Digital lettering is fun to do, and it can also be used to create unique projects. One of my favorite iPad apps to letter in is Procreate. A major benefit of using Procreate for lettering is that it’s easy to create your own custom lettering brushes by following just a few simple steps. There are a lot of options when it comes to brush making, but this tutorial will just cover what is necessary to create a simple calligraphy brush.
What I Used:
- iPad Pro
- Procreate app (this tutorial uses version 4.2.4)
- Apple Pencil
Step 1- Open Procreate and create a new canvas
Tap the plus sign in the upper right corner of the screen to create a new canvas. It doesn’t matter what size you use. I chose Screen Size.
Step 2 – Make a new brush
Tap the brush icon. Since we’re creating a calligraphy brush, tap on Calligraphy. Then press the plus sign in the upper right corner of the Brush Library. An Untitled Brush screen appears.
First you’ll need to define your brush’s shape. For this tutorial, we’ll select a pre-made shape. Under Shape Source tap Swap from Pro Library.
In the Pro Library scroll through the options and choose the Oval.
The Grain Source is the texture the brush will have. Under Grain Source tap Swap from Pro Library.
Scroll down and tap on the Blank.
Step 3 – Set the Stroke Properties
At the bottom of the brush menu tap on Stroke.
Under Stroke Properties set the Spacing to None. The StreamLine smooths out your lines. Set it higher so that your lettering will be smoother. For this tutorial, I set it to Max.
Streamline can help your lettering look better.
Examples of low streamline versus high streamline.
For this tutorial I left the Stroke Taper section alone. You may want to adjust these settings later.
Step 4 – Set the Pencil Settings
The other section to consider when making a calligraphy brush is the Apple Pencil Pressure. This will allow you to control how your brush acts based on the pressure of the Apple Pencil. When hand lettering you should press down on the down strokes to create thick down strokes and be light on the upstrokes to create thin upstrokes.
Tap on the Pencil button at the bottom of the brush settings.
Under Apple Pencil Pressure set the Size higher. I made mine around 62%.
Use light pressure for thin upstrokes and more pressure for thick down strokes.
Step 5 – Set the General Settings
At the bottom of the brush settings tap General.
Under Brush Behaviour make sure Orient to Screen is on. You can also turn on the Classic Taper.
The Size Limits will set how big your brush can be. Max controls the thickness and Min controls the thinness.
Set the Max a bit less. I made it about 80%. Set the Min a bit higher. I set it to 0.9%.
Step 6 – Name your brush and test it out
At the top of the brush settings, tap Untitled Brush and give your brush a name.
Make sure you have a color selected. I chose black. Test your brush out. Use the top slider at the side of the screen to see how it looks large and small.
Now that you know how to create a basic brush, you can experiment with the other brush settings to learn how they affect your brush.