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By John Roshell | Friday, August 07, 2015

Create a Font — Out of Your Own Handwriting

handwritingfont00

When people find out I’ve created hundreds of fonts for the comic book and video game industries over the last 20 years, one of the first things they ask is, “Can you make a font of my handwriting?”

The answer is “of course!” But even better, you can create a font out of your handwriting!

It’s actually not too hard to get a basic font up and running using your smartphone camera, Adobe Illustrator, and Glyphs Mini, a low-cost but remarkably powerful little font editing app. You can buy a license for Glyphs mini from the Apple App Store or the Glyphs site for $49, or try it free for 30 days.

Trust me: Typing out words in a font you’ve created is a thrill. So let me show you how to make a handwriting font.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, August 04, 2015

An Optical Illusion in Illustrator — with Deke's Techniques

optical illusion in illustrator

Which way is up?!

When you see the orthogonal pattern in this week’s episode of Deke’s Techniques, you might not be able to provide an answer.

Because of an interesting optical effect (a combination of a repeating tile pattern and some clever shading), it appears as if any given row in the design is simultaneously coming toward you and receding away.

By John Roshell | Wednesday, July 08, 2015

The Making of a Comic Book Page: Start to Finish

comic book page start to finish

San Diego Comic-Con is in full swing this weekend. For nearly 150,000 people, it’s a chance to dress up as a Stormtrooper, or a zombie, or a zombie Stormtrooper, and get the skinny on the latest video games, comic books, and movies.

But for those of us who work in the comics industry, Comic-Con is our annual opportunity to meet face-to-face with the people we collaborate with the rest of the year. Back in the days of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, comic books were created start to finish in one big office. But now writers, artists, letterers and colorists—like creative folk in many fields—can live and work wherever we like.

For example, the Eisner Award-winning comic Astro City is written by Kurt Busiek in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, drawn by Brent Anderson in the San Francisco Bay Area, colored by Alex Sinclair in San Diego, lettered by me and my Comicraft cohorts in Santa Barbara, and coordinated by editors Kristy Quinn and Molly Mahan at the DC Comics office in Burbank. The comic and its creative team celebrate Astro City’s 20th anniversary next month, so our system must be working!

Here’s a peek behind the scenes at how Astro City is produced, from the moment the script is finished until files are delivered to the publisher for printing.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Creating a String of Pearls in Illustrator—with Deke's Techniques

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 1.20.59 PM

Learn how to add a unique decorative border to letters or other objects by creating a string of pearls from scratch in Illustrator, using the tricks shown in this week’s Deke’s Techniques.

Deke enhances this sweet and simple “XO” taken from a dingbats font, but you can choose any object with path outlines.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Convert Corner Points to Smooth Points in Illustrator

convert corner points to smooth points in illustrator

Want to achieve more organic-looking results in your drawings? Learn how to convert corner points to smooth points in Illustrator and get the super smooth results you’ve been looking for.

By David Blatner | Thursday, April 16, 2015

Making a Long Shadow in InDesign or Illustrator

Create a trendy long shadow

The long shadow is a fun, trendy effect and it’s a great way to make flat text and icons stand out—like those used to represent apps in iOS and Android.

Unlike a soft-edged drop shadow, though, the long shadow can’t be achieved with the click of a button in InDesign.

But this week’s InDesign Secrets shows you how to create a long shadow in InDesign in just a few steps. You’ll also learn how to move your design over to Illustrator and use a shortcut there to create a slightly more refined version of the same effect.

By Anne-Marie Concepción | Thursday, March 26, 2015

Use a Preset Photoshop or Illustrator Art Path in InDesign

2015_03_26_InDeSecrets

Learn how to make your InDesign layouts even more dynamic by customizing the shape of your image frames.

You can edit frames with the Pen tool—but why not use a preset art path from InDesign’s sister programs, Illustrator and Photoshop?

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Assigning Multiple Strokes to Gradient Type in Illustrator

Add multiple strokes to type in illustrator

Today’s episode of Deke’s Techniques tackles a question from one of Deke’s many fans:

How do you add multiple strokes and a gradient to type in Illustrator? And in general, why does Illustrator sometimes seem to ignore your instructions when it comes to type?

The trick, Deke explains, is getting Illustrator to treat the text as a type object, not individual characters.

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