How to Create a Large Poster with Handmade Typography | Joshua Phillips | Skillshare

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How to Create a Large Poster with Handmade Typography

teacher avatar Joshua Phillips, Design & lettering & shenanigans.

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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.



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    • 4.



    • 5.



    • 6.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Creating a hand-crafted poster/print can be very rewarding, but definitely a challenge. This class is designed to take this process step-by-step, walking through my personal habits when I'm creating a larger piece. We'll work through the early stages of sketching and planning all the way through inking and finishing up. 

(I used an instrumental version of "Light Speed" by Grieves in my video. He's awesome and you should check him out.)

Meet Your Teacher

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Joshua Phillips

Design & lettering & shenanigans.


I'm a graphic designer and hand-letterer based in Northeast Arkansas. I like to build Lego sets and pet my cats. Excited to share my process with others and do some learning of my own.

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1. Introduction: Hey, folks, I'm Joshua. This is my first kill shirt class. So welcome. Today, I'm gonna talk about creating a larger type piece like a mini poster using handmade type. We're going to start with what kind of tools I use. Won't go or, like, pins and pencils, physical stuff. And then we'll jump into kind of the planning phase that planning faces where I'm gonna talk about mapping out the page where what words go. We're how they're going to record, trigger. That kind of stuff from there will go to sketching, actually drawn letters out and making that look nice. And then from the sketching, go to thinking, which is a skateboard. Very permanent. But we'll take our time. We'll go slow. We'll have a good time. So, yeah, let's jump right in. We'll start with tools. 2. Tools: all right tools for this project. One of the great things about hand lettering that it's very affordable. All the tools I use a pretty common to find in craft stores or Amazon that kind of thing. First trip in first thing you need is a pencil. I use this graph gear 500 pencil For all my littering Had it for at least three years, it's It's been doing great. I use the 0.5 lead. That 0.3 is a bit too small. 0.7 system. Do you have for me? You'll need erasers. You need a lot of erasers. Trust me. You also need some thinking pins. I use these micro loans. There's a really common. You find these like a craft store online. Get the variety pack True for every new tomb could kind of get you different sizes. You kind of got really thin to kind of medium or so does a good job. So for larger areas of ain't you need a marker? Some kind. I used this prisoner color marker does a good job to 21 side's kind of thick market once kind of find. Check out so far from that you need to more things, you ruler, to keep your lines all nice and neat and the you need paper for paper. I'll be using 11 by 17 card stock that's a bit thicker of a paper. It's gonna make sure inks don't bleed quite as much. And that's it. So be ready to go. We will start planning out our project. 3. Planning: So now that you have all the tools you need, let's start planning at the peace. This is the most important step of all. I always tell people the more tal you spin planning at your letters, the fewer surprises urine into down the road. And that's kind of the name of the game here. You want us few surprises it's possible for when you start taking the peace. So first I just write out the phrase or we're going to letter. Then I'll go through and put a box around the most important words or the words I want to stand out. Then I draw a small representation of my final piece. I start blocking you and where words will go and make a small note about what words go in the area. I'll repeat this process until I've reserved space for every letter in that lyric. Now I'll make some more notes, but the look of the letters. So for the less important words, I'm going to use a simple San Serif look. And for the larger words, I'm going to try a sort of gritty script look. From there, I'll make some more notes about what lines need to look similar to each other. And if I want, I can go ahead and do some simple sketches on the side to try to get an idea what those phrases could look like. So once you've got your piece planned out now you're ready to be going to the sketching phase. There will start drawing letters out and eventually refund them to a finished pencil sketch . 4. Sketching: sketching out your plan. Peace is the most creative stage of the lettering process. The most important thing to remember when sketching is to keep your pencil marks light. The harder you press down, the harder it will be to change things they need to make edits. This is a feeling out process. See what works and what doesn't. And don't be afraid to improvise and change your idea if you have to. Before I sketch any letters, I draw some guides to help me direct traffic. These air kind of like the guides and illustrator or in design, keeping all of your content in order using your ruler. Make some marks toe. Act as boundaries for your letters. It doesn't matter what measurement you make as long as they're consistent. On my 11 by 17 piece of paper, I went with a 2.5 inch border around the edge of the paper. I then measured to find the vertical center of my paper and marked that as well. This will help in lining up your letters once your guides air set, start blocking in those same blocks that you during the planning stage. - Next I just jump right in and start very lightly sketching some letters. One thing that helps me with spacing between my letters is to draw the first letter on the line, the last letter and then find the letter that should be in the middle of the line toward the center guy we drew. Once I have those three letters, I fill in the rest and fine tune Spacing is needed. Don't be afraid to race and start over if your letters feel too cramped. I like to draw all of my similar letters at the same time, so I'll leave some space for my larger words and finish out the rest of my san stairs. Now I'm ready to start penciling in my larger words. Drawing script like this is mostly a trial on air for me. You can see I'm sketching a lot of lines. I continue to work the lines until eventually find the one that seems to fit. Stay loose and work your way through the word. And again, don't be afraid to race and backtrack a bit to make sure things are lined up. - Now that I've got a loose sketch for all of my letters, I'm going to go back in and refine my letters to get some more exact lines. The more finished your letters are, the easier it will be when you start thinking them in. You don't want to second guess yourself when you're working with the pins, So put the work in now with the pencil. 5. Inking: Our final step is to ink the pencil sketch, and I think you need to take a long time. The most important thing is to make sure you aren't rushing things in general. I spend about as much time thinking my peace I do, drawing them in the first place. I start wreck aerating some simple study outlines that follow all of my pencil work. In general, the rule of thumb is to push the pin away from you when drawing straight lines and pull the pin towards you enjoying curve lines for my script, I decided to go back in and add some gritty details to make my letters a bit more unique. This is just a matter of picking where I want the bumps and bruises to show and then being sure to avoid them later on. When I start using the marker. Now that you finish your outlines, it's a good time to go ahead and erase all of your pencil marks. When this is done, it's time to move on to the marker. If this is your first time using the marker, it's a good idea to use it on some scratch paper to get an idea of what kind of impact it has. You don't want to bleed over your lines. Just because you're not familiar with the type of market will make similar to the microns. You need to use the marker at a slow but steady pace. Keep in mind if you leave the marker pressed against the paper while you rest your hand. It could bleed into other areas besides going slow. Another important rule to follow is to not force the marker. If a space is too small for the brush tip to be effective, switching gears and fill in that spot with the pen instead. 6. Final Thoughts: All right. So here we are. We have made it. We have finished our peace. We went from tools to planning to sketching to thinking and I can't wait to see what you've made This one of my process. I'll take a little bit of time, Do particular my work. I'll see what worked. What did not work? What needs to improve for the next time. For example, on this beast this letter D I'm not very excited about it compared this one appear. It's a little bit misshapen, kind of funky, but that's OK. It's a letter. It's tough. It takes practice. And, you know, mistakes happen. That's OK. The best thing you can do is to acknowledge it and prepare for the next time. I hope you enjoy the class. I'm really glad you took it excited to have you. This is my first experience with this. So it was kind of new for me. I really enjoyed it. I want to see what you're working on. Posted on the class. Shoot me an email, a message on Instagram. I wouldn't see what you made. I want to see what very few chose work Quote you went with don't want to see what style you went with that kind of thing. I'm excited about it. I'm always happy talk letters, so just give me a shot. I'll talk to you soon.