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Simple Methods for Custom Lettering

Lesson 19 of 21

Lettering By Hand: Watercolor

Brandon Rike

Simple Methods for Custom Lettering

Brandon Rike

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Lesson Info

19. Lettering By Hand: Watercolor

Lesson Info

Lettering By Hand: Watercolor

I think water color first I have to explain this isn't going to be one of those light soft water color type of paintings like I know when you think of watercolor and if you think of a painting it's like a lot of passed out colors are like I don't know like a field or like a landscape or something like there's a lot of there's, a lot of color that's not what I'm using this tool for amusing that's the same way we're using all the other ones so I only use the black so you can go ahead with me if you have everything you need. Um because she's my paper towel on um water you guys know how to use watercolors, so the principles of this are very similar to the brush pin. Uh, but there is a capacity that you can't really do this with a brush and you're gonna find the water versus pigment relationship. And how do you get that right? Um, so anyway, I got a word. Can we get a word from online? Anyone put any requested here on the earlier request? About shaky, shaky, right? Okay, toast too shaky. No...

w again, even more than the brush pin, we could get a very, very, very thick line, but I would say go a little slower with this and different watercolors react different ways, so some seem to have a little more elasticity in them. Some are a little more dry. Um, if that makes sense, but you can also use, um, the interior, you know, with watercolor, you can go back over what you've done and change it. If an area got too sick inside, then change it. There's definitely a trend going on as far as water colors go with, um, really quickly done capital with lower case? Um, it's definitely like, you know, I find a lot of fashion forward stuff is, uh, you know, calls for that sort of thing or it's really appropriate for that again. If you can help it, try not to let him touch articular brush that you only like to use when you're working with water colors or no, I usually use this a thinner one. The bigger ones just seem very difficult to manage, and I don't work on big enough paper too. Um, use big russia's and really part of the reason I use smaller papers that I can put it in the scanner. Last thing I want to do it just do all this stuff on big paper that I can't get through the scanner, I don't know if they make skinner is bigger than that, but, um well these scanners are like one hundred dollars scanner so I'd rather just use these little scanners in tow have to buy a big expensive one that daily resigning is gonna have big paper and this stuff diesel sketchbooks just sit on a shelf right beside my desk and um I fill him up all day every day just about just about every project that ideo um starts inside of those and it's really cool like for like for instance the blink when I to logo is in one of my sketchbooks and now it's everywhere with them so what's cool about this is that we're getting different um you know, dark and light levels inside of the letters so we can figure out ways to pull that out even more once we get inside photoshopped now for your water coming don't just flip it over um yeah I don't know if we have time to do another one but patricia says fantasy fantasy okay okay so I'll do curse of a fantasy you know the other thing too something I dio is what I think of fantasy I think about the most typical way it would be shone and I don't do that so my first the first well it's not going to let my first instinct I just think of what the most typical way of doing it is and then I want to try a new approach to it unless one the lights and darks kind of start with uh you know, kind of happy really and I think that's kind of cool because this story there kind of makes you think of the person who did it who did it anyway and kind of inject your humanity into it I think it goes a lot longer than you think it does because we'll tend teo look at it as imperfection from imperfections and things we did wrong uh everyone else looks at it as someone else's personality that isn't them and I think it's important to know that because, um perfection is not the goal it never is. Um the goal is honesty and what works for the project fantasy there's a way that I would never ever draw it but there you go, fantasy and here just for the sake of this I got a little more water now and start dabbling in here and let this the water just sort of like take this stuff somewhere and um again and it will give it kind of a cool story may not fit but I mean it is destructive I say destructive like that I mean pointing a return but this also starts making something like a dream something like that that's that's fitting all right so that's watercolor you guys get it and there's a lot of different ways for you, teo, you know use these tools and mean as many fonts is there are there are more ways that you can do this stuff by hand so it's infinite the different styles that we can do with these tools but from here um I think we need to get into the computer so I can put all this stuff in context and we can you know talk about how this stuff is actually going to get be able to be used and manipulated inside illustrator which is you know the point of everything I've been shown you so far real quick let me take a look at some of the stuff you guys have done shake fancy and macho and he underlined macho here and it's important to see it's important to see all of the things that happen in that little underline of macho he got a bunch of cool texture and that texture is usable um later on just like I said with his brush pens stuff um these air little elements that get dug it um it would be used later this fantasy is so cool because it looks sharp and it looks like a dark crystal or something like that and oh this one's really cool so so what it looks like she did that she kind of went back over top of the thing she did originally so some of these lines got repeated with a um with, you know, less pigment so that one's really cool yeah, the shake again. She's got all these different thicknesses. I mean, this is always different. Light and dark levels inside this so there's, just the story. And she got some really cool texture here around the ass and all that stuff is stuff you just can't plan, and you can't really design that stuff. It's not very easy to do that sort of thing inside. Photoshopped her fantasy is a whole lot better than mine. So this is a title for a disney movie right here. So, yeah, she definitely got it and there's a whole story going along with everything. She got a ton of texture here, the way the brush hit the paper, there's a ton, a ton of stuff going on around them. And he took and move the brush around and it's cool when you keep going, when you're just out of ink and you see what happens after that so hee, all these little underlying this stuff, he got so many texture out. So the teeth of the paper helped him to get all those all those little lines on that texture out of it.

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.