The beauty of hand lettering is this: no matter where you are or what writing utensil you’re using, you can create eye-catching letters. Today, we’ll cover some basic hand lettering tips and explore TPK’s hand lettering resources.
Next time you’re at the grocery store, notice which product labels grab your attention. Chances are that some of those labels feature hand lettering, and for good reason: it’s difficult not to stare at beautiful letters! Here’s what I love about hand lettering: anyone can do it, anytime, on nearly any surface and at any scale.
Hand Lettering Tips
1. Start With Guidelines
Hand lettering that wobbles up and down isn’t pleasing for the eyes. Start with two or three horizontal pencil guidelines, or try using a lined or grid paper to write your letters.
2. Make a Draft
Hand lettering isn’t a speedy business, and a lot of its effectiveness depends on its layout. So, always try to make a pencil draft first! Then, go over that draft with ink.
3. Use the Right Pen
Unless you’re writing on a chalkboard or using paint, you’re probably using a pen to draw your letters. If that’s the case, be sure to use a smudge-proof, preferably permanent pen.
My top pen picks include:
Pilot Falcon Fountain Pen* – NOT a budget-friendly option, but the ink flow is incredible and you can load the pen with a permanent ink (I like De Atramentis Document Ink.)
Straight pen fitted with a Nikko G nib – A fabulous combination for when you want to switch up your ink colors on a whim
Anyone can create hand lettering, but it can be intimidating to jump in without guidance. That’s why TPK has five worksheets/exemplars to guide you through it! Here’s a quick comparison, including pros/cons:
Instead of honing in on one lettering style, TPK’s Premium Hand Lettering Worksheet set explores a little bit of six different styles. Its variety makes it the most popular hand lettering worksheet on the site!
Since there are six styles in the worksheet set, it’s tough to list pros and cons. All of them have their advantages … and their quirks!
Whether you use a hand lettering exemplar or not, the trick is to take your time and don’t shy away from being creative! Some of the best lettering pieces push the envelope in terms of style, color scheme, and layout. Try making 3D letters, an artwork piece that’s full of different styles, or a simple envelope. You can’t go wrong!