Shading Techniques in Outlining Letters

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There are a few different shading techniques that you can employ when it comes to outlining letters. Learn about shading techniques in outlining letters with help from an experienced graphic designer and illustrator in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Drawing & Art
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Video Transcript

Hi, everyone. My name is Gene. I'm an illustrator and a graphic designer. I've been working in the industry for about 15 years and today we're going to take a look at some typography. This is a few techniques on how to shade letters. So there's a couple different things I want to talk about. Let's get started. Alright so we have a couple of letters quickly drawn here and I'm going to show you two techniques to kind of make these letters pop a little bit. Now the first one obviously is we could just outline the letter in a darker color and so in this case I just took a black marker and I'm just going to run right along the outline of this letter and give it what we call a stroke and it's not going to have a heart attack or anything, that's just what it's called in Photoshop and Illustrator and pretty much any other program that you're ever going to use if you get onto your computer and you're doing typography the old fashioned way which is digitally. So they're just a quick little stroke. Stroke, all that means is an outline around the outside of the letter. The second thing we can do to make these letters pop, with a little bit of shading technique is to define a light source. So for this I'm just going to say that our light source is here and we'll say this is a very creepy kind of skull looking light bulb, that's just how we draw them. I'm going to do the same sort of thing where I'm going to start by outlining the entire letter but this time instead of outlining the entire letter with the same line weight, I'm going to darken every line that is away from my light source. So if my light source is up and to the right, then down and to the left I'm going to darken every one of those lines and make it thicker and that's going to give this letter a little bit of depth and kind of make it just pop out a little bit. So here you can see it's almost looking a little bit three dimensional now and all I've done is just thickened up every line that's facing away from my little light bulb here. So sort of a cross between those is if you wanted you could just only outline the area that's away from the light bulb and that will give you kind of an interesting in between look. It will make it pop a little bit and it will make your brain fill in the other side of the line there. Alright, so there you have it, those are just a few things that you can do to make your typography really pop, really stand out from the crowd. So if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Thanks for watching. We'll see you next time.

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