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How to Fake Hand Drawn Lettering Skills in Silhouette Studio

I have NO skills in the handwriting department and let's not even talk about calligraphy....just no.  But...I can fake it with the best of them! Yup, more and more with the help of Silhouette Studio and now, a second specially coded set of fonts from The Hungry JPEG, I've been able to fake hand drawn lettering like a pro.

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Wanna know my secrets? Okay good...'cause here goes! 
The first thing you want to do is find a font that has extra characters and glyphs that can be accessed in Silhouette Studio. This is crucial because hand drawn letters are rarely identical so you want a font that has alternative characters.

The Get Crafty bundle is an awesome place to start.  It has 12 fonts all with extra characters, all accessible in Studio with no other design programs or software needed, all with commercial licenses - and all for just $15.

 
Now pick a handwriting or brush type font that you like and download and install it onto your computer.  (I am going with Freenight because I have a thing for brush-style calligraphy fonts right now.) The next time you open up Silhouette Studio it will be in your font list.

Using the text tool type out your font, starting a new text box for each word. Yes, really.  What I usually do is type out the first word and then replicate it the same number of times as words.

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Then I go into each text box and change the word.

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Once you have all your words typed out take note of the characters that are used multiple times.   I filled in them in here so you can easily see. Those are the characters that you want to change using an alternative character.


Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, hand drawn lettering, lettering
Depending on whether you have a PC or a MAC the process to access the extra characters is slightly different. I have explained this process multiple times on Silhouette School so I'm not going to bog this tutorial down with another explanation. If you need a refresher on accessing extra characters, though, check out this tutorial for PC users and this tutorial (originally written for Samantha font, but the same for all with glyphs) for MAC users.

The great thing about many of the fonts that are coded this way is that they offer multiple options for the same letter.  For example, the Freenight font offers at least 3 different lower case options for 'a'.  This is important because, the goal, when I'm trying to fake my hand drawn lettering skills, is to use a different character for each instance of a repeat letter.   Sometimes fonts will even have extra characters for double letters such as ee in sleep - as you can see below the two e's next to each other are different. 

Once you've found alternatives for all repeat letters, you can play with the sizing and spacing of your design by moving each text box around. See why you put each word in a different box now?

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, hand drawn lettering, letteringIt's also helpful to fill in the entire design with a solid color (and change the line color to match the fill). This way the design will appear welded (although it's not yet), and will still be treated as text so you can change characters if necessary.

The final step is to weld the text together so the words cut as a solid piece where any overlapping occurs.  If you're cutting your design on heat transfer vinyl, don't forget to mirror it before you cut!  I cut this one on Metallic Silver HTV and put it on a onesie for my future niece...

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, hand drawn lettering, lettering

My sister has no idea what she's in for ;) 

Silhouette Studio, Silhouette tutorial, hand drawn lettering, lettering

By the way, if you're a fan of Freenight or any of the other 11 awesome fonts in the Get Crafty bundle, grab it now! The deal's only good for one month before it's gone, baby, gone! 

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine!

Thanks for coming to class today at Silhouette School.  If you like what you see, I'd love for you to pin it!
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