Lettering a Monoline Wordmark: Creating Graffiti-Inspired Uniform Lines | Ricardo Gonzalez | Skillshare

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Lettering a Monoline Wordmark: Creating Graffiti-Inspired Uniform Lines

teacher avatar Ricardo Gonzalez, Graphic Designer & Lettering Artist

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.



    • 4.

      Tools and Materials


    • 5.

      What Is a Monoline?


    • 6.

      Warm-Up #1: Space


    • 7.

      Warm-Up #2: Rhythm


    • 8.

      Warm-Up #3: Alphabet


    • 9.



    • 10.

      Refining Your Sketch


    • 11.

      Applying Color


    • 12.



    • 13.



    • 14.

      Final Thoughts


    • 15.

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About This Class

In this popular class, lettering artist and designer Ricardo Gonzalez teaches you the tricks of lettering his iconic monoline wordmarks, mixing digital and physical techniques to create depth and detail!

While traditional calligraphy has strokes of varying weights ("thicks and "thins"), monoline lettering has a uniform thickness throughout the pen stroke. Using a rounded-tip pen or graffiti marker instead of a chiseled nib creates a distinctive, graphic look that lettering artists are sure to love adding to their artistic arsenal.

In this 70-minute class, you'll walk through Ricardo's creative lettering process, including:

  • warm-up exercises
  • sketching
  • inking
  • photographing and Photoshopping the finished lettered piece

Every lesson is a true behind-the-scenes into the work featured on his popular Instagram account, @itsaliving!

Perfect for designers, illustrators, and type enthusiasts alike, you don't need any prior knowledge in calligraphy or lettering to get started. Beginners welcome! By the end of the lessons, you’ll be able to create and share a monoline wordmark of your own.

Image courtesy Ricardo Gonzalez via Instagram (@itsaliving)

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Ricardo Gonzalez

Graphic Designer & Lettering Artist


Born in Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua and raised in Durango, Mexico. Ricardo Gonzalez is a graphic designer focused on lettering, typography, calligraphy & typeface design. His passion for letterforms comes from his childhood when looking at old letters written in Spencerian by his grandfather in the 1950's.

In 2008 Ricardo moved to Canada where he studied graphic design at Mohawk College. After his studies he worked as a screen printer for a two years in Ottawa ON, during this time he rediscovered his passion for calligraphy and began to experiment with letterforms.

In the fall of 2012 he moved to Toronto to work as a freelance graphic designer, but after just four months he headed down south to his home town of Durango, Mexico, to work full-time as an independent designe... See full profile

