much room on the page. So, you can fit a little bit more in this way with their names in the data at the bottom and I'm so psyched about how those came out. Similar concept here, just the headings and the names of the dishes themselves are handwritten and the rest is type and it still feels personal and you can tell it was hand done, but it's really easy to absorb the info for your guests 11. Branding: Calligraphy for Commercial Purposes: If you're not going the event route and you're thinking more on the business side and you want to make some calligraphy work for use in branding, packaging, maybe some kind of marketing materials for your own business or friends, there are simple things to do which could be trying out logo design. So, maybe you have your own photography business or you're an illustrator or you're any kind of up and coming craft or something. You could try writing your business name in calligraphy. Writing it as many different ways as you can, working on that and then taking the steps that we've gone through for digitizing your work, scanning it, loading it into Illustrator, vectorizing it and then seeing what you can do with that online, placing in your headers, on websites or your blog. There's a lot of different places you could take it. You could take your logo to business card design or maybe you want to make your own letterhead for your company or your friends business or maybe you'll get hired to do something like this. The thing to think about really when you're doing logo design, A, if you want to do it really seriously and pursue it, it's its own genre and it's not my area of expertise, so you should pursue classes on Skillshare that cover logo design in particular since it's got its own set of things to consider, as well as to weigh into the process. But one key thing is if you're designing something for branding and marketing, it's often going to be used at different scales. Maybe they're going to print banners from it, maybe they're printing small menus, maybe they're making business cards or they're going to print their own custom tissue wrap that everything's packaged in, it could go in a lot of different directions and a lot of different mediums. So, vectorizing is more crucial because you need it to be flexible. If you make something that just doesn't translate well to larger sizes and formats, it will cause problems and impose limitations on the ability of the business to use it. Overall, when I'm delivering work to corporate clients, oftentimes I'm just delivering super high rise 1200 GPI black and white scans and I let their team take it from there. I don't offer finished vectorized forms of the artwork, I really rather that the professionals on their end are taking care of that since I know what I can offer best is the calligraphy in the finished art, and then their team, people who are experts in converting that into other formats for extended use. Then they'll handle it and they'll do it to the appropriate level of expertise. So, you can always talk that through and you don't have to act like just because you're the calligrapher, you need to offer the entire suite of services. Plenty of people will expect that you just do your one part and they'll take it from there. So, just stay open to whatever finished piece they need. 12. Conclusion: I can't wait to see where you guys take this. What's going to be so exciting about this class project is that there's going to be this wide variety of finished results. It's going to be a different process for each of you depending on the project you chose, maybe you found a style of your own that you're wanting to practice. We've really have opened up all the possibilities in this class whereas in our previous classes, we had a bit more of a structured approach to what the projects were. So, what's going to be particularly great is if we really share our work with each other, and I'm so curious to see what comes out of this for you, what you're called to do. One thing that I really encourage you to do, I'd love to give my feedback on different points and I think we could all really weigh in together to help each other, is to share your work along the way. Which is what I do when I'm working on a real project, anyhow is like I said, showing the sketches, or showing proofs and saying, "I can't decide between these two layouts." What does the community think. That will really add some great support as well as just good inspiration, and really make the community more active and exciting place. Calligraphy is really solitary experience. I know from day after day of working by myself mostly, it's quiet and sometimes you get stuck in your own head, and you can't make decisions, or you just want to talk to people. It's so fun to connect to other calligraphers who do the work that I do. We can relate to the same challenges, or laugh about the same kinds of client issues, whatever it is. It's really helpful to talk to each other. So, it's all the more reason for you guys to join online sharing as much of your work as you want from the beginning process, through to the end. It will be really fun to see how your work evolves, and just to see all the cool things that everyone's going to come up with to inspire each other, and to help motivate, to continue with your practice. 13. More Creative Classes on Skillshare: [MUSIC].