Creating Comic Titles - the hand-crafted style.




Hi Clip Studio people, its a pleasure to explore another tutorial and another technique.


This tutorial will explore how to create comic titles, which I think could be quite useful in creating that logo for your comic or graphic novel. I have certainly used it a lot in the recent future creating titles for my comics.


(All artwork used in this tutorial is mine by the way)

Type strategy based on your artwork

The first thing you will want to consider for your comic book cover is what kind of image you are working with, as that will effect the title and the font style you use.


Do you have a dark background to your image?

Or is your cover image mostly a lighter background like below?

Or are you working with as Black and White image as your cover, for a zine or a risoprint comic?

Dark background covers

We will explore all these scenarios, but first let's start with the Dark background image, in this case a Peter Pan children's comic. Feel free to download the image of peter pan and use it as an example in Clip Studio.


For this kind of fun kids comic, I want to do something big, bold and clear.

Load your document. I used A4 at 300dpi. Then load the peter pan image,

Then, select the type tool.

I am going to use a pretty nice font, often used in movie posters, called Futura. It has a lot of different weight options, and is versatile. If you don't have Futura (but most computers do), just use Arial, which isn't bad either for our purposes.

I am using an A4 size page at 300dpi, and for this size I used a font size of about 42pts to start with.

Then type in the title PETER PAN with a yellow colour. Hit return key, and type the subtitle 'Adventures'. Next, select the subtitle, and reduce the font size to about 18pts.

You should have something like the below, but you will notice that the leading (spacing between the lines) is too tight and we will need to adjust.

To fix this, select all the lines of text:

Then in the type tool properties panel, select the little Tool Settings button at the bottom of the panel:

In the Tool Settings dialog, select the line space/align tab, and click both the eye buttons. This will allow you to adjust the line spacing in the main settings of the Type tool panel.


Close the Tool Settings panel, and go back to the type tool panel. Change the line spacing so it is not so close, I went to 112 percent.

You can either leave the title as is with the font vector, or we can go ahead and make the title more handcrafted, by painting the letters by hand.


To create the hand-crafted approach:

First take the opacity of the Type layer down to about 20% Create a new layer above the type layer. This is what we will use to paint in our title by hand. Go to your ink brushes and select a inking tool with a bit of 'tooth' or natural edge to it. A good default option that comes with CIlp is the Textured Pen:



I always like to tweak my pen brushes a little bit, and this is what I did to the textured pen tool, basically taking up the Stabilisation and taking the Taper down:

Now for a further tweak, I changed the tip of the brush. I would recommend making a duplicate of the textured pen brush first, then working on the second version, so you can always go back to the default when you need to.


Duplicate the Textured pen tool Go into the brush settings:

Then go to the brush tip, and click on the current tip to change it:

Change to whatever tip suits you, I chose the coloured pencil tip which worked well for this title:

Click OK, and this tip will replace the current tip:

Now , with your new layer selected, start roughly painting over the letters.

Some strategies to speed up the process, do the outlines first:

Roughly thicken the outline of the letter:

Then use the paint bucket to fill the middle:

Or alternatively you can select the inside area with the lasso tool, then fill with the dropdown selection quick-menu, as below:

Now using the same pen, select erase for your colour:

Now carefully erase by hand some of the ragged edges to tighten up your letters, rotating the page as needed to get good strokes:

And there we have it! Your first hand lettered title is done. Now to adjust.

To adjust the size and location, use the transform tool:

And we are finished.

Light background covers

Working with the below light background image, we will try a different approach.

Start by selecting Gill Sans, another versatile font, and creating a title.

Now using the scale tool or the bounding box, stretch out the title until it is about this big:

Next we need to rasterize the text (remove the vector properties) so we can play with it:

Next, making sure you still have the rasterised text layer selected, select the Mesh transform tool.

This is a stylized artwork and it calls for a more stylized title. Begin to stretch and play with the mesh of the title until you get a cool looking result:


Now using the type tool again, I am going to place a subtitle. Let's call it Volume one. Once you have typed in your subtitle, rotate it a little to suit the mesh transformed title.

Rasterize the subtitle layer Select the Mesh Transformation tool again Warp the subtitle a little to match the main title:

Now take the opacity down on both your text layers.

And like before, begin to hand-paint the letters on a new layer.

Lets go for a rougher approach, try to create a textured, brushed line for the letters.

Switch between erase and paint, to get a natural textured feel:

This is what I finished with:

Now, lets change the colour of the title, as black is a bit too out of place. Use the eye dropper tool and select a colour from your artwork. I used the Red from the character's skin.

Lock the transparency of the type layer, then fill the layer with the colour you picked.

I did one final mech transformation of the whole hand-painted text layer before I was finally happy:

And we are finished!

Black and White Titles

What about if we have a complex back and white image? This is the approach I use for a comic I am currently working on called Jesus: The Temptations.

Create a strong title. It has to stand out against your linework. I used this font, called PingFang.

I suggest you use a different, bolder font for the smaller subtitle. If you use the thinner font of the title (PingFang) it will get lost in the background linework. I used Futura again, Futura Condensed.

For the hand-painted letters, may I suggest my textured brush which is available in the Clip Assets for free download:

It creates a nice textured line for your title.

Begin painting in your title carefully. Don't be afraid to rotate the page to get a better stroke:

This is how my title looked once painted:

Now, to make the title stand out a subtly from the background, I created a whiteout layer below the painted text layer:

Then, using white I carefully covered the intersect points to make the title stand out a little bit more. See below for examples:

This was the final result, which I will be using in my upcoming comic:

The final results

Below are the final results of our hard hand-painted lettering:

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and please ask questions below if you have any.


Follow me on instagram and twitter using @dropthedrawings handle, I'd love to see what you come up with using this tutorial!





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