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1. Intro: My name is Ricardo Gonzalez, I'm a graphic designer. I am originally from Mexico, but I'm based here in Brooklyn. I focus in calligraphy, lettering. I would describe myself as minimal calligraphic with a really strong aesthetic in graffiti. That's part of where I started, so I try to keep my roots. So, my favorite projects are Bowers and Wilkins, I just recently collaborated with them, but it was really cool because I got to illustrate this speaker in what way I wanted. So, to me that was like totally game changer where I step up the game. Big Bang was another really good project I worked on. I never imagined myself or my work turning from just being letters to maybe real goal or a neon sign which was amazing to me. Today, we're going to be working on creating lettering, monoline design. We're going to be playing with lettering composition, we might be doing some shading there in the letters and eventually we'll try to play with analog and digital, so it should be pretty fun. Anyone can take this class, because it's a very basic class, it's easy, it's fun. So, you could go from letters, you could be beginner, you could be advance. I never imagined myself doing what I do, which is I get to draw letters all day just being completely creative and get to travel, meeting new people. It started all like taking these meaning. It was meaningful and a lifestyle which turned out to a living. That's what I see really. 2. Project: So, today we're going to be creating a monoline lettering based on the city or the place where you're from. The core of this course is to understanding and learning how to combine analog with digital. We'll do that through, from the most basic way which is going sketches, pencil, and take that into a more complex way using different tools such as graffiti markers. We'll create a monoline based on that, then we'll photograph, and then after that we'll do some editing and Photoshop. This part can take you from 30 minutes to three hours depending on your creativity. Probably the trickiest part of this project is to keep a good sense of composition in, not just in the letters, but also the wording. Down the road, you will definitely mess up and you'll have to go back, maybe correct, but that's all good because that's what this course is all about. It's about trying new things and have fun with it. 3. Inspiration: So, I'm originally from Durango, Mexico, which is a small town north center. It's very small. There's not much to do, so being from a small town and not having much to do pushed me to look for different ways to express what I was doing. At the time, I was doing a lot of graffiti. I really was sure what I wanted to do, all I knew it was like I just want to do some creative stuff. Another part of the inspiration is traveling. I feel it's very important to keep moving, learning. For what I do, it's been really interesting to be in New York and be surrounded by this culture of all these old-style graffiti. To me, that was the best thing ever because I grew up looking magazines, videos when I was in this little town, and I never imagined myself being here, so that was like a huge inspiration for me to be here and look things like actual touch it, see the paints, see the tags, the bombs, all these things. Try to pay attention to all these little things especially like grafitti because it's part to like what makes what I do look the way it does. So, for instance, I really like to look at all these like tags, in the street. Sometimes they're very dirty, they got the drips. I love this kind of little detail because makes every letter so much more interesting and the drips adds this organic look to it. Also the color is sometimes of what people combination, color combinations are used. These are mostly all like monoline so they just use one marker as one thing so it's very much like writing and or calligraphy, but these guys have so much consistency which for me is very very interesting and how these guys can be so consistent in what they do. A good source of finding good inspiration I think is looking at good old books especially from 50's, 60's, and 70's everything was handmade. So, like this book is by Tommy Thompson, it's called Script Lettering For Artists. The good thing about this book it really tells you from the equipment, materials. It shows you the process on from layouts, ruling the guidelines, even the inking and the sketching, so there's a whole process that they used to go through just to make like a headline or stuff like that for advertising. I really like this book called Flip The Script. The interesting part is this book was created by Christian P Acker, he's a typeface designer and he was also I think graffiti artist which makes this really interesting book looking at graffiti forms applied to more like a design approach or like be dissected by someone who has training in typography or a typeface. This book is really interesting because it shows you how to use tools. So, that you can go from a Sharpie Ultra Fine Point to Pilot, so these are like the most fine ones to like a Krink K63. I usually use these three and they're really really useful. Well, so like from this is it has a library or is a collection of well-known artists where they take the alphabets and they compare, they put all together so you can see that what they wrote each letter. It's so interesting to me to see each letter how they approach. For instance, this A, is like you want to think about doing this, and crossing the strokes like that. So, taking these little ideas is not about stealing. I feel it's about combining other people's ideas with yours