Last updated on May 20th, 2020
Banners are amongst the most sought-after designs that people require to celebrate events. But to create unique banners with attractive embellishments, distinctive use of letters matters a lot. Brush lettering is the tool and technique that you must first master if you aspire to be a professional banners creator. This lettering workshop gives you the vital tips to do the banners with brush lettering in a professional way.
Brush lettering is an elegant style of writing. It is also known as modern calligraphy. This form of lettering or writing is based on applying pressure on the brush. Therefore, there are many strokes in the lettering.
So, for instance, if you apply heavy pressure on the brush while taking the brush upward, it is called an upward stroke. Similarly, when the brush is brought downward, the pressure on it is light. The brush can also be a brush pen. Such a pen is a felt-tip marker that has a flexible tip. The brush can also be a paintbrush with bristles.
What is a banner? How is it linked with brushing?
Banners are here referred to as the embellishments announcing an event or celebration. So, banners are celebration banners, which are purposefully created to make any event look special. People can see these banners at a prominent place during an event. For instance, a typical design of celebration banners is in the shape of ribbons. Such banners are ideal for anniversaries, engagements, wedding parties, baby showers, children’s birthdays, homecoming, graduation, etc.
Celebration banners seem to be a simple design. But the designers follow many basic design principles to make these banners look unique and eye-catching. The banners must convey the ambiance and celebration mood. Therefore, while creating banners, brush lettering techniques must first be learned perfectly.
Lettering Workshop with Augstina Aguirre
Designhill organized a lettering workshop with the lettering expert Augstina Aguirre on 7th May 2020. She helped the artists by sharing her rich experience in creating eye-catching event banners.
Talking about Augustina, she is a lettering artist and graphic designer who also owns A2 Disenio Studio. She also teaches digital lettering courses and creates designs for corporate identities, packaging, and much more.
During the workshop on the topic – ‘Use of Banners to Embellish Your Brush Lettering Piece’ in which Agustina shared her rich experience of creating celebration banners. She shared her experience and watercolor brush lettering techniques and showed how to create shadows, stippling, highlights using lettering. You will also learn about drawing banners, ribbons, and wreaths, flourishing of letters, faux calligraphy, and get the spacing, angle, and alignment right. She taught the artists about key skills for brush lettering.
Watch The Video If You’ve Missed The Workshop
Here Are The Vital Tips Agustina Shares During The Workshop On Brush Lettering Skills To Create Banners
Designhill: What strikes you to be a lettering artist?
Agustina: Graphic designers like letters. So it’s more or less like a natural process. And I discovered hand lettering four years ago, and it was refreshing. This is because I had been sitting in front of my pc for 15 years, and I had forgotten to use my hands to have contact with pens, colors, and ink pigment. It was refreshing, and I got crazy about it. So It’s one way. When you start lettering, you cannot drop it. For graphic designers, lettering is a nice hobby.
Designhill: Tell us about your journey as a lettering artist
Agustina: I attended a calligraphy course in June 2016. But that didn’t help much. So, I started exploring on my own. I consider myself a self-taught artist. I learned a lot by looking on Instagram and watching tutorials on YouTube. I began buying events, little by little. And I improved due to a lot of practice. You need to use a lot of time with their markers, the pens and especially with brush pens as you need to understand the technique.
Designhill: Let’s start with the workshop
Agustina: Okay, let’s start. We will need just a piece of paper, a black pencil, rubber and if you have some markers, we will also use them afterward. So, my idea is that if people follow me, they will do the things I will do back here. And you need to do it at the same time on your page. And we will go step by step then. The quote I chose is – Never Trust Your Fear, They Don’t Know Your Strength. That is the code we will do today. Let’s start. First, I will show you some slides with the important things about banners, and then we will begin with our base.
Designhill: Please let us know how to create banners?
Agustina: Banners are those ribbons or signs where I put words. It’s a very used resource in lettering because it creates different levels of communication in a piece. They add a lot of dynamism and grace. But, first, I think it’s important to understand the basic structure of a banner.
