Life With a New Font
Topic: Bible Journaling
Sure enough, this past week was the rollout of another series of lettering lessons. This week we used 'life' as the focus word.
LIFE Font – Day 1 – Introduction
We are going to learn a font this week that is informal and fun and we are going to use ‘Life’ as our focus word.
But before we go into details, let’s review the steps we use in the Lettering Lodge to learn new fonts.
· The most important thing in our lettering concept is P-I-E. This stands for Pencil-Ink-Erase. As you are learning new styles it is best to work in pencil first. Take your time and ‘draw’ your letters rather than ‘writing’ them as this helps break away from one’s natural handwriting. Practice each letter multiple times until you are comfortable with the form. Trace your best effort in ink. Then, when the ink is dry, erase the pencil.
· Practice paper should be lined, graph or dot grid. This will help keep your letters even and straight. There are free printable versions of all of these online.
· A basic lettering guide follows:
_______________ ascender line (top of upper-case and tall letters)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ x height (top of the lower-case letters)
_______________ base line (where the base of the letters sit)
_______________ descender line (bottom of descending letters)
Once you proceed from letter practice to phrase writing the descender line will often double as the ascender line for the next row of text.
· Study the new style to note the elements that make it unique. Is it a script or a print? Does it have serifs or not? Are the letter shapes linear or rounded? Are the bowls of the letters circular or oval? Is it an upright or an italic? Are there curves or curls or tails that are repeated? Learning to recognize these elements and practicing them before you start drawing your whole letters will get you to a point of familiarity and consistency much faster.
· Remember, YOU are the artist! You have the freedom to change a particular letter form to something you like better as long as you keep it consistent with the style. In a similar vein, you can change an entire style. It is best to do this after you have learned it in the manner taught, though. Then feel free to give a little slant to an upright print; make a slanted script stand tall; make the caps all half again as tall – make it your own.
So, let’s get started with this new lettering style? It is an upright script that combines a lot of ‘print’ styling including half-serifs. Note that I’ve worked on a 4-unit font height with an x-height of 2 units.
WAIT! Did you skip over those bullet points above? Please go back and read them, even if you think you already know it. It is important!
The best way to learn and to use this particular font is to draw out the base letter (in pencil), connect the lower-case letters in a natural way (in pencil), add the half-serifs (in pencil) and then ink over everything and erase the pencil.
Ready? Time to practice with both the upper- and lower-case letters in the word ‘Life’.
LIFE Font – Day 2 - Alphabet
With the reveal of the whole alphabet let’s look closer at the features that make up its ‘style’.
Most of the capitals are closer to a print style while the lower-case are more script. Watch for the half-serifs on the capitals although some do NOT have them (J, O) and there are a few lower-case that do have them (c, I, m, n, p, q, u, v, w, x, y, z) – there were a lot more than I realized!
The lower-case ascenders come all the way up to the same height as the caps (except the t) and the descenders are two units below the base line.
There is some really nice styling on the f, J, Q, and s.
Take time to practice a lot so as to become thoroughly acquainted with the font. This will make the later exercises easier to accomplish. Don’t worry about connecting letters today, we’ll go over that in tomorrow’s lesson.
LIFE Font – Day 3 - Music Lyrics
It should be easy to come up with some hymn or chorus lyrics that use the word ‘Life’,
As you write them on your practice sheet you will be concentrating first on the letter forms and then on the connections between the letters. Try to get the spacing between the letters as even as you can. Keep in mind that it is fully permissible to lift your pen/pencil between letters. Your connecting line may end near the bottom of a letter whose own starting point is at the top (see the nd combo in ‘and’, the nc and ra in ‘consecrated’, the rd in ‘Lord’.
Use the P-I-E (pencil-ink-erase) method to create your best work. Remember, we are ‘drawing’ the letters instead of ‘writing’ them.
I made a little piano keyboard to decorate my page, just for fun.
LIFE Font – Day 4 - Scripture
As we do every Thursday, we’re going to find a scripture with the focus word (Life) and write it out on a practice page. This is one more way of getting practice with the font that may use different letters than you used yesterday.
Although I did not on today’s piece, I often use caps on ALL of my words just so I can practice more of them.
Today I used a paraphrase of John 3:16 that I have on a bookmark that was given to me many years ago.
It would be fun to see many of you use this as practice, personalized with your own name, of course.
LIFE Font – Day 5 - In Your Bible
Now it’s time to use the new font in our bibles in journaling a scripture using the word ‘Life’. You will probably have to shrink your letters to fit in your space. Just keep in mind that the x-height is half the overall letter height and you can easily re-size it.
The steps are the same: pencil-ink-erase. We never do go directly to ink in hand-lettering.
I used 1 Timothy 6:12 with an illustration of ‘holding on’.
I hope you are enjoying these weekly wrapups of the lettering tutorials and find occasion to use the alphabets in your own work.
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at 11:44 PM PST