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Filtering by Tag: sketching

Lettering Process 3: Digitizing

Jee Kim

There are a few different ways of digitizing the hand-lettered design.  At this article, I'd love to go over about vectorizing with "pen tool." This is only way I would suggest for super refined  outcome for print with high definition. This method may take a lot of time and effort, but once it is done vectorizing, it can be reproduced in various ways like letterprinting or printing in large format with high definition. 

1. Converting to JPEG or TIFF

The first step is digitizing the pencil sketch into jpeg or tiff format by scanning or taking photo. If the sketch was scanned in high resolution, it is good enough to print in small size like 8.5"x11" (Standard US Letter) with intensionally remaining "hand-drawing" quality. 

Open the scanned artwork from Adobe Photoshop then adjust level (Command+L) to maximize the contrast. Then work on the details. Adjusting composition, letter spacing, changing sizes and omitting or adding components may be included in this phase. 

2. Vectorizing the artwork

The second step is vectorizing. Usually I use Adobe Illustrator and sometimes Fontlab. Never vectorizing the artwork with "image tracing" if the outcome has to be printed in scale and show its details. Like I mentioned at the beginning, "image tracing" may lose details of the sketch and the quality of fine curves that took so much time and effort to draw. I highly recommend this method when the lettering was designed with script style like the example image. 

I "place" the image that saved from the first step on to the background layer—make the opacity of the image low as 50%. Lock the layer so it is not moving around by accident. Then I make new layer on top of it to re-draw the artwork with the "pen tool" over the image.

Scanned and edited image of the artwork

Scanned and edited image of the artwork

Vectorized artwork with Adobe Illustrator

Vectorized artwork with Adobe Illustrator

Click the image to purchase this artwork

Click the image to purchase this artwork

Lettering Process 2: Tightening and getting ready to digitize

Jee Kim

2-02.jpg

Tightening the sketch

With consideration of the weight of the letters, color the letters with dark and crisp. Adjust the letter spaces and width of each letters. Correct the angles of letters with following the oblique grid which is 55 degree. See details and redraw if it needs.  

Scanning the sketch

Scan the sketch with high resolution—I usually go up to 300dpi and save the image as tiff. Then adjust contrast with editing tool. It allows to show flaws clearly where need to be corrected. This step is also for digitizing the lettering. There are two different versions of digitizing the lettering. One is quick and easier way to convert the artwork into digital file with high resolution. This way remains sketchy and hand-done feel to it. The other way is vectorizing the artwork with Illustrator or FontLab. 


Next post will be about the quick way of digitizing the artwork.

Lettering Process 1 : Tools and Rough sketch

Jee Kim

Drawing tools

Tools

Before I started, I need a few tools for drawing tight sketch. Simple as that: a pencil, erasers and a ruler with protractor. For the erasers, I prefer to have two kinds: one for erasing large area and the other for adjusting details. 

QUICK Sketches

It is always good idea to have several thumbnail sketches before jump into drawing perfect lettering. But for this article, since quite a lot of people liked this hand lettering—Psalms 27:14 Day 1/30, I decided to make it tighter. I want to show the process of executing the loose hand lettering tighter. "Tight" meansthat drawing the sketch with considering many principles of typography. 

Day 1 verse of #30daysofbiblelettering

Day 1 verse of #30daysofbiblelettering

Guidelines

With a ruler, draw guidelines like the vertical line and horizontal lines: baseline, cap heigh and x-heigh. Cap heigh from the baseline is the size of the capital letters and x-heigh from the baseline is size of lowercase letters. In this sketch, I drew the x-heigh as half of capital letters, but it does not have to be half size. Draw the baselines and cap heigh with considering the spaces between two lines, so that descenders and ascenders are not touching each others. Also, draw a few 55º lines which is for the angle of the letters. 

Drawing Letters

Now start drawing the letters, but never start with full pressures on the pencil. Start gently with light and soft lines and curves. Make sure to follow the guidelines and angles. Draw entire letters first to see if they sit on right place to keep balances of the entire sketch. Then give more pressure on the pencil to make the letters be more specific and clear. Keep adding pencil lines to make the each letter have certain weight. For this design, I meant to the letters in single weight (or mono weight); no thicks and thins on letterform. 


This is it for now, and for the next post, I will write about the next step which is tightening the sketch. Also I am planning to write about typographic terms.