Below, I use one of my most recent projects to demonstrate the process of Reverse Glass Gilding, and after the demo I provide a list with links to the materials you will need to get started.
REVERSE GLASS GILDING
Step 1 : Clean the Glass
Step 2 : Create your design
Step 3 : Create A Pounce Pattern to Transfer Design to Glass with Chalk
Step 4 : Prepare Water Size (water/gelatin based glue)
Step 5 : Apply Gold
Step 6 : Wait for Gold To Adhere, Then Rub Away Excess Gold
Step 7 : Transfer Design Using Pounce Pattern and Chalk
Step 8 : Paint Backup Black Overtop Gold
Step 9 : Wash Away Excess Gold
Step 10 : Paint in the background a solid color
Step 10 : Let Background Paint Dry then Frame your Glass!
When I first started reading about gold leaf techniques, the entire process was foreign to me, as it might be to you. It took me a while to figure out everything that I would need to get started. So, I figured that sharing this knowledge in a list format would be helpful to people interested in learning about gold leaf! I've provided links for most the supplies, so if you are so inclined, you can build up your digital shopping cart.
What is Bracketing?
Let's start with a definition and then let's look at a few examples.
A bracket is "the filled-in area that connects the serif to a stroke ..." -Doyald Young
In contrast, take a look at what modern fonts do. They remove the brackets so the end of each stroke meets a serif at an angle, creating a sharp and clean aesthetic.
Another example of where bracketing can be used is on the ball terminal of a letter. Check out these lowercase letter 'a's for instance. Another thing to keep in mind is that, brackets are not one size fits all. You can change the size of a bracket to create a smooth transition like the ball terminal of the 'a' in Didot. Or you could have a smaller and tighter bracket, as seen at the inside juncture of the ball terminal on the 'a' of Bodoni. Palatino is an example of no brackets for the ball terminal.
Why use bracketing?
Great question! A functional reason why you might choose to include a bracket on a letter is if you have thin strokes and serifs. Adding brackets to a thin stroke and its serif can add a little bit of visual weight, to help balance out the letter. Check out this example of the lowercase letter 'y' in the font Bauer Bodoni. The top left serif doesn't need brackets because it is attached to a thick stroke, but the thin stroke on the top right does have brackets.
Lately I've been working a lot with lettering in a condensed style, so I figured I would share with you some thoughts on the style and tips for using it. If you haven't already heard, I'm currently putting together a new online lettering class with SkillShare, and I'll be teaching Interlocking Letterforms in a condensed style. So, I'll be going through some of this stuff in greater detail in my class. If you'd like to get an email notification when my class goes public in about a week or two, all you have to do is follow me on SkillShare.
Download My Condensed Font For Free . . . Yay!
Ok you guys. Let's be real. I am not a font designer by trade, and this font isn't meant to replace Helvetica Round. With that out of the way, I have developed this semi-complete font for use in lettering. This is actually the font I will be providing my Skillshare students with, in my upcoming class. Right now, I have completed the Uppercase, Lowercase, Numbers, and a few Punctuation Marks, but I think it serves it's purpose for the time being. Here's a dropbox link for you to download the font for freeeeee! :)
The font is not designed for copy text. (I would not want to read paragraphs set in this condensed alphabet.) My intention is that it be used as a springboard for lettering in a condensed style. So, in the following little demonstrations, I want to introduce you to the font and show you how I have been using it. This will give you a taste for some of the concepts I'll be demonstrating in mySkillShare class. These little snippets are actually taken from the content of my class, so you guys get an exclusive preview! :)
What the F**K is a Condensed Style?
Very good question, and thanks for bringing it up! Here's a dictionary definition:
"The letters of a condensed font have set-widths that are narrower than in the standard typeface from the same family. The term condensed font can also apply to fonts where each variation is much taller than it is wide."
And here's how I explain it. The dictionary definition is actually right on. For my condensed font, all of the letters share the same width, and are much taller than they are wide. They are all three units wide. The middle unit represents the counter aka. the negative space within a letter. So, the counter space is equal to the width of each stroke.
This Condensed Style Is Modular
Since the font style is tall with straight sides, it is really easy to manipulate. If you want the letters to be taller, you can just grab the top half of the letters and drag them up or down.
We can use this Font as a Springboard for our Lettering
The process I'll be teaching in my Skillshare class will cover how I manipulate this font into a more unique lettering composition. I'll be teaching how to sketch in this style, how to execute your sketch, and how to refine it within photoshop! The process will look something like this:
Try mixing Upper and Lowercase together (AKA Unicase)
One of my favorite illustrators, Steve Simpson, incorporates a lot of custom lettering into his work. Seen below, Steve uses a unicase style (Both upper and lowercase letters together). There is something about sneaking in lowercase letters in between the uppercase that just adds a bit of unexpected visual interest. He uses this style with "The Field" and "Dublin" below.
Try Adding Extra Weight Contrary To Normal Conventions
The Gilligan's Island TV show logo from the 1960's is also another great example of how a unicase style can be used in lettering. The letters are all over the place in terms of weight distribution, and they are drawn kind of wonky. But that is what gives the title some personality. Check out the way the lettering artist added extra weight to the cross bar of the capital letter 'A' in the word "Island". The same idea is applied to the first letter 'G' in the word "Gilligan's". This is a style I would like to personally explore soon.
Try mixing Roman and Script Forms (as well as unicase)
Doyald Young was a master lettering artist. In the example below (logotype by Doyald Young), the lettering has a consistent aesthetic, but he is actually mixing and matching styles. While most of the letters are based on roman forms, at the end of the word "Ridge", Doyald substitutes in a script letter 'e'. To make the incorporation of the script 'e' work in the composition, the rest of the letters are drawn with a bit of script flare to them. This lettering can also be considered unicase, because the 'y' is a lowercase, amidst all uppercase letters.
Try mixing Formal Script and Elements of Freehand Lettering
In this example of my latest lettering for the #GoodTypeTuesday Lettering challenge with the theme of your favorite art brand, I lettered the brand Wacom in an interesting mix of styles. While all of the letters are reverse contrast (thick on the top and bottom, and thin on the sides), each of the letters takes on a unique style. The 'W', 'a', and 'm' are drawn with both formal script elements (the flat top stems and branches coming off of the stems), as well as some brush script styling with the addition of swashes. The lowercase letter 'a' is drawn with an open bowl, which is often seen in brush script or quickly written words. The 'c' and 'o' are both formal script forms with reverse contrast.
Try mixing Roman & Script Forms in a Condensed Sans-Serif Style
Since we are on the topic of mixing styles, I thought it would be fitting to let you know that I am currently working on a new Skillshare Online Class! It's a step by step process that will teach you how to plan, execute, and refine your own custom lettering piece in an Interlocking Condensed style (like the interlocking lettering shown below)! This style is really fun, because we can use upper and lowercase letters, as well as script and roman forms. With so many different letterforms to work with, it is easy to can come up with some really interesting letter interactions!
At the moment, I am still working on putting together all the content for the class, but it's all starting to come together! If you haven't already, you can follow me on SkillShare. This way, you will get a notification when the class is published!
If you haven't signed up for SkillShare yet, you definitely should consider it! If you use my special link, you can get access to my first class "Illustrative Lettering: Turn Lettering Into Art", and all of the other classes on the website for $0.99 for the first three months! Honestly, It's an incredible deal, and you gain exclusive access to some of the best online courses on the internet!