and making your design ultimately genuine and I think that's the beauty of creating, that you are not making things from scratch. You are finding reference all the time, you look at like graffiti and you look at books where it definitely influences the star. For instance, there's some other artists here. This is really good because this influenced me a lot, The New York Handstyles, which was like we can see here, the heart one, there's like all monoline. It was probably done with like a Krink K60, so you could do the savvier, all these probably this one was done with spray can but you get almost the same feeling of like a monoline, but the good thing is that these are all different approaches and probably legibility, it's not that good. But the thing is like each one of these tags becomes an icon. So, whenever, you see it and you see it all over again you might not know what it says, but the interesting part you become so familiar with it that it becomes almost like a logo. I think this is a good time that we saw some preferences, you've seem kind of where I get my inspiration from, some ideas. So, I feel it's like it's the good point where you can think about where you're going to be lettering for instance and the way you want it to look. For me, I'm just going to pick my hometown Durango, from Mexico. So, I'm going to create a lettering of my hometown, and yeah, let's get it to. 4. Tools and Materials: So, probably the top three tools I use on a daily basis and are probably my favorite ones are obviously just a regular pencil. It could be any pencils. So, I feel this is the core of everything because it's the tool that allows you to sketch quickly ideas, but you can execute them with the brush pen which is probably a second tool I use the most. I love it and that's why you practice with this tool and you understand letterforms better because you feel the contrast, you started learning about where to put contrast in letters and it becomes fine like a experimental process. This one, like I said before, this is the Krink 42 and it's just a brown tip. It's very simple but you could- I mean, if you don't have a chisel tip or something, you can cut this one and make your own and practice with this one. If you don't have a parallel pen, you could use this marker. You're going to have a brush pen, you could use this one also cut it in an angle that makes it pointy and you can apply pressure and get same results with this one, with the brush pen. So, this trio I think is a really good combo to have. Also, I'd to go over some paper because some people asked me about and what paper I use, right? For this purposes, I literally just buy folders. Folders are, they're nice and glossy. You can photograph and you can get a nice reflection. They're also cheap. So, if you messed, up it's not something very expensive. So, each one of these barely, they cost $0.60 or so. So, it's a really good paper to have around. Also, the color palette I mainly work with is very minimal. I try to keep it just as simple as possible. They are also cost alike. So, I just use white, black and gold. Sometimes I use rose gold. Sometimes I add a pink but this is the main core of my design style, all right? But also, let's say, if we're going to design here, we could also use, instead of these colors, we could use, Instead of the gold, we could use a red. So, we'll have a pallet of three which is it's easier to work with and you will get a better understanding of how color theory works and how you can apply this to, for instance, a grey background. You could use, you could do the letter with a white one. You could do some fine little graphics with a black one or the red or you can switch it up. So, you can try these different combinations. So, it's always about trying what feels right for you and what colors you like. Ultimately, I want to you to feel comfortable with the colors and the tools you are using and come up with something that you feel is unique and it's yours. 5. What Is a Monoline?: So, to define a monoline, a monoline is a consistent line that moves across from point A to B. So, to prove that, you grab a marker, a pencil, it doesn't matter, this is a dot, right? So, connect two dots, you can go A to B in a consistent line that is a monoline. The monoline has to be just equal in width from A to B. So, that's pretty simple, let's say if you break it to go thin and thick, that monoline is just, the concept just breaks. Right? So, it has to be always consistent A to B. So, if you do it again and just like drag it across. You can do that with a pencil, marker, you could do anything. As long as it's consistent, it's a monoline. I tend to create a monoline designs and that's probably why my work is well known for it because it's simplicity. You should tend to illustrate a letter word, there are only one word, it's just like clear background, very, very simple, very minimal. It could be one word maybe underlined, but sometimes had different graphic elements such as lines, dots. I have a few samples here of my work that I've done that is a monoline and I've created in the past few months. So, let's start with this one, Living, it's a very, very subtle design. It's always so simple. It's quite tricky to get it like consistent all the time especially when the ink's too runny, the ink is too thick. So, the main thing about the monoline is always consistent. What these samples have, they're not consistent in the line strokes. So, for instance, this is brush, most of these were done with the brush, not this one, so write down with the other tool. For instance, the pearl pen just showing this sample here. So, it breaks that concept of a dot joining another dot. So, you can see it clear, there is a thin to thick, thick to thin. So, it's not consistent. However, these are all the cells that you might be welcome to explore because they're really, really fun, and they're very characteristic and you can express a lot within. So, now, that we know what a monoline is and what a monoline is not, we can jump right into doing some exercise to get started in the next session. 