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How to Draw Classic or Gothic Letters

2012-01-30   Views:7

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Classic lettering refers to typefaces used from ancient Greece through the end of the Roman Empire, while Gothic lettering is the typefaces used from about the 12th to the 14th centuries in Western Europe. Classic lettering frequently looks austere,

How to Draw Classic or Gothic Letters

Classic lettering refers to typefaces used from ancient Greece through the end of the Roman Empire, while Gothic lettering is the typefaces used from about the 12th to the 14th centuries in Western Europe. Classic lettering frequently looks austere, dignified and linear, while Gothic letters tend to appear flowing and ornate. To draw letters in either of these styles, copy examples that use them. Drawing such letters gives your handwritten correspondence and other documents an appearance that that will linger in readers' minds.

Skill level:Easy

Instructions

1 Find examples of classic or Gothic lettering on the web or in print, such as the "Greek Alphabet" page of the University of North Carolina. Also, Stanford University's web pages include at least one image of Gothic lettering from an illuminated manuscript from that period. As an alternative to using existing documents with classic or Gothic lettering, skip to step 7 to make examples with computer fonts.

2 Make, with a digital camera or scanner, digital images of the documents you found in step 1. Skip to step 3 if your documents are already digitised.

3 Load the scanned images into an image manipulation program, such as Windows Paint or Photoshop.

4 Blow up the images so the letters are at a comfortable size for tracing, say one to three inches high. Read your program's help file for detailed instructions on using its zoom and other tools.

5 Clean and clarify the image using your program's tools made for that purpose. Search through the program's help file using terms like "enhance" and "sharpen." You may also want to increase the image's contrast to make it easier to see.

6 Print the image, which you'll now trace over to teach yourself how to draw the typeface of its characters. Skip to step 10.

7 Download fonts made in a classic or Gothic style. Some sites such as Font Squirrel offer these fonts for free.

8 Install the font on your computer by following the instructions of the site you downloaded the font from.

9 Type, with large letters in a word processor, any words you'd like to draw, then print the document after proofreading it.

10 Trace the printed document onto tracing paper or regular typing paper.

11 Repeat the above step several times, then start another tracing. But on this one, trace three letters, then draw the fourth from memory. Do this for each remaining fourth letter, making a kind of visual guessing game. Repeat this step until you can draw all letters from memory, instead of tracing the printout.

12 Evaluate your work by propping it against a wall and viewing it from at least 10 feet away. Also, hold a mirror up to your work and view the work in the mirror. This will make words harder to read, which will force your mind to focus on the artistic qualities of the words, like its composition, balance and harmony.

13 Jot any impressions of your work during the evaluation. For example, you may write, "The serifs don't stand out enough."

14 Revise the drawing based on the notes you made in the previous step. Repeat this process of self-critiquing and revising until you're satisfied with your word drawing.

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