Introduction to Custom Lettering

A course by Cyla Costa
Lettering Artist, Designer, and Illustrator. Curitiba, Brazil.
Joined February 2020
, Lettering Artist, Designer, and Illustrator

Learn how to create expressive letters in your own signature style by combining manual and digital techniques

  • Portuguese with subtitles in English
  • 100% Positive reviews (26)
  • 558 students
Introduction to Custom Lettering

Learn how to create expressive letters in your own signature style by combining manual and digital techniques

Portuguese with subtitles in English
  • 100% Positive reviews (26)
  • 558 students
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Audio: Portuguese
  • Level: Beginner
  • 19 Lessons (3h 35m)
  • Available from the app
  • Portuguese, Spanish, English, German, French, Italian
  • Unlimited access forever

Letters are the cornerstone of our communication, they allow us to tell stories and create fantastical universes by experimenting with all their combinations, colors, and shapes. Award-winning lettering artist and designer Cyla Costa has explored these endless possibilities in her work for big-name companies like Google, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and Penguin Random House.

In this course, learn how to create custom letters combining manual and digital techniques. Join Cyla to explore the energy of colors and different forms of compositional expression to help you craft your own signature lettering style. By the end of the course, you’ll have all the tools you need to tackle future lettering projects.

About this course

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Understanding letter shapes
  • U3
    U3. Creating a lettering project
  • U4
    U4. Vectoring and finishing
  • FP
    FP Final Project
View details

Start by getting to know your teacher Cyla Costa, who tells you about her professional experience as a lettering artist and her biggest influences. Cyla explains the difference between lettering, calligraphy, and typography, and describes the project you’ll be working on throughout the course.

Discover different types of lettering and the importance of having a critical eye so you know what good lettering should look like. Learn about the purpose of calligraphy and study the skeletal frames used for designing letters. Wrap up the theory with a lesson on designing simple letters using layered structures.

It’s time to get to work! Create a mood board with references for your lettering project. Draw your first sketches on a small scale to try out different compositions. Then, with some help from Cyla, continue to elaborate on your designs and tweak them until you have a final version and your own signature lettering style.

Scan and vectorize your project in Adobe Illustrator. Discover how to create a color palette, add textures, and put the final touches on your creation in Adobe Photoshop. Lastly, Cyla shares some tips on how to present and publish your custom lettering project on social media.

What is this course's project?

Design custom letters for a phrase inspired by a song, book, or movie that holds special meaning for you.

Who is it for?

Designers, illustrators, students, and anyone, regardless of their experience, interested in the lettering universe and learning to express themselves through this art form.

What you need

No prior knowledge of lettering is needed to take this course.

The materials you need for this course are some basic drawing tools like paper, pencils, tracing paper, and a ruler. You also need a computer with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to scan your work.


558 Students
26 Reviews
100% Positive ratings
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Cyla Costa

A course by Cyla Costa

Lettering Artist, Designer, and Illustrator

Cyla Costa graduated with a degree in graphic design from the UFPR and continued her studies in illustration, typography, and editorial design in Barcelona (EINA and Elisava) and New York (Cooper Union); she has over a decade of experience in lettering and founded her own creative studio.

Her work can be found in all kinds of advertising and publishing projects for a host of big-name companies including Google, Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Penguin Random House, Nissan and Kimberly-Clark. Cyla was also awarded certificates of Excellence in Typography by the Type Directors Club in 2016, 2017, and 2019.


  • U1


    • Presentation
    • My influences
    • What will we do in this course?
  • U2

    Understanding letter shapes

    • What is a good lettering?
    • The role of calligraphy
    • Unraveling the world of letters 1
    • Unraveling the world of letters 2
    • Drawing with layers
  • U3

    Creating a lettering project

    • Project mood board
    • First sketches
    • Refining the sketch
    • Final sketch
  • U4

    Vectoring and finishing

    • How to vectorize your lettering 1
    • How to vectorize your lettering 2
    • Final vector 1
    • Final vector 2
    • Color palette and finishing touches
    • Putting lettering in the world
    • Bonus lesson: Alternative checkout
  • FP

    Final Project

    • Introduction to Custom Lettering

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need for completing a specific final project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the instructor and other users, thus creating a dynamic course community.

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Introduction to Custom Lettering. A Calligraphy, and Typography course by Cyla Costa

Introduction to Custom Lettering

A course by Cyla Costa
Lettering Artist, Designer, and Illustrator. Curitiba, Brazil.
Joined February 2020
  • 100% Positive reviews (26)
  • 558 students