How I Create Designs for the Shop

Lately I've been getting a lot of questions about how I make the designs in the shop. If I make them on the computer, by hand, if I use fonts, etc. So I thought I'd share a little bit about what goes into the process!

I draw everything, usually with my Apple pencil on my iPad Pro. Drawing letters is called hand lettering.  If that doesn't make sense, think of it as drawing letters (as opposed to writing them) or phrases/quotes, etc. into a unique composition/design. 

It usually starts with a quote or word that I have a connection to. A thought in my head that I want to make a visual reminder for. Or just something that resonates with me somehow.

Next comes the brainstorming part. This is where I start creating thumbnail images. Basically little mini boxes where I roughly sketch in shapes for where each word will go. I get super messy here. It’s just a space to get out different layout ideas and figure out what I want the overall composition of the piece to be like. During this step I think about what product the art is going to end up on (that also makes sense for the quote) because that determines what the layout will look like. During this time I’ll also think about the letter styles and any decorative or illustrative elements I might want to add in.


I do all of this on my iPad Pro. The iPad Pro is AMAZING. My process definitely improved when I got one. Instead of erasing and using tracing paper to make iterations of my design. I can just make new layers in Procreate (the app I use to do my lettering in) and click undo. It’s like magic.

After I choose what layout and lettering styles I want to go with, I get more specific with it. I’ll roughly sketch out the layout more in depth, and practice each word in the style I’m going for, figuring out the serifs and flourishes and letter forms. I basically keep doing this until I have a rough sketch I’m happy with.

Then I trace over my own sketch and perfect it, adding in more decorative elements and color!

Above is a little GIF of different steps of creating the Progress over Perfection. And that's basically it! There's a lot more that goes into the design decisions and overall process, but that's the low-down for ya!