Tracing | Illustrator 101: Tracing Your Hand Writing Using Illustrator's Image Tracing

Illustrator 101: How To Digitize Your Hand Lettering

Using Illustrator's Image Tracing

To spend something in a weekend, practicing on the drawing will take you for hours. Just preparing your scan or photo so that it translates best in Illustrator. You can think about 3D effects, shadows, and adding the perfect color palette. Digitizing and lettering by using Image tracing is recommended in Illustrator. It is a great way to capture the quirkiness that comes inherently with hand lettering while still allowing it to be scaled up to any size without losing image quality since the result is vectorized art.

To take your designs from paper to digital with this method, you need your work to be completely finished. Quick pencil sketches or really rough work just won't cut it. Your work should be colored in, preferably in black, and be on a clean piece of paper. To bring your art into your computer, you can either use a scanner. Or you can use your camera phone.

Finally, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. While Photoshop isn't necessarily needed, it is best for preparing your scan or photo so that it translates best in Illustrator. (Tracing)

Step 1: Scan or Take a Photo of Your Work

Work is in a finished state and must be in black and white. Eliminate shadows or get them as even as possible. Photo square-on, no weird perspective skewing.

Step 2: Open your Photo in Photoshop

Adjust the levels so the black art becomes blacker, and the page becomes white.

Step 3: Drop your Adjusted Artwork into Illustrator

Adjusting size in Illustrator does not matter as much at this point because the end product will be a vector.

Step 4: Convert Your Artwork into Vector using Image Trace

Start with Black and White Logo.

Step 5: Expand and Ungroup Your Letters and Make Final Tweaks

Click the Expand button at the top. Then, ungroup the selection twice. An individual elements will appear that can be move around the page and adjusted as needed.