How to present your hand lettering, with 4 EASY steps!
We can all agree that lettering is becoming more and more popular each and every single day. Due to this, it’s not as easy to stand out, which is why you need to learn how to properly present your hand lettering artwork.
Well, my friends, it seems that you came to the right place because today that is exactly what we are going to telling you how to do!
Not only will this help you to stand out, but it will also help you with growing your audience, getting more clients, and hopefully one day it will help you to create a personal and sustainable business.
Why is this important?
Before we get right into the steps of improving your presentation you should understand that if you plan to take your lettering serious, meaning that you want to create something more than just a hobby, an online presence is crucial. So don’t be afraid, this is like any other thing in life, a skill that is learned by practicing and practicing 😀
What do I need for this?
Ok, so lets jump right into this by breaking down what you will need for your lettering presentation.
1) A camera – Luckily we live in an amazing era where today even the cheapest smartphones have decent enough cameras, which combined with a few other tips (which you will find out later on) will allow you to take decent enough pictures in order to create a more professional image of your artwork. This does not mean that you should get the cheapest phone on the market, of course, it is much better to use more suitable equipment such as more expensive smartphones or even DSLR cameras 😀
The cheap smartphones are good enough for those who cannot afford something better at the moment.
2) Keep your lettering clean – By clean I mean that you should avoid taking photos of lettering which is drawn on a piece of paper together with 10 other sketches and scribbles.
3) Daylight – This is perhaps more important than a good camera. Taking pictures during daylight is essential to get the most out of it, your artwork will always look better during daylight so just deal with it! 😀 However we will include some cool gadgets that can reproduce the daylight for those who really insist taking pictures during night time 😀 (or for those which don’t have that much daylight)
4) Prop items – For this one, it is hard to define exact parameters. It could be literally anything such as pens, lettering tools (rulers, rubbers, pencils etc.), plants, watches, coins, glasses etc. Basically any item you could find at home that could fit nicely in the photo. I would definitely recommend some items that have some relation to the lettering, that way you can create some additional relevance and elevate the whole composition.
Ok now that we have mentioned all we need for presenting your work we can break down the process into a few simple steps!
Step1: Create your lettering
Here you let your creativity go, you can draw your letters as you wish following your own intuition and style. If you need some help creating your hand-lettered piece you can follow this tutorial here on Lettering Daily which will guide you throughout the whole process step-by-step!
Remember what I mentioned before ”clean lettering”. It is important that you have one hand-lettered piece on each paper, and by doing that you will have a much clearer focus on it. An exception can be made for the WIP (work in process) shots because here you are displaying your sketching process and having multiple sketches would make look the whole WIP better.
I highly suggest to create these WIP shots as they can make your social media feed more dynamic (diverse) and by doing that you create something more intriguing for your audience. (however, keep the balance in place)
QUICK TIP- You can definitely experiment with thicker paper, as thicker paper (250 gsm and above) has a more vivid texture to it, and from a personal experience it could definitely elevate the whole image. You can check @dekedex work to have a better understanding of what I’m talking about 😀
Step 2: Gather your props
I see this as the part where people struggle a lot, but don’t worry about time and with practice, you will get a feeling to it. Try not to complicate it with this, generally, the best option would be to use the tools you used for the lettering as props but you can add other items that you think they could fit nicely in the picture.
A FEW TIPS – one of the tips I would like to share for this step is to place at least one of the pens that points towards the lettering piece, by doing this you create a subtle sensation that the lettering is the main focus of the photo
The second tips I would like to share with you guys is to try and create relevance. For example, let’s say that you have created a lettering piece that says ”Nature” it would be a nice addition to combine in the photo something that can relate to nature such as a plant or a flower. You get what I’m trying to say? 😀
Step 3: Wait for daylight
As mentioned before, daylight is an essential element for a good picture. Be patient, wait for some natural daylight instead of creating low light pictures. If you are really impatient, or you simply live in a location where daylight is not so accessible you can find some decent daylight substitutes on Amazon for reasonable prices
Step 4: Take the shots and finalize it
Once you have your lettering on a piece of paper on a table under some good old daylight along with all your props around the lettering you are ready to go!
I would highly recommend to take several shots (5-10) and then pick the one that you like the most, this way you test several angles to it.
Don’t be afraid to play around in Photoshop!
Feel free to experiment around in Photoshop with different effects and filters, however, be modest and don’t try to exaggerate these effects as it can become counterproductive at the end.
QUICK TIP- if you are like me and your hands are a bit shaky, you can find very affordable tripods or smartphone holders which will remove this issue completely
This may seem as a daunting process for those who have 0 experience (been there, done that), but if you follow these 4 simple steps you will definitely start to enjoy the presentation process a lot more!
Be patient, don’t ever rely on overnight success, and besides achieving something with hard works really gives you a nice feeling which motivates you even more!
It takes time and effort to present your work professionally and people will start to recognize it if you are persistent. Finally, would like to share one last tip with you guys and that is to try and create consistency throughout your feed which on a long run could be very beneficial for your own personal brand as an artist. Leaving that one small touch to each picture will help over time to be recognized amongst people and could bring some positive results. This could be anything from a certain color tone in each picture, a certain prop or perhaps just your own logo under each lettering piece that you create. Perhaps to have a better understanding of what I’m talking about I could give you an example that probably all of you know. What do you think of when you hear/read the sentence ”Just do it”? 😀
Work hard, enjoy the process and success are guaranteed!
Until the next time,