Dirty Frank Lettering | Skillshare Projects

Tiernan McAlister

Graphic Designer & Illustrator



Dirty Frank Lettering

Having looked on the Lost-Type website for potential fonts to use in this piece I was about to create, I landed on the "Bender" typeface. It looked pretty cool, had some straight lines, and a sort of retro style to it which gave it a bit more character - which I liked.


After having a little think about what phrase to use for the piece, I thought it would be cool to design for one of my favourite bands - Pearl Jam. "Dirty Frank" is the bonus track (in the UK & German releases) from the band's debut album "Ten". I figured it would make a cool lettering piece, and possibly even a nice tee design - so I typed it out.

I then began to alter the text, linking up letters that seemed link they could be linked up, and I elongated some of the paths to resemble the style of retro signage from the 50's & 60's, which is the same kind of vibe I got from the Bender font.

I then slanted the type and added the drop shadow that Brandon shows us in the tutorial.

Finally I brought the type into Photoshop, blurred the lines, added a texture, screened it, merged everything, then blurred again. I separated the type into 3 layers - the main front piece, the shadow, and background. I added colour overlays to the front and shadow to give it the colour you see, and I added another texture which I applied a "darker colour" layer style to. This broke up the type and give it the textured look that is most apparent in the final design.


I decided to stick with my original idea of making a t-shirt design from the piece. I added it to Brandon's t-shirt template that I had from another of his SkillShare classes - "Design a Band Tee".

Thanks for the class Brandon, and good luck to all you other guys in your lettering creations.


I took Brandon's advise of changing the lettering layer on the tee mockup to a Screen layer style and reducing the opacity. So here is the updated version - a slight change, but it makes all the difference.


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