How to sell your handwriting and hand
Creating your own font is an incredibly fun way to create and sell art. Personally I love just practicing new styles of lettering. You will constantly be learning new techniques, discovering new tools, and growing as an artist all around because of the whole process of digitizing your work.
There is a technical side that you will have to learn if you want to stick with it.
The whole reason I put handwriting AND doodles in the same post is because the process can be very similar, depending on what you are doodling, so you might as well know the general process for both.
Creating Your Original Font
(and what to do with it afterward)
If you enjoy brush lettering, artistic lettering, calligraphy, or any other lettering you would like to share with the world, you have a ton of options for selling your work.
Alright, let's talk basic steps for lettering and software you will need to design your own font. I will try and give a free and paid option for everything, I just like to include EVERYTHING that has helped me so far. Even if I didn't buy or use it right away, I want to share things that have helped my creative process, so if you are worried about supply cost or software, please don't!
Seems to be the main one that people use and vouch for, I am currently learning how to use the program and already see the value in it.
You can actually get a deal through Adobe for $29.99/month which gives you access to ALL of their programs. It will be worth it to you if you are doing things like photo editing, video editing, graphic design creating, font creating, etc.
You would EASILY spend more than $30/month when using other programs, so just keep that in mind as you are racking up your monthly expenses. GET A FREE TRIAL HERE.
- You need Illustrator, or a similar program, to upload your design, vector-ize and trace them in a program to individualize your letters and icons.
Then you can kern and adjust your fonts in a font creation software. This program will give you the opportunity to adjust spacing, clean up smoothness of corners, etc. Most importantly, once you have created your font be sure to test it out on your computer. Type anything you want, but pay attention to the spacing of each letter, spacing of the words, etc. This is your test to make sure your future customers will be amazed by your handy work.
- Glyphs is a recommended font editing software, BUT it is not free, so here are two free substitutes that I love: FontForge or Type Light.
Now if you do try Illustrator & Photoshop & are completely lost or overwhelmed (like I was), these books are extremely helpful in getting a nice solid foundation of technique so you can make the most of these programs: If you get them used, you can get them for like $4 each, and they give you the web address to check out new updates for newer versions of that program!
- PAPER– I would highly suggest graph, dot, watercolor/mixed media , and tracing paper. When you are first starting out you can use whichever paper you want, but to make sure all your lettering is straight and even you need those.
Grab this freebie while it is still here !
- MARKERS– Crayola Supertips are a great purchase, especially when practicing. And the Tombow dual brush pens(color) are great for creating designs needing a bright, full, & precise look (and black).
*** I LOVE the watercolor brush markers with the waterbrush pens. The water brushes make watercolor completely enjoyable because you don't have to keep dipping your brush. All you do is squeeze your water pen for a continuous flow of water.
Graph and dot paper help you practice keeping all your letters the same size, and you will need to practice your skills before your final drafts.
With the pens and/or markers you could go with color, watercolor, brush, calligraphy, etc. Once you figure out what you are going to create you can decide which pens & markers you will need.
Spirographs are a fun way to create original and hand drawn designs.
HelloBrio.com is one of my main sources for information and guidance when it comes to creative digital graphics. She has a great publication on Amazon, so if you are starting out brand new and need step by step guidance like I did, this is the book to pick up!
Every-Tuesday is my other main graphic art gal. She offers a free resource library where you can download all kinds of free vectors, fonts, and tutorials. Her courses and blog post tutorials will help you figure out how to do a lot of digital design.
These books I bought off of Amazon, got
them used, ALL for around $4 each.
Where to sell your designs:
Now, for selling your finished graphic designs you can sell directly from your website, or you can choose to sell through websites that keep it incredibly simple.
All you have to worry about is keeping your online shop stocked with awesome graphics.
You won't have to worry about customer service or marketing (besides social media shares) so that is the easiest way to go.
