Hand lettering piece 1

Over summer, I drew a hand typography piece based on the quote below. I wanted to clean it up in the computer and edit the colours and background so it became a more polished piece.


The scan I took originally cut off the bottom of the piece so I had to add in parts of the letters that I had accidentally cropped. I also wanted to edit large parts of the leading because a lot of it was too close which was not how I intended it. I didn’t want it to look too clean or polished, I wanted the feeling to remain that it was handmade, but I didn’t want it to look too messy either. I spent a lot of time fixing these things but there were some things that I wasn’t sure how to fix or missed during the edit.

After showing this to David in my tutorial, I took a long look at it and identified the main problems I had with it. I wasn’t sure how to fix these problems on this particular piece but going forward, I want to keep them in mind so my initial drawings can be better.


After cleaning up my image, I wanted to experiment with colour. The character this quote is about it mostly associated with black, white, grey and red so that was the scheme I wanted to stick to. I thought that white text on a coloured background was the best way to go because it is visually bold and reflects the quote through making the text a kind of negative space in the colour, drawing on the ‘between the stars’ section as influence.

After doing these, I wanted to see what the quote would look like on a photographic background so I searched through the photos I have taken which I use as stock to find an appropriate one. Originally, I intended the text piece to be ovoid so I edited the photo I chose accordingly. I felt going back to the format I initially wanted would subtract a lot of the negative space that occurs when the piece is viewed as a rectangle and the shaping of the text would make more sense.




Initially, I tried editing out the backdrop of the letter layer so that just the letters would remain but they looked like they were just floating on top and the piece didn’t mesh together well. Instead I attempted to edit the background so it was within the oval and added in extra black panels for tonal consistency across the background. This caused problems when it came to lining up these extra panels because there was a line where there was a slightly lighter or darker section where there was an overlap or gap between them.


Although there are many mistakes with this piece, on the whole I am quite happy with the result. As the first full piece of hand-drawn type I’ve done, I think it is a good starting point to go from to work towards improving my skills.




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