Letter Styles


Illustrative Stylings: Lettering and More with Photoshop


Lesson Info

Letter Styles

So we're going to get started with some basic lettering styles what's important to remember about hand lettering is that it doesn't need to be perfect and it shouldn't be perfect you want to be people want to see that your hand was involved in the making of this if they wanted to be perfect they would just use a typeface so don't worry about being perfect because that's not what him littering is about so in terms of my tools over here I just have the minimal open I have my swatches I have my tool presets this is where I choose the brush I'm going to use and then I have my layers so I'm gonna go ahead and do a new layer to work on I like to start a new layer that way I have the flexibility of moving my illustration around if I need tio so I'm gonna get started with this ultimate pencil sketch tool so this defaults to this blue color it's like a blue drawing pencil that you would use if you were trying tio if you're drawing analog you'd work in blue so that when he scanned it and it was ...

easy to get rid of the blue so um some of the key commands that I often use in photo shop I don't use a lot but I do use a few if you do command plus you can zoom in on your screen and um if you hold the space bar, you can drag your art board around, which is helpful when you're doing some close detail I have my stylists calibrated so the bottom button is a does the space sparky so that way I can just hold that and moving around so you'll notice that's happening so the most basic form for um hand lettering is just a sand saref tight face, which is um where there's no extra stare of so sarah ifs are like the feet that you see on tight faces like um times new roman over fear reading a book most of the time, the book the body is set in sara because it's easier to read a large paragraphs, but sand saref is just the simplest form you'll see these unlike highway signs or something like that, so it's going to show you a quick example of some loose sand surf letters so that sands show you some ah saref option so you notice they've got these little feet lands so I'm going pretty quickly here and I know these air I'm just sketching right now, so I'm not worried about getting too perfect. I like tio sketch pretty quickly and loosely with this pencil and then once I get a competition where I wanted to be oh trace over it smoother with another layer, so right now I'm not worried about being very smooth another thing that I like to do a lot when you're using this antique is rotate my cannabis if you're just using a regular tab what you don't really need to do that because you can actually slide thea the, um tablet around so there's different ways you can do sir if she couldn't go pretty straight forward like this or you can get a little fancier, you're doing hand lettering and you want to do something that feels more vintage sometimes a serif typefaces a good way to do it you can do curves tariffs like this one so you can see these have these the little arches and the serif which was different than the the more flattened ones on the first two letters and that one is not safe but you could d'oh and add these feet on to show more of contrast between the thick letters and the thin letters. So another littering style that I like to do is script so script is just like, you know, curse of the little fans here when I'm doing script lettering liketo try to find connections between the letters and so maybe open a dot on the I and then carry that over into the tea so again, I'm going really quick and loose here because I'm just kind of sketching these out, so we've got this sands the sarah and then the script lettering then there's lots of variations between those I'm gonna make this stuff smaller so you get a little more room on my art board you can change the size by didn't command tea, which has transformed and it'll give you this box around and then you can just grab from the corner and scale that and if you want to make sure you're proportions are accurate if you hold shift that I'll lock that in so you can play with different variations. So sometimes I like to do a more rugged sand saref that maybe looks like a horror movie or like old punk rock post or something like that. So show you some something like that you can control your brush sizes, which is really helpful by using the bracket keys on your keyboard the one on the right will make the brush size bigger and the one on the left don't get smarter what I'm sketching I kind of play to mutt make my brushes pretty big so I can keep it loose and food so you can kind of do some wiggly lines doing lettering like this is good if you have shake your hands and you had too much coffee like I did this morning um but has a cool, fun feel to it if you wrote something a little spooky are like um, halloween or something, it would look more menacing than fun so I like to do literally like this. What? When I'm doing letters, I'll often find ways to tuck them together, like, maybe stack the els like this. And then maybe stick this up here. And the important thing to remember when you're doing hand lettering, so just have a lot of fun and experiment. So those are the basic letter forms. I think we can move on from here.

Class Description

Hand lettering is a widely sought after skill – adding it to your arsenal of tools is sure to impress clients and help you land more work. Learn how to make attention-grabbing letterforms in Illustrative Stylings: Lettering and More with Photoshop with Chris Piascik.

An illustrator-turned-designer, Chris’s style is uniquely recognizable and his client work spans the globe. In this beginner-friendly class, you’ll get the opportunity to take a peek at his creative process and learn his methods for making illustrative lettering styles and compositions. 

Chris will teach:

  • Options for embellishing typography
  • Techniques for using a tablet to create digital art
  • Working from start to finish in Photoshop
  • Adding color and dimension

You’ll learn how to set up a framework for your composition and shape how letters and words interact with one another. Chris will help you understand how to infuse the content and client vision into your work while making letters that are both expressive and cohesive.

Get your complete introduction to digital lettering in Illustrative Stylings: Lettering and More with Photoshop with Chris Piascik.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2014.2.2



This was very interesting. It would probably be best for beginners. It's always nice to see process. I feel very confident about jumping into lettering now.