I will show you now some examples of banners. I designed everything, and I will show you his hand lettering, it’s done with my hands. It’s not done on the iPad. And I specialized mostly in hand lettering, not so much in digital or iPad lettering.
Here we see a banner. Those are the words inside the banner. And I like it when I have interaction between the letters that are outside the banner and the banner itself. So I think it looks good. Nice. Today we will do one of these banners. And another example where the words get inside the banner. Then, I did Photoshop, and I took out the banner and then from the PDF.
These are pieces I’ve done in the past few years. Here is another example of a banner that is not complicated at all. It’s just some lines. And it gives a lot to the pieces. And here we have another one, another one where the banners are very, very simple, where the words interact a bit with the banners.
And this is what we will do now. What I wanted to show you here is that when we see a finished banner, maybe we think it’s very complicated to do it. But when you see one of them a bit further and do it step by step, you will see that it’s not difficult at all. When you can do the most simple one, this one, for example, you understand the logic behind the banner. Then, you can do more and more complicated banners.
Designhill: How do you maintain the consistency of the brush lettering because it’s kind of very hard, and is there any hack or trick that you have?
Agustina: Yes, the basic rule in hand lettering that the downstroke is thick, and the upstroke is thin. That is like a golden rule for hand lettering. For example, if I write Hello with a brush pen. So, this is the nib, and here it’s like a brush. And so this is when you go up, you don’t put so much pressure when you go down. If you put pressure, it becomes thick.
Let’s start there. So the quotes I chose were this one- Never Trust Your Fears They Don’t Know Your Strength.
So, when I put a marker here, if you want, you can start also writing down these in a piece of paper. It’s always recommendable to have what you will right next to you. This is because when you get into the lettering, you normally forget what you are writing, you make mistakes. You take and create the wrong letters, and it’s very common. So I recommend that you write down this quote in your usual handwriting.
Never Trust Your Fears They Don’t Know Your Strength.
Which of these words are the ones we want? I think that the most important words in this quote are ‘never and trust- never trust your fears’. It’s also important that they don’t know your strength. I think these three words are the most important.
I will put more focus on those words. And I will probably put up with color in those three words. And, I will probably do the rest in black inside the banners. So what I wanted to show you today is it’s a bit like a bounced banner. First, I suggest we do here some simple banners to show you the technique. Take this like a normal piece of paper where we won’t do our piece on our paper. We take it as I said it step by step. So with that first, we think this is the most simple banner with the basic outline.
Maybe I’m going to do it with a marker so that you can see it better. These are two parallel lines, and then, you close them. Then we take in the middle of this side, we take something out is like the end of the ribbon, and this comes a bit inside, and here this camera is inside, then we close it here.
So when you do it step by step, you cannot say this is difficult. No, it’s quite easy. I will put some gray, and this part is the backside of our ribbon. So, that’s why we’ll always have a shadow or darker color side and have an effect, and that is nice to do it. This is the most basic banner you can do.
When you do it more often, you will find drawing it much easier. Now, in the first banners, you will probably draw slowly. After you have made some banners, you will understand more than the logic behind the banner. So, the idea is that you will use banners when you want to have different levels in your quotes of communication. Or, you want people to see some words more than other words. It helps a lot to make the piece nicer and easier to understand.
Let’s go step-by-step with banner.
We will make today’s banner a bit advanced, but it’s not difficult at all. I want you to see a bit nicer banner.
So, remember our phrase-Never Trust Your Fear, They Don’t Know Your Strength. Here we wanted to have ‘never,’ ‘fear’, and ‘strength’ will be bigger and more important words. And so I think we will have ‘trust your’ will be inside the banner. ‘Fear’ will also be inside the banner, but it will be in big letters, and ‘They Don’t Know Your’ will be in another banner.
