Interested in brush lettering? Get a free chapter of my e-book, Getting Started with Brush Lettering The great thing about hand lettering is that it allows you to step away from your computer and completely unplug for a while. You can even go full-on Do Not Disturb and get lost in the practice of drawing for hours on end. It’s the perfect way to spend a weekend morning. Once you hit a certain level of completion, it’s in your best interest to digitize your lettering pieces so that you can publish them on the web, add them to a portfolio, or use them in a print project. And as cool and intricate as hand drawn effects can be, it is definitely fun to see what you can sit back and let the computer do for you. Think 3D effects, shadows, adding the perfect color palette, etc. There are tons of ways to digitize your hand lettering art, all of which I plan to go over on this blog in time. Here’s my favorite way of digitizing my doodles and lettering by using Image Trace in Illustrator. (Click to share on Twitter!) It’s a great way to capture the quirkiness that comes inherently with hand lettering while still allowing it to be scaled up to any size without losing image quality, since your result is vectorized art. To take your designs from paper to digital with this method, you need your work to be completely finished. Quick pencil sketches or really rough work just won’t cut it. Your work should be colored in, preferably in black, and be on a clean piece of paper. To bring your art into your computer, you can either use a scanner (I use a Canon LIDE 110… affiliate link alert… I only recommend products I use and love, and this scanner is so affordable and does a good job) or you can use your camera phone . Finally, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. While Photoshop isn’t necessarily needed, it is best for preparing your scan or photo so that it translates best in Illustrator. You will see more about this in a bit. Again, make sure your work is in a finished state, preferably black and white. If it isn’t B&W, you can work around it, but this method of using Image Trace works best with crisp, B&W line art. If you’re taking a photo of your artwork, make sure to eliminate shadows or get them as even as possible, and take your photo square-on so you don’t have any weird perspective skewing. Even though this photo is yellowed, the shadows are relatively even and there isn’t too much glare. It will be cleaned up in Photoshop in the next step. Here we are going to adjust the levels so the black art becomes blacker, and the page becomes white. Go to Image → Adjustments → Levels… or type CMD+L on a Mac or CTRL+L on a PC. (I should note that desaturating your image — converting it to pure black and white in Photoshop — may make this process easier, especially if you’re working with a non B&W image. To desaturate, type CMD+Shift+U or CTRL+Shift+U or go to Image → Adjustments → Desaturate.) From here, click the white eye dropper and click around on the white parts of the page until the background looks pure white without a lot of noise (the grain and weird shadowing that can start to pop out when you’re playing with levels). Even after you’ve adjusted the levels in Photoshop, you may still have weird shadows especially around the edges of your page because of vignetting. Using the lasso tool (L) or the marquee tool (M), select the clean part of your artwork that you want to bring into Illustrator. Using Image Trace in Illustrator is a fun way to digitally capture the quirkiness of hand lettering. (Click to tweet!) Learn how to quickly digitize hand lettering and calligraphy using the Image Trace tool in Illustrator. Read the full tutorial post digitizing using Image Trace here: Subscribe to my channel and get more great tips http://youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=jnnfrcyl Jenn is a Philadelphia-based illustrator, web designer, and creative lifestyle blogger. INFJ. Learn how to quickly digitize hand lettering and calligraphy using the Image Trace tool in Illustrator. Read the full tutorial post digitizing using Image Trace here: Subscribe to my channel and get more great tips http://youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=jnnfrcyl Jenn is a Philadelphia-based illustrator, web designer, and creative lifestyle blogger. INFJ. Welcome to Hello Brio Studio, a blog created to learn how to digitize hand-drawn graphics, hand lettering, & calligraphy. Like what you see? Join the Hello Brio community to be notified of new tutorials, freebies, and products. Source.