Check out all hand-lettering work hand-lettering process

Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

I created a piece I’m proud of today, and wanted to share some of the hand-lettering process of creating it. I had found this ridiculously amazing hand-lettering work and I wanted to try my hand at the style. I’m going to share as much of the process as I can here in this article.

A ridiculously large amount of ‘failures’


Seeds - Handlettering process

Because I needed to have a fresh fairly relaxed style I needed to iterate over and over again to get a confidence in my work. Particularly the first couple times I’m trying a new style I find the best example I can of that style and note what the person who did it did well.

In this phase I probably did about 100 different attempts with acrylic black paint and water on computer paper, before I started to see letterforms in this word and how they would relate to each other. Another thing I paid attention to was how much water was in the paint and wanted to have some places where the paint went on a bit dry so I got that nice textured edge to the letterforms.



I created this seed drawing to accompany the lettering as a background to try and mimic the branding work above. I feel no shame in copping other styles, I am a child of the universe. “If you want to bake and apple pie from scratch, you first must create the universe.” – Carl Sagan.

Seeds - Handlettering tutorial

Take a picture with my iPhone, effect it a bit with contrast and brightness

I really make sure to get the right amount of brushstrokes visible. I send it to myself or get it to my computer and get it in photoshop. This time I didn’t get it vectorized because I want all that little detail in there. I did however select all the white on the image with the magic wand tool and remove it, paying attention to how much ‘tolerance’ my select tool had.

Handlettering photoshop effect

I first tried green by using ‘Images>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation’ tool in the dropdown menu and check Colorize and fiddle with the sliders until you get the right hue, saturation and lightness. I tried this since the composition that inspired this had this color, but then settled on purple ‘Images>Adjustments>Invert’, as I thought it just looked stronger. In the next step I used the effect of “Subtract” in the photoshop layer styles. I used this so that when overlayed over the seeds image in the background that a bit would show through like the piece that inspired this. Subtract

The final piece

I created this as the final piece with not a small amount of tweaking and re-arrangement. I shrunk the final “S” somewhere in the process to match up with what I wanted for the composition, and shaded a bit of my plant background drawing, and filled it in places to have a bit stronger look. The plants in the back I dropped back by lightening the grey I was using for them.

The final piece I posted on Instagram:

handlettering work

And then I just sent over the PSD’s to my brother for a project he’s working on. I love working on things like this that I can knock out relatively quickly and that grow my skills. Check out all my hand-lettering process and work on my site here.

Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, an SEO and Web Design company focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses, roofers and construction companies.

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Check out all hand-lettering work

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