So we will do three banners, which will be like a triple banner. We will have three main art in the ribbon, and then we will have others outside the banner. Yes, that is my idea. I would like to do it in a black pencil first because it’s always recommendable to take a draft and do it using a pencil. When I try to press the pencil a lot so that people can see it. First, we will do three lines parallel. I’m doing this without a ruler. So, do these three lines. This is one, this is the second one, and this is the third one. These three lines are six lines of action. Then as a second step, we will close them.
Now draw acoustic collars. It is something to learn as they are a bit curved. They are not straight, but you can do it if you want to make any difference. Then, we close them. And then what we do is that we wouldn’t take them out in the middle.
So you take it from the middle here, then you close it. I did a bit in the wrong order. I did that because I know exactly how it is. Then what we will do now is that we will join these three parts. And for this, it’s very important that you have the same length because if not, it will look very strange.
If I draw the backline here, it doesn’t make any sense. It’s horrible. This is very important to learn that when you do the backside of the ribbon, you need to go from side to side. That is, I need to jump this point, and here we will close it the same as we did here. So then when we take in half of this site, we will take nothing out. Then we come inside, and we need to close this part, so you see the back part of everyone.
So, that is our banner. Afterward, this will be so much easier using Procreate with wigs. Yes, I use Procreate as well. I love it, but I like the pencil, the pen. I have my iPad lettering but I don’t feel so good at it yet. That is the truth. I’m more comfortable with my own hands. With no pixels anywhere, and yes, that is why I love handmade things.
Now we will put the words, and then we will start with a marker. We said that we would never be outside the banner. Remember, I said I would love to have something coming inside the banner rubbish because I like the interaction. Oh, this one’ trust your’ goes to the center, but it’s okay like I said in New England Letters. I will do ‘fears’ also in cursive because we want it to be strong, and it can go out of a banner as well.
So, here we need to put ‘they don’t know your’ it’s four words, in smaller letters. ‘They’ will be a bit more compressed and in block letters. This is our draft. Now, I would start with a marker here. I should show you a bit of blending with different colors and markers. So, I took out this color, which I really like. So I will do everything with these four markers- blue, purple, grey, and black. And so I will take a blending between these two colors blue and pink. Then I will use shadows with the gray.
Remember that downstrokes and upstrokes are important in lettering.
I think I will do the words ‘never’ ‘fears’, and ‘strength’ first. And, I will put no pressure on the brush while taking it upward and put pressure while bringing it downward. I will first do the words and then the banner.
A lot of viewers for calligraphy here are beginners. So, I will try to show how it is done. I did the words ‘never’ and ‘fears’ in the brush, and it is called brush lettering. But we do not necessarily need brush pens. We can achieve the same results by using a normal marker. For example, I am using the normal black marker to create a brush lettering effect on the word ‘never’. Here, when using the marker, all I do is to thicken the downstrokes by the marker and let the upstroke remain the same thing by not touching them again.
Now, it blends purple and black with the blue lettered ‘never.’ Just touch these colors here and there on the word ‘never.’ One more thing it wants to say. I love to mix one or two capital letters with the rest of the small letters.
Now, I will start coloring the banner lines. I will use black for banner outlining. Then, I create shades in the inside area of the banner to give it depth and short lines on the sides. I also love to add white details to the letters. But add the white details only on the area of upstrokes. Then, give the shadow to all the letters with the gray color so that the letters come out of the page or popup.
A piece of advice for the artists
I will say that you should practice brush lettering every day. Even if you do one word a day, you need to be regularly practicing it.
Designhill- How to get clients during the COVID pandemic?
Agustina: For me, a lot of opportunities are coming in teaching just as I am doing the teaching here in this video. Finding out the real hand lettering jobs is difficult at this crisis, but side jobs like teaching are available to me, and I love teaching just as doing the lettering.
The lettering workshop with Agustina Aguirre is useful for learning some vital basics of brush lettering for banners that are used to celebrate an event or just to make a motivational quote look attractive. She teaches how to create banner lines with the right curves and design the letters. Then, she shows how to blend different colors in the letters.