I recently met Christian (Type By Chris) on a visit to the Apple Store (fittingly!). I was meaning to attend a Lettering workshop Ian Barnard was holding at the Covent Garden branch in London. Unfortunately, I arrived too late to catch any of the workshop, but was able to say hello to Ian afterwards which is how I met Christian.
The three of us went to the pub and Christian showed me his Instagram profile. I was instantly blown away by the quality of his work and enjoyed talking all things iPad and Procreate over a couple of beers. He kindly agreed to give us some background into his lettering journey and process.
Can you tell us a bit about your journey into Calligraphy and Lettering? What initially got you started?
I started about two years ago when I went to a typography showcase in London. I was so impressed and loved it straight away. The day after, I started drawing my own typography and it was really hard with time and days spent to reach a good “level”. The thing that really pushed me was that you can offer to your clients something unique and bespoke that cannot be replicated by anyone else. It’s exclusive to them.
Did you start with Brush Script, or did you try your hand at other styles first?
I first started with brush calligraphy using normal brush pens on paper. After a while i got into proper lettering, especially when the iPad Pro was launched.
How much time did you devote to learning the early days?
Every single day.
Were there any teachers or learning resources that stood out to you?
I wouldn’t say teachers, but when I first started, some artists on Instagram were a big inspiration and I wanted to be like them. Now I collaborate with them or am asked to collaborate on projects. A few of them are still big inspiration for me today.
Can you give us a quick rundown of your process? Do you jump straight into a piece or sketch it out first?
Lately I usually work mostly on my iPad Pro with Procreate, so i jump straight into the App and start drawing without sketching or guides. Then I refine all the letters when the piece is up to my standards.
Has using the iPad changed your workflow?
Using the iPad has really changed my workflow a lot. I don’t have to scan anymore. I can just use the iPad and create already digitised hi-res lettering work, saving hours of work.
Do you use a mix of Photoshop and Procreate for a piece, or is it all in Procreate?
If I’m working for clients, I use Photoshop on my 27″ monitor to refine every single detail of the typography to reach the best quality I can. If it’s for my Instagram feed, I just use my iPad Pro and upload straight from there.
What advice would you give someone aspiring to be work with clients in this field?
You should find your own “lettering style” and stay always updated with latest trends in the typography community, especially on Instagram. And of course practice every day and try new things.