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procreate lettering guides

How to Install and Use Lettering Guides in Procreate

Are you interested in creating beautiful Procreate lettering guides but don’t have much experience?

Now lettering is accessible for anyone to learn on Procreate, with the help of lettering guides.

If you want to take your Procreate designs to another level, lettering guides can be just what you need.

Hand lettering is challenging and takes a lot of discipline to master.

These guides can help you create stunning lettering designs much faster and easier.

But, lettering guides will require some setup to get working with Procreate.

Some features of lettering guides may not be evident to the first-time user.

This guide will answer any questions you have about finding, installing, and using Procreate lettering guides.

Moreover, it will get you started making beautiful lettering!

Overview

After finishing reading this guide, you will know:

  • What are Procreate lettering guides
  • Why should you use lettering guides
  • Where to get the best free and paid lettering guides
  • How to install lettering guides in Procreate
  • How to get started using lettering guides

Now, let’s start with the most basic info about Procreate lettering guides.

Just What Are Lettering Guides Anyway?

Lettering guides are a lot like the notebooks we used when we first learned to write our ABCs. 

Rather than just writing freehand, the lettering guides offer guidelines to show you where your letters should be placed. 

And just like those old-school notebooks, these guides are the first step in mastering hand lettering.

They may not be strictly necessary but are indeed very helpful for beginners.

Hand Drawn lettering gives a lively and personal touch to your designs but is often less accurate than digital fonts.

Lettering guides can help standardize your handwriting by providing directions for consistent letter sizing and shape.

These guidelines are based upon various features of the script in question. 

These features may include technical, typographical terms you may not be familiar with. 

Lettering Common Terms

  • Baseline: This is the line that all the letters rest on.
  • X-height: The height of lowercase letters like a or x, and features like the bowl (the round part) of a b or p.
  • Ascender: This is the line that tall letters such as t or f reach up to. 

For tall letters, the top of the letter reaches the ascender, and any other features should match up to the x-height.

  •  Descender: The height for a letter that drops down below the baseline, like g or j.
  • Cap height: The height of an uppercase letter. Surprisingly, this is not the same as the ascender height, at least not always.

They aren’t so complicated once you get used to them, and soon they will feel perfectly natural in your writing.

And now you can begin building muscle memory to draw hand lettering without any guide – wherever you want!

Some lettering guides may have layers of faded versions of a script underneath, allowing you to try out new scripts that you may not be familiar with.

This is much easier than copying from a separate reference image.

They may even include an order that is optimal for drawing the strokes of the letters.

You could design and set up your guide, though that will require quite a bit of knowledge about lettering. 

Lettering Guide Downloads

Typically, the easiest method is to download a lettering guide distributed online. 

We will go over some good sources for these guides later on.

From a technical point of view, these lettering guides are usually distributed as .procreate files. 

This makes it easy to import them and begin working with your lettering guides. 

We will talk more later about how to import and use lettering guides. 

Now let’s talk about when you should choose to use lettering guides instead of other options.

Why (and When) Should You Use Procreate Lettering Guides?

Lettering guides offer you the benefit of more consistent lettering while maintaining a handwritten flair that fonts lack.

But, hand lettering may not always be the correct choice for your design.

When Not To Use Lettering Guides

For longer text pieces, it will usually be better to use a premade font.

This will save you lots of time as hand lettering takes much more attention to detail. 

It is also much faster to change fonts and styles of written paragraphs without having to redraw every letter. 

Not to mention that handwriting can be tiring on your hand and lead to cramps and pain. 

Hand lettering is also harder to read in long paragraphs than clean, consistent typefaces.

For these reasons, hand lettering is often saved for shorter features like titles.

Feel free to use your actual handwriting for a shorter text that doesn’t require a more polished look, such as a signature or quick handwritten note. 

No guide is required.

This will keep the highly personal feel of your handwriting and save you lots of time.

When To Use Lettering Guides

The best time to use a lettering guide is when you have a short text that you want to pop.

Lettering guides will make these features look that much better and make them more pleasing for the viewer.

If you haven’t done much lettering but want to create strong typographic designs that pop, lettering guides are perfect.

Lettering guides are also helpful when you have a word written multiple times or handwritten text in columns.

Having a guide for your letters will help them line up and look consistent across words and lines, making a more cohesive and less distracting piece.

It is also helpful to use lettering guides when you want hand lettering but are not confident in the particular letters you wish to use.

The letter guides can help you learn and use new styles much more quickly.

Finally, lettering guides are also just an excellent option for the fun of it.

It is a neat experience to see beautiful lettering and knows you produced it.

And, even without a project in mind, lettering is a handy skill for any graphic designer or artist.

You may even find that working with lettering guides improves your everyday handwriting as well.

Lettering guides are easy for kids to use and would do a fun exercise for kids and adults.

Now let’s move on to where you can find lettering guides to use with Procreate.

Where to Find Procreate Lettering Guides

There are many resources online to find premade lettering guides for Procreate.

Some of these will cost you some money, but there are also many great free alternatives.

Many of these guides come in packages with multiple different lettering styles and sizes for you to use.

If you choose to go the paid route, these packages can be an excellent value for your money.

You should make sure you will make the most of the package and not simply buy it for one of the included guides alone.

There are many sites where users are making and sharing lettering guides for Procreate.

Here Are a Few Reputable Sources to Check Out

Etsy

Etsy is always a quality source for your DIY needs.

There are hundreds of paid options on Etsy for numerous different lettering styles.

Here you can find anything from classic scripts to more modern styles and layouts for many different designs.

There are also helpful user reviews to help you make the right choice.

Additionally, occasional sales can help you get more guides for even less!

Once you buy on Etsy, you’ll be able to download and start using your procreate files immediately. 

