The Joy of Lettering
There are many factors to consider when developing a logo. Deliberate choices with wording, colors, imagery, and typography all play into the success of a brand. Hand lettering a logo is a significant way to give branding a distinguished, one-of-a-kind touch. Give it a try, and design your own logo for your creative company, personal brand, or blog!
Before you begin, write down a few words that describe your brand.
Experiment with hand lettering those words in a style reflective of their meaning. The words shown here are those I came up with to reflect the branding for a macaron bakery.
Conceptualizing and sketching will help you determine what types of lettering to use. I want to create a lettered logo that truly feels handmade. My logo needs to have an organic quality that doesn’t seem too rigid, corporate, or generic. For this reason,
I selected a sweet, swirling script and a stylized serif that aren’t precisely symmetrical. These lettering choices will help enhance the mood words I have chosen to reflect my branding.
CONCEPTUALIZING YOUR LOGO IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP IN CREATING A SUCCESSFUL BRAND. STRONG BRAND IDENTITIES AREN’T JUST PRETTY, TRENDY LOGOS. TRULY SUCCESSFUL BRANDS USE
THOUGHT-PROVOKING CONCEPTS TO CONVEY THE BRAND’S INTENTIONS VISUALLY. DIFFERENT LETTERING STYLES EVOKE SPECIFIC MOODS AND EMOTIONS. WHEN CONCEPTUALIZING YOUR LOGO, THINK ABOUT
YOUR BRAND IDENTITY. REFLECT ON THE VALUES, MOOD, AND PERSONALITY YOU WISH TO PORTRAY.
ADDITIONALLY, CONSIDER THE TARGET AUDIENCE YOU HOPE TO REACH. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LETTERING WILL STRENGTHEN HOW YOU EXPRESS THESE CONCEPTS.
After you have considered your branding, start sketching. I start my sketches with pencils on graph paper. Remember that this process isn’t about perfection—it's about getting your ideas out on paper. You can do as few or as many sketches as you need.
USE TRACING PAPER TO TRANSFER YOUR
FINAL SKETCH. TRACING PAPER ALLOWS YOU TO FINESSE YOUR LETTERING LINES AND SEE WHAT CHANGES YOU WANT TO MAKE ON THE FINAL LOGO. IT ALSO ALLOWS YOU TO MAKE QUICK CHANGES WITHOUT REDRAWING YOUR LETTERING FROM SCRATCH EVERY TIME. USING TRACING PAPER ALSO KEEPS YOUR FINAL ARTWORK FREE FROM PENCIL AND ERASER MARKS.
Once you have picked your logo design, it's time to perfect your sketch. I prefer to use pencils and a fresh piece of graph paper for this part of the process. Lightly sketch the logo with pencil, and then go back over it to finesse the details. This is still just a sketch, so you don’t need to clean up every line. The goal is to have a good idea of what your final hand- lettered logo will look like.
It's time to transfer your logo. This is a fun process that can have as few or many steps as you feel you need. I used a two-step process for this logo. On my first sheet of tracing paper I used pencil again, keeping my lines as clean as possible and adding in details I knew I wanted on my final piece. From there, I used a second piece of tracing paper to ink the logo outline with a fine-point archival ink pen.
I always create hand-lettered logos in black and white first, even if I know what colors the branding will incorporate. Starting with a black-and-white logo allows me to focus on the basic form. I usually transfer the black-and-white logo into my computer and convert it to a vector graphic before adding color. However, after you have photographed or scanned your black-and-white logo for safekeeping, it's fun to play with colors and textures. You can experiment with different mediums, such as pens, colored pencils, or watercolors to give you an idea of how you would like your final digital logo to look.
AFTER YOU FINISH PERFECTING YOUR FINAL PIECE, TAKE SOME TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH OR SCAN YOUR HAND- LETTERED LOGO. IDEALLY, YOU SHOULD USE A DIGITAL CAMERA THAT TAKES GOOD-QUALITY, HIGH-RESOLUTION PHOTOGRAPHS.