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Andrew Ley

Branding, Logo and Graphic Designer

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15

Amy

After messing around with lettering for fun over the last twelve months, I'm making a concerted effort to start a project and take it all the way through to a finished, vectored piece of artwork.

I've been watching Matthew's videos on Youtube for a while and found it inspirational to see a fellow left-hander creating such great hand-lettering. The chance to do a Skillshare class from him was a no-brainer.

First off, here's a few of my practice drills with brush pens:

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"Minimum" written in a more formal style:

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And more Informal:

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I'll start sketching my name with a pencil over the next week.

Love of Lettering Session

Just to give myself a bit of extra motivation (challenge) I decided to take part in the live session, to give myself a firm deadline to get the project finished.

From now on, I'll be using my wife's name for the finished project - Amy.

It's only three letters, so I'm expecting a challenging time getting some character and similarity into the letters.

Pencil Sketches

I started off trying to get some smooth flow and energy into my letters. I wanted to explore the A-m ligature.

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after a few sketches I hit upon this interlinked A and y. This seemed like a fitting metaphor (for our marriage) so I explored it a bit more.

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this reminded me somewhat of the intwined swan's image - a cliche for lifelong commitment.

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And also, the join could form a heart shape.

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Once I felt I had explored this angle enough, I went back to sketching other options. First using more flourishes:

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And just experimenting with the ligatures.

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So far so good. Whilst the 3-letter name is challenging in some respects, it also allows me to sketch different ideas very quickly.

I'm also enjoying the added structure/time pressure of the session. I'm looking forward to exploring this some more before picking a favourite to develop. 

More photos to follow - but feel free to leave any feedback.

Wednesday 2nd December

Practicing with the brush pen tonight. Not really happy with the contrast between thicks and thins, but I am liking the tall elegant letters.

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4th December

More practicing today, and with a few different brush pens that help me emphasise the contrast in line thickness.

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I experimented with this Am ligature, but decided it looked too much like 'Flmy'.

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I also broke up the A-y tangle, but this looked like the letters were having an argument.

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After experimenting with different angles in the letters...

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...I decided the best look for what I wanted was close to perfectly vertical.

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and slowly I started to achieve a composition I'm more happy with. I then labelled the pieces I liked best in different iterations:

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And eventually came up with a version as close to what I wanted as possible.

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This will now be scanned in and finessed. Here's the practice pages from today:

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More to follow. Please give me any thoughts or feedback though - I do enjoy reading everyone's comments.

VECTORING

I scanned the best version from my practice into Affinity Designer and started to trace over the top. I know from experience that the key to a smooth curve is to use the fewest number of points possible. However, I didn;t want the finished product to look too polished - this is a hand-drawn type project after all.

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Letter by letter I traced the scan, finessing the curves as I went.

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The after prodding and poking the bezier curves, I'm currently at this stage - here are the curves:

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And here's what it looks like exported to a .png file.

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I'm fairly happy with this version. I will leave it for 24 hours now and come back with a fresh pair of eyes to finesse any curves and tidy up the letter spacing (for example, now I've uploaded this I can see the kerning between the A and m is just a tad too wide).

As before - I welcome everybody's thoughts and feedback.

December 7th

I've finessed the spacing, worked on the slant of the letters and tried to make everything as uniform as possible whilst still retaining a hand-drawn aesthetic. 

As it's the deadline for the session, and I'm not sure what else I need to do to improve this I'm going to call this project done. It's been great fun taking my first lettering project from pencil to vector, and I'm definitely going to do some more of this in the future.

Thanks Matt.

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