Step Ten: Lettering
I keep a template Ô¨Āle with the following set up for me:
- Pre-squashed ellipses for dialogue balloons
- Page area deÔ¨Āned with guides and border box
- A selection of little balloon ‚Äútails‚ÄĚ
- Ready to go type with proper font, size, and spacing.
First, the artwork needs to be placed into the Ô¨Āle with File>Place. I select the Photoshop Ô¨Āle as a link, and using guides I position it on a layer and lock it at the bottom.
To place the dialogue, I put all the type on a layer above the balloons. I use a font called ‚ÄúParadigm‚ÄĚ that I created a few years ago while I had access to Fontographer. Other comic fonts are available at Blambot.com.
Most of my dialogue is set to 7pt with 8pt leading. I try not to go below that for normal speech, except for words muttered under a character‚Äôs breath. I can always go with larger sizes if I want the dialogue to ‚Äúsound‚ÄĚ louder, or bold and italicized type for shouting and extreme emphasis.
I set the type within a box or squashed ellipse to create a pleasing, balanced shape with the words. This is important for making the comic readable and look professional.
I also break up the dialogue into phrases to make it feel natural. The more sentences I squeeze into a balloon, the faster it seems the character is speaking. In general, I keep it to one sentence or less to a balloon for normal dialogue.
Now I put in the balloons. These go on a layer between the type and the placed artwork.*
*I have since moved to drawing my word balloons directly on the page. It‚Äôs deÔ¨Ānitely faster, but not easily edited.