6. Warm-Up #1: Space: At this stage, we're going to start doing some warm-up exercise just to get a better feeling of the marker and like the monoline process will be and eventually, we'll move on into sketching the ideas for the concept and layout of the final design. For now, we're just going to start by getting a ruler. All you need is ruler for now and a pencil and just start drawing by a couple horizontal lines. Just move down. So, we just create a margin. We'll leave about half the space from here to here, that is from here to here. So, from there, we can grab a marker. So, we'll do just simple lines. We could do is just straight lines, so they're just like nice and tight. This is because we learn how to get a better understanding on spacing between lines. So roughly, the space between every single line is the same of the stroke, so we're going to do that so we can get consistent. Then once you feel much more comfortable with the tool, we can start doing on an angle which this is interesting and this could be tricky especially for left handed because you might have to grab a marker at the other way and do it. I understand a script is left to right so when you draw the other way, it will be a little bit tricky. So, this is just to get a better feeling but eventually, you will figure it out. So, for this one, you just go diagonals and also the same thing, try to create the same spacing between the lines because this will help us down the road to do a better job in spacing when we start forming letters. So we do that. You can go also like down to bottom. I like to do it bottom-up. So, it's trying to get a little bit better consistency. It's a bit tough but it's supposed to warm up your hand. Then we will do it the other way. So from there, we go this way. So, same motion just different angle. Go like that just trying to get consistent strokes. For the second one, we'll be trying to use this and we'll start forming U's. So, this plus a curve. So, we'll do a U and then, we'll try to make it consistent so we get a better feeling. Then, we can do the same but just an angle so the U's will be in an angle. Don't be afraid to use some- to push hard on on the marker or it could be also done with a pencil as long as you're learning the consistency, it's all right. We'll do it the other way just like we did in the top. So, these are pretty basic exercise but from here, we started understanding better how the lines were again in the spacing and we're creating rhythm between every single line. You could say it's an O or a 0 and we're going to do the same thing. Just like that, just like by adding so it's like a progression. Then we'll do another one. Then we'll curve one the way the letter goes over the baseline or the high line. It's okay, it's just they're like get a better feeling in your hand and getting comfortable doing these exercises. Then we'll do it the other way. This is the first warm-up so, take a little break. 7. Warm-Up #2: Rhythm: All right. So now, we're going to be doing an exercise about rhythm, almost the same fundamentals we've been practicing. So, we just draw another one, another line. You don't have to measure them but if you want to measure them, it should be about half an inch, a little bit more, three quarters of an inch. For me, this works much better instead of writing straight and forcing your arm like this. I feel it's much better if you turn the page a little bit on an angle. This is an awkward position for your arm to be. You're sitting straight forward, so it's not natural for the body to do it. So, I'll be like, cramp, so that's a little bit awkward. So, we turn it this way, feel much more relaxed and then I can hold it and then just do U, U. So by doing this, we're learning about rhythm and the flow. So, this will help us once we start getting into forming letters, we'll get a better sense in spacing in between, especially if you're beginning to do this. It's a good practice. I mean, it is very simple but once you get a hold of it, you will definitely show in your writing. But it works really good. So, we'll do that. See how it gets consistent. Slowly. So, now for the other one, we're going to do it the other way and we can have, for this one we can do it with a paper like this because we can just go like this. We could do another one but now we're going to close it. So, same thing, just like this zeros or Os and you stop and you go, zero. It's like making Os. Now, we'll do it the other way. So, it's forming now letters out of lines and curves. So, now we're doing the Us and Os. We're going to do it the other way but this one might be a little bit tricky. But you see how I turned the paper? I'm not going to turn because this should be straight. That's awkward. The more comfortable you are sitting, your body position, the better you will do this kind of exercises. So, we'll do the zero and then we go like that, zero and we close it. Zero and we close it. So, that should be about that. So now, to do the letter A, same thing. We'll go like that. This has to be vertical so, we're combining the circle plus the vertical line and just go like this. So, circle and then go down. Now, we're going to do it the other way, also turning the paper. We'll do it that way. So, for this