Layouts & Lettering Go Together

When setting up my own comics, I create thumbnails based on scripts, then figure out where the letters go first in InDesign. Once I know how much space the letters take up, I can design panels around the letters and ensure the reader has a smooth experience reading the story.

However, not all projects are like this! Often, the layout is already made for me when I work on a team. Artists retain control over the drawings, and editors retain control over the writing. When the graphic novel arrives I’m often the last step between creating the book and shipping it to the printers. Here are some of the problems I routinely solve within the constraints of a publishing pipeline.

Custom Lettering for Graphic Novels

Riverdale Diaries Vol. 1
Publisher: Buzzpop
Author: Sarah Kuhn
Artist: J. Bone
Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Art Director: Rob Wall

I lettered this brand-new middlegrade series starring Betty from the Archie comic franchise. Working closely with the team I created a styleguide in InDesign that could scale to additional books in the series, as well as pass muster with the Archie comics license holder. The text retains its edit-ability within the InDesign document to accommodate last-minute changes and localization, when applicable.

Graphic Novel Localization

Hombre Perro Vols. 4-9
El Club de Cómics de Supergatito Vol. 1
Publisher: Scholastic
Author/Artist: Dav Pilkey
Editor: Megan Peace
Art Director: Phil Falco

The Dog Man and Cat Kid Comics Club series are a riot with the middle-grade audience. What could possibly make them even more popular? Localization into Spanish to reach Spanish-reading markets would do the trick. As a letterer, I digitize hand-written text into an editable InDesign document, re-draw sound effects, and hand-tool special letters into Spanish words. The layouts and lettering arrive pre-made, but there are still special challenges inherent with laying out longer Spanish words in smaller English spaces.

Need a Letterer for Your Graphic Novel?