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Word Up

Well I spent a lot of time last week talking about how much I've learned about lettering.  Let's see how I can apply this to my other projects.  Specifically, can I take what I've learned and do a better job lettering Awful Lot?

I do some hand lettering in Awful for sound effects.  I started with brushes to letter these sound effects, but I went back to a fixed tip pen when I needed to doll up and even out the line weights.  I used brushes exclusively on Time Tested, but I wanted these sound effects to look a little sharper than what I had done in the last project, and I also want them to feel very angular compared to the computer lettering I use in the comic.

When I was talking about bubble letters with Timothy I discovered that we construct our letters much differently from one another, and that has pretty dramatic effects on the style of font we use.  Timothy forms his letters with very few fluid lines, all the way around his letter.  This creates very bouncy, bubbly letters.  I've been in the habit of writing the letters, dropping down a bit from the original letter and writing it again.  By connecting the ending points of these letters I get very sharp, almost box letters.  I like that these letters are sharper than normal.  I think this makes the ringing of phones, knocking on doors, slams, or kicks feel louder.  The font is more abrasive, adding to the visual punch of the loud sounds.

Another big difference between hand lettering and what I've done on the computers deals with the word balloons.  I used lumpy, cloud like balloons in Time Tested.  Even then I only used ballons when the letters were surrounded by negative space.  I needed the letters to stand out clearly, and I thought this was a more elegant solution than writing in white.  The hard, round bubbles of Awful Lot look very cold and mechanical by comparison.  While I'm not going to change how I bubble my dialogue as I'm finishing the second chapter, I do want to think about how the bubble and font appearance will effect the story on any future projects.


- Jon O

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