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Old 08-20-2006, 02:15 AM   #1
Kep!
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List of Rules (interactive)

A lot of folks come here for spot advice on lettering...or looking for a laundry list of rules they should follow. So, I thought we'd try to make it a game of sorts. Everytime you pop in here, pop up one of your RULES OF LETTERING...doesn't matter what it is, profesional, common sense, or personal...just pop it up and let's see how long this can get.

LETTERING IN BALLOONS SHOULD BE DIAMOND SHAPED TO FIT THE BALLOON BETTER.
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Old 08-20-2006, 11:15 AM   #2
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USE CURVED TAILS

The idea is to make a list of YOUR rules, not waffling this and that statements. Someone else may say USE STRAIGHT TAILS and that's cool too. Just the rules as you know and use them.

Last edited by Kep!; 08-20-2006 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 08-20-2006, 12:09 PM   #3
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When you've got a few captions on a page that are all quotes from a character speaking "off scene", Open with quotes in the first caption, and every subsequent caption, but only use the end quotes on the last caption on the page.

For instance:

"She walked into my office wearing that damn red dress again...

"I could swear her mouth was moving, but I just couldn't tear my attention away from those curves...

"...So I nodded in all the right places and kept smiling."

Also, in general, captions like: Meanwhile, back at the ranch... should be italicized, while captions of character quotes should not.

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Old 08-20-2006, 03:06 PM   #4
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design your own type

nobody can design type that will match your own temperament. set up your own fonts. they'll be your stock in trade.

the best digital work evokes the great classic lettering. to wit…

Todd Klein is severe, disciplined, elegant, and a bit detatched.
Costanza is funky and fun.
Gaspar is a party.
Artie Simek was bland, competent, and terribly, terribly consistent.

etcetera.

let the world of comics tell its story through your sense of what looks right.

design your own type. it'll take a bit to learn the ins and outs of the process, but worth it. or anyway, i think it's worth it.
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Old 08-21-2006, 07:07 AM   #5
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Try to use a mix of cases on your lettering. For example:

If a character says: "What does it matter to you anyhow Bobby? Aaron woops ass."

Type it in like this: "What does it matTer to yOu anyhow BobBy? Aaron woOps asS."

That way the lettering will look more organic to fit with the artwork.

Also, going along with what Clem said... try to design your own type and when you do, make sure you have a good variation between your upper and lowercase sets.

-- J
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Old 08-21-2006, 09:02 AM   #6
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Don't just look to your favorite letterer(s) for inspiration... find those old Archie comics digests and flip through their pages. Dig out your old pre- 1990s comics and look at the title pages, the Sound Effects, the balloon shapes the thought balloons (gasp!). Look at the way they picked out the 'important' words in the balloons to be bolded or italicized.

Now, how did all of this stuff effect the way you read the comic?

Now that you see what worked in the days before computers, you can go out and try to apply some of those things in your own work to make it better.
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Old 08-21-2006, 10:30 AM   #7
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Put About A Character-and-a-half Of Air In The Balloons Between The Words And The Edge.
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Old 08-21-2006, 01:10 PM   #8
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Always keep your original lettered files. I have never had a book that didn't need at least one editorial change/correction after the fact.
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Old 08-21-2006, 01:43 PM   #9
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Take the time to study the lettering of other letterers. Invest in buying comics and reprints from your local comic shop or book store. Comic lettering has a unique style to it and you should study the work of those who have mastered it.
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Old 08-21-2006, 03:16 PM   #10
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Practice, practice, practice.

There's always room for improvement, even if you're lettering on a computer.
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Old 08-21-2006, 03:31 PM   #11
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When computer lettering, use a keyboard. Invest in a monitor so you can see what you're typing too.
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Old 08-21-2006, 04:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eDuke
When computer lettering, use a keyboard. Invest in a monitor so you can see what you're typing too.
And here I was trying to scan in my lettering.
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Old 08-21-2006, 07:04 PM   #13
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Illustrator is the gold standard when computer lettering. Accept no substitutes!
But if you have to, Corel works...Photoshop is doable...but keep your leters a VECTORS.
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Old 08-21-2006, 07:58 PM   #14
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Writers write too much, artists draw either too much or too little and letterers have to make it all work out.
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Old 08-21-2006, 07:59 PM   #15
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If a letterer does his job right, no one notices.
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