Baileys Hot Chocolate – Lettering and Typography

To those of who read my previous post, about Tea Towel Hand Lettering, I would like to offer an apology. If you know about typography, lettering or design it probably hurt your eyes and your soul. If you don’t know about typography, lettering or design, it still probably hurt your eyes and your soul.

Good news is, the one I’m going to show you today took so many hours that It was hard not to have improved my less than desirable skill. This design is for a tea towel recipe, inspired by the Spoonflower contest brief of tea towel recipe (open for voting from 5th November) but not with any hopes of entering as I thought I would just fail and want to hide my creation from sight…

Before I show you my creation, here are a few inspiring images of chalkboard art and where you can find them:

From top to bottom…

  1.– I feel really bad about this but I didn’t check out Valerie McKeehans website until just now. It’s awesome and she does awesome things so I recommend you have a look at it.
  2. -I love the coloured chalk on this

I stuck with the blackboard style but originally chose a beige colour for my ‘chalk’. I kept the same border as I used on my previous tea towel and temporarily left it white. I also did the same swirly writing. At this point, aside from googling chalkboard art recipe I still had not done research into Hand Lettering.

It wasn’t long before I abandoned the beige chalk in favour of white. Then I just needed to spend several evenings putting the recipe on. The biggest issue I had here was the layout. I put this image (below) on a design community Facebook group asking for help and someone helpfully suggested I research into a magical thing called composition. This means putting the words and pictures on to your design in a way that makes sense and looks great.

Instead of telling you everything I’ve learnt about composition I’m going to direct you to an awesome and instructive blog post by Sarah Dayan. One of her tips which I really went crazy with is to mix different font styles and sizes. I may have overdone it but I kinda like it. I also began to put some thought into which words I wanted to emphasise. As you can see, I wanted to emphasise HEAT and NOT in the instruction to ‘heat but do not boil’ and also ‘chocolate’, ‘milk’, ‘pour’, ‘favourite’ and ‘whipped cream’. However I hadn’t really thought about why I wanted to emphasise these words. It just sort of felt right.

I played around a bit but still struggling to find a way that worked for me, I asked my boyfriend for advice. He suggested putting just the top of the mug at the bottom of design and having the steam sort of turn into the word ‘Chocolate’. So I have that a go and also played around with the ‘mix together’ section to make it really fit in the space.

A few hours later…

The text has been altered and (I think) massively improved. It looks really busy but I’m ok with that. The swirls were also changed a bit to have a criss cross thing going on. I also realised that the word ‘Baileys’ needed emphasising some more, so I made it chunkier. The brush I used (on Paintstorm by the way) is called ‘after gradient’ because it tapers nicely at the ends and I just removed the gradient and coloured it white. Then to make the white look chalky I roughed it up a bit with a textured eraser. Finally I added shading to the mug.

This is the version I submitted to the Spoonflower contest which I decided to do at the last minute after someone on Instagram suggested it… it’s definitely not perfect but that’s ok, I’m only a newbie after all and I’ll still have it printed on a tea towel for my kitchen. Alsooooo…. I’ve just noticed that Sarah Dayan has an article on how to mix fonts and it may be too late for this design, but I’m going to read it now and see what I can learn for the next one.

Drawing mugs and whipped cream was fun to do so here’s a little ‘picture guide’ on drawing a mug with whipped cream if you want to have a go 🙂 I did it using the gradient brush and selected a colourful gradient just for fun. And I added a spoon sticking out.

This is currently in the Spoonflower contest and voting is open until October 10th EDT, I’m not suggesting that my amateur design deserves your vote but I am suggesting that you go on to the voting pages and vote for a few of your favourites (I voted for 5!). Speaking from experience it’s really exciting to receive votes and there are some awesome ones on there.

The next Spoonflower contest that I’m planning on entering is called Farm to Tea Towel so I’m going to design that and write a blog post about it 😃😃

Stay tuned people – it gets better every time!

7 thoughts on “Baileys Hot Chocolate – Lettering and Typography

  1. This is lovely! I’ve always loved the hand lettering style but had no idea how to do it so this is such useful information (: your design is beautiful too! Do you draw using a stylus and how do you get it on the computer? My problem is that I usually draw with pen and paper, wish I could transfer it to graphic form but am scared it won’t turn out with the right shading/ colours…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! This design I did 100% on my iPad with a stylus, which i found quite difficult as a beginner. Now I have pens and paper and I find it much easier. When I get it on to my iPad (or laptop) I do find that I need to tweak things to get it right, if the black ink looks faded when it’s scanned etc. But I’m not confident I’m doing it right so I’m going to do some research! 😃


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