one, I like it to keep it straight. Just go, just like that. Sometimes you need to put a little bit of pressure on the marker just to get aa nice and consistent line, nice and straight, the way we did before. Same thing, and again. So, that's that for all the warm up exercises for now. We're going to jump into creating an alphabet and from there, we'll start getting to the sketches and all those steps coming up. 8. Warm-Up #3: Alphabet: Now, we go to warm up exercises here we're going to start forming some letters where we're going to create an alphabet. This is the alphabet I usually use, but you're welcome to swap like letters for whatever way you like, the way you do it. So, same thing. I'm going to draw a baseline there. I'm going to start with the lowercase. These are the most common I use, but you can swerve. I'll show you what I mean. For instance, the a, I do it this way, go up, and down. But some people do like more closer. So, you're welcome to do whatever letter you feel much more comfortable with. So, we'll do a, then b. You've got to make sure you we get it right, nice and uniform. C, d, and then k, l, m, n. You don't have to go all the way to the top. It's fine if you don't cover it because then the ascenders will be way too high, and we'll go over it, but this is just to get a sense of our alphabet, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, w. So, that should be it. So, the important part about this part is to understand how the letters can connect because we have to connect them at some point. So, just by doing this, we will not be learning how to connect each letter, but we would get a better understanding of the whole alphabet if we write it. So, that's practice. Once we get much more comfortable with all the alphabet. We can put them all together, and do the sketches. So, now we're going to do the uppercase. There's so many ways to do an A, but I'll just do it this way. It's simple. A, B. Every single letter can be written in a very different way. That's why it's important to keep learning new styles, new letters, and eventually you will improve letters, and you will make them more your own, as you go through. F, G, H, J, M. These are just basic forms because we can add like flow charts or we can come up with more complex ones, but this is just to get a feeling of how the uppercase would look like. Then the R, S, U, and Z. We could that one like that, or we could do it this way. So, that's pretty much a basic alphabet for you to look at, and we'll go right now and jump into like sketching for the final design. 9. Sketching: We just did the alphabet and now what we understand a little bit more are letterforms. Now, what we're going to be doing is just creating some sketches. Some of the composition we can come up with, they could be on an angle and this could be our lettering just on an angle or it could go straight, or we can come up with a maybe curve. This could be our option one, two, three. So, based on that, I can build my design. So, that's the competition, pretty straightforward just on an angle straight or curved. You can experiment as much as you want but, for instance, for this one, I'll just write. You can just scribble. It doesn't have to be like a finished product, but these are just sketch, just to get an idea of the composition. So, for this one, I'm just going to start sketching my hometown, Durango. So, I just go, just a sketch. Doesn't have to be perfect. I like that. So and then maybe, I don't know. I've added underline. Maybe write it again, maybe use a different D. So, that went straight or we could do like a much more rounder D. Is trying to keep it consistent letters a little bit. Then, come here. What I usually do is just I'm going to think, what kind of elements I can add to it. Maybe, I could add a Rombo there like that. Or maybe I can add a circle, maybe I can add a triangle. So, from here, we can think about which one I'm liking more. What kind of elements I can add to it. This is an interesting part because this way you can get creative in what kind of elements you can add to it. Maybe you can draw and view it more in Illustrator. Instead of a triangle, you can add a mountain, more like a tree. So, it could be more like a logo but also like some sort of cool graphic. You want to draw an animal in the back. This is just trying to keep it simple and overall that you will learn how to add all these graphics. But this is the base or you should just draw they one in the middle and then start adding stuff as I go through it. So, now that we have some element, basic layouts, we can start adding some surf but I really want to make point because this may be too complicated for someone who's starting. So, sometimes what I suggest for instance just to you come up with something. I mean, although you don't know the letters that well, I feel that you could just draw the baseline, whatever, and then another line. Then, instead of writing the word, if you don't know what it is yet, just a scribble, and then you're adding the design elements, and then you start to coming up with-. So, here are the top I wanted to have some text. Here's some text. So, I got texts down. This is going to be like this and you're slowly building a layer on. This will be an element, this will be an element and that's like a basic way to sketch something that you're still not quite sure. You're not sure how the letters are going to look like because, in this case, I know what they're going to look like. So, I can jump a couple of steps, let's say. For this one same thing. Because this one is straight, we could just go-. So, I don't know what it's going to look like. I just want it to be