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Simple Methods for Custom Lettering

Lesson 2 of 21

How to Treat Art as a Job

Brandon Rike

Simple Methods for Custom Lettering

Brandon Rike

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Lesson Info

2. How to Treat Art as a Job
Making money as a graphic designer requires drive and discipline – Brandon explains how he makes it happen.

Lesson Info

How to Treat Art as a Job

Art as a job, so we'll go from these lettering projects. Um, and I'm going to show you how I set up projects and, uh, kind of my thought process behind it. So art as a job. So beer field frolic er's beware if you're one of those people that just loved to say how artistic ur while you skip around, like, with your dress and a feel and all that stuff, that's not my type of people um, I'm all about being artistic, I'm all about being a free spirit, I meditate, I'm into it, I get it, but their structure involved, so what I like to do is, um, you know, I have all the structure on how I set up a project and how we get it scheduled on blah, blah, blah, all that stuff, and then I opened up the little area in between and that's where frolic in the field, but I only give myself a couple hours to frolic in the field, and I really I'm just a cz artistic as I want to be, I can crank up music or being complete silence, whatever fits the project, and then at the end of that project, well, then I wrap ...

it all off and I'm back to structure I was talking recently about the way I work and it's sort of like if you go into an auto plant and there's an assembly line going on uh you know they're working for the first couple hours and then boom there's a flash mob everybody's dancing everybody's jumping on stuff and whatever and then the flash mob ends get backto work so the flash mob area represents when I give myself time to be artistic but as soon as the flash mobs over and you guys know how the flash mob ends just right back to what they were doing so that's how I get back to so when I'm done with that well then I got a mock these up and I got sentiment of client and then I got it right and I see now that stuff so that's all of part of my work flow so work flow is very, very very important to me if you don't know workflow is I don't really understand what that means um college issues work flows a broad umbrella term for the way that I do every project so I set up folders I um you know I set up the same folders the same way uh I schedule things the same way uh and I do uh and I work relatively the same way but like I said during a flash mom time that's when I get to do it differently but after the flash mob ends back to the work flow back to the way it is so I keep this going and basically ninety percent of the projects run through the machine the same way so sometimes when I'll introduce my like I'll get a new client um there's sometimes you know like there's an introductory man let me tell you about who I am and how I'm gonna do this stuff so that's what I wanted them to know is treat me like a machine I'm a machine I can do this stuff for you whatever deadline you need I am I am a machine and there's no I don't want them to think I need time tio um you know just really get in the vibe because there's no time for that like I appreciate the need I appreciate the vibe if you get there but there's no time for that in graphic design like I said if you haven't realized it yet graphic design his insane deadlines and insane expectations it's nuts so and it's insane psych psychology about how people you know what's going on in your client's head and what's going on in the contact that's giving you the stuff from the client it's like well that's what's going on your head what's going on in their head because I really need to know how everybody feels about themselves so that I can design accordingly so um like I said the deadline's a crazy so speed is important, like if I would want to tell somebody about me, I would say, I care about your project, you can treat me like a machine and I'm fast fast is important, so I think that that's one of the things that always I hear about, eh, nba players who, uh, they when they get into the league, they everything goes so fast for them, and they're watching all this stuff happened faster than they've ever experienced it before. So one of the terms is that the game starts slowing down for them, so meaning they've now learned how to get all that stuff going on, and it doesn't appear to be as hustle and bustle, so I am fast, and but this is manageable for me, so it all makes sense now, so maybe if some people would watch the way I worked, they were like, well, what would you do right there? How did you get that tow happen that quick? Well, I've taught myself how to do this really quick so I can manage all these projects reality about graphic design allow these projects don't pay well. So the only way, the only way I figured out to make a good living is do a whole bunch of those little projects. You know, there's not. I don't have any projects that air just like, you know, are going to buy me a house or anything like that. I have projects that may buy me a pair of shoes, but I just need to keep on doing those projects. So I'm gonna have a whole bunch of shoes.

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.


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.