custom lettering | Skillshare Projects

Sarah Barton

graphic designer/type lover



custom lettering

As always, I'm excited to take a new class and learn some new tips! I think it's interesting that Matt is a lefty because I've never taken a class by some who is left-handed before. Maybe I'll pick up some of his lefty tips that are applicable to rightys too!

First, I wrote in a few of my handwriting styles.


I own a few pens, but they're not very good. I think I may finally invest in some better ones. I can never find any recommended brush pens in stores around me. I'm nervous buying them online without trying them, but anything has got to be better than the ones I have!


I only did a few stroke exercises. I've been lettering for a while, so I am pretty familiar with the thick down stroke and thin upstroke. But it's always nice to have a refersher! It's also a good reminder to slow down a little and think about which stroke I'm on.


I really like the tip Matt gave about cleaning up some of the parts that are lacking ink by using a finer pen. (Which is especially helpful with my old pens!) It's so obvious but it never crossed my mind...what a DUH moment.

Below are my first sketches. I'm going with the phrase "custom lettering" so "custom" will be the fancy brush part.


I had fun exploring the various ways to write it: picking up my pencil at different points (like not connecting the S to the T), having a loop in the O, etc. 

Then I remembered Matt's awesome tip about finding the consistencies in the word. I didn't think this one would have any, but I found two! The first one is the loop in the C and the O, and the second is the swash on the C and the M. You can see the arrows on my pick for the final at the bottom right.


I've had a crazy busy week, so this project is taking longer than I'd hoped! I'm planning on ordering new brush pens soon, so I went with the no brush pen route. Below is the final sketch that will go to vector.


Then I finally got to start vectorizing! I realized the obvious consistency that I was missing before between the entire forms of the C and the O (not just the loops at the top)...I mean they're practically the same shapes. So I'm going to make sure they're very similar in the digital stage.

Below is my first rough pass, just getting the letters digital.


Then I started to fix things up.


Next step is the white on black method. I haven't tried it before, but I think it will help to make my mistakes more obvious!


After a round or two of white on black. Slow and steady! Two things are giving me trouble: the C and O lines (curves are hard!) and how I want to handle the terminals of the letters. I like how the crossbar of the T has a slight curve on the ends to give it that hand drawn look, so I want to do something similar on the rest.

I'm also not happy with the right side of the M. I think I may try to make the curve less severe, so it's more round like the C.


After some more revisions, I'm pretty happy with mostly everything. But I think the O got messed up along the way. I actually like how it looks in the previous image more than this one! So next step will be to fix the O and then I think I can add "lettering" and finally call it finished.



I changed the O back and made a few more tweaks. I think it turned out pretty nice!


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