Crafting a story – Lettering

Lately I’ve been making thumbnails for various scenes for the Recollection City prologue.
I have been doing tests for page layouts too to get a sense of the overall style of the comic pages. Now it’s time to look into the style of the text that goes into the word balloons. This is called “lettering.”

2015 02 fonts

Comic lettering generally follows certain rules and conventions. (Unless you deliberately want something different, but why reinvent the wheel, right?) Blambot has some great information on that.
You can use different fonts for things like onomatopoeias for example. Some people use different fonts for different characters or races. I’d advise people to use it sparingly and carefully though, it can get confusing really fast, or it’s so creative it becomes hard to read.

There are plenty of good comic fonts out there. Some free, and some not. To let a comic be completely created by yourself from start to finish, you can also letter your comic by hand. Doing this for every word balloon slows you down of course but it’ll give you the hand lettered feel of old comics. This is the most elaborate way to letter your comic.

For me this is way too time consuming. So, another thing you can do is make a font based on your own handwriting. Making a professional font with the right characteristics of a good design is time consuming and it requires expensive software and specific knowledge and experience to arrive at something good.

There are some websites out there though, which will help you make a very simple font of your own handwriting. For example: MyScriptFont, YourFonts and Fontifier.
I haven`t used them all, but so far I like really Myscript. I have seen people use the others with great results too though.

If you don’t like your own handwriting you could use that of someone else`s to still have a more hand lettered feel. Jason Brubaker released his own hand created fonts on Gumroad this week. He used it for Remind and made a really pretty one for his newest comic Sithrah.

I’m still debating if I want to use my own handwritten font, or a font from Comicraft I have that I really like, it’s clean and legible. I’ll experiment some more.

Question: do you make comics and how do you approach lettering?

In other news: do you want some inspiration for your new drawing or painting? Here is the link to the Creative Prompts masterlist. I added last week`s prompts.

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