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Behind the scenes 7: lettering
The way I letter has gone through several variations. For the first three pages I stuck speech balloons onto the original artwork, but then I started adding the balloons and type digitally in Photoshop. With publication through Egmont, the process has changed again with the lettering being set in Adobe InDesign.

With book publication imminent, I at last decided to get my own hand-lettering font made. It's all very well using another style (I had bought a nice little font called WhizBang for the lettering previously) but in order to make The Rainbow Orchid completely my own work, I needed the lettering to be my own as well. So I purchased TypeTool from FontLab, and got to work creating GarenHand.

The first stage in this process was to write out two or three sheets of samples of my own hand lettering. These were scanned into the computer at high resolution and, after I'd chosen the best examples of each letter, brought into ScanFont which separated the letters and turned them from bitmaps into vector shapes. These vectors were then imported into TypeTool where they were edited and the kerning and metrics set before being exported as a TrueType font.

In the sequence below you can see that the text, balloons and sound effects are all kept on separate layers (in this example, in Photoshop, though it is now assembled in InDesign). In the French version the speech balloon has had to be enlarged slightly to accommodate the longer translation.

The lettering is pretty much the final step in the creative process of putting together a page of The Rainbow Orchid. In truth, this look at the process has made it seem a little more organised than it is in reality - not everything is always done in the right order, and not always in the same way. But that's pretty much it!

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Julius Chancer, The Rainbow Orchid, story, artwork, characters and website © 1997 and 2014 Garen Ewing & inkytales