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Simple Methods for Custom Lettering

Lesson 4 of 21

Dive in to the Creative: Brainstorming & Thumbnail Sketches

Brandon Rike

Simple Methods for Custom Lettering

Brandon Rike

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Lesson Info

4. Dive in to the Creative: Brainstorming & Thumbnail Sketches

Lesson Info

Dive in to the Creative: Brainstorming & Thumbnail Sketches

What I want to do I'm going back to the presentation that with what I want to do with thumbnails is we need to get these ideas out quickly um so the fact that you're gonna spend more time sketching your sketch doesn't need to be the thing maybe some clients are gonna ask for a sketch for to submit that's a whole different thing but what I'm talking about is if you have a bunch of ideas um as fast as those ideas happen get those on paper no matter how messy they're going to look so you want a brainstorm and sketch first, but those ideas need to come out quick eso here on the here on my paper let me just show you like let me see somebody give me, um somebody give me give me a word just one word middle, middle okay, so we're gonna let her the word middle there's a let's call it, um it's it's a pub called the middle right? So, um all right, so let's see the middle while first thing I'm thinking of is that if we go up into you know, if something's gonna arch like that, can you see that they...

're here let me use a sharpie um, so if something is gonna arch, this is just the first thing that's coming into my mind all right so if we do metal then there's going to be attention drawn to this little area here in the middle so maybe this something happens here maybe there's something going on right there middle okay I'll do something like that would be fine um a middle okay maybe it's a pub on dh maybe it just has this cool little script I'm purposely not doing this stuff great but I just know that okay well I need to come up with five concept so we'll do the one where we draw attention to the middle we'll do one with a good script on it let's see maybe we use big blocks um maybe there's a big m right and then right in the middle we write the word middle so that's that could be a good idea maybe the comes down like that I don't know maybe that's a good t shirt mate that's a good logo I don't know where this okay the other idea for middle could be um see which ways we go about doing it uh we'll have them intersect somewhere in the middle so we'll draw entrance draw interest to the middle with something so that that could be something cool where I'll get in there and then maybe those four d's maybe that was for d's kind of become the logo you know like maybe this is a bigger version of it but then a little icon to the side could be that. So then this little guy becomes little deal. Okay, so we got four concepts. I gotta come up one more concept. What from getting stressed down? We'll get coffee. I'm gonna go do something like that, you know? So this is sort of what happens when I get in when I get a project that comes that because the last thing I want to dio is get on illustrator right now and try to work all these out because this thing took me, you know, twenty, thirty seconds each one of these took me that long, but on illustrate it's gonna take me a whole lot longer and that's wasting time the importance of speed speed is important. So it's important to go this quick. Okay, so I need to figure out one more let's. Just do it. Something real basic. Just do the word metal sandwiches. Put a nice little intersecting circle right in the middle. So when those and I'll make a note that of intersect so where those d's intersect, it would be something like this you guys talking about? So then this little thing becomes a simple or something. So it will be attention drawn to wear those things, okay, so that's five concepts um, so that's the way I would start a project now I came up with those five ideas. Right now. Um, once I get in there, we're gonna come up. We're going to really polish these things up. We're really going to make something out of these little deals.

Class Description

You might be surprised to learn that you don’t need to know how to hand letter and draw to create rad custom typography. In fact, Brandon Rike – whose star-studded client list includes everyone from Pharrell to Madonna – creates his unique lettering almost exclusively in Illustrator. He’ll show you how its done in Simple Methods for Custom Lettering. 

Working with type is a huge part of graphic design and custom letterforms can be applied to just about every project you’ll work on. In this class, you’ll take an in-depth look at type and learn Brandon’s methods for customizing it to fit the project. 

You’ll learn about:

  • Matching the typeface to the mood of your project
  • Working with color, shape, and form
  • Customizing letterforms based on existing fonts
  • Improving your workflow

You’ll learn three methods for creating custom typography and how to differentiate between high and low-quality letterforms. Brandon will also teach his super efficient workflow, so your projects aren’t bogged down during the lettering process.

Both beginners and professionals will learn new ways of working in Adobe Illustrator to produce rockstar-quality custom type.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Brandon Rike - Simple Methods For Custom Lettering Working

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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a Creativelive Student

This was a great class to watch. Extremely informative and fun. It's great to see someone so passionate about they work.


A great class that inspires a lot of confidence and shows off some very simple yet effective techniques to create great lettering.

Cory Kensinger

Totally worth my time! I wasn't expecting Brandon to give such an impactful launch into this course. Brandon really gives you an insight into his life and his real experience as a designer, helping you not with just designing cool things but helping you set your mindset and expectations, pursuing this as a lifestyle and craft. I found lots of little workflow tricks that I will be using immediately. The only downside I found in this course was the speed Brandon teaches some concepts. I had to use the 15s rewind button a lot while taking this course. I know it's because Brandon is used to working fast, but I would have really appreciated a more paced explanation of something. For example, he used Option key a lot during the course of the class while using a Pathfinder function. That was one little thing that never got explained. After looking it up, I found it was for creating a compound shape while cutting the shape. Aside from that, one of the best design courses I've seen yet.