Each lettering artists have their own process. In this post, I would love to share my process of lettering.
1. Quick Sketching
Thumbnail sketch is quick idea sketch that scratched on the paper with a pencil in small size like "thumbnail." It dose not have to be accurate or showing details, but it is good if it was enough to deliver what is the main idea behind the sketch. The "editing" part does not include in this phase of process. Instead of using eraser to fix the details, drawing some different ideas that is hovering in the head.
2. Developing the Idea
Take one idea out of those several sketches, and drawing out with more detail. Draw some guides and lines with an angle (usually in between 55˚ to 70˚) that will be the stress of the script letters like "a Pure Heart" of the sketch. I would not too much worry about adjusting letter space and leading. Instead of doing that, in this particular phase, I would note with simple pencil marks where I need to fix later on.
3. Utilizing Based Typeface
Most of time in drawing letters, there should be "based typeface" which could be those typical essential typefaces like Helvetica, Caslon, Garamond, Clarendon and so on. It could be wood type letters or black letters. Personally I like to draw script which is letters that were written in copperplate calligraphy. This time, I also got some letters from my previous design recently done based on "Modern typefaces"—Bodoni and Didon. I put them on my sketch with adjusting size and letter space using Adobe Photoshop.
Print the edited image out and tracing it on new piece of paper or translucent paper. This time I would love to be super detail oriented. Try be more accurate to draw perfect curves and lines. Be consistent with weights of the letters. Draw lightly first with bold leads which is more soft and smoother when the number goes up. I usually use 2B for coloring the letters and use harder leads to draw sharp edges and curves.
5. Editing with Photoshop
I had posted about editing the sketch with Adobe Photoshop. (See Lettering Process 3)