Someone recently saw this photo on my Instagram feed and asked me how I did it. So I thought I’d create a post about hand lettering, the different tools I use, and different lettering styles 🙂
I am in no way a hand lettering expert, so I tend to get a lot of my inspiration from other amazing artists like @luckyletters! That being said, let’s get into it 🙂
1. My tools
Before I get into this, I just want to say that you can use WHATEVER pen/pencils/markers you like! You can use kids crayons if you like! The cool thing about lettering is, it doesn’t matter 🙂 as long as you learn the basics.
These are simply my impulsive buys at the local office works because I have a problem.
- Staedtler triplus fineliner – useful for fine lines and every-day lettering/handwriting
- Staedtler pigment liner 0.5 – I LOVE this thing for general handwriting in my bullet journal. It feels really smooth and creates a bold line that you don’t get with the fineliners
- Touch (wha?) – Not really sure about the branding on this one lol, but this is probably one of my favourites! It has a brush tip but is a little firm so it’s really easy to control and create fine + thick lines. (I bought this from office works – I just had a look online so I could link it – case cracked! It’s a Pentel Sign Pen. Made in Japan. Hence the confusion)
- Faber- Castell Pitt Artist Pen – hmm, not a huge fan.. But maybe I’m just not very good with it. This one is also a brush pen but I find it really difficult to control. It’s also started fraying at the edge which isn’t cool.
- Artline 210 Medium 0.6 – This one’s pretty cool for thick, bold lettering without the brush effect. I also like that it’s quite dark, but it bleeds through the paper a fair bit so it’s not something I use often or in my bullet journal.
Milan Conic (cone) markers – SO excited about these! I literally just bought them from office works yesterday – the whole set – for like $12!!! I had heard that you can use Crayola or other cone-tipped markers for hand-lettering so was really excited to find such a huge range of colours in the one cheap pack! I did try the Crayolas but to be honest, these just felt a lot smoother to use.
2. Marker/pen types
There are three types of hand-lettering tool groups that I can think of:
- Normal markers/pens
- Cone-tip markers
- Actual brushes
(Ok I thought of four) But I’m not going to go through brush lettering with an actual brush today.
3. The basics
You’ll notice that in most cursive or calligraphy – style hand lettering, there are a combination of thick and thin lines.
In short, this is reflective of traditional fountain-pen calligraphy in which the pen releases more or less ink from the nib (the pointy bit) depending on how much pressure the calligrapher applies.
The same principal applies when using brushes or brush pens (or even a normal ballpoint pen! – see part 4 :))
So here’s the basic pattern,
Thin upstrokes, and thick downstrokes. That’s it :). It’s honestly SO simple! And with this principle (and a little practice) you can pretty much hand letter anything yourself!
QUICK TIP: When writing out your word, make sure you take your time and write each letter (or even parts of letters) separately. The image below indicates all the places that I raised my pen and started a new letter:
1. USING BRUSHES
To create the thin and thick strokes using a brush or brush pen, simply vary the amount of pressure applied to the paper on each down/up stroke.
Most calligraphers recommend basic repetitive letter-shapes practice if you’re a beginner.
2. USING PENS
THIS IS SOO SIMPLE.
All you have to do is write your word out in whatever style you want:
Then find all your down-strokes, and draw in double lines
And lastly, fill them in!
And there you have it 🙂
Now that you have the basics down-pat, you can have a whole load of fun trying out different styles 🙂 here are just a few that I’ve been practicing lately:
My last, most important tip is practice, practice, practice!!! I was never taught how to write in cursive so before I could even think about pretty hand-lettering I had to practice my cursive – A LOT. I used to go letter-by letter and fill up pages with all the words that I could think of that started with that letter. I know a lot of people suggest writing sentences like ‘The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.’ or simply just filling up pages with individual letters – but I found that writing out a large range of different words helped with letter connections and general writing flow. Anyway, that’s all from me!