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Simple Methods for Custom Lettering

Lesson 15 of 21

Lettering By Hand

Brandon Rike

Simple Methods for Custom Lettering

Brandon Rike

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Lesson Info

15. Lettering By Hand

Lesson Info

Lettering By Hand

I want to go into doing stuff by hand, so this method is by hand and scanned. So there's an appeal of, um, hand drawn, right? So, like, the appeal of hand drawn, is that no one else can do it exactly the way you do it. So I think a lot of us get discouraged about hand drawn stuff is because we have that handwriting, or we can't write in cursive very well, or whatever, who cares? It doesn't matter, there's a way that you write the stuff that you write there's, a way that you do your thing, and I think that's a really, really, really valuable cork that you have, so I think it's important to accept your quirks, whatever it is about your writing that you don't like, accept it and figure out a way to use that and make something cool out of it, because, like you saw on a previous method, whatever it starts out on the sketch isn't what it ends up in, you know, as a graphic designer, we have the chance to create something on paper, and then when you take it into the computer and we can kind of...

, like, improve every single thing about it, you know, there isn't much that we're going to be doing on the sketch you know, on paper that is going to screw everything else up along the way so what I want to do today is I want to get in here and do our thing the way that we do it so I have a lot of different a lot of different tools here, so what you have is a sharpie you guys know, these it's important that these tools are cheap there's no sense in buying a forty dollars pan your paintbrush or whatever because when that thing goes bad, you're not gonna be able to work that looks like that because you're out of paint brushes or so when ink runs out on this sharpie hopefully just bought a box of twelve and you know, you could get another sharpie really quick, so I'm all about using tools that are relatively cheap I know weakened by this I don't know how much sharpie is, but I know it's not as much as some of the big heavy duty markers that we could get. Now this has been a really, really, really useful tool for me is a paper make flare tip in and this is another inexpensive one it's at every office store um this is always there, so again, I don't wanna have a bunch of tools that I can't find and there's only one place in the world to get him because like I said when I run out of that I'm not gonna be able to use it again so I use this for a lot of stuff in the way this works best is drawing really small and then you scan it and you can get a lot of you know a lot of cool things with this because you did think small this is probably a little more pricey but it's not that much this is tom bow a b t brush pin I think there's gold in fifteen but I don't really use this and this and this close to the flare tip and the way it works but the brush end is beautiful so the russian has this perfect little um perfect little brush tip and it behaves like a brush and we all know that um you know, brushes usually uh hard to control um so if you're what you're doing isn't going to really work for a brush that's hard to control if you want to have a little control of it use this but if you do want to use the brush just use watercolors just use some basic thing you can get it any are you get in the school supplies section wherever you want to get it I only use the black because it obviously when you scan it in you know further you tell you that I need it there's no point doing anything but black so it doesn't matter what brush they give you, whatever like, make do with it. And once you start getting used to how you use these brushes and how use these watercolors, then you might want to buy another brush like, oh, a chisel, tip brush or something. We'll work really well, whatever's in this set for this that we have this little thing it's a six size six, I think that's, a work perfect for what we need to do today. So, um, these are the tools that I want to use today. I want to show you the different ways that I make stuff with ease, and I want you guys to make whatever you want with him, too. Now I'm going to do all of them, and if you guys want to do all of them, you're totally welcome. Tio I don't expect you to make a full on thing with every brush, every use, but if you want to, you might as well.

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.