Behind the Scenes
Time for another post on my design process! (You can check out more about my logo design process in this post) However today I'm going behind the scenes of creating quote lettering designs since I just finished a new batch of fun ones and wanted to share the nitty gritty details of them with you!
1 Pencil Sketch
I always start with the pencil sketch. I usually do multiple variations and layouts until I find one that flows right. This stage I’m definitely not worried about perfection especially since it’s so easy to start over with a new sketch or quickly erase a line or letter and re draw. I love coming up with ideas and trying out fun compositions for quote lettering designs.
*Side note: I find quotes, sayings, etc a variety of ways. Sometimes it’s a commissioned piece so I use the quote that is requested. Other times I google search a theme and find something that inspires me and would be a good fit in my shop. Also depending on the time of year I’ll find sayings that go with the season or holiday!
2 Outline Type & 3 Fill In Strokes
Once I have the layout I want to use I go ahead and draw over the letters with my black marker. I have tried countless brands of markers and am still testing for my favorites. For this sketch I used my Sharpie ultra fine point and my Paper Mate flair markers.
After I go over the basic letters I go back over and create the down strokes and fill in areas to give it a dynamic feel + some faux calligraphy since I’m not actually using my pointed pen in this design. The last thing I do before I move on to scanning is once the ink is 100% dry I’ll use my awesome eraser and get rid of all of the pencil markings! This really helps with the digitizing step.
4 Scan In & 5 Digitize + Clean Up
Scanning in my quote lettering designs is pretty self explanatory and I don’t have anything fancy other than a desktop printer with a flatbed scanner. I usually scan in using B&W mode, 600 ppi, and as a JPG to be able to get all the detail I need.
The real magic happens once I have it on my computer and start digitizing it. This is really a multi step process and can be tedious so I will go over the basics today and try to do an in depth look at this process another time:
- Start in Photoshop where I increase the contrast between black & white, clean up stray marks, and delete any background color
- Move the file into Illustrator where I live trace the typography (I have specific settings that I use to clean up the edges enough to look good but not loose the overall shape)
- Manually clean up the letters using my Bamboo Wacom tablet with the smooth and pencil tools - this can be pretty tedious and may not look a whole lot different to most people but the smoother lines really do give the design a finished & polished look
- *Someday I hope to move to a tablet like the iPad Pro to be able to create these designs and have even more fun & control with the digitizing part!
Final Design Ready for the Shop
That is pretty much the basics when it comes to creating new quote lettering designs from start to finish! Once I have the final digital art ready I can start to use the designs for pretty much anything. I use them as prints in my shop and can change the type colors if needed. I also use them in social media, on my website, and so on. The sky's the limit!
If you love this design or the other before/after images they are now all available in my Etsy shop as black & white prints, color foil prints, or instant digital downloads!