So if you’re anything like me, you’ve been swooning over all of the absolutely gorgeous modern brush lettering printables, posters, invitations, inspirational quotes, and lettering bits floating around Pinterest and the interwebs.
I die! So much delicious lettering stuff out there right now.
For those of you who don’t have a clue what I’m talking about. Take 5 and just feast your eyes on these wonderfully messy, organic lettered pretties.
After seeing so much great stuff out there, I just had to contribute my own little ditty to the design trend. Here it is in all of its unrefined messiness. It takes a bit of courage to be creative.
And then I made some little hand painted alphabets for a few premade logos.
And I kept brushing away and ended up with a couple of fonts. Did I mention I’m a bit addicted to the brush lettering trend?
Here’s how I made the above and how to make your own modern brush lettering then clean it up in Photoshop.
1. Get your supplies ready. I use this Pentel water brush (LOVE!) Loaded with this ink mixed with water. You can play with your water to ink ratio depending on how transparent or black you want your ink. For more black and opaque, use less water. I made sure to mix / add a little bit of water at a time then test to make sure I got things just right. You can always choose to dip your brush instead of filling it, but I like to go super fast instead of having to reload so I opt to fill it with the ink / water mixture. This can clog your brush so clean it after each use. For paper, I use whatever I have lying around. Just remember, if it’s cheap paper it will probably crinkle a bit when wet. The crinkles may or may not show up when digitizing. And of course, I will be using Photoshop.
2. Get busy lettering! Apply various pressure for thick and thin line variation. The more water, the smoother, wetter looking results you’ll have. The less water you use, the rougher edges you’ll get. Just depends on what you’re going for. Have fun and be creative!
3. Scan your sweet, painted lettering. I do a LOT of scanning with my various watercolor clip art work and other creative endeavors. You’ll need to be able to scan your image in at a large size and resolution. This will make sure the image is large enough for print. I use this super fancy scanner (Not cheap, but worth the investment if you use it a lot. Put it on your Christmas lists!) I scan in at 300DPI at a minimum, and usually at a ridiculously large size (12″ by 12″ minimum) so that I can scale my lettering down. You never want to scale up as this will lose image quality, but scaling down is a-ok. For this reason, I want my lettering as large as possible.
UPDATE- I just learned I can get a pretty clean scan using my Iphone 5. Win! Forget the scanner unless you need more color definition.
4. After scanning, save your image as a JPG image file and open it in Photoshop. I typically extract the image from it’s background and use the eraser tool to clean up any little blemishes. I use the channels panel for extraction.
I usually make a copy of the blue channel by dragging it to the new channel icon (See above.)
Then, hit apple L to bring up your levels panel.
What you want is for your text to be completely black and your background to be as white as possible. Move your sliders until you have it as black / white as you can get it. This makes selection MUCH easier. Trust me.
Once you have it as black / white as you can get it, hold apple (or Windows CMD) and click your the blue channel copy image. This creates / loads a selection of just your text.
Navigate back over to your layers panel. With your brushed text layer selected, delete the background. You may need to double click your background layer to ensure that it is editable. Viola! Your text is isolated.
5. *Optional. I usually adjust the black / white settings to make my text a bit more vibrant as scanning can wash things out. Play with your Photoshop adjustments until your brushed lettering looks just right.
6. *Also Optional. Use your eraser tool to clean up any blemishes or tidy up your text. I like to keep the edges of my text a bit rough for an organic feel. To avoid rough edges, try to paint with more water.
7. *Super Optional. If you’re like me and you rarely if ever design with the color black you can use the color overlay option in Photoshop to drop your text into various colors. Play with the opacity, textures, backgrounds, then add some flowers to it (Duh.)
Hope you enjoy! I’d love to see links to any brush lettering you try your hand at.
*PPS. This post contains some affiliate links but I only recommend the products I use myself and love.