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Simple Methods for Custom Lettering

Lesson 8 of 21

Manipulate Existing Fonts: Embellishing

Brandon Rike

Simple Methods for Custom Lettering

Brandon Rike

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Lesson Info

8. Manipulate Existing Fonts: Embellishing

Lesson Info

Manipulate Existing Fonts: Embellishing

Okay so you said raven and I'm thinking brackets sheriff's um let's get in the vibe and have uh huh gray background this is just for my own fun okay? All right, so rave in all right, so one of the first fonts that come to my mind and if you're a graphic designer you're going tohave ah you're gonna build a font library in your brain fun catalog called matrix so that sort of looks like a font that would work really well for what I want to dio brandon is there any way that we can actually see this in sketch format versus the first actual computer example yeah, I watch you so okay, so I'll just sketch what was in my head so when you said ravens the first thing that happened the first thing that happened wass um sarah of course but that little guy's sharp and instead of an a being cut off the top I wouldn't want it to be pointing but the v it's really gonna come down and that's not straight but you get the idea so what I want to do is the v coming down straight that's what I thought of righ...

t away and I thought of this uh I thought of the sarah's right away the bracket sarah and then when I scan through my little font library I thought of the font matrix, so um that this is the idea that I want to do so after I've done that well then I know that I want to sarah but I don't want serious I gotta fight with too much because you guys saw how I do it so I wanted a fund that's a little bit easier some matrix has these cool little sarah's that are very simplistic you see what I'm saying so let's use matrix bold we'll go back and illustrator do we say that let's say this is snow and then we'll start no car so let's use gray like I did there matrix bold all right so you can see by the end we're already there were already it's already doing the type of thing that I want to do anyways so what I've learned here is matrix was a good choice, you know? So, um the font catalog and knowing your fonts is valuable and that's something that time teaches it's not something that you're gonna learn overnight so already I'm ready to convert this thing outlines and we can see that the current is off don't trust the tight don't trust the turning like uh the best you can do as faras what you're trusting is go down here and choose optical because optical is gonna have a little more thought process in the way the a and the b interact but know that anna v r not interact right every time so thes things optical is ok but I would rather always said it by hand so command shift oh converting these two outlines um first thing I'm going to dio and I'm and I'm going to do this fast on purpose so the first thing I'm gonna do is get these guys tight and because in this world rave in, you know, maybe it's a title of a um you know, maybe it's title poem of course maybe it's a title of a magazine article or something like that it was a clothing brand maybe it's going to go on a t shirt, maybe it's gonna go a sticker on a bumper sticker or something like that. So the first thing that I see that I really want is for this v to be pointing so I'm going to use this direct selection tool this is all by you know I'm gonna eyeball that that line where you see the red stay straight and it's not I didn't it's not quite there so let me pull it a little bit further and let me take this out of there so now the v is perfectly um larger now I want to take this thing and drag it down but when I drag it down it's too thick so that he is too thick for the other stuff so the best way to get out tio change that is to I don't have to take this watches palate down here um is to put a black stroke around it and let's just pull it in until we feel like it is ah comparable thickness so my reference point is how much thicker is that a that diagonal line on a and the diagonal line on tv so obviously I need to go a little bit further and it's all visual I mean, this is all you eyeballing it because you're going to find that the mathematical way of measuring everything be like, well, I measured and it's all perfect it doesn't work that way um there's a visual wait that things have uh so having a mathematical spacing isn't going to do much for you object path outlined stroke so I just took that black line and now it's a separate shape over top of the v and I'm going to, um to subtract it from the sides so and then I'm gonna get it all back up on top move this over still not tight enough, okay, let's, just stick with that now other thing that we can do to manipulate this fun because I want to draw little triangles that are gonna cut into these areas so this is a cool way for you to give your stuff a little extra um vibe and a little extra story so you know these little chisel things um you know it's a little bit curious on how on why they're chiseled and like what um what it's made out of how it was created but I think finding cool spots to cut out it can be really cool so I think I'm just going to straight up disconnect this a like that um I want to disconnect it more hey we could just take it out like this and now being real close up to this a is one thing but then coming back and seeing it all makes sense together is something else so I think that's okay I think there's a movement that's happening you can see that things are going up and things were going down and your eyes and static when you're walking around it brandon to usually find yourself like sketching out like what it is like the font that you kind of envision and then go on your computer do you just computer and you well for this style sometimes the sketches you know there's not even time for this so everything is dictated by a timeline and so it's quicker teo whatever's quickest as long as it's not killing the idea if I know when she said ray that I knew exactly the way I wanted to do it but if um if it's not so clear if it's middle then I need to figure out different ways of of illustrating word um okay, so this our and you're going to see that this isn't perfectly up there yet and we'll take care of that later also there's a straightened thing and this may be a this may be a plug in shout out to a stewed graphics and they're plug ins but they will make these little great plug ins for illustrator so I just took that line to make it straight but they're a little plug in so a stew graphics dot com check it out there are there are programs that will totally totally increase your efficiency now I'm, uh I'm gonna take this little cut and make it less okay, so now we're informed with these two things on how to make the ease okay? And then I'm informed on this in by this, eh? So I know that this is going to kind of come up like listed as it didn t a and maybe the other side of this inn is gonna go down like like thea like the v's okay, cool, so there's that and I'm gonna just sit here forever that cool to do that? Sure we're not all right, so we'll take this copy it, get all of our gray together, combine those, get all the black together I'm not those you all black together combine us so I'm taking all the black and subtracting it from all the gray so now all I'm left with is gray makes sense, okay, so now we're getting in here and let's clean, these anchor points up, uh, we'll do the delete anchor point total. So you're going to see all these little places that these things intersected are gonna leave anchor points that just our basic little cuts and notches out of the line that you want to be perfectly straight. So get in here and clean up all these dudes wait, so that's an existing phone call matrix. We did some stuff, too, and, um, and it's got a little more personality than it did. It's got a little bit more of a story. It looks a little bit more like, uh, could be a band logo. Then, um, then I did when we first typed it out. So there's raven.

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.