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Hand Lettering 101

Lesson 3 of 18

Low Contrast Sans Serif with Width Variation


Hand Lettering 101

Lesson 3 of 18

Low Contrast Sans Serif with Width Variation


Lesson Info

Low Contrast Sans Serif with Width Variation

For your first prompt I'm gonna have you do a low contrast sand saref with with variation so when we break down what that means um low contrast means there aren't gonna be a lot of differences between the six and the thin part of the letters. If you look at the print outs that you have of the serif typefaces, you'll see that all of those tend to have a bit more variation between the thins and ethics where is the um serves are the san serif typefaces that I selected on their have less contrast um sand saref means we're gonna be working on the styles without sarah ifs with creation is actually super fun when you're working on one of these he's being sort of word collage is because if you start to run out of space it's fine you khun just squish in a bunch more condensed letters as opposed to having too many wide ones um so I'm to show you a couple things that I like to keep in mind um all right, so first I'm gonna label this this is low contrast sansa um okay, so a few things that I see p...

eople dio early on in lettering um that is a slight pet peeve of mine is ems and w's that do not hit the baseline and cap height um so if you do an m like this, you see there's a really huge awkward white space there or if you do it w like this again, you'll see a really large white space so when I do my am's and my w's, I tend to make them hit both the cap line and the based the baseline, the cap height and the baseline same thing with w's if you're concerned with space so since we're doing with variation you khun d'oh it's sometimes it's okay to do ems and w's like this, particularly if you need to fit them into a very narrow space but traditionally they would take up more more space than something like oh say an end like an end would take up a lot less face thin and um you can always cross the middle of your w two if you wanted to be a little bit more condensed um and also typically you'll notice that when I do my ems thie uh the outside edges goes straight up and down where is when I do my w's? They're a bit more splayed. Um, these are very much my personal preferences and you certainly don't need to stick to them if you're not loving the way you're letters air looking maybe take a take a quick look and see what you've chosen to do with thems and the w's and maybe you want to play around with those a little bit more um another thing to know is, uh, crossbars so when you're doing an a versus when you're doing an h the crossbar and that a is going to be lower than it is on the h simply because of the negative space that's left if you did your cross bar at the same height you'd find this space up there looks quite tight where is here? It has a a bit more room um again this is this is more traditional letter forms and you don't need to stick to this but these are just a few things to keep in mind another thing with the cross bar is ease and efs no so annie the cross bar is going to be in the middle and you have a lot of different options here you khun dio across bar that's short in the middle of yuri or you could do a crossbar that comes out to be flush with the top in the bottom um the cross pardon f tends to be a little bit lower and again this is just considering this space both inside and outside of the letter form um all of these notes are going to be available for you uh if you've purchased the class, they're going to be in your bonus materials so at any point, if you want to take a look at these tips again or if you want to print them out um, you have access to all of these out, make some small notes on here for you, where I have circled the areas that I've been making these points um okay, so as we're doing with variations, talk about a few ways to make your letters, few letters that you can make more condensed or wider. We've talked about this already with the m and the w but another want to look at is the r and the k, so we have a couple options for where the cross, the um sort of leg of the r can come out, either we can start here, which is going to be great if we're doing a super condensed are or if you wanted to, a really wide are you might not want it to start from the stump of the letter, you might want to start out here. Um, so you can play around with where this connects on the same thing goes with the k either you can come all the way in here and that's great again, if you're doing a very condensed k, but if you want to do a really wide kay, you might on it toe actually come out from here um, and then the last letter no, we could talk a little bit about jeez two g's are a funny one, so we'll start off with the same basic form that we would use for a c but fergie, we have all sorts of different options you can have, it comes straight up and straight in if you've done a really why g and you've got this big space in the middle maybe you wanna have maybe you want to bring this part in, but also you really can get away with just this and a lot of situations or if you want to keep it round the whole way, you can do one of these this is my least favorite because I feel that it creates some awkward space depending on what letters air next to it so you won't really ever seen me do g's like this this is typically how I will tend to do them, but you you got options. Um and then the last thing to note is that one thing that I noticed in a lot of typefaces if you're if you're doing and oh and it's, not a condemns typeface, the o is gonna be a lot more around than the zero take a look at something like hell of attica and take a look at the difference between the way the o is done and the zero is done so unless you're doing something condensed, you may want to try and keep your try and keep your o a little bit more rounds um, okay, so now that you have a couple tips on a few different letter forms, and you have some samples to look at, the first word that I'm going to dio in my low contrast sans serif with varying withs is sketching for me. This is going in this space here, and I always like to start off making sure I have in the cap, height and the baseline by picking which letters I want to do wide and which ones I want to do condensed make sure that the the difference is super obvious, so I'm starting with starting with some pretty condensed letters and a pretty wide kay, so I started off with some more condensed letters at the beginning on dh threw in a couple of wider ones, and you'll also notice when I did my see, one thing that I do want to make a quick note of is don't bring the bottom of your seat up to higher else it can start to look like in g for something like this word I did choose to do sketching someplace where my space tapers in because I n g isn't that important to me. So I want to make sure that when I'm doing a word, um, that ends in something like I I n g or l y or whatever it is that's not the important part of the word, so I don't want that part to be large and have the rest of the word be really small. Another thing that I did here was I I chose to make this fairly light and wait just because it's low contrast, doesn't mean it has to be light weight you could make. This is chunkier is heavy as you want, teo, the ends of my letters, air pretty rounded, the ends of your letters, khun b perfectly square. Okay, so here I have my low contrast. Sand saref varied with worry, um, super easy, right, you, khun, totally do this. So once you have taken a look at all of this and you've selected, which word you want to do, go ahead and get started, and you can do your first sand saref. Low contrast, buried with word of your peace.

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!