During the PICA 2014 Design Conference in Edmonton, I took in a lettering class by the legendary Alejandro Paul. He’s single handedly designed some of the most popular script fonts today, and you can see them in some form or another on today’s best packaging designs.
The class was one day, and included a small intro of work from Alejandro and some tips and examples on lettering. At the end of the day, everyone had in their hands a word they chose to letter. Mine was Sibyl, my daughter’s name. The class was a great reminder of what a little pencil and paper can do, and although the speakers at the conference were inspiring, the lettering workshop left me with something more tangible.
1. Lettering is like a story. It has a beginning, middle and end. All three must be told to achieve visual interest.
2. Details, details, details. Be attentive and critical to every curve, swash and negative space.
3. When you’re stuck on a letter shape, think, if Alejandro was not there what would you do. Your work requires your thinking.
The initial sketch on paper. You can see I’ve adjusted the i and b ligature in my final since their combination was creating an a.