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’
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.