In this course, we'll look at Procreate for hand lettering, as well as how to vectorize hand lettering in Illustrator. Create your own design with this iPad lettering tutorial.
Watch the Full iPad Lettering Course
What You'll Learn
- How to use Procreate for hand lettering
- How to use different tools for lettering in Procreate
- How to vectorize hand lettering in Illustrator
- How to do hand lettering in Illustrator
- What is the difference between calligraphy and hand lettering?
- What is raster art? What is vector art? How are they different?
- How to find hand lettering inspiration
- What is type anatomy, and what is its role in hand lettering?
About Your Instructor
As a type nerd and veteran designer, I love to share my passion with people outside the field. Nearly everything we encounter in daily life was designed by somebody. I like to stop and unpack the factors that formed those designs.
Ready to explore hand lettering together? Jump to content in this section:
1. Intro to How to Create Hand Lettering Projects
1.1 iPad Lettering Tutorial Introduction
Welcome to the course! Follow along, step by step, as we create some beautiful hand-drawn lettering in Procreate and Adobe Illustrator. This course assumes some familiarity with these two programs. It's a perfect choice if you're looking for an iPad Procreate lettering tutorial, but it's also a great fit if you're looking to learn about Adobe Illustrator lettering. You get a taste of both.
However, if you don't have an iPad with an Apple Pencil, you can still follow along with pencil and paper—many of these skills are transferrable across media. For example, calligraphy on Procreate is a digital take on the same process, by hand.
"Learning the art of lettering can help you to bring words to life on the page or on the screen."
1.2 What Tools to Use
In this course, we'll use the following tools to create our hand lettering project. This course is part iPad procreate lettering tutorial and part how to vectorize hand lettering in Illustrator:
- This software is available for the Apple iPad (model compatibility may vary).
- An Apple Pencil is typically used for drawing in Procreate on the iPad.
- Adobe Illustrator is professional vector art software, available for both PC and Mac.
- A 7-day free trial is available if you'd like to try it out.
Again, if you don't have an iPad or an Apple Pencil, you can also use a traditional pencil and paper. The ideas here are similar, and you could still transfer your work to Adobe Illustrator if you'd like to.
1.3 Hand Lettering Terms (Glossary)
It can be difficult to dig into hand lettering if you don't understand the ins and outs of letterforms—even if you prefer digital media, like Procreate for hand lettering or Adobe Illustrator lettering.
So let's begin with a look at some important terms to know and understand.
What's the Difference Between Calligraphy and Hand Lettering?
- Typically has a specific process, guidelines, and conventions.
- Usually uses nibbed or pressure-sensitive instruments to draw.
- A broader umbrella term for letters that are drawn by hand.
- Doesn't necessarily utilize or require pressure sensitivity.
We'll also look at Raster and Vector artwork:
- Raster Artwork relies on pixels and is a specific size. This is the kind of work often created in Procreate.
- Vector Artwork is more mathematical in construction. It can be scaled to any size, without loss of quality, because it's not pixel-dependent. This is the kind of artwork typically created in Adobe Illustrator.
Both have their benefits, and we'll get a taste of them both in this course.
In addition, we'll review some typography anatomy and terminology in this lesson, so you get a solid feel for how letters really "work". Knowing these type terms will be helpful throughout this process.
Want to Learn More About Type Anatomy?
We'll explore some type anatomy basics in this course.
However, you can learn even more in this video lesson from Envato Tuts+. Tune in to push your lettering and typography skills even further!
2. How to Get Started With Hand Lettering
2.1 How to Choose a Hand Lettering Phrase
What will you choose to hand letter? I recommend that you choose two to six words for your project. Try to choose something of interest—something engaging and interesting to illustrate.
2.2 How to Find Hand Lettering References and Inspiration
References can be a valuable resource, especially if you're new to hand lettering. Let's take a look at some ways you can find visual inspiration.
Looking for even more references and ideas? Check out these guides from Envato Tuts+. They're full of added insights and inspiration to help as you explore hand lettering.
3. How to Get Started in Procreate
3.1 How to Sketch in Procreate
In this lesson, we'll look at how to sketch in Procreate. Thankfully, it's easy to jump in and start drawing—Procreate can be a really user-friendly tool, even if you haven't customized or collected any Procreate lettering brushes yet.
However, don't worry if you're not sure where to begin—we'll look at all the essentials you need to experiment with lettering in Procreate.
3.1 How to Set Up the Canvas in Procreate
Next, let's look at setting up our canvas together in Procreate. Keep in mind that these are recommendations, designed to help you get started. You can work at any size best suited to your project. Ready to get started? Let's dig in.
3.2 How to Sketch a Thumbnail in Procreate
In this lesson, we'll start our design process with thumbnail sketches. Why? Thumbnails are your opportunity to experiment and try things out. Make some quick sketches to figure out how you'd like your composition to look. Whether you're here for an iPad procreate lettering tutorial or you're drawing by hand, this is an essential step.
3.3 How to Create Drawing Guidelines in Procreate
Guides can help you further map out your composition. This is especially helpful with lettering in Procreate (and digital calligraphy on Procreate too) because it can take some of the guesswork out of drawing. For example, if you want to draw on a particular baseline, a guideline could help you with that.
