If you want to learn the fundamentals of hand lettering, you’ll enjoy this post. I’m no expert, but I do know a thing or two about hand lettering, and you can learn from my mistakes to be better from the start. This is a great list of do’s and don’ts to help you understand Hand Lettering 101, plus some tips and tricks that I’ve picked up on the way. Hopefully, by the end of this post, you’ll be confident, inspired, and eager to go purchase all your hand lettering tools and get to creating! I hope you enjoy Hand Lettering 101.
Start Out Slow
If you’re just starting out and unfamiliar with hand lettering, you don’t want to use your good expensive tools for just starting out. Odds are, you’ll mess up on your first few tries, which is no big deal, it will just be better to use cheaper tools at first. I’ve heard from some people that actually Crayola Broad Tip Markers are a great marker to start with to practice your hand movements and lettering styles without wasting good quality products on your first few attempts.
Paper Matters (A lot!)
I don’t know about you, but when I first started out I didn’t do my research and I thought paper was paper. Boy was I wrong. All paper is not created equal, especially for hand lettering. If you don’t want to have to trash everything you try to create, you have to get smooth, acid-free, archival paper, and I found it on Amazon! It’s the absolute best for hand lettering because it’s super smooth. Not to mention this type of paper doesn’t yellow over time so your work will always look it’s best, even years later.
Practice Makes Perfect
Of course, just like any other hobby, it’s so very important to practice as much as you can. The only way you’ll get better at hand lettering (or anything for that matter) is using your tools, getting comfortable with them, and always challenging yourself to be better. A great tip I’ve picked up that is a to help practice is to find a word, any word, and write and draw it all over a piece of paper in as many different ways as you can think of. They might not all be beautiful, but with you challenging yourself to write the word in so many different ways, you’re really pushing the design process and a lot of the time you can find inspiration in that.
Get The Proper Writing Tools
Of course, the paper is most important because without good paper, no matter how great your writing tools are if they don’t apply to the paper correctly, your work is ruined. When it comes to writing tools like pencils and pens you need to know where to start. Calligraphers use pencils with hard led to start out with, just like these that I found on amazon super cheap. With pens, there are so many different types you just need to try a bunch of them out to see which ones work best for you. I always recommend the Tombo Dual Brush Markers, because they have a fine tip side and a brush tip side, plus the colors are great. Tombo even has a Beginner Lettering Set with all the fundamental tools to help you get started.