You’ve probably seen Jessica Hische’s work in a lot of places. She has designed everything from chocolate lettering to Wes Anderson movie title sequences. In this installment of Art School, San Francisco artist and author Jessica Hische takes us into her design studio with a demo on custom lettering from pencil sketch to vector paths.

Most of us have experimented with lettering at some point –maybe doodling our name or our favorite band’s lyrics on a notebook or on our desk at school. But Hische has taken her love for lettering to the next level and built a successful career from her word designs.

“When you’re starting out in lettering, being naive can be really amazing because you do weird things that people with experience do not know how to do anymore…”

Hische is  known for her quirky word inventions such as procrastiwork and designastrator to describe her work practices. Her book, In Progress, provides a deeper look into the lettering artist’s design process with tips and tricks on pencil selections, her story of turning lettering into a career, rough sketches, illustrator advice to live-by, social media tips and amazing examples of her work.

Start lettering or digital illustration by learning the pen tool as your first big hurdle. It can be frustrating to start, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be drawing and vectorizing everything! Here’s a handy guide to help you get started with the pen tool.  

“Don’t let the intimidation of actually starting down the path to do anything be what stops you because it’s hard for everybody.” –Jessica Hische

 

Resources:

Jessica Hische

Jessica’s Dandy Resource List

Take a full design course with Jessica at Skillshare

Plotting Vector Points with Jessica Hische

Step-by-step digitized lettering in Illustrator using Image Trace

Author

Farrin Abbott

Farrin Abbott is the video producer for KQED's Art School! In her free time she's usually making videos, troubleshooting workflows and riding a bicycle (often at the same time).

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