Getting Started with iPad Lettering: The Very Basics

If you’ve been teetering with the idea of taking your lettering game up a few notches and going digital, you’ve probably looked into iPad lettering.

iPad lettering is #lit at the moment (I’m not entirely sure if that expression works here to be honest, but it seems fitting) and a quick scroll through Instagram and you’ll be amazed with the array of artwork this nifty tool allows artists to create.

From elegant and simple to complex and colourful, the iPad is one of the most coveted tools an artist might hope for…but also kind of daunting (especially if you’re not the most tech-savy, like me).

That’s why I’ve brought in Karin Newport of iPad Lettering to go over the very basics of all things iPad lettering. If you’re a seasoned letterer or a complete newbie, Karin will take you through everything from her favourite tools, how to import a file, and so many little tricks in between.

And I KNOW, I know…I’ve said this with so many past interviews, but THIS time I *really* mean it. Watching the video will help you understand SO.MUCH.MORE. than me trying to explain steps in a blog post, so I really urge you to check it out for yourself here.

The links below may be affiliate links where appropriate. This means that your purchase through these links may result in a few cents in payment to me, to support creating further resources like this one! That being said, I will never suggest supplies that I do not personally use and fully recommend.

Now, the very first step to getting yourself started on iPad lettering might be the most obvious. But it’s Friday and you’ve had a long week so I’ll just give you a hand in case…(*drum roll, please*) You need an Apple iPad!

Though any iPad that works with a stylus will do, Karin is a fan of the 12.9” iPad Pro for a few reasons, but the main one being the size. Karin enjoys how her whole hand sits on the screen (for comfort reasons), that she can prop up and hold it comfortably in the crook of her forearm and that the screen resembles a sheet of paper in scale.

Other tools and apps Karin recommends:

  • Apple Pencil: Though you technically could purchase another stylus, the Apple Pencil is a hands down winner. It is better to save up and spend the extra money and by doing so saving your patience.
  • Procreate App: Karin uses this app for most of her lettering projects. It is also the app that we use for the iPad version of Show Me Your Drills!
  • Adobe Sketch
  • Affiniti Designer
  • File Explorer: Used to export zip files into the Procreate App

Bonus Tools:

  • A screen protector not only saves your screen from scratches, it can also help you transition from paper goods to the iPad. iPads have much less friction than paper, and a screen protector such as Paper-Like helps recreate the feel of regular paper.
  • A sleeve and/or case not only helps keep you iPad from scratches and damage, but it can also help keep your tools (say, the Apple Pencil) in a safe spot. You can find a huge collection on AliExpress or one like mine on Amazon.

Now again, this is when I’ll remind you that checking out the interview yourself and seeing Karin run through each step will be so much more beneficial than reading them on this blog. BUT I’ll do my best to give you a little overview of what Karin went over in the video.

  1. How to import worksheets and brushes AND how to tweak them to your own individual preferences (such as the pressure and streamline). (Pro Tip: Duplicate a brush before you play with it’s settings so you have the original and the custom one.)
  2. THE. DOUBLE. TAP. Aka: undo. Aka: the best feature ever. If you double tap the screen with two fingers, the last stroke you made will be erased/undone. A double three finger tap to re-do, and a little scribble to erase the entire layer.
  3. How to add a layer to the practice sheets or change the background colour. (Pro Tip: Always work on a new layer! This way you can keep the work you’ve already done, and then start from scratch on a new layer! This is a great way to check on your progress.)
  4. How to blend different colours with the smudge tool.
  5. How to export and share your artwork.

The very best way to learn is to PLAY with the Procreate App. The handbook does cover ALL of the details (but can be a bit boring to read), so trying out all the tools and then checking out the handbook when you’ve hit a roadblock is the way to go.

Now, in case I missed anything (and I probably/totally did), check out the live interview here and then head on over to iPad Lettering for more informative tutorials.

Thanks again to Karin for taking the time to show us everything to do with the basics of iPad lettering! Because of the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend in Canada, there will NOT be an interview next week. If you would like to check out some of our past guests, you can check out The Happy Ever Crafters YouTube channel!

P.S. And now that you know how to import brushes and worksheets, check out some of Karins FREEBIES

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