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"This Life" - Typography Experiment - with tutorial

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  • "This Life"
    Typography Experiment - with tutorial (step-by-step)
  • Here we are with another Typography Experiment. This time I create a sketch inspired by sentence that I heard on Train's song. The sentence is "This life is too good to give up on". At certain point I started to sketch this sentence in my Moleskine® and I came up with this....
  • First Step - Sketching
  • I know that this sketch is pretty rough (and ugly actually :-P). In fact I started to draw it but I left it incomplete for a week. Than the paper fall again in my hand and I though "Why not?". Then I started to end this sketch and the idea came up in my mind: "Sure, this will be a new Typography Experiment in my portfolio". Let's see all the process.
  • Second Step - Illustrator
  • As usual my second step is to scan my sketch and put it in Illustrator to create a vector version of it. See how it works in this case.
  • I start to trace every single letter with pen tool. It isn't so easy for me because it is the first time that I try to create this type of lettering. I was inspired by Alan Guzman who is amazing in this kind of things (stunning actually!!). For more works about him see his Behance profile. Great portfolio and amazing typography. I give you my word!

    Let's see the following steps to create this type of lettering.
  • Here you can see that I use the thicker line. You'll see the reason why in the third steps. As you'll see in the following images I made this with the entire illustration. Let's see the screenshots.
  • So, I end up with this...
  • Don't think about the pink background. It's only help me to see the bezier curves during the tracing :-)
  • I know that at the first sight it seem not so good (in my opinion :-P) but you'll see how many changes I'll do int the following step!
  • Third Step - Photoshop
  • After Illustrator is time to Photoshop. In this part I'll add some great details that absolute change the illustration. In this step I'll try to give more realism to my illustration. Great source of inspiration in this case is Marcelo Shultz. The first time that I saw his illustration I though "No,it's not possible. WTF! He came from another world. He can do this with his hand and his Mac! Unbelievable!". Believe, if you'll se his profile here at Behance you'll think the same. Again, I give you my words!! :-)
  • So, here the main changes that I do in my lettering to give it more depth, realism and 3D style. Let's starte with the following screenshots.
  • This is the first main thing that literally change my illustration. I add shadows where letters cross each other. It gives an amazing depth to my illustration. Honestly, it's a long work because I draw them all by hand but it really worth! I make this with all letter crossed. See the following images.
  • After this heavy change there is another cool change that we can make to create more realism ang give to my lettering a 3D effect: inner shadow. See the following images to see how it works.
  • Again, for more realism I add a glow effect near every curvy letters. See this....
  • Every time I'm working on anew project I used to publish a shots about it at ( It's a great place where you can discuss with other designer about your WIP. This is the case. I have to thank Gianluca Giacoppo ( that helps me to create more realism with these glowing line. He suggested me to blur them a little bit to avoid the high contrast between soft shadows and sharp highlight. That's is what I did (you'll see this change on details of final illustration). Thanks again Gianluca! (you can see his profile here at Behance too)
  • The next step is add some texture. I used to do this with other kind of artwork that I do but I want use this method whit thi kinda of illustration too. See how it works.
  • I make this with all letters in the composition. Then I create a backgound. I create a simple gradient background because I want that who will see the composition focus his/her attention to lettering instead of cool background. (However you'll se that I create a crazy background too: I used to play with Photoshop :-P)
  • ...I told you, I used to play with Photoshop....:-)
  • So, here the final illustration in two versions: simple background and brushed background. But before take a look closely for some details!
  • • Color Variations •
  • After all, I decide to play a little bit with "cmd+U". This is the command that allows you to set three parameters of your illustration: Hue, Saturation and Luminosity. In this case I play with Hue setting to create different version of my illustration. See the following images to see the four version that I'll create.
  • - Light Blue Version -
  • You have to see the details of first color variation of my illustration and this is the entire composition...
  • So, see the next color vearitions: details and final version.
  • - Green Version -
  • - Violet Version -
  • - Pink Version -
  • Here we are at the end of this journey through my  Typography Experiment. I hope you liked it and enjoyed it. If yes don't forget to "push the badge" and share it all over the world!! :-)

    Thanks for watching!

    All the best,
  • The posters of final version of every color variations are available for purchase at