2.5 How to Work With Layers in Procreate
In this next lesson, we'll explore working with layers in Procreate. Layers are a wonderful tool for so many different reasons—from organization to keeping our content separate. They're easy to create and easy to work with. Ready to get started?
Need some extra help with Procreate layers? Check out this free tutorial, here on Envato Tuts+. It walks through all the ins and outs of working with Procreate layers.
2.6 How to Create a New Layer in Procreate
We'll take what we've learned so far and start cleaning things up in this part of our iPad lettering tutorial. Again, layers can serve so many purposes in our composition. This time, we'll work with a clean, new layer, and start to polish things up. Let's get drawing.
4. How to Create Hand Lettering in Procreate
4.1 How to Use Procreate Brushes
Whether your goal is calligraphy on Procreate or Procreate for hand lettering in general, the brushes can really make a big impact on your work. We'll use some Procreate lettering brushes in this iPad lettering tutorial.
Want to learn more about Procreate brushes? Whether you need help installing your Procreate brushes or you'd like to learn to create Procreate brushes of your own, there's plenty of extra help here on Envato Tuts+. Learn how to customize your brushes and more with these helpful walkthroughs:
- How to Install and Use Procreate BrushesDaisy Ein26 Dec 2020
- How to Create and Customize Procreate BrushesDaisy Ein24 Jun 2021
4.2 How to Add Flourishes in Procreate
Flourishes can be such a fun, beautiful addition to hand lettering—especially simulating calligraphy on Procreate—but where do you start? Let's explore that together in this lesson. We'll create some test flourishes and experiment with ways to get our design just right.
4.3 How to Intertwine Letters When Hand Lettering
In our next lesson, let's take our lettering and flourishes and experiment with intertwining them using our Procreate lettering brushes. While you don't necessarily have to do this in your composition, these visual relationships can prove to be really interesting, engaging, and unifying. This lesson concludes the iPad Procreate lettering tutorial portion of this course.
5. How to Create Hand Lettering in Illustrator
5.1 How to Export Procreate to Adobe Illustrator
Now, on to Adobe Illustrator lettering! So we've created raster artwork in Procreate. How do we export from Procreate and get our work into Adobe Illustrator? In this lesson, we'll walk through how to take our lettering in Procreate and export it for use in Illustrator.
5.2 How to Set Up Adobe Illustrator
Let's explore how to do hand lettering in Illustrator in this next lesson. Our first step is to set up our new document. Follow along to get your work set up and ready to try out Adobe Illustrator lettering.
5.3 How to Trace the Letters in Illustrator
Adobe Illustrator lettering is a very different process from drawing in Procreate. Let's explore how to do hand lettering in Illustrator. There are a number of tools and techniques that can take the guesswork out of how to vectorize hand lettering in Illustrator too. Let's get started.
5.4 How to Trace the Flourishes in Illustrator
Your flourishes might sometimes warrant some different considerations than your letters. Check out the tips and tricks in this lesson for getting just the right result as you draw your flourishes in Adobe Illustrator.
5.5 How to Refine Lines in Adobe Illustrator
This lesson focuses on additional insights for getting your lines just right in Adobe Illustrator. You'll likely want some variation in line width, for example, and there are a number of ways we could achieve that. Follow along in this lesson to try out these recommended techniques.
5.6 How to Interweave the Letters in Illustrator
Check out our progress so far—looking great, right? Let's push our work even further in this next lesson. It's time to interweave our letterforms and push our design even further. The techniques in this lesson will help with this finishing touch in how to do hand lettering in Illustrator.
5.7 How to Add Color and Export in Illustrator
Congratulations—you've made it to the finish line! In this final lesson, we'll look at adding color as we finalize our hand-lettered composition.
We'll also cover exporting our work in Illustrator, so you can use your design in a variety of different ways.
Learn More About Procreate
Want to learn more about working in Procreate? Check out these other free video lessons, and continue learning more about Procreate today.
Learn More About Adobe Illustrator
There's plenty more to learn about Illustrator on Envato Tuts+. Check out these amazing, free resources you can take advantage of today.
Illustrator for Beginners
Learn Adobe Illustrator for free with our Illustrator for Beginners course. It's a perfect primer for those completely new to the software, but it's also a great resource for those looking to freshen up their skills.
Check out this free course today.
Learn Even More About Adobe Illustrator Today
There are even more Adobe Illustrator videos to check out on Envato Tuts+, all of them free. So why not tune in and push your Illustrator skills further today?
Prefer written walkthroughs and tutorials? Learn more about hand lettering and typography with this collection of free tutorials. There's no better time to dig in and keep on learning.
- Hand Lettering: How to Vector Your LetterformsScott Biersack30 Mar 2021
- How to Do Calligraphy Flourishes (Tips + Rules)Naselle Anderson29 Sep 2021
- Hand Lettering: A Project From Start to FinishScott Biersack13 Apr 2021
- How to Create a Russian Folk Art Hand-Lettering Design in PhotoshopElizaveta Akimova15 May 2021
- Hand Lettering: Letterforms at Their CoreScott Biersack04 Mar 2021