Michael Stock

Comic Book Lettering

Comic Book Lettering

Comic Book Lettering Services

I have been providing a professional comic book lettering service to an international client base since 2011. Services include standard lettering (dialogue, captions, SFX), compiling books for print and digital sales and submissions (Comixology), and series/title logos.

If you are thinking about hiring a letterer, I’d love to hear from you.

What is comic book lettering and why do I need it?

It is largely agreed that comic book lettering is an art form that is often under appreciated. Professional comics are a team affair… this includes, but it not limited to: writers, artists, colourists, letterers, editors, flatters and inkers, to name a few. At the highest level, every part of the process is split. This ensures the highest quality throughout, and allows regular releases of multiple titles.

Just like with artists and writers, the history of comics is full of great letterers. For instance, the first comic book letterer I heard of was Ben Oda, but it doesn’t does take much digging around to find out about the likes of Ira Schnapp and the late, great, Gaspar Saladino. Modern comics has its own heroes too, the likes of Todd Klein, Tom Orzechowski, and Nate Piekos/Blambot are on a bunch of your favourite comics.

Modern comic book lettering is largely digital, but not entirely, and knowing that the aforementioned Blambot generously produces free-to-use comic book fonts for the small-press and independent comic book scene does not a letterer make. Hiring a professional comic book letterer is, in my opinion, one of the quickest ways to make your comic look professional.

Standard Comic Book Lettering

This involves the placement of elements like dialogue balloons and captions boxes in a manner that means everything is read in the right order, in a style that compliments the art and genre, and with as little of the artwork is obstructed as possible. Another important aspect of comic book lettering is creating a seamless reading experience… essentially, the reader shouldn’t realise they are reading the lettering at all. Seamless.

Comic Book Lettering - Lettering Captions

A series of captions from Samurai Slasher Vol. 3 – the style is aged to suit the time period of the story.

SFX

Another important element of comic book lettering if the sound effects. These are the visualisation of onomatopoeic elements of the story. As a rule, these are used for emphasis, when the art cannot convey the moment, or creatively for shock or humour. This an area of comic book lettering where you can tell a really good letterer. My personal preference is to try and integrate the SFX into the artwork where possible, I think this helps keep readers in the story whilst retaining the impact of the moment.

Comic Book Lettering - SFX

An explosion SFX integrated into the artwork of The Samurai Slasher Vol. 3.

Series and Title Logos

Another important element of a comic that is often under appreciated is a good logo. Series logos are the ones you will see on the covers, on merchandise, and any other marketing collateral. These are charged separately from any lettering. Title logos are the credits anpS- see 7he ce credn’e logo asperifiially, bu="requiin the namd knlo_ed), andk wisse, anuvisutelc"Somd as part of thd lettering ndepeerine on thnumbthet oe-pas)nt.

Comic Book Lettering e Logns

If you are thinking about hiring a letter, I’d love to hear from you.

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