Jen Marquez

Graphic Designer & Hand Letterer

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Digitize Hand Lettering: Hell Hath No Wrath Like My Girlfriend

For the past year and a half, I've been working at Razorfish Chicago as a web designer, working on the site of a fortune 500 company. Web design has peaked my interested since I was studying design at NIU; I knew that's what I wanted to do. Though, recently, I've been finding more and more that hand lettering has been capturing my attention.

I would admire hand letterers like Jessica Hische, Mary Kate McDevitt, and of course Sean McCabe, among others, for their amazing work, creativity and attention to detail. While looking at these pieces, I always had it in my head that these folks have a particular skill set that I would never possess. To be able to create work like this would be too difficult; I would have to start from scratch and learn something new, and it would take years before I would be really good at it, if ever.

Even still, I've always loved drawing and the physicality of writing things down on paper, so drawing letters in fun and interesting ways seemed like something I might be able to do. With support from friends and my boyfriend, Matt Grunstad, I started to explore to see what I was capable of.

One of the projects I started a while back was lettering this phrase: 'Hell hath no wrath like my girlfriend.' This is something Matt likes to say when I get fired up about something, and had become a bit of a running joke. I started out with some sketching and had created a few different variations.

Once I had these variations drawn out, I hadn't done much of anything with them. Separately, I had worked on some practice lettering and got to the stage of digitizing my work. I became quickly frustrated, not getting the results I was looking for.

Love Conquers All Lettering Practice

I felt like I was at a point where my knowledge of digital hand lettering was incomparable to the experts, and I lost momentum. Life caught up with me and I left the project in my notebook.

Months later, I saw that Sean would be running this skillshare class, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to bring this project back to life, and to get the wheels moving again with my interest in hand lettering.

This is the variation I have decided to use for this skillshare class. It's a little rough still, so I will most likely redraw before I start to work in PS. I'm excited to learn and move forward with this project!

Update: 8.11.2014

Unfortunately, work and life get in the way, and it's been a while since I had done any work on this project.

That said, I finally was able to get this digitized! Check it out!

I still have a lot of adjusting and stylizing to do with this, but I'm excited that it's finally in vector format. The way I had been approaching tracing my hand lettering seems archaic compared to Sean's instruction. Learning that it's best to get the general shape down, and then later create the curves of each letter made this so much simpler.

Excited to see where this goes next!

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