It's been a while since I've broken out the bezier pen. I used to work at a label company, creating artwork and tracing over really bad faxes that clients would send to us. I would prep the artwork to be printed. I traced with the pen in Illustrator day in and day out, every day. I haven't really had much of a reason to get back to it, until recently. So I broke out the bezier pen. I decided I'd create a signature to put on my photos. I know that there's companies out there that will create these for you for a fee, and I decided that I wanted one, I just didn't want to pay for it. Besides, after years and years of doing exactly this, surely I could still do it, right? So I sat down and created a signature of sorts. Of course this isn't my legal signature, it's just signature-esque lettering. I created 2 versions, one that was closer to the original, and one that would fit in a shorter, wider area; should the need arise. I'll walk through my process quickly. First, I took some time to figure out how I wanted it to look. I plan on putting it on photos, so I wanted it to look signature-like. I filled pages and pages with different styles of letters and lettering. How would the letters connect? Would they slant? How much detail would be evident as far as individual letters? I finally came to a design that I liked.
Scanned Lettering for bezier pen
Scanned Lettering
I knew that this wasn't perfect, but it captured what I was after. I scanned it in, and went to work with the bezier pen. I wanted to be sure that you could still see some letters, and when I write quickly, I tend to skip letters. I wanted to capture the quick lettering, but didn't want it to looked forced. I also wanted to be sure that it was straight. I also realized that my first name looked like the name "Janet" with the way that I wrote it, and how the "T" intersects the "d". I had some things that I needed to fix. I placed this file in Illustrator in it's own layer, locked it, created a new layer, and went to work. After working with the bezier pen, I came up with this...
Lettering after bezier pen
Lettering after bezier pen
I feel like it kept the spirit of the original lettering, but cleaned some things up a bit. You can see that the "T" doesn't intersect the "d". I also made the d a little more evident. I also fixed the "k" in my last name, and cleaned up a few letters. I straightened the lettering out, and rounded a few corners, while making some of them just a little less "perfect". I saved it as an SVG so that I can use it just about anywhere. As an SVG, I'll also be able to resize it, and even stretch it to a certain extent without doing too much damage, should the need arise. I feel like I was able to come up with something useful, beautiful, and fairly flexible. Overall, I'm happy with it, plus it was fun to break out the bezier pen again. I'm also glad to know that I can still do the work, not just direct it.

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