I usually have my hands full at House, so I don’t do an awful lot of commissioned lettering. However, I do find myself drawing letters regularly, making word-marks for friends or doing lettering just for fun.
I like to think that my work begins with a good idea — at least, I hope so. I then put pencil to tracing paper and attempt to hash out a direction for the lettering. Although I might only make one initial drawing, it can take several rounds of revisions before I’m ready to digitize the sketch in Adobe Illustrator.
Placing points along the outer most areas of the curves, parallel to the horizontal and vertical axes, helps to ensure a clean and accurate rendering. Although, the final outlines often differ quite significantly from my initial drawing. Animated comparisons of sketches and final artwork in some of the project overviews attempts to illustrate this.