Find them on your account’s files page on the site.

Designbundles

Another source is Designbundles.net

They have an excellent selection of packages themed around many topics. 

Their packages are also on offer for a great price.

Creative Market

Creativemarket.com is another site with a wide selection of paid lettering guides and composition guides to choose from. 

Every Tuesday and Ipadlettering

There are even a few accessible free guides such as this one from Every Tuesday and this one from ipadlettering.com.

Along with guides, many sites may also sell different brushes that can help add that much more appeal to your projects. 

And, if the brushes come with the guides, that’s an even better deal for you!

With so many quality choices available at your fingertips, now is the perfect time to start lettering in procreate!

Let’s go over how to install and use these guides once you have them downloaded.

How to Install Lettering Guides in Procreate

Once you’ve found a lettering guide you are interested in using; the next step is to start using it!

Luckily, installation takes only a matter of seconds.

For this process, you will need your iPad with Procreate installed and your chosen files. 

To avoid any problems, make sure your Procreate app is updated to the newest version.

Step One

Firstly, find where the file is saved on your iPad.

This may be in your browser’s downloads, your files app, or somewhere else.

If it is a .procreate file, it is as easy as tapping.

Voila!

Procreate should open up, and begin importing your lettering guide immediately. 

It will now appear in your list of projects in your gallery.

From here, you are ready to start lettering in Procreate.

We will guide you through that in the next step.

But first, there are some other cases to cover.

Step Two

If you downloaded the files on your computer, you would first need to copy them to the iPad. 

I recommend using a cloud service such as Dropbox, iCloud, or Google Drive to keep all your files accessible and organized. 

Once you have the file downloaded onto your iPad, the steps are the same as above.

If your .procreate file doesn’t automatically import when tapped, look for the share button somewhere nearby.

(That’s the one that looks like a box with an arrow coming out.)

You should see “Open in Procreate” from the share menu among the list of app options. 

Tap this option, and the file should open as usual.

If this still doesn’t work, your file may be corrupted, and you should try redownloading it from the source.

Beyond that, your file may appear as a .zip archive rather than a .procreate file. 

Step Three

In this case, find the file within your iPad’s ‘Files’ app and tap. 

This will unzip the archive into a folder of the same name.

The .procreate files can now be found in this folder.

Step Four

Finally, if your guides are bundled as brushes rather than Procreate files, the steps are much the same as above.

But your new brushes will now be found in your brush library within procreate.

All these steps are also compatible with the iPhone app Procreate Pocket. 

Functionally, these two apps are very similar, including using the same file types, so you can even get started with lettering on your iPhone. 

Unfortunately, it will be tough to get the most out of your lettering guides with a smaller screen and no stylus while using Procreate pocket. 

And, brushes and projects are not guaranteed to display correctly in the pocket edition, so your mileage may vary.

Beyond Procreate and its pocket version, these guides will not work with any other programs. 

If you don’t use Procreate, you will need to search out guides specific to your software.

So, if everything worked out, you should now have your lettering guide imported and ready to use in Procreate.

Next, let’s look at some tips for getting the most out of your lettering guides.

Using Lettering Guides in Procreate

Pens ready?

Let’s begin.

Layers

One of the most important things to consider within your document is the layers.

Within the layers, you may find different variations of the lettering guides.

This may include entirely different guides or more subtle differences such as italics, spacing, etc.

Before starting to write, always make sure to place your writing on its empty layer.

This way, you won’t overwrite your original guide.

This means it will be ready to reuse whenever you feel like it, and you won’t need to re-import the files over again.

Brushes

Some guides may appear as brushes instead of layers.

 In this case, you can stamp the guide brushes and then switch to whichever brush you want to write with. 

It is vital to keep your writing on a separate layer from your guide, even in this case.

As far as brush selection goes, you have a lot to choose from. 

Procreate is generous enough to provide you with many built-in options. 

Within your brushes library, you can find a section titled ‘Calligraphy.’ 

Brushes in the calligraphy section are tailor-made for lettering and writing and are a great place to start using your guides. 

The calligraphy brushes will give you the most natural look and feel when working with lettering. 

However, nothing is stopping you from experimenting beyond these brushes. 

The beauty of Procreate is that your creativity is limited only by your imagination. 

So go ahead and try out any brushes you think may be fun to use. 

Also, as mentioned before, there are countless brush sets available online. 

These brush sets will expand your brush options far beyond the many already included with Procreate. 

There is no end to the possibilities!

If you set up your layers as I described, you should be able to quickly try out new brushes on the same guides and compositions.

It will always be best to letter with your stylus to simulate the natural feeling of writing.

Consistency In Lettering

It is also essential to try and maintain consistency. 

Your lettering will look best the more closely you stick to the guides. 

Later on, as you develop, you can try going beyond these lines. 

For example, you could make the first letter of a word extra large and detailed. 

But for learning purposes, it is best to stick within limits for the time being. 

If you write something and are happy with how it looks but want to put it in a different spot, you can do this too. 

Since your lettering is now on its separate layer, you can remove it from the guide and use it on its own. 

Hide your guide layer to isolate your text. 

You can now select your words and apply any changes you want, such as sizing and other effects.

 You can also now copy your text and move it to another background or project. 

This is useful when your lettering guide is primarily filled with guidelines, and you want to use your lettering for a finished design.

So, now you should be all set to begin testing out and experimenting with lettering guides in Procreate. 

Final Thoughts

Procreate on the iPad is an excellent environment for creating beautiful lettering designs. 

With lettering guides, you can quickly get started on your hand lettering projects in procreate. 

There are so many options for you to download and try out.

Know that more and more are being made all the time.

And installation is such a breeze. 

Now is the perfect time to get started with lettering on Procreate by using lettering guides. 

You surely won’t regret it!

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