If you’re using letters to convey language in a graphic context then it’s a good idea to learn about some basic typographic rules, or you run the risk of making major mistakes known as “type crimes”. Comic lettering, while different from traditional typography, shares many of the same rules and benefits as its cousin. (more…)
Posts Tagged: Lettering
Hi again everyone! This is the second part of my comic review checklist, which has three parts: everything that relates to the “flow” of the pages, everything that relates to the words on the pages, and then everything else. This is part two! (more…)
Once you have your lines of text set out, it’s time to launch into the final stage of lettering a page: composing your text on the page, and this is where I think hand-lettering shows a great advantage over font or mechanical lettering: flexibility.
With all your settings together, the process of lettering mainly becomes a matter of good form. This applies as much to lettering with pen and paper as it does to the digital medium, but digital formatting amplifies the issues of good form because the feedback from a tablet and stylus is much different from what you get from pen and paper. In short, the tablet produces the tendency for lines to wobble, because the pen can tend to slip. This is particularly likely to happen if you aren’t using a properly controlled hand posture while you letter. (See why I was so specific in the first part?)
The advent of cheap or free font packs, some designed specifically for comic books, has made it a lot easier for comic artists and cartoonists to letter their work in a clean, professional-looking manner. It may therefore seem strange to suggest applying old hand lettering principles to a digital art format. It’s not as odd an idea as it might seem, however, and has some significant advantages over font lettering. It’s also a lot easier than you might think.
Missed the first installment of this article series? Read it here.
So what exactly are fair rates? This is the million dollar question. It’s very difficult to get a straight answer, and everyone will give you a different one. Here are page rates as determined by the Graphic Artists Guild from a few years back:
- Writers (plot and script) $75-120
- Painted art $150- 350
- Layouts/Breakdowns $35-100
- Penciled Art $55-200
- Background art $10-25
- Ink Art $45-150
- Lettering $18-35
- Lettering on overlay $20-35
- Coloring art $75-150
Those are some pretty wide ranges, but it gives you an idea. Depending on your abilities, some employers may offer more, some may offer less. If you’re new to professional illustrating, these rates may be a little bit lower for the first few years as you gain experience. After looking at these, I feel that my rates are are actually rather low in a lot of cases, but they do fluctuate a lot. I take different variables into account before submitting a quote: the time frame involved, the complexity of the art, what style of coloring is needed (digital vs watercolor), who keeps the original art, what my other commitments are at the time of production, and anything else that may be a factor. Don’t forget that communication can eat up a lot of time, too. Sending emails, making phone calls, creating invoices – these things will eat up your time faster than you can imagine! Sometimes my rates are higher, sometimes they are lower. But I always quote what is fair to me based on the needs of the project. And see, writers should be getting paid a fair wage, too. But that’s a story for another time…