I occasionally get e-mail inquiries from people who want to be lettering artists. I often mention in my reply that sketching is the way to find answers. Nothing happens magically. There is no computer software package that spits out automatic thumbnail drawings. It all happens with a pencil and paper.
The following images are good examples of what commercial lettering is. This project was for the redesign of the Black Label logo which involved preliminary sketching and vector lettering comps with many tweaks all due under a very short deadline schedule. No type fonts were used to create the lettering. Everything was drawn by hand in both pencil and vector formats. While this project was happening I also dealt with several other deadlines using the same sketch, draw and refine process. Sketching is always the starting point of any commercial lettering project.
Preliminary sketches sent the client.
A mix of the vector comp lettering with alternate caps, letter shapes and embellishments.