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cyxodus 03-21-2011 12:20 AM

New Letterers FAQ - Read First
FAQ for new letterers.

Q: What software do I letter with?
A: There are primarily two main programs pros use, Illustrator and CorelDraw.

Adobe Illustrator

Q: Is there a free program I can letter with
A: Yes, it's called Inkscape but being it's open source, it's not yet up to pro standards.


Q: Are there any other programs?
A: Some use Freehand but it was discontinued when Adobe bought Macromedia. Manga Studio is also popular with the Manga community.

Manga Studio

Q: What about Photoshop?
A: Photoshop should never be used to letter a comic. It was mainly designed for photo editing and graphics creation and not lettering. Programs like Illustrator and CorelDraw are vector programs that are the standards in the comic industry.

Q: What fonts do I use?
A: Professional comic fonts can be found at Blambot and Comicraft.

Blambot - Price: Free (Indie Comics) - $40
Comicraft - Price: $29 - $395. Annual New Year's Day Sale: $20.13* (*the price of the font is equal to the year)

Q: How do I install fonts?
A: Blambot has a good guide on that.

Blambot Guide to Installing Fonts

Q: What are Mixed Case fonts?
A: Fonts with upper and lower case letters.

Q: What about Comic Sans?
A: @$#& NO! Comic Sans is an atrocity to the design community and should never be used. EVER!!. Even it's designer says that no one should use it.

Q: Which operating system should I use?
A: Being that most letterers use Illustrator or CorelDraw, I suggest Mac or Windows. These two programs are not available on other platforms.

Q: Where can I learn to letter?
A: Search this forum for valuable information and post your questions. Visit sites like Ninja Lettering, Comicraft's Balloon Tales or Blambot. Read the blogs of letterers like Todd Klein, Jim Campbell and many others.

Ninja Lettering
Balloon Tales

Todd Klein
Jim Campbell

Q: What are some of the terms used by letterers?
A: I suggest reading Balloon Tales' "The Comicraft Glossary of Lettering Terms".

The Comicraft Glossary of Lettering Terms

Q: What does SFX stand for?
A: It means Sound Effect.

Q: Where can I find Templates?
A: Ninja Lettering has tons of templates for many programs.

Ninja Lettering

Q: Are there pages I can practice on?
A: Yes, try the Activity Archive in this forum.

Activity Archive

Q: Is it "Word Balloons" or "Word Bubbles"?
A: It's "Word Balloons".

Q: Does anyone still hand letter?
A: Tom Orzechowski, Clem Robins, Todd Klein, Nate Pikeos (all members of this forum) are just a few who do but the industry moved to digital lettering in the 1990's. Read Blambot's article on hand lettering to see how it's done.

Blambot's Hand Lettering Article

Q: Creating SFX is hard. Where can I find examples of them?
A: The blog LETTERING LIBRARY has a constantly updating collection that's perfect for new letterers.

Lettering Library

blahblah1984 05-01-2014 11:34 PM

You put together a great resource here... thank you.

blahblah1984 01-25-2015 11:59 AM

Hello Lettering Folk,

I am trying to sort out formatting for a new project I am working on. Any help/tips would be wonderful.

The artist puts his finished art together in Photoshop, and sends over the file. I letter the file in illustrator. Right now I am applying the lettering using a template provided in the above link to Ninja Lettering's website.

We are very small time, and I doubt I will be exporting our files as an EPS to send to a publisher. I will need to export pages to put up as a webcomic, and possibly for self publishing. What is the best way for me to do this? I only have Illustrator CS5 for manipulating art.

Any help, links, or experience on the topic would be much appreciated.



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