Natalie Brown rewrites the future of hand lettering with Adobe Firefly
Image source: Natalie Brown
From Disney to Rihanna, The Coffee Bean to The Infatuation, Natalie Brown has worked with some of the world’s most loved and respected brands. Why do they come to Natalie? For her unparalleled skill and unique approach to the art of hand lettering.
“I’ve been interested in handwriting since I was a little girl, when my mom would make us practice every day. It’s amazing how the way you shape letters also shapes the way people interpret them,” says Brown.
Though she studied film and media studies in college, Brown’s true calling became apparent during a fateful trip to Southeast Asia, when she began to experiment with different lettering techniques in her travel sketchbook. Invigorated by the endless possibilities before her, Brown dove headfirst into the world of digital design, teaching herself to use Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.
What started as a passion project eventually gave way to some early commissions and has since grown into Threeologie, a full-service hand-lettering studio. Since embracing Adobe Firefly to streamline her design process, Brown has also turned Threeologie into a go-to resource for creatives who want to build their skills and turn their passion into a successful career.
Changing the game with generative AI
Adobe Firefly has unlocked new levels of creativity for Brown while stripping hours of painstaking work from her design process. Take the Generative Recolor feature in Adobe Illustrator, which allows her to instantly apply multiple color palettes to her artwork rather than spending hours creating individual designs in each color. This capability has proven invaluable for Brown’s licensed designs, as many of the brands she partners with want a selection of color schemes to choose from for their designs.
“Adobe Firefly has been a game-changer for my creative process and revolutionized the way I develop designs for my clients,” says Brown. “I've also never been more efficient or productive, which means I can reach and serve more clients than ever.”
Brown also uses the Generative Expand tool in Adobe Photoshop to create, format, and optimize her own marketing materials for different social platforms so they have the greatest impact. For instance, she can instantly reformat a 1x1 flat lay image into a 9x16 aspect ratio for promotion on Instagram and YouTube.
Making space for new forms of creativity
As for questions about the role of AI in the creative process, Brown is unequivocally forward-looking. “If AI can help you work faster and produce something you’re proud of, that’s a win-win,” she says. “Best of all, with fewer hours spent on time-consuming tasks you gain more headspace to explore new forms of creativity.”
Indeed, with the additional bandwidth she has gained since working with Adobe Firefly, Brown has begun to experiment with new design mediums to broaden her already-considerable skillset. Most recently, she has started to explore the potential of motion design with Adobe After Effects.
As for Threeologie, Brown’s business is thriving. Adobe Firefly has accelerated virtually every design project that comes through the door, helping Brown to impress her clients with high quality work delivered faster than they ever expected.
That includes the whimsical social content she creates for Disney, an iconic brand she has loved since childhood. The relationship is particularly rewarding for Brown, who has seen her creative skillset explode since her partnership with Disney began. “Working with Disney has made me a better artist. The attention to detail that goes into their illustrations is second to none, and that inspires me to apply that same rigor to my client work,” she says.
Whimsical hand-lettering designs for Disney.
Today, Brown eagerly awaits the release of new Adobe Firefly features that will allow creatives to vectorize digital designs in a matter of seconds, taking another labour-intensive process off their plate. “The more I use Firefly, the more I uncover new use cases, and the more inspired I get to keep stretching the limits of what’s possible,” she says.
Giving back by paying it forward
As a self-taught creator and entrepreneur, Brown has a wealth of knowledge about design, technology, and running a business. Through her virtual workshops and educational content, she shares that knowledge with other artists so they can unlock the power of digital design tools for themselves, kickstart their careers, or start a business of their own.
“I’ve reached an incredibly rewarding point in my career, but it took a long time to get here. With the content I create on how to get the most from Adobe’s solutions and embrace technologies like Adobe Firefly, I hope to give other creatives the leg up I never had in my early days,” says Brown.
The “wow factor” of generative AI has resonated particularly well with her audience. Brown’s Firefly tutorials and demonstrations have piqued the interest of thousands of followers, inspiring many to try the solution for themselves.
“Every time I post an Adobe Firefly tutorial, people reach out to say they plan to start using the technology right away,” says Brown. “It’s a testament to the strength of the solution, but more importantly it’s a sign of how AI makes creativity feel exciting and accessible for everyone.”
To get in touch with Natalie and see more of her artwork and tutorials, check out her Instagram.