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I'm so lazy about lettering. Any tips?

#1
Specifically, I like to copy and paste my text because I suck at lettering. I've created my own font, but I'm looking for tips such as optimal size for an average comic, how do you make a great looking speech bubble (and is it repeatable?) Thanks! Aaron /South Coast, MA, USA
Team Preachy-Preach /OCTRTA
 
#2
I make my speech bubbles in Illustrator and copy them into Photoshop (there's probably a quicker way of doing it in Photoshop, to be honest, but I never sit down to work on it before I need to letter something.)

Making them look good - or, at least, professional - is mostly about making sure they're not bigger than necessary and making sure that the connection between the tail and the bubble is a consistent size (regardless of how long the tail is.)

Copying and pasting text is fine if it's all spelled/punctuated correctly, and putting key words in bold and italics for emphasis (sparingly!) helps create tone. Otherwise, just retype it to make sure there are no makes.

How did you make your own font, by the way? I'd be interested in working on something like that myself!
 

JamieMe

Administrator
Staff member
#3
I do all my lettering in Illustrator, but I do the odd project in Clip Studio Pro too. For beginners I'd argue that Clip is easier, and it cranks out consistently high quality bubbles. One of the nice bonus' is that it draws tails at the same size all the time.

Other than that here are some cheats I've picked up along the way:

Look at the best and see how they do it. Rus Wooton and Nate Piekos etc.

Get a high selling Marvel or DC comic, copy and paste a lettered page over the top of yours and check that the font sizes are similar. After all... they are probably not getting this part wrong given the amount of comics they print.

Get fonts from Blambot or ComicBookFonts. We have threads right here on the forums with suggestions.
 
#5
Same here as @JamieMe and @Paul Carroll- I do my lettering in Illustrator and import it over to Photoshop to merge everything together. For my Clique comic, I'm using the font Wildwords and I letter at 9 point(I may lower it down to 8 point in the next issue); for my webcomic Ray Thunder, I use the font Meanwhile and I letter at 7 point. I just try to make sure the dialogue has breathing room, dialogue is italicized where I need it to be for desired effect, and that my tails arent TOO inconsistent(unless they need to be).

A gem that has helped me out is letterer Jim Campbell- he has a blog/tutorial online that gives a LOT of nifty information/tips: http://clintflickerlettering.blogspot.com/2010/10/lettering-in-adobe-illustrator-four.html

And as Jamie has stated, Blambot has lettering tips and Ccomicraft has tutorials/tips: http://www.balloontales.com/

I know Photoshop & Illustrator can be quite expensive- that's why I do suggest Clip Studio Paint. You pay a one time price of $50, and the program is yours forever- you even get updates/upgrades for FREE.They do have a 2 computer limit though- you can only load the program on up to 2 computers.
 
#7
Is this to create the PDF? I drop the AI straight into inDesign.
I dont save mine as PDFs; with the webcomic pages I save it as PNGs for Tapas and JPEGs for Webtoon. With the print pages I save them as Tiff files or PDFs when printing. I have all the material there and initially save a version of the finished art(sans lettering) as a Tiff file.

I need to start making a "balloon file" and save word balloons there to re-use in future pages. Probably would save me a lot of time, but I onno- I have way too much fun creating new balloons to fit the current pages.
 
#10
Hey! Very helpful thanks! I think I may get into Clip, very soon. Also will check out that blog.


Same here as @JamieMe and @Paul Carroll- I do my lettering in Illustrator and import it over to Photoshop to merge everything together. For my Clique comic, I'm using the font Wildwords and I letter at 9 point(I may lower it down to 8 point in the next issue); for my webcomic Ray Thunder, I use the font Meanwhile and I letter at 7 point. I just try to make sure the dialogue has breathing room, dialogue is italicized where I need it to be for desired effect, and that my tails arent TOO inconsistent(unless they need to be).

A gem that has helped me out is letterer Jim Campbell- he has a blog/tutorial online that gives a LOT of nifty information/tips: http://clintflickerlettering.blogspot.com/2010/10/lettering-in-adobe-illustrator-four.html

And as Jamie has stated, Blambot has lettering tips and Ccomicraft has tutorials/tips: http://www.balloontales.com/

I know Photoshop & Illustrator can be quite expensive- that's why I do suggest Clip Studio Paint. You pay a one time price of $50, and the program is yours forever- you even get updates/upgrades for FREE.They do have a 2 computer limit though- you can only load the program on up to 2 computers.
 
#11
I dont save mine as PDFs; with the webcomic pages I save it as PNGs for Tapas and JPEGs for Webtoon. With the print pages I save them as Tiff files or PDFs when printing. I have all the material there and initially save a version of the finished art(sans lettering) as a Tiff file.

I need to start making a "balloon file" and save word balloons there to re-use in future pages. Probably would save me a lot of time, but I onno- I have way too much fun creating new balloons to fit the current pages.
I was thinking about this too. Make a series of balloons i can then squeeze in.
 

AnitaComics

4-Stripe White Belt
#12
I'm lazy as well! I do the baloons in Photoshop with the Pen tool, because I don't want a regular shape for them. Turns out they all look pretty similar anyway, so it's good for me.

...I also letter in Photoshop. I know, I'm terrible, BUT it looks good enough both in web and printed format, so I'll stick to it because it's less work <_< again, I know I'm terrible and I ask forgiveness to all the letterers out there.

I work in american format. I used to letter with Anime Ace and recently moved to EvilGenius by Blambot. In both cases, 10 pt looks good on my stuff. I made some print experiments before sticking to a size/font
 
#14
Anyone else hear of Manga Studio? I love it. Comes with templates for layouts, a speech bubble maker, and many other tools found in Illustrator. Been using it for years. The program isn't too expensive, could probably find an old version online.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_n_8?fst=as:eek:ff&rh=n:229620,k:manga+studio&keywords=manga+studio&ie=UTF8&qid=1516029532&rnid=2941120011
Mostly every artist either uses Manga Studio/Clip Studio Paint(they're the same program), Photoshop, or Illustrator to do their lettering. Some artists might use stuff like Inkscape or Comic Life.
 
#15
What seems to be working is a layering process using Autodesk Sketchbook. I'm creating balloons in that, then I can c/p into Gimp and layer text on it. Thanks everyone for the feedback! still considering buying a new program but right now I am focusing on OCTRTA and I don't need to learn something new.