In all the things that go into making a comic book, lettering is probably the single most underrated and underappreciated art form of 'em all. The most important thing about any story is, after all, whether or not you can actually read it. Dialogue, captions, locations, even signs and symbols that aren't included in the actual artwork --- even the very design of a book's masthead and logos --- all come from lettering.

The thing is, when it's done well, it's almost invisible, conveying the story without drawing undue attention to itself. When it's bad, however, it's not only noticeable, but once you start looking at it, it's the only thing you can notice.

Seriously, nothing makes a comic book look less professional than bad lettering, but if you have some doubts about how to do it the professional way, don't fret. Comixology and Comicraft are here to help with a new graphic that highlights some of the common dos and don'ts of the fine art of lettering, with a particular focus on helping out creators who want to self-publish through Comixology Submit!

Matt Kolowski and Kara Szamborski, the hosts of the Comixologists and Conversations podcasts, had this to say about the guide:

 

Making a comic book is hard! With comiXology Submit, it’s never been easier to publish your work, but don’t skimp on the lettering. ... We’ve read more than a few comics that were good but could have been great with proper lettering. Use this fantastic guide which is also a comic to help you along the way!”

 

If you can avoid the pitfalls pointed out in the graphic, then you're already ahead of the game, but there are plenty of other tips to make your comics look as good as they can on the lettering front. My advice? Check out the Comicraft Guide, read up on Todd Klein's tips, check out masters like John Workman and Stan Sakai, and when all else fails, just ask yourself, "What would Tom Orzechowski do?"