• Hand Lettering Tips + A Guide to TPK Hand Lettering Styles

    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.

    A Guide to TPK Hand Lettering Styles

    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.

    "Stitches" Hand Lettered Thank You Card Tutorial | The Postman's Knock
    In hand lettering, guidelines go a long way to ensure neat results!

    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.

    Making Hand Lettering
    Check out this tutorial to see how this piece turned out.

    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.

    Filling in Shadows

    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
    • Muji pen* – A solid, smudge proof choice
    • Pentel Energel pen* – A gel pen with a smooth flow and dependable ink

    *Affiliate links

    Adding Ink to the DIY birthday gift
    If you use a dip pen for lettering, it’s easy to switch up your colors as you please!

    TPK Hand Lettering Worksheets + Exemplars

    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:

    Circus Lettering

    Circus lettering is a bold style that commands attention. For extra pop, fill your letters in with color!

    Circus Lettering Printable Exemplar + Video Tutorial | The Postman's Knock

    Pros of this style:

    • Incredibly eye-catching
    • Ornate/intricate
    • Excellent for incorporating in to envelope art (See examples here.)
    Graduation Card
    This Circus Style graduation card features a clever spelling error.

    Cons of this style:

    • Time-consumingIf you can, mix and match this style with calligraphy or another lettering style to save time.
    • Not super versatile – This is a style you can only use if you’re going for a festive look.


    George Style Lettering

    The “George” is dependable and versatile, which means it’s a style that I return to again and again. Out of all the TPK hand lettering styles, I use “George” the most because it’s fairly quick.

    "George Style" Printable Hand-Lettering Exemplar | The Postman's Knock

    Pros of this style:

    • Versatile
    • Easy to create
    • Customizable (You can swap out the small diagonal lines for solid color, bubbles, or whatever.)

    "George Style" Printable Hand-Lettering Exemplar | The Postman's Knock

    Cons of this style:

    • Curved letters can be tough to create – Letters like “S” and “O” can prove to be a challenge.
    • Most letters require a ruler – While you can write your letters without a ruler, your strokes will look more orderly if you use one to ensure straight, parallel lines.


    Lasso Lettering

    Lasso lettering is an embellished style that is especially wonderful if you want to fill up space! Feel free to play with its lasso-like flourishes to achieve the look that you want.

    Lasso Lettering Exemplar

    Pros of this style:

    • Fills up space well
    • Unique + ornate
    • Good for general art projects (like state/country art)
    A Quick DIY Birthday Gift: Brazil Lettering Map
    Lasso Lettering shines in this lettered Brazil “map”! (I’ve also made a Lasso Lettering California piece.)

    Cons of this style:

    • Can be difficult to read – It takes a couple of extra moments to make out what Lasso Lettering says!
    • Requires extensive planning – Lasso lettering drafts are time-consuming because you have to plan out the flourishes to be exactly where you want them.


    Stitches Lettering

    Stitches Lettering features letters that are “stitched” together. The letters have neat little dots that resemble a seam.

    Stitches Hand Lettering Printable Worksheet | The Postman's Knock

    Pros of this style:

    • Offers an interesting mix of uppercase and lowercase letters
    • Combines angles and curves for contrast
    • Playful/whimsical look

    "Stitches" Hand Lettered Thank You Card Tutorial | The Postman's Knock

    Cons of this style:

    • Numbers can be tough to read – If you’re using it for mail art, be aware that the post office’s machines may not recognize the recipient’s zip code.
    • You might run into some awkward letter combinations – Just like in cursive or calligraphy, some letter connections might prove to be a challenge!


    Premium Hand Lettering Worksheet Set

    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!

    Flytrap + Roman Hand-Lettering Styles | The Postman's Knock

    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!

    Hissing Cat Halloween Envelope Tutorial
    “Flytrap” lettering (used to write my recipient’s name) is probably my favorite style in this worksheet. It’s time-consuming but SO cool!


    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!


    Lindsey's Signature | The Postman's Knock