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Hand Lettering 101

Lesson 4 of 18

High Contrast Serif


Hand Lettering 101

Lesson 4 of 18

High Contrast Serif


Lesson Info

High Contrast Serif

And now we're gonna be moving on teo a serif type picks a little bit more chicken, but still something you can totally handle, so I'm going to suggest we do a high contrast there if next so you take back out my nose, so we're next we're doing a high contrast surf ah, and if you want to take a look at thea handouts, if you want, take a look at the printed out typefaces that you've got. So with us, I'm going to talk a bunch about where the weight should fall in the different letters, so there are a few that are kind of tricky um, one of the first ones that I see people having a really tough time with is, um well, first let's talk about let's talk about verticals, verticals and horizontal is typically the weight is going to fall in the verticals and not the horizontal sze unless we're doing something that's reverse dress, which I mentioned earlier, so when we dio something like an age, you'll see the weight is falling here and here and not in the horizontal sze and with your sarah ifs, yo...

u don't want your sarah ifs too b any heavier than the thinnest point that you've got on your letters so you're serif shouldn't be any heavier than the cross bar is, um, on your each okay, so typically we're good with verticals and horizontal is things got a little tricky when we start talking about diagonals so big one is a cz and v's so traditionally you want to think about as you're drawing the letter where would you be pushing up and where you pulling down wherever you're pulling down there's going to be more weight when you're pushing up there's gonna be less weight so as your drawing in a you're going up and then pulling down the down stroke is where you're going to see all of your weight for the a and then you'll find that the opposite is true for the v kes you pulled down first so where is in the way it falls on the right in the vehicles on the left um take a second to get used teo but again just always stop and think about how you would draw the letter where you pushing and where you pine um and then you can also take a look at any of these samples to see where where you would typically have a serif and where you might not a you have a couple options for the top of the a sometimes you'll see just the sarah for coming in on the left side ah like that or you'll see this aref on both sides like that um okay, so now sarah ifs on something that has a curve so when you're looking at something like an ass and you'll see when I'm when I'm drying my letters I tend to drive what I somewhat considered the spine of the letter first um so you saw it as I did that ass I started off with the line down the center and then I worked on building up the weight on either side of it um so this surf on current letters will actually go vertically rather than horizontally you doing asked like this and you put a serif there uh you might find that looks a little funny don't do that just this um you also don't necessarily need a sarah if at the end of an ass you could um so you can you can certainly have a serif at the beginning of your stroke and then again at the end or you can just leave it like that uh the same thing goes with the sea you'll see the serif will just be a the top part of the sea and not necessarily uh at the bottom. I think if you put a seraphim the bottom of this say see start to get confusion where it ends up looking a bit more like a g um so try to avoid that um talking about uh oh and then the x is a fun one the x you can actually see the x the weight falls on the stroke that goes from upper left toe lower right and you can actually split when you're doing a high contrast acts you can stay what where this other stroke goes so you don't have to do something where it just goes straight through it could be a little tough to get it could be a little tough to get the angle right if you're doing that so you can always split it if you want um why is another thing where you have a couple of options either you can do your why like this or you can do your why like this and this for me is usually dependent on which letters come before and after it you always want to consider what other letters are around your letter form on dh you can adjust anything that you want accordingly because it's lettering it's not a typeface so you have you have more than one option for for your letters um I mean if you want to get really crazy you could even do something totally different for your why you do something like this so play around look at uh I suggest you look at a number of different typefaces specifically for where the way it should be falling there's anything that's feeling uncomfortable just have a look around on dh see see what letter forms are see where the weight is falling it's typically an issue with the weight um okay, so now I'm gonna pick my next spot, so I'm going back to my sketch, um and get this space here. I tend to work. Uh, I can work super light in pencil if it's something that you have difficulty with you khun, try using different types of lead in your pencil. So pencils come with anything from a six h two a six b in terms of the softness of the lead. So really hard lead is going to make a light line no matter how heavy handed you are, where's the really, uh, soft lead is going to come out a lot darker so you can always pick up a range of pencils on ghb is literally middle of the road, but if you are having, if you have the option, I would suggest starting off with a, um a harder ah, harder lead, and so you could make a lighter line until you feel secure in it and then you can move on to something like a to be if you want something darker. Um, I'm used to working really light so it's not too much of a problem for me, so I tension just to use the one pencil, I also always use mechanical pencils because there are a lot easier for me, I don't like stopping toe sharpen my pencil and you can pick up led in different in these state wait, so I have some to age and cem to be led. Okay, step onto my unto my high contrast, sheriff. So for this, I'm going to do dirty bandits here, and so I will really lately block in first what the letters are so that I know what's going where, and I know that the spacing is right. I don't want to start off really dark on ly to realize, uh, later that I've run out of space, since this one isn't necessarily burying wits, I do care about spacing beforehand. Um, so once I know that, I've got my letters in basically the right spot, and I've got my cap height and my baseline, I'm gonna start to go in and build up the letter forms, so I'm thinking about where is gonna be thick and where is gonna be thin? Um, my favorite kind of high contrast letters are definitely more, um, tattoo e style lettering, uh, sort of trying to do that kind of letter, and you might see on someone's knuckles they had knuckle tattoos, okay, so I went ahead and I did my high contrast saref, and I went with sort of a tattoo e style lettering, um that you see here, uh, and something that I forgot to mention earlier was thie n ends or something that people have a lot of difficulty with. A lot of times, I see people putting the weight here in here. But again, if you think about how it is, he make the end. You push up first, so it's light, you pulled down so it's heavy, and then you push up so it's, like. So you typically want the wait for the end of fall only in the diagonal and not in the tool verticals.

