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Hand Lettering 101

Lesson 1 of 18

Intro & Sample Projects


Hand Lettering 101

Lesson 1 of 18

Intro & Sample Projects


Lesson Info

Intro & Sample Projects

Has it gone? My name is ah nikolai edinburgh I do work under the name dirty bandits I'ma lettering artist and I'm here today to teach you hand lettering one oh one in today's class we're goingto play around with a whole bunch of different lettering stiles this is going to give you a really broad overview of all sorts of different styles that you can use we're only gonna be working with a pencil and we're only going to be working on paper not going to need a computer. You're not gonna need anything else. So as we go through the class today, I'm going to give you a prompt. I'm gonna show you a few tips that relate to that prompts that have to do with this style of lettering that I'm requesting you to do at that point and then I'm going to pick one of the words on my map and I'm gonna execute it like that, and once you've seen all of that, then you can go ahead and you can do the prompt yourself. Uh, this is something that if you watch this class more than once, next time you do it, you c...

an use a new map and you can follow the same prompts um and there may be more tips that you pick up each time you can also download some bonus materials that come with the class uh that will have all of the chips that I'm going to give you today already mapped out so if you forgot anything where you want to print out to look at while you're going ahead and doing the prompt yourself you can have that in front of you. The idea of this class is going to be teo get you familiar with a whole bunch of different techniques that you can use to style your letters and then from there you can go on and you khun think about your own projects and where it is that you want to go next with hand lettering. So as a lettering artist I have been using personal projects in order to explore different styles and techniques on dh really play around with different kinds of letter forms one project that I do every year is a calendar of silly holidays um so you can see the first few months from my two thousand fifteen calendar here um and I really wanted to play around with different, you know, there's like different movement there's different materials that I use for each one there's different types of decoration going on um anything that you can do to really play around with a number of different variations I think it's goingto it's it's going to give you a lot more in your arsenal that then you can take and use for particular projects um I'm going to talk to you a little bit about the difference between lettering and a typeface um a typeface is a set of pre determined letter forms that do not change where is lettering each letter form can change based on other letters that are around it on the left you'll see an example of ah wouldn't typeface um these are all pieces of type that already exist and you can you can change them to go in any order um but they really only exist with a a single style where is the lettering that you see on the right? You know you'll see that the hook at the bottom of thie are comes up because the y has left a space down into the left of it so you really get to tailor your lettering to make a very unique, uh, form where the word itself is actually a piece as opposed to simply being a set of letters put together so what we're going to do today is we're going to play around with a whole mess of different styles these air some examples of a few projects that I've already done uh that play around with just what we're going to be doing today so we're going to come up with a list of words to start off with and then we're going to draw a map that we're going to fit all of these different words into um here's some more examples of some of these maps that I've already done so the math can be whatever you want you can start off with something organic it can be very geometric and then as we go through the different um promise you'll be picking different words and assigning them to these faces first we're going to go over what different classifications of type are so that there's some terminology that we can use together throughout this class we're going to talk about different descriptors er that you can use when you're talking about certain styles of type and then we're going to get into some other ways to play around and have even more fun with the type so the first style of type that I might be using to call out as a reference is sand saref and a sand saref is very clean geometric basic letter form they'll be a few pages uh that you confined in your bonus materials that are printouts you can use if you want a reference different letter form sometimes it's really helpful if you're not exactly sure where the crossbar should go on an f or where the different wait should fall it a certain letter it's nice to look at some typefaces in order to give you a little bit of sense of direction if your letters were looking a little offer uncomfortable sometimes it's nice to teo just pull up a reference and take a look um, in addition, as we go through the different prompts today, I'll be giving you some more specific tips that you can call out for each for each classification um, next style of letters that I might be calling out is a serif typeface, and you'll notice that with a serif typeface, unlike the sand saref, there are, you'll see sarah it's that the edges of all of your letter forms um, so this is like if you look at the uppercase you, for example, you'll see that there are breaks at the top of both of the letter forms, so it's, any place that your letter hits the cap, height or baseline, you may find a saref the you'll notice some other things typically a serif will be horizontal, but then you'll notice in some things like this sea or the g that they'll be, um, vertical sarah ifs too. Um, the serif typeface on the right is a high contrast, sarah, if it's a dedo um other types of service, you can have a slab sarah where rather than the stare of tapering into the letter form it's more of ah um, it's a harsh straight angle so we'll talk about sarah ifs, we'll talk about slabs, tariffs um another thing that we'll talk about today is script um, there so many different styles of script you can have, uh, upright script you can have I talus I script, um, some looked more like handwriting, and some look more like a traditional sort of copper plate. Sheriffs are also really fun to get into flourishing. So here are a few examples of some script pieces that I've done, so it could be anything from super bubbly to very almost hatuey to more of, like a sign painter influence. They're sort of three places that I look for inspiration. Um, and then I'll talk about the width of the letters. The width of the letters is something that can vary a great deal. In some cases, I even have it varying within the word itself. Um, we'll also talk about the weight of the letters. The wait can be very light, like you see on the laughter can be a lot heavier like you see on the right. Ah, the other thing to consider is whether or not you want a high contrast or low contrast style of lettering. The lettering on the left is all low contrast, and on the right, you'll see domino is quite high contrast where the difference between the six and the thins is much more dramatic, and then the last thing that that relates to the contrast of the letters is the stress so typically, you'll see that the stress of the letters, which is where the bulk of the weight is, is in the horizontal, but the word cheers on the top you'll see this has what I'm going to refer to his reverse dress, where in fact this dress is found in the horizontal is rather than the verticals, and this is something that you'll see and, like a lot of old wooden type, it somehow makes everything look very like western your circus ee um, but could be a fun thing to play around with, um, and then I'll talk about decoration. Uh, this was a serious of three paintings that I did were quite large. There was super fun to work on, and the first example you'll see there's an inline stroke, which is something I'll talk about later in the word, yes, and then there's what I'm gonna refer to his chiseling in the word on the top, then the word in it, the words in it in the next one that has a really slight bevel, which I'm not sure if you can see around the edges, the words win it. I've taken what would be a normal saref, and I've actually turned it into a buy for kitted tuscan, which is when the stairs at the end of split, like you see there, um, and then the word hold has a number of different styles of three d and drop shades on it. Um, these are all really, really fun things that you can use to dress up. Um, super clean letter forms. Um, and then the last thing that I'm gonna touch on today is doing something that's, a bit more representational. So you'll see here that the word pants is made out of pants, and the word on fire is actually on fire. Um, and for sneaker crushed. I wanted to write it, make it look like it was done out of shoe laces. Um, so we'll go over more of all of these things in detail as we get into your different promise. I think we're ready to get started with the projects now.

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!