Need practical advice on lettering a graphic novel book project.
May 14, 2013 2:48 PM   Subscribe

The illustrations have already been drawn on card stock and inked, for an actual, physical project inspired by this kind of handmade "star book" design... but now it's time to tackle the lettering. Are there any good, professional ways of doing it without hand lettering everything? If so, can you link to examples / tutorials? Or is hand lettering the only good option available? (Scanning the illustrations, adding lettering, and reprinting is not an option.)
posted by markkraft to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Letraset? Or possibly stickers or stencils?

If handlettering isn't completely ruled out for you, one of these lettering guides and a t-square can be pretty useful to make sure things are aligned.
posted by DNAshwood at 3:02 PM on May 14, 2013

Best answer: Hand Lettering will look the best if you have the patience...

That said, there are other methods including Dry Transfer (also called rub down). you used to only be able to use specific fonts or decals that were preprinted.

Lucky You, they now make ink jet paper that you can create custom dry transfers with.
posted by bobdow at 3:07 PM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Here's another brand: Grafix Rub-Onz Transfer Film.
posted by Kabanos at 3:14 PM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Get Corel Draw, scan your own hand-lettering in and create your own unique font. This takes a little up front work to set up but even for one publication it's worth the time in the end. Student copies of the Corel suite are inexpensive and there are tutorials on how to make the font online. Once complete, install your new font and type away.
posted by No Shmoobles at 3:19 PM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Before I forget or get trolled for suggesting a digital workflow for physical art, you can print the text up and paste it onto the artwork for final scanning.
posted by No Shmoobles at 3:25 PM on May 14, 2013

Any alternative I can think of would be more effort than hand lettering, unfortunately. If your handwriting is very bad, or if you'd just prefer to avoid it, you could do the lettering digitally (being careful to measure your word balloons beforehand so the text fits well) print it out and then paste the text blocks in individually. Some people then use white out or white paint to hide the edges of the cutout.

If you also wanted to do the word balloons digitally, I'd cut them out as borderless balloons with black text, and then outline them in ink once you've pasted them in. If you're neat, the seams won't show at all.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 3:37 PM on May 14, 2013

Best answer: The rub on transfer film idea sounds best, considering the time constraints and ease-of-use.

Fortunately, they have the Grafix brand over at a few of the nearby art supply stores, which is good because we have to go over there anyway.
posted by markkraft at 3:41 PM on May 14, 2013

Take the time to do some practice transfers first, to get used to the process. Trust me, you don't want to screw up your final product, especially if time is an issue.
posted by rakaidan at 3:47 PM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

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