Image for post
Image for post

Hand Lettering Process (iPad Pro+analog)

When analog meets digital tools

Budi Tanrim
Oct 24, 2016 · 4 min read

I am obsessed with lettering and has been doing it for a couple of years.

Before I have the digital drawing tools (like iPad Pro / Cintiq). It was such a tedious process where I have to continuously iterate the details; like kerning, letter-weight, angle and more.In the traditional way to iterate this is using a technique called pencil-tissue where utilizing tracing paper over the previous drawing and keep refining on it.

Since I’ve been using iPad Pro for a couple of months, I’d like to share my experience and process, specifically on lettering.

1. Sketch

To explore the layout and sketch stage. I am using iPad pro + Procreate app.

A couple of reasons why I choose Procreate app:

Ability to work with layers

Procreate has a layer feature and I separate each word on a different layer. This mean, I can explore the layout easily and do more adjustment on the fly.

Tracing Over

Just like in Photoshop, Procreate has a feature to lower the layer’s opacity, this allows me to iterate the sketch on top of my previous sketch. It’s pretty quick and easy.

Quick edit

Procreate has similar tools like the magic wand on Photoshop, which allow me to quickly resize, rotate or moving letters.

In Procreate, I use default brush in case you’re wondering. I like to use the “pencil-HB” for initial draft and then use the “Technical Pen” for finalizing it.

2. Analog Draft

It is possible to complete everything on the iPad Pro and refine it until the final quality, but I am still love working on the paper. It’s pretty irony that I have to go back with paper at the end of the day :)

Then, I printed out my rough sketch from iPad Pro and use it as my guidelines. I use a cheap lightbox to allow me to see through the sketch underneath.

Image for post
Image for post
pretty neat, huh?

The reason is I have more control which gives me an access to working on the details and the texture of the paper is just something that can’t be replaced by the digital tool.

The paper has an irreplaceable texture. It gives better stroke control, therefore easier for a high level of detail works.

3. Vector

Once I have the final draft; which essentially a fine final pencil drawing where can at least pretty accurate that I can use for my guidance when I do vector. I booted up my Adobe Illustrator.

This is the time to refine all the curves and just listen to the music while doing it. It’s the most fun process because it’s all about executing it.

Exploring color combos.

Once I get the form right, it’s time for tweak the color. It’s pretty straight forward in Illustrator, just a trial and error.

Image for post
Image for post

4. Result

Once I have the final design, the client will put it on the preview and make a dummy. We keep fine tuning the small details like the position, size, color correction and such in order to ensure things are blended in really well.

You can see the full project on Behance

Like this article will support me to write and share more design ideas.

Warmest,
Budi

yellowstroke

Design ideas, product tips, icon tutorials, and stories…

Budi Tanrim

Written by

buditanrim.co — Currently leading Design @Bukalapak. Previously @Shopify. I’ve had an opportunity to work with Yahoo, Palantir, Marvelapp.

yellowstroke

Design ideas, product tips, icon tutorials, and stories written from Budi Tanrim’s brain

Budi Tanrim

Written by

buditanrim.co — Currently leading Design @Bukalapak. Previously @Shopify. I’ve had an opportunity to work with Yahoo, Palantir, Marvelapp.

yellowstroke

Design ideas, product tips, icon tutorials, and stories written from Budi Tanrim’s brain

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store