Lettering Composition for Quotes

lettering Jun 28, 2020

Welcome back, my lovely people! This week I’m going to show you another grid composition for lettering quotes! I think it’s SO beneficial to see someone else’s workflow, and it’s helped me as a creator time and time again. This tutorial is super flexible because you don't need to use an iPad, even though that’s what I’ll be using today. This tutorial will work with the classic pencil, ruler, and paper as well.

The quote I’m using is one of my own, and I love lettering quotes because we're able to accentuate certain words that we want to bring attention to. The quote I’m using is (drum roll please…), “Creativity changed everything in one night and it’s got me where I am today.” I know this quote is lengthy, don’t panic, that’s a big reason why I chose it. When we use lengthy quotes, we tend to get hung up on the placement. But we can do this! Trust the process!

If you'd like to work alongside me, watch the video version of this tutorial at the bottom!

I love sharing Grid Builder tutorials with you because they're an easy way to cut a few corners without diminishing your work. I don't know about all of you, but I love things that make my life easier! 




Step 1: Write out your quote and isolate key phrases

My first step is picking out my brush for my lettering. I tend to go with the sketching brush that’s provided by Procreate. Next, you’ll want to write your quote in the most general positioning that you’re thinking. “Changed everything” and “where I am today” are some of the phrases that I want to accentuate so I’m going to make those words a little larger than my others to catch the eye.

 Once I’m done writing my quote, I’m going to decrease the opacity of my first layer so I can use it as my base so I can see where I’ll be placing things. If you’re sketching with pencil and paper, as long as you lightly write your quote, that should be fine!



Step 2: Add a second layer to start building your layout


For our second layer, we're going to start building our grid, woo! I highly recommend getting this grid builder pack if you work digitally because it has saved me so much time on my lettering.

For my “changed everything” line, I chose to use the “pointer” template on my grid builder, and I’m going to change the color so I can better differentiate between my first layer and my second layer. One of my favorite parts of the grid builder is that you can drag and adjust as much as you want in order to fit your quote the way you want. With that being said, adjust your grid to your liking.



I also decided that I’m going to use the same grid (pointer), but in the opposite form, for my “where I am today” line. Because I’ve already spaced the grid to my liking, I’m just going to duplicate it, rather than starting anew. To do that, just swipe to the left on that layer and click duplicate. Then on the new layer, select it with the arrow tool in the top left of the screen, flip it vertically and drag it down to the area you want it in.


Another awesome thing about the grid builder is that banners are included! So if you don’t know how to draw a banner, have no fear, there is a way around that. You can use the banner as a guide to drawing your own.  I’m going to leave “and it got me” on its own and I can return to it when it's time to add it in. For now, I just want my main phrases as my focus.


Step 3: Begin drawing letters within the grid


Just as we did before, turn the opacity on the layer down so you can better see your third layer. Now it's time to draw letters within the grid. Choose another new color and snag your HB pencil for another sketch. Make sure that you space out your letters evenly. It will help to count the number of letters that are in each word so you have a better visual of which part of the phrase needs to be drawn out in the center first. For example, in the word "changed" the middle letter is "N" so I'll begin by writing out the letter N in the center.



The next line we're going to want to pay close attention to because you want the lettering to follow the guide of the grid builder. Because the grid I chose slants downward and then back up again, I want my letters to follow in the same way. I'm also going to leave a small amount of room underneath “changed” so that “everything” doesn’t connect with it.



I made an itty bitty creative change to my bottom line because the grid I originally chose just wasn't doing it for me. No mistakes just happy accidents, amiright? Instead, I went with the "arc large" grid and it ended up looking perfect. 

Once you’re done writing your quote, feel free to turn the first layer off, as you don’t need to remember the wording now that you've drawn it out. You can also turn off your grid builder and start filling in your banner at the top to make it look more, like, banner-y. You know what I’m talking about!



Step 4: Draw your final letters


Again, decrease your opacity on the third layer. This is when you'll start to create your block letters by outlining your third layer. I'll be using my own monoline brush from my Procreate brushes which also happens to be free so you should absolutely check it out! 

Take your time with this step because it's going to be your final lettering. We'll be forming these letters and then filling them in as we go. When you’re going over your letters, try to think of it as drawing, not writing.


Sad news, I got this far along and realized that I left out the words “in one night." Big oops. Fixable. I decided to use the flowing ribbon banner for that line. I then included “and it got me” right under it, making it on the smaller side to keep it simple. 



Step 5: Turn your guides back on and let the colors fly


Turn your guides back on as you start to make your quote pretty. I’m filling in my banners, adding a different colored lining to it, etc. If you decide to play around with different colors on the banners, just make sure your wording is completely inside the banner, and not grazing the edges of your banners. 



Step 6: Use a reference layer


Select your fourth layer, click reference, pick a new layer, and fill in your banner from that new layer. I'm going to use a smaller brush and add thin lines that will accentuate and show where the breaks are but not look overbearing. This also looks super awesome because it gives the banner more movement.


Step 7: Create a drop shadow


Once you have your foundation set, you can start really playing around with your colors. The next thing I'm going to do is create a drop shadow. To start, duplicate the letters layer and choose a color that's however many shades darker than the original that you'd like. 

Then duplicate that layer. Go to the layer that's beneath and drag the lettering farther down than the original. After that, connect and color in the two darker layers to create the drop shadow effect. I'm using my monoline brush because I don't want the pressure sensitivity of other brushes. 



For even MORE details, check out my youtube video below!