Skip The Bullshit, Hand-lettered Illustration Process

January 16, 2023

Wondering how I go about hand-lettering the illustrations in my shop? In this post I’ve broken down the different phases my illustrations go through during the creative process and have shared images directly from my artwork files. I use orange to highlight the changes and additions in each step to give you a clear idea of the progression.


After I’ve come up with a phrase and done a preliminary sketch of the type I have in mind, I jump onto Adobe Illustrator to start building. Letters are all made up of repeated shapes and one of the nice things about this kind of hand-lettering is the simplicity of those shapes. Once I had the structure established, I added in the decorative elements indicated in the graphic above.

With an illustration like this I love a drop shadow with an outline.


Once I’m happy with the typography I move onto the composition. With this piece I decided on a shape that worked with the lettering and phrase, then arranged graphic flowers I illustrated around it, focusing on keeping the artwork balanced.

One great way to maintain balance in a piece like this is to reflect the design, so after I organized the flowers on the right side, I just flipped the artwork for the left.


This is my favorite part! I’m all about the embellishment so I like to play around a bit in this stage with outlines, graphic elements, drop shadows, etc. I just keep changing and tweaking things till it feels right.


Last but not least is color. For me this is always the hardest part. If you’re familiar with my work you’ve probably noticed I have a tendency towards orange and pink…

Color plays a large part in contrast, balance, readability, and the overall vibe of the artwork…as you can see from the several failed combos I tried above.


Once my gut approves and I’m done tweaking the artwork, I place it into the downloadable artwork template I have and export it as a high res. to be added to fun products on Printful so they can be purchased on my shop!

If there are any pieces that you would like to see the process for leave me a comment below 🙂

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