As always, I am trying to add new skills to my design abilities. So, when the opportunity came to participate in a class to learn about hand-lettering and the ins & outs of custom typography, I took the plunge and signed up. The piece I came up with is the phrase “Deus caritas est” which is Latin for “God is Love”. The class was mostly a collective of people with resources and links to where you could find inspiration or tutorials. So, I focused on bookmarking good sources and went to work. My first 2-3 versions were not too great. I started with pen and paper and although I used to love sketching, I knew that I would inevitably end up in Illustrator and Photoshop, so I sort of skipped ahead and did my final version with my Wacom tablet in Photoshop.
While it is definitely more constraining to create hand-drawn type in a program rather than on paper, it was a good learning experience. Plus, I am also always looking for short-cuts, not to mention we have a terrible, terrible, no-good, almost evil scanner and I didn’t want to face it’s wrath. So, as you can imagine, PS does not quite get the same effect as a real pen, but I was able to save some brush presets and get a feel for creating with brush tools in Photoshop, so I consider it mildly successful. My greatest challenge through this was getting the line thickness (and thinness) I wanted. I probably spent a couple hours just drawing, erasing, and re-drawing tiny sections. And then, came those darn swashes! I am still in the process of getting them to look the way I want them to. But, I found it difficult to get the right balance to the overall design with a good sized swash. I think it is something that takes a great deal of practice to get it all right. Needless to say, I have a lot of respect for illustrators who do beautiful hand-drawn type. They have some amazing skills!