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Old 06-01-2005, 07:31 PM   #1
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REFERENCE: Lettering Oddities found in Scripts

Ok folks, this list is NOT inclusive, but I want to post it reference sake. PLEASE add to it as you see fit and I will make a master comilation at sometime in the future (if I have the gumption).


Assume bolds are bolds.

Italics are italics.

Underlines are bolds (this is old school, still used by many)

Brackets [ and ] are bold (adopted by many letterers since computer lettering)

Asterisks * are italics (adopted by many letterers since computer lettering)

{ and } are fireflies (used in aspirations like “yawn” and “gasp”

ALL CAPS can mean several things depending on the writer, the letterer, the publishing house, etc. For example, many now use them to designate bold. However, if lettering in sentence case (like Marvel’s Ultimate line) it means letter in CAPS. I tend to use it to say “Make this word extra special”… either large or done as an SFX within the balloon. In all cases it is meant to get the attention of the letterer to do something special (whatever that may be) as most letterers (myself included) do not read while lettering (slows us down by a factor of 5). When in doubt, ask the writer.

( and ) are used as is. Several writers have been using them to denote “speaking to myself”. This is a fad that probably won’t last, but there it is.

Mixed cases such as “LoOk, therE goeS suSan and her RotTie.” are rarely seen outside of a lettering script (also rarely seen), but in case you do see one (or are lettering, editing, proofing for a writer who letters) it’s to help with the cut-n-paste. Most professional comic book fonts have alternate versions of the letters on the UPPER CASE and lower case keys in order to help produce a more organic feel to the lettering. If you see this, let it be, your letterer will thank you and the end product will look much better for it. Few writers write this way, but a couple do, so watch for them, they’re funny.

The letter “I” has three forms… the lowercase (i), the uppercase (“I” - that looks like a lowercase “L”) and the uppercase with crossbars ( “I” those are the lines across the top and bottom of the letter). In comic lettering each of these has a specific purpose. Typically, the Crossbar-I is reserved for pronouns and names only (I, I’m, Isabella), occasionally a letterer prefers to use them for the beginning of sentences when needed, and NEVER in the middle for a word. The uppercase without the crossbars is used in all other situations. The lowercase “i” is only used when lettering in sentence case. WEIRD HOLD OVER FROM EARLY COMPUTER LETTERING: sometimes you will see the pipe (|) used instead of the crossbarred “I” in a script “|’m pleased to meet you”. This is because there are several computer fonts still in popular use that put the crossbar I on the pipe in order to have two variations of the non-crossbarr I. It’s odd, but it’s out there.

Double-spacing does not exist in computer lettering and most letterers will take them out before lettering. If you love your letterer, don’t use them.
I believe that’s the biggies… though I have no doubt missed several and will amend this list as needed. Please don’t hesitate to ask.

Last edited by Kep!; 06-01-2005 at 07:35 PM.
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