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Custom Handlettering covers unique and beautiful handlettering used across a wide spectrum of design disciplines. The practice involves drawing letterforms already composed into words, rather than creating characters for an entire alphabet and combining them. Generated for specific uses rather than assembled from a kit of parts, handlettering provides infinite variety for type designers. Students will explore ways to build out digital variations on their handlettered characters.
Tools, methods, and techniques for creating expressive lettering using traditional tools and media such as ink, pen, paint, and brush will be demonstrated. Digitizing hand drawn type into vector designs, and combining handwork with digital design within projects will be explored.
This course is in adaptive mode and is open for enrollment. Learn more about adaptive courses here.
Session 1: Introduction, Geometry, and Tools (November 27, 2018)
In our first session, we'll begin by looking at some inspiring examples of hand lettering, both historical and more contemporary. Next, we'll look at the roles of contrast and basic geometric forms as foundations for making letters. Finally, we'll preview the various tools that we'll be working with in this course.
3. Geometry: Basic Shapes
4. Geometry: Italics (Premium Exclusive)
5. Tools (Premium Exclusive)
6. Comparing Tools
7. Assignment: Letters and Shapes (Premium Exclusive)
Session 2: Developing Your Technique: Lines and Letters (December 4, 2018)
In this session, I'll share some basic exercises that will help you begin to develop your technique and general comfort with lettering by hand. These are some of the same exercises that I do every day. After working on lines and curves, we'll begin creating some letters, and for your assignment, you'll put those letters together into some words.
2. Setting Up Your Workspace
3. Flat Brush: Diagonal Forms
4. Flat Brush: Vertical Forms
5. Flat Brush: Faster Drawings (Premium Exclusive)
6. Sharpie Marker
7. Pointed Brush (Premium Exclusive)
8. Double Sharpie
9. Letters & Words
10. Assignment: Words of Love and Hate (Premium Exclusive)
Session 3: Developing Your Technique: Letters and Sketches (December 11, 2018)
In this session, we'll continue with the exercises from last time, creating letters and words, and experimenting with the wide variety of lettering tools that we have on hand. We'll also explore some sketching techniques as an alternative approach to creating letters by hand.
2. Double Sharpie
3. Chopsticks (Premium Exclusive)
5. The Big Brush
6. Sketching: Building Your Skeleton (Premium Exclusive)
7. Sketching: Fleshing It Out
8. Comparing Sketches
9. Assignment: Sketch It (Premium Exclusive)
Session 4: From Analog Sketches to Digital Designs (December 18, 2018)
In our final session, we'll import some of our sketches into Adobe Illustrator and turn them into bold digital letterforms. From there we'll use a variety of simple techniques to create diverse variations on our original designs. For our final assignment, you'll bring together all of the analog and digital techniques that we've worked on and create several variations on a personal brand.
2. Introduction to Illustrator
3. Setting Up Your Artboards
4. Reviewing the Sketches
5. Basic Vectorizing
6. Refining Curves (Premium Exclusive)
7. Completing the Skeleton
8. Skeleton Variations
9. Skeletons vs. Outlines
11. Tips for Outlining
12. Completing the Outline
13. Outline Variations (Premium Exclusive)
14. Stenciling 'More'
15. Completing the Stencil
16. Comparing Designs
17. Creating Variations (Premium Exclusive)
18. The Sketchbook
20. Assignment: Create a Personal Brand (Premium Exclusive)
Below you will find an overview of the Learning Outcomes you will achieve as you complete this course.
- Understanding of the role of handlettering in the larger world of typography and design.
- Ability to explore historical and contemporary examples of excellent handlettering.
- Ability to explore geometry and contrast as the basic building blocks of handmade letterforms.
- Practice a variety of exercises to develop proficiency in lines, curves, and letters.
- Ability to work with a variety of brushes, pens, and other tools to create variety in your handlettering.
- Ability to embellish and create variations on your handlettering work using digital design software.
Instructors & Guests
Yomar Augusto is a typographic artist and graphic designer from Brazil who relocated recently to Southern California after running his studio in New York City for the past 3 years. Born in Brasilia and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Yomar initially trained as a graphic designer before going on to study photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 2001.
He then started his own studio in Rio before completing a Masters in Type Design at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, The Netherlands. Yomar then spent eight years living in The Netherlands and working in type, design and art, in both commercial and educational sectors.
Yomar has also presented commercial and conceptual projects with solo exhibitions in Asia, Europe, North & South America. Yomar also taught Typography for Advertising at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam between 2011 and 2012 and at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. He has also held a number of experimental calligraphy and book art workshops in many countries, including Brazil, United States, Russia, Turkey, China, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, Germany and The Netherlands. In 2011, Yomar was invited to talk at TDC New York and has also been published by TDC Tokyo, Japan.
What You Need to Take This Course
- Flat brush
- Pointed brush
- Sharpie marker(s)
- other objects TBD
- Black India Ink
- Tracing paper
- Adobe Creative Suite
Please note: Taking part in a Kadenze course as a Premium Member does not affirm that the learner has been enrolled or accepted for enrollment by School of Visual Arts.
If a student signs up for the Complete Typographer program, it is recommended that these courses are taken sequentially.
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