Faking Calligraphy

I thought it was so creative. I’ve seen these super beautifully addressed envelopes, but I did not think it was possible for me to do. I never had, and doubt I ever will have, nice handwriting. It’s a struggle. I write really fast and get lazy about picking up my pen… so I end up with scrawls of semi-legible writing.
The tutorial from Jones Design Company uses real pens, but (eek) I do not trust myself to make perfect letters. I need to be able to ERASE and rearrange letters spatially. Actual pens and paper just wouldn’t do it for me.
My solution? My trusty Adobe Illustrator + Drawing Tablet!
Basically the trick is to write your letter and then make the downstrokes thicker. Easy enough.
To speed up the process, I wrote out all the letters of the alphabet. Well that’s not exactly true… notice that there are letters missing? I only wrote the letters I needed for the particular project I needed it for… which happens to be Monday’s blog post! Anyway, once I had the letters written out, I duplicated and arranged for each word.
See the “Mandy” word!
Surprise! It works for monograms too!!!
(and cursive!)
You can watch how I do the lettering on the video below:

(Okay, solved the video problem… sort of. Lots of video conversion was involved. The YouTube video really begins about 12 seconds in!)

Try it out and let me know how it goes!!!

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That's so cool! I was wondering how you did the lettering for the post. This tablet seems awesome! Definitely a good investment if I'm going to be doing lots of design work!

Madilene Lake

So excited to try! I'm going to have to mess around with it a bit (I have illustrator but not the tablet) but I want to figure it out!


First of all, you have great handwriting! Your organize, please post a while back showed off your handwriting on notecards and it was beautiful!

Second, I love hand lettering things and I'm always looking to improve my skills. Something that really helped me was taking a little online class by one of my favorite calligraphy artists, Lori Vliegen. She has an online class called Letter Lab and it was fabulous! I use her techniques all the time and they have helped me even with my regular, everyday handwriting.