So, I've been doing some typography with some cards recently and I thought you might like to see a little behind the scenes so you can have a go! I know it can be daunting to go from bubble writing on the back page of your Math book to something that will blow the socks of your parents but I can help!
(ya family once they've seen your new skills, also, I can put giffs in these blogs!)
Have a look at the steps below and even if you can't do all the computer bits at the end with some practice you're sure to create something fit as!
So first the text, I'm doing some Motown cards at the minute and this is my last one. I thought this quote (calling out around the world, are you ready for a brand new beat?) would be good for new homes, new baby's, birthdays, buying someone a pair of bongos, you know that kind of thing. Once I've done that I have a little research and look at some other typographers work. I do this mostly to have a think about composition. I know I am making a square card but how is my text going to sit on this space? Pinterest is the best place for this, have a little board with work you like and keep adding to it.
Most of the compositions I've done in this collection fill the whole of the card but like in my previous set of Christmas cards (see here) I fancy doing a circular one. Now here's the really high tech part- I get a big roll of tape and draw around it.
I then decide I want my text a bit angled as I like this as it looks edgy and wild like me. I draw out the text roughly then work on the forms of the letters. Use your research here but be original. For example could you extend that letter to give a really interesting looking flick to fill that empty space? Maybe you can out a pattern or texture around a letter so it looks new. In any case experiment with your pencil and makes something like this.
Now, Grab a pen because it's time to fill it in Craig David style. I use Uni Pin Fine Line pens as they are smudge proof and come in different sizes which gives me a bit more control over my line. If you don't have these and are using something like a ball point pen use cross hatching and line work to create interesting letters as blocking the colour will be guaranteed to smudge.
All of this step takes some time, so get a podcast on (I've recommended some here) a cuppa and enjoy. You'll have something that should look along these lines
And rub out your pencil to get here!
Now if you're not armed with Photoshop and illustrator add some flourish to fill out your circle. Aim to fill all the gaps up with swirls or even drawings relevant to your quote. You could stick it in a frame for someone as a low cost but super personal pressie and they'll love you (see the previous gif for there reaction). If you fancy taking it to the next level however or have a morbid curiosity of the boring ins and outs of computer design software then follow me adventurer!
So the first thing I'm going to do is scan it in Photoshop. If your going to want to print it, even if it's on a home printer make sure you have your quality set to 300dpi. Anything less and it's going to make whoever is looking at the card feel like they have glaucoma and pressure on there eyeballs. Also a word of warning. I don't know why, but whenever I scan work in, something happens...and it always looks awful. I don't know if the glass I lay it on is cursed by a wizard, or the wire I use to connect to the scanner is actually a frayed piece of rope but brace yourself to thinking 'hey that doesn't look to bad' to 'I should really give jobs I can do with my toes a go'.
Anyway you should have your work (though it may look dreadful) in front of you. Neaten it up. I do this by colour selecting the pen and filling it with black. This gets rid of any tonal variation from your pen. Do the same with the white background as this removes any pencil lines your erasing didn't get. It'll also highlight any bits of pen you accidentally marked and you can get rid of these. You could do a lot more here but I prefer to just sort of the contrast and moving that bad boy into Illustrator.
The first thing I'm going to do here is 'Image trace'. Don't be tempted to go for a high quality setting and instead keep it at the default 2 colours setting. It'll help smooth all your lines out and give you a good starting point to get to work. Expand and ungroup the work and separate key lines and words into separate layers. Then fix anything you need to that digitising has weakened. Delete points, fill in bits and get rid of any shapes with in shapes. I'm not gonna sugar coat it as I ain't Mary Poppins, this takes a while. The more complex your design the more time it'll take. Grab another podcast and buckle in friend. You can then experiment with colour and texture.
And that's it! It take a while but it's a very satisfying process. You'll be able to buy this card from the 2nd of June on my Etsy shop along with a whole set of other ones with Motown lyrics! You can also get it in person from the summer arts market at Liverpool Cathedral (details here). Hope to see you there chums!