My good friend recently had her first child, and they decided not to know the baby's gender until birth. They also kept the names they were considering a secret. The day I found out Jolene had been born, I was instantly inspired to create this gift for them—a nameplate written in brush letter calligraphy for the nursery.
My process began with rough sketches on sticky notes. The goal here was just to figure out how the character shapes might fit together. I experimented with different character widths and styles, uppercase vs. lowercase, and baseline shift.
Once I had a rough idea of how it would all fit together, I used Procreate to digitally letter the design. I usually repeat this many times on different layers until I'm happy with each character's form and how it all fits together.
One of the limitations with the brush I used in Procreate is that not all of the edges are perfectly smooth and fluid. The inconsistencies are subtle, but because I am a perfectionist and always looking for opportunities to work with the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator, I exported the file to my computer and created the design as a vector graphic.
The exported image from Procreate. Notice that at the top of the stem of the 'J' there is a slight extension above the cross stroke. You can also see the slight variation of width on the left side of that cross stroke as it descends and curves down and around the 'J'.
I was able to clean up many of the inconsistencies from the bitmap version as a vector graphic.
A few weeks after Jolene was born, I was able to visit my friend and meet baby Jolene for the first time. Their dog was still acclimating to the newest addition to the family and jealous for attention. They loved the gift, and it fits perfectly with the décor of the nursery. 
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