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
  • 99% positive reviews (113)
  • 1881 students

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

Portuguese with subtitles in English
  • 99% positive reviews (113)
  • 1881 students
  • 19 lessons (3h 35m)
  • 24 additional resources (12 files)
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Available on the app
  • Audio: Portuguese
  • Portuguese, Spanish, English, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch
  • Level: Beginner
  • 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.

What will you learn in this online 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.

Projects by course students

Who is this online course for?

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

Requirements and materials

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.


1881 Students
113 Reviews
99% Positive ratings
  • More reviews

Cyla Costa

A course by Cyla Costa

Teacher Plus
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


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

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

What to expect from a Domestika course

  • Learn at your own pace

    Enjoy learning from home without a set schedule and with an easy-to-follow method. You set your own pace.

  • Learn from the best professionals

    Learn valuable methods and techniques explained by top experts in the creative sector.

  • Meet expert teachers

    Each expert teaches what they do best, with clear guidelines, true passion, and professional insight in every lesson.

  • Certificates

    If you're a Plus or PRO member, get a custom certificate signed by your teacher for every course. Share it on your portfolio, social media, or wherever you like.

  • Get front-row seats

    Videos of the highest quality, so you don't miss a single detail. With unlimited access, you can watch them as many times as you need to perfect your technique.

  • Share knowledge and ideas

    Ask questions, request feedback, or offer solutions. Share your learning experience with other students in the community who are as passionate about creativity as you are.

  • Connect with a global creative community

    The community is home to millions of people from around the world who are curious and passionate about exploring and expressing their creativity.

  • Watch professionally produced courses

    Domestika curates its teacher roster and produces every course in-house to ensure a high-quality online learning experience.


Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need to complete a specific 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 teacher and with other students, creating a dynamic course community.

All courses are 100% online, so once they're published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

The courses are divided into different units. Each one includes lessons, informational text, tasks, and practice exercises to help you carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You'll also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the teacher and with other students, as well as share your work and your course project, creating a community around the course.

You can redeem the course you received by accessing the redeeming page and entering your gift code.

If you're a Plus or PRO member, when you complete a course you'll instantly get your personalized certificate. You can see all your certificates in the Certificates section of your profile. You can download your certificates as PDFs and share the link online. Learn more about certificates
Introduction to Custom Lettering. 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
  • 99% positive reviews (113)
  • 1881 students