Handmade Hand-Lettering

I recently participated in an online design event of which the focus was to create poster concepts that promoted sustainable living. I took the opportunity to practice my hand-lettering and typographic illustration. Below is a small peak into my process.

In the initial sketching stage I explore different themes, fonts and iconography. There is a fine line between typography that is legible vs. illegible once you begin to abstract the letterforms, so you must be mindful of things like letter size and weight, how one letter flows into the next and the rhythm of which you read the words and content of the message itself. Ideally you are able to manage all of these things and incorporate illustrative embellishments that strengthen your message creating a more memorable image.

Once I landed on a layout I was happy with it was time for refinements. Tracing the sketch over and over again, making minor adjustments each time. Your eye will catch even the smallest inconsistencies in curves, line weight or letter spacing, you may not know immediately what the issue is, but trust your eye and tweak it until it’s right.
To me, designs like these are fascinating because they communicate on multiple levels. They tell a story and allow your eye and mind to wonder and to make associations that the words alone cannot. Here are a couple of examples I pulled as inspiration when I was starting this project.

In this case the final design was turned into a sweet silk screened tote bag. I have dreams of doing a cross-stich version so anyone with an expertise in that technique feel free to provide any helpful advise.

Tote bag images courtesy of Not Made In China

About coryclinton
I design. I play records. I skateboard. I sketch, doodle, and draw. I slam dunk. I use chop sticks. I wear glasses. I hi-five. I don't love my "smart" phone. I do love sarcasm.

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