straight. Is going to be cursive, so this goes in the middle. Maybe is a little bit longer, but I want to have some sort of circle element outside of it. Same thing, I wanted some text at the top and the bottom. There's going to be a line like this, and then this part is going to be a circle and maybe just add some basic little graphics. Same thing is an arc, I don't know what's going to look like. I know it's just some sort of a scribble or cursive. So, I don't know what's going to look. So, just like that same thing. So, we're keeping consistency in some elements which is one of the lettering, that's going to be in the middle, this is the main one and then we could add two more. For instance here, this is the main one but then we'll have two more elements of texts where both over there we can draw hand by hand. So, same with the elements of the outside and we could keep it consistent in all our little layout. The triangle looks cool. I want to keep it like that. Maybe you could add some graphic, maybe dots. So, you never know where you're going to end up. You can still add stuff in this stage, but this is the overall idea. So, for this one, I'm going to add the text at the top. I'm going to draw a little line, so I know where it's going to go right here, and I'm going to write establish just E-S-T, then it will be 1563 because that's the year that my hometown was founded, 1563. So, it's been quite a while for it being a small town. I want it to have two dots. These are just little graphics that you can add. But I would definitely want to keep this shape right here. Now I'm thinking, the shape can go over the lettering and then go out. So far, I like what I got but I think I really like this one. It's got a nice quality to it. So, think I'm going to do number one. This is the chosen. So, I thought it will be good idea to come up with an extra sample. I'm going to do one for New York. I'm going to use this reference. The first one, the one I chose because this is the layout I like the most. Diagonal line, draw it, and then let's say, New York. New York. So, I'm going to use the same thing. Here at the top, what do we want to say about New York? Now that we got a basic layout, center, you don't have to be perfect about it. Just let it go. Let's say, State of mind. Then we'll do the same thing. Rombo Maybe could go smaller. I'm just going to draw on top of that. There you go. We got another example of how we could do it. We can add some dots. Based on this one, we've got a nice design but just with New York. Now that we got the sketches and now we know what to do, we can just move forward and working with the markers and shoot it. 10. Refining Your Sketch: So, now that we've got our sketch, we going to... I picked this one. So, now we going to proceed and refine it. We just going to need pencil and any marker. So, it's pretty straight forward, and we're just going to follow along what we got in the sketch. So, I'm just going to go ahead and draw a line in the middle, about there, the baseline, then another line. All right. It's roughly in the middle. Then, we're going to go ahead and try to emulate the same lettering with it, or just dot sketch into here and we'll figure it out, and we'll go right into finishing the design. So, it was something like this, right. I do it in one-shot because I'm more used to it, but you can take your time, right? Just cut it, maybe. If something's not right, you're, not sure, okay. This is not completely filled, fill that up. Maybe, use this pencil. Also, we got the other elements. I'm just going to draw a line at the top, about that size. So, that should be about there. Then, maybe we can grab another marker that, the tip is finer, just so we can write establish and the year. We could write the whole word if you want. So, that's a good thing about sketching, but I'm just going to go and do this. T which stands for establish, right? We'll do the year, 1563, add a couple of dots, okay. So, based on the sketch, I got to underline but I forgot that. We'll do just something like that. Cool, like it. And then now, we can go ahead and draw. One thing to center the line for the letter, we can just measure the lettering which happens to be two and five inches which is good. Two and a half. So, it's going to draw a line across there. Then, we got the center of it where the line's going to go. So, that's that. And then, we line them up because this is the center. To roughly the center of the space in between, right here, roughly. That's about that. Then, we do the same in this side. And that's about the center to the center. To the center, right here. Right, we got roughly what it looks to our sketch. So, we're going to make some corrections, right here, because I feel that this could go lower. Right about here. So, we can just always go ahead change it. And the cool thing about this is that we can start playing now or start thinking ahead about the design here and how we wanted to interact with the graphics we're just drawing. So, we'll just erase the top line. There's always margin for error. So, don't worry about if you mess up just go back because these are just sketches. So, that's pretty much it. We can always edit it but this is rough. We can always move this more to the right. So, we got it maybe smaller? So it fits better. But, these are like this because the line can move so it goes in between the letter and comes out. So, from there, we'll do the final design. We can just go over this line just to mark it and know where it's going. All right. So, just add some lines. Line, line. It's your clean sketch, still rough but we can work from there and we'll build it up. And, define our