Quick Tip: Instant Digital Brush Hand Lettering in Illustrator
Hand lettering, especially when added to images, is a beautiful trend that I'm partial to. There are tons of ways to get your hand lettering onto the computer in order to turn it into a logo, whether it's dipping a paint brush into ink and trying countless times to get your lettering perfect, then scanning and subtracting the background, or whether it's a more straight-to-digital approach. In this quick tip, I'm going to show you how to use scribble brushes in Adobe Illustrator to create beautiful hand lettered graphics for your site and brand.
To start, open a new document in Illustrator. Don't worry too much about the size of the document since we're going to drop this artwork into Photosohp later on. Also make sure you have great Scribble brushes for Illustrator
Other tools I'm using: the Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch tablet
. While you can definitely recreate this with a mouse (you'll see soon that the strokes are very simple for this project), a tablet makes things that much easier.
Install Your Brushes
After you've downloaded some brushes, open the AI file. In the brush panel, click the Brush Libraries Menu
icon and then click Save Brushes…
so you'll be able to access them in other documents.
The saved brush set should save into the Illustrator brush preset folder by default. Then go ahead and close the AI file.
Get To Know Your Illustrator Brushes
Because brushes behave differently, it's important to play around with the brushes to see what types of stroke width you need to use as well as how the brushes work around tight corners and curves.
A lot of these thicker stroke brushes don't do too well around a corner, especially with thicker strokes, because the overlap causes the strokes to cancel each other out:
With the B above, the letter was drawn in one stroke and is having a lot of issues. But, by playing around and getting more comfortable with the brushes, you can see that the multiple-stroke letters turn out much better, like the D.
So with more playing, you can create a cool word or phrase with multiple strokes that looks like you took a brush to a canvas.
Perfect Your Technique
The best way of course to perfect your technique for lettering in Illustrator is to draw a letter over and over again until you really start to get the feel of it. (I made one of my hot keys on my Wacom tablet the Undo key, and I use it a ton.)
However, because these are simple stroke letters, you can also adjust the letters by using the Direct Selection Tool (A)
and the Smooth Tool
Have Fun With It
Once you perfect the look, there are lots of fun things you can do with the vector words. In this example, I'm just going to place it over an image
in Photoshop, change the color using the Color Overlay filter, and reduce the opacity:
Since processing instant digital hand lettering is a lot faster than waiting for ink to dry and scanning in artwork, you an have a lot of fun with it. Here are a few other things:
Give it a shot and have fun!
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