Class Description

Hand lettering is experiencing a serious resurgence in the design world. Get your complete introduction to the artform in Hand Lettering 101 with Annica Lydenberg.

Annica is a designer, illustrator, and sign painter with a passion for type. In this beginner-friendly class she’ll teach you how to letter by hand and help you build the skills necessary to offer this service to clients – no software required. 

Annica will help you:

  • Understand lettering and the role it plays in design
  • Develop an arsenal of lettering styles
  • Add embellishments to letterforms

Using pencil and paper, you’ll learn about the tools and techniques you need to know to add hand lettering to your toolkit and get expert insights on making beautiful type compositions.

Hand lettering is great alternate solution in projects that require custom typography and it adds a personal touch to your work – learn how to get started in Hand Lettering 101 with Annica Lydenberg.


DOlores RUsso

I like the way Annica tells you what you are going to do, then she demonstrates it and then you do it yourself. She knows her subject well and her lesson objectives are clear and to the point. How do I know.?..I'm a teaching mentor also an art teacher and sign painting/lettering artist. I watched this hand lettering class in order to review and to learn how someone else approaches this "not very interesting subject" as some previous reviewers have suggested . I happen to find it most interesting. I love being able to write and communicate using my art and teaching skills. One reviewer criticized the way Annica instructed with "um" and a clicking noise. But the one criticism that really stood out was the F-word which unfortunately seemed to take precedence over all else for some. Granted you wouldn't want to illustrate a word that children or parents might interpret as being acceptable. A good teacher would not demonstrate that but observing Annica I can see she is a beginning teacher who might need a little guidance. So consider this "guidance" Annica - you are a teacher and you represent all of us teachers. We aren't in our 20's or even 40's - we've been in the trenches and we know that beginning teaching is very challenging. But you must remember that you are a model for children that we hope you expect to grow up to be good decent human beings. Some adults need that guidance as well. And yes, children will already know these words (pay attention parents) but it is not up to you to teach it to them. You, the teacher, are to teach to the highest professional level. As for the "um" and the clicking noise at the end of a sentence - that is something you can correct easily - try to record your lessons and listen. Remember - you represent the most respected of professions, your language must be accurate, acceptable and reflect the knowledge of your subject area, You did a good lesson in hand lettering and covered the most important concepts for a beginner to know. It's a shame that some of the reviewers refused to watch the rest of your lessons and some of them even complained about your silence as you did the letters. Perhaps a little more understanding on their part could have been more beneficial, particularly since one of them was a gifted educator (my Masters also), and did not recognize the cognitive mind working and literally submerged in your lettering skills. This is a fine class and I hope you continue to do more. You are organized, give a lot of information and demonstrate impeccably. Good luck...from your Mentor Teacher.

a Creativelive Student

Rating this is difficult because there are positives and negatives. I watched the course and enjoyed it, but there isn't enough information and education to validate purchasing it. For a graphic designer or someone who knows typography and wants to have a fun challenge around hand drawn lettering, it's fine. However, it's not a course for absolute beginners because the presenter speaks about typographic principles and assumes the audience knows the names of the parts of type when giving directions and doesn't provide enough explanations. There is no history given as to why letterforms are drawn the way they are, whether as traditional hand lettering, calligraphy or even in sign painting, other than the passing recommendation for viewers to research this. All of the comments here are correct. I too was surprised to see the F-word in a featured piece and the lack of contrast when watching her draw was a problem. CreativeLive needs to vet new presenters and perhaps have them do a dry-run of the lessons to critique them. Additionally, her"umms", "super" and "super fun" fillers are tiresome. I think the presenter is talented and has a lot to offer but this felt more like a design challenge rather than an educational course. It would have been useful to primarily show professional applications rather than so many self-directed projects. There is another hand lettering /calligraphy course I watched part of previously that was a better "101" course, to which this course would be an appropriate follow-up.

LAra TAmalunas

I've always been curious how to create some of the cool typography styles I see in artwork and design and this class defined so many different examples. It is a great tool and stepping stone for creating really unique type. I would love to see an alphabet of each style so I can be sure that I am using the correct letterforms for each. The instructor gives a few examples and is easy to follow. Overall awesome!