I’ve recently been making a foray into hand-lettering. I know that I am late to the party and that there are probably way too many people doing it already and doing it much better than me. If I wanted to get to their level, I could decide to really apply myself, study the history of Victorian-era lettering, learn the different types of modern calligraphy surfacing today, and eat/breathe/sleep the letterforms. But that sounds exhausting and would take most of the fun out of it!
All I want to do is write sh*t that looks pretty and cool.
So in the absence of any formal training and an amateur level of skill, I’ve decided to share one of the lessons I’ve learned from my few attempts at picking up the quill (or more realistically, the pen).
I cannotthe importance of spell-checking your design before you even take out the paper. This may seem like the most reductive, self-explanatory, and unnecessary step in the process, but allow me to tell you that there is nothing worse than looking down at a freshly completed drawing and realizing that it’s spelled wrong. It’s a mistake that ruins an entire piece and that could have been avoided entirely with mere seconds of typing ahead of time. What’s worse about my propensity to misspell drawings is that it’s happened more than once (most recently on my own last name).
Above is a digital illustration I had the opportunity to do for a very informal invitation that was being sent out amongst friends of nectar. It was to announce that our friend was not retiring and that she was throwing a party to celebrate her return to the field. While the finished product turned out decently well, my initial sketch was woefully missing one critical letter. Luckily, the letter was already present in that very same word (“exaGerated”), so I was able to digitally duplicate it for the design. But it did mean that the sketch itself was rendered useless.
I wanted to share this hopefully humorous lesson as a reminder to all that just because we can fix letters in Photoshop and Illustrator, doesn’t mean that you should overlook proper spelling.