colors which I think is important to define our colors from now. 11. Applying Color: Now, that we've gone through our final stage of refining this sketch. We can jump right into transfering onto the folder surface. So the way I do it, I just draw a very fine baseline with a pencil, barely see it. In that line, that's where I draw the letters in. The way I go, I just straight ahead, but feel free to do sketches, maybe draw underline or something. But, I feel this feels more comfortable and it goes well. As you keep doing it you'll become better at it, right? So, and then a G, Durango. Okay, give it a touch. We got the underline so we do the underline. You can go over again because it's a bit shaky so far. You can go over there, right? So, basically that's that. The way I work, I just, I go straight ahead and I do it. Now, and then I do another guideline right here. So, another one right there, and then another the one at the top, right here. Then, we'll draw another one below where it's going to go with the year. So, we just go like this, and we go like this. So, roughly, we'll go establish, and then 1563, I bet. All right. I sure will do some lines right here, we can draw this by hand. We can do this one, that one. So, we just waiting for the ink to dry a little bit. Then, we'll do the shape outside and we'll drew that like the way we drew it. We just measure the lettering. Okay, it's about four and a quarter. That'll be like two and one-eight, so it's about there. I'm going to mark it. You see the middle, then we draw a line across. We don't want to go over the lettering because then we'll mess it up, but. Now, we can take the other marker and then we can draw out. All right. So, we're getting there. Then we can flip it, so we don't get all messy, but. Okay. So it's about there, and we will close it. So, I really like the composition so far, but I feel that this line could have gone a little bit just below and going through the D, and then going out. So, don't worry about it. I also make these kind of mistakes, but it's not the end of the day. So, we just go over it, just fix it in the way we want it, and then we can always fix it again in Photoshop. That's why there is post-production. So, let me see, it's about there, so okay. Here it goes. Goes in, goes out. That's the way you want it to look. That's more even. I like that better. So, we're going to correct this in Photoshop as we go, right? Then we can add other stuff too that we didn't have in the sketch, right? For instance, the D right here, we can get a nice little tail, right? We can add a dot, and another dot right here just to make it nice. It might look messy right now, but trust me it will work at the end. Now, we're going to jump into photoshop, and then we're going to edit in, and we're going to do some shading, which is going to be fun. It's going to add a lot of body to the design, and it's going to look really good. All your designs are going to look really good. 12. Photographing: Part of the process as I photograph the art work with DSLR camera. This is what I feel makes my were unique and I feel that any of you can do it. It doesn't matter if you don't have a DSLR camera because the way I do it is because it got more quality and that's a lot more detail to the photographs right? So, this is the way I set it up. Usually over and just make sure it's really on top. I make sure to center it. I just use a tripod canon 60D 18-135 millimeter lens. My setup right now it's f-stop is six, ISO 200 and also I customize this white fluorescent lights. So, this will keep a really high quality in the lettering and that's what we're going to end up with an image. We're going to work based on that image and we'll take it to photoshop and make it even better. So, just shoot it, make sure you know. We'll take a couple more so make sure it's nice and center. I tried to do vertical because from here I can crop it to a square and that's my format but you're welcome to use landscape or vertical doesn't matter. For those ones who don't have a tripod and a DSLR camera you can always use your phone. I have iPhone 6, so the quad begin from 4S, 5. So, don't worry about it just take a photo. I don't think you need a tripod for these. As long as you get it nice in line, your good and you get a cool reflection of it. The only thing with a phone you might see yourself in the reflection because the quality of the paper that's why I like nice and glossy array but we're just going to go ahead and shoot it like that. Right. It's like focus it, have a couple pictures and that should be it. So now we're going to take it to the computer and should be fun. 13. Shading: So, now that we got the photograph, the artwork, I transfer it to my computer. Now, I'll just send it right into Photoshop. I own currently a MacBook Pro. I have a tablet, working tablet. I think it's medium-size. I had this for a long time, and I've always been using it. So, this is the way I work, and let's just jump right ahead and start. So, I always work on this layer and the top one. I always have two backups or one, just if I want to get back to it. But to the top one, I always like to add a Sharpen. Go to Filter, Sharpen, and Unsharp Mask. Well, this is probably too much, 4.2 is a lot. Let's crack it down and see. No, it's still too much. I'm now in 46. No, too much. We just wanted to be subtle, nice and crisp. So, that's about that. So, now our image is nice and crisp, but we got some dust over here. We got some minor things. The edges are not that clean. Maybe the numbers are correct then, so what we're gonna do is just write on this layer. We go command or you just press S, and we got the Clone tool, so you