One of these days I’ll become the proud owner of a tablet, but until then? I have a great workaround for converting anything hand drawn into digital format. I’m sure there are plenty of (easier) ways to do it, but this is my method of choice:
Using white paper or tracing paper, create your design. The best part about the recent hand lettering movement is that the more you can incorporate natural imperfections into your work, the more interesting your end product will be. I like to use a mix of pens for this kind of work, especially plain old black Sharpies (that I turn always into a broader tip by pressing down at a sharp angle on a scratch piece of paper) and fine-tipped Zig pens.
Next, choose your favorite hand lettered examples and cut them out into individual pieces.
Place each piece face-down on a scanner (I use the one that came with my HP Photosmart D110A Wireless Printer). Using your scanning software, save the scanned image as a high-quality JPEG and drag it into an Illustrator document.
Once you’ve dragged your hand-lettering into Illustrator, highlight the image using the Select tool (dark arrow). At the top of the document, click on the “Live Trace” button.
Once you have live traced your image, click on the “Expand” button (right next to where the “Live Trace” button was).
Right-click on your image and select “Ungroup.”
After ungrouping my two hand lettered phrases, I deleted the phrase on the left since the one on the right is a little bit cleaner. (I figure that if I want to use the left phrase at a later date, I can always repeat this process.)
Using the direct select arrow tool (white arrow), move each letter around to your liking, or leave it as is if you are happy with the spacing.
I deleted each of the letters in “ARE THE” because I decided I wanted to use a simple font instead.
Add in fonts if you wish, or leave the design as is. If you plan on using your design in Illustrator for your end use (i.e. invitations, prints, rubber stamps), save it as an Illustrator document. If you plan on using it in Photoshop, save it as GIF (File > Save for Web and Devices > GIF).
I like the mix of hand drawn and uniform type, so I paired the two together to create a stamp for my baby shower thank you notes (which you can see here!).
*Like I mentioned before, there are probably tons of easier options for digitizing your hand lettering, but this is the way I do it :)