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Extract from Hand-Lettering for Everyone • By Cristina Vanko • Published by Michael O'Mara Books

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Cost
$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • • •
Time
20 mins

Hand-Lettering for Everyone
Just like the bones in your body, letterforms have names for all the structures and details that make up their shape.

Some of my favourite exercises are simply reviewing the anatomy of type, and seeing what I can do to differentiate my letters by taking a certain aspect and exploring all the options imaginable.

Posted by Michael O'Mara Books Published See Michael O'Mara Books's 4 projects » © 2019 Cristina Vanko / Michael O'Mara Books · Reproduced with permission.
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You Will Need

  • How to create art / a model. Type Anatomy 101 - Step 1
    Step 1

    DOWNSTROKES (TAILS)
    Will it curl? Will it be straight and rigid? Will it curve? Will it look like a cat’s tail? Will it act as a flourish-y element to underline the word?

  • How to create art / a model. Type Anatomy 101 - Step 2
    Step 2

    OPENINGS (COUNTERS, EYES)
    Will it be wide open? Will there be very little space? Will it have a boxy shape? Will the axis be dramatic?

  • How to create art / a model. Type Anatomy 101 - Step 3
    Step 3

    CROSSBARS
    Will it loop? Will it cross at an angle? Will it extend past the stem for extra emphasis?

  • How to create art / a model. Type Anatomy 101 - Step 4
    Step 4

    APEXES & VERTEXES
    Will it be a straight line? Will it have some sort of adornment?

    There are 206 bones in the human body. Now, there’s no excuse not to memorize all of the anatomy of type, right?

  • How to create art / a model. Type Anatomy 101 - Step 5
    Step 5

    LEGS
    Will it extend below the baseline? Will it be curvy?

  • How to create art / a model. Type Anatomy 101 - Step 6
    Step 6

    BRACKETS
    Will it have a distinctive shape? Will it curve deeply? Will it taper?

  • How to create art / a model. Type Anatomy 101 - Step 7
    Step 7

    SPINES
    Will it be curvy? Will it be horizontal? Will it be vertical?

  • How to create art / a model. Type Anatomy 101 - Step 8
    Step 8

    BEAKS
    Will it be large? Will it be dramatic? How pronounced will it be?

    Next time you’re out with friends, throw some type anatomy into casual conversation. You will immediately be the coolest cat in the group.

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