select what option, Alt. Yes, it's Alt. So, you select this part, and then you can correct things nice and easy. Another way is by using the Spot Healing Tool. Make it small, so we can correct that very easily, all these little things we don't want. So, that's about that now. I feel it's time to fix this thing, the this line that we kind of messed it up. We're going to grab the Clone tool, and we're just going to zoom in, and this is going to search. Cool. So, you just sample this part. Now, we do Alt and template, and then we can delete it. I'm erasing a little bit, so let's see how it goes. It's actually going well. So, suppose just [inaudible] easy to go back and delete these things. So, that's why you shouldn't be afraid to let mess it up. There's always a way to correct things even though like you thought, "My design has just got ruined." Now, there's always a way to clean it up and make it work. So, that's about it. Okay. Started like polishing the letters now. We use the Clone tool for this, so it's pretty easy. Make sure you have this brush. It's nice and crisp, you see? I see the A. We're going to fix the A little bit here just to make it a bit more round, not too choppy there. This is where it becomes a lettering. Because now, we're working on the letters and we're editing. That's a kind of cool part about this process, and it's barely noticeable. You wouldn't notice it when I create my work, but I take the time to do this, kind of polish it, then trying to make it look really good. For instance, we got this. I think this is a smudge from my fingerprints, so we can just kind of correct that. We don't want that. So, you just clean it up, and I'll show you the comprehension of it. You can check it out. Zoom out, much more cleaner. Zoom in. You see how it changes? Especially this part is really, really much better, and now we're going to do some shading. Let's create a new layer called shading. This big brush, the softest one. Go to Opacity, just drop it to 5%. That's the way it should work. On the shading layer, we're just going to work on that and nothing else. Yes, just a brush and eraser, and that's it. So, we just go very subtle. This is the best way to do it because it's digitally, and it's so clean, but you can always do it with an airbrush, a pencil, or whatever you have, and then you just delete it. Boom, you got a shading there, and then you go to the top. This one seems like it's got some shade. The reason of the shade, I really like to do it because it gives a lot more three-dimensional, and I feel that's a really cool touch. So, if you go on your keyboard and you press E, that's the eraser. You press B, that's the brush. So, you got some shading going on. We can probably go back and make it darker, just another pass. Press E, delete, go back. You got the darker, press E. Okay. So, now we're going to do some shading there very quickly. Doesn't take that long, but it has a lot of character to the work. No, I feel I was missing a little bit there, so I just make small. There you go. Then the R, just a little more shading here, and then E. Delete, nice and clean, and then the A. Yes, this is the fun part. You will see much volume, it adds to the design once. It's already like picking up so much volume, and I feel that's very important. Also, it's a matter of detail, how much you want to put into it, and the possibilities from working the analog to digital. I think they're endless because you're combining tools, and combining tools just opens you more opportunities to create new things and exploring new techniques, or combine them, so this is really cool. I just kind of stumble upon this. One time, I was just working with the marker, and the ink of the marker was so thick. When I photographed it, I zoomed in, and I noticed that the ink was so thick, that kind of makes a little bit of shading, especially this part. So, that gave me the idea, "I should make it the shading. Add some shading, see what it looks like." So, since then, I've started adding it, and I liked it a lot. So, I just feel it's now part of my work. So, now you can see the difference between shading and not shading. I'll just turn it on. There's a lot of more volume, and we want to do a little bit more, which is select the layer behind it, and we go to Dodge Tool. I'm sorry, we use the Burn Tool a little bit. Exposure, about 22. That's fine. I'm just going to go over a bit, not too much because then, it gets too dark but just exposure a little bit less, 12. I just kind of go over it, and behind the numbers, stylish. So, yeah. That's the design, and I'm happy with how this came out. I hope you guys liked it and learned some things, so I can't wait to see yours. 14. Final Thoughts: Just as a recap. We went through some spacing, we did some exercises of how to warm up your hand, and how to understand better the shapes, and all these things that are valuable for you. But also, we took it to photographing stage, where we end up with an image. This image we edited and we learned how to add some special techniques to it, like shading, some sharpening. I feel that what we learned, we can improve a lot more in the lettering. It's all about mixing styles and taking bits from here and there, and combining our own thing and ultimately, create our own style of writing or lettering, whatever you want to call it. It's always good to learn from other people and apply it in the way that you want to apply it. I can't wait to see what other people can come up with this technique. So, I'll be so happy to see the end results in the project gallery and I can't wait to see what you guys can come up with. 15. Explore Design Classes on Skillshare: way.