If you want to sell your designs on your site too eventually, that is great, but if you are new to all of this I would start out with third party sales first. Here are the main ones I use for buying and selling graphic art:
How much should you sell your digital
- The Graphic Artists Guild is a must-have resource because it gives you a sense of community and issues/questions that people are having will be discussed. They have sources to influential magazines, websites, and lots of other graphic art related goods. You do not have to have the paid membership to get good info off the website. People tend to only check out the Guild when they are having some type of legal issue, but it is seriously worth checking in every now and again to keep your business in check.
- Graphic Artist Guild Handbooks are very useful guides to have at your fingertips to know how much to buy and sell graphic designs for. This book is an awesome buyer's guide so you won't ever be underpaid or overcharged! They also go over everything you could ever need to run a successful freelancing graphic art related business.
When purchasing the Handbook, be sure to use the most recent version so the values are current. Here is the one I have and highly recommend:
Since the cover of the book tells you absolutely nothing about what is all in it, here is a preview of the subject of each Chapter:
1- Professional Relationships-(Illustrator professional relationships, ethical standards, sources of design talent)
2-Legal Rights & Issues (The Graphic Artists Guild, copyright, work for hire, resale royalties, trademarks, international and Canadian copyright, etc.)
3-Professional issues (like tax, deductibility, kill fees, contests, employment issues, etc)
4-Technology Issues–workplace changes, pricing considerations, legal & ethical issues, health issues, The Labor Market, etc)
5-Essential Business Practices– Negotiating, deciding what to charge, marketing & self promotion, getting paid, maximizing income, growing professionally, etc.)
6-Standard Contracts & Business Tools-Importance of contracts, the 7 types of contracts, when to call a lawyer, when things go wrong, etc)
7-Salaries and Trade Customs– (employment outlook, salary ranges, hiring practices, etc)
8-Graphic Design prices and trade customs– ( general trade practices, corporate graphic design, advertising & promotion design, collateral design, package design, publication design, book jacket, book shepherding, photo retouching, greeting card design, etc.)
9-Web/Interactive Design Prices & Trade Customs– (advertising illustration, artwork used in motion pictures/TV/video, Corporate Illustration, book-package-fashion-medical-natural science-3D-architectural illustration, etc)
10-Cartooning Prices & Trade Customs– (magazine cartooning, editorial cartooning, newspaper syndication, comics, book-length formats, licensing & merchandising, etc)
12-Animation Prices & Trade Customs– (animation today, computer animation, careers in animation, job markets & salaries, freelance animation, motion graphic design, etc)
13-Surface Design Prices & trade customs– ( trend & color forecasting, the design process, computer-aided design, surface pattern, surface & textile design, pricing for freelance design, etc)
14-The Graphic Artists Guild– (Long range goals, history of, taking action, member benefits & services, etc.)
15-Resources and References– (recommended books, useful publications, industry directories, buyer databases & list services, organizations, conferences, useful web sites & blogs)
Appendix- CONTRACTS AND FORMS– (copyright, cease and desist letter, artist-agent agreement, artwork inventory, all-purpose purchase order, nondisclosure agreement for submitting ideas, work change order form, licensing agreement…long & short….graphic designer's estimate & confirmation form, release forms, agent agreement, estimate & confirmation forms, holding form, and designer's invoice)
Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines, 14th Edition
Print On Demand Sites:
With Print On Demand Sites, you can just upload your design to be printed on items such as (but not limited to) :
- coffee mugs
- phone cases
- throw pillow cases
- wall tapestries
- gift wrap
- greeting cards
AND MORE ! This is another stress free way to share your awesome art with the world without having to deal with anything business owners would normally have to. You choose your own price, when the customer makes a purchase, the item is then printed on, and you make your commission.
P.O.D. Companies I love:
And these are the basics of creating your own graphic designs and selling them online. Wish you the best of luck, and remember, if you have more questions, check out hellobrio.com & Every-Tuesday. They have helped me every step of the way!