Hi everyone! I’m lettering artist Nico Ng, and it’s time to get creative with another hand-lettering tutorial (you can check out my other TPK tutorials here). In this Intertwined Script and Block Lettering Tutorial, I’m excited to show you one of my favorite techniques: combining script and block letters. It’s a fun challenge to bring these two styles together in a way that’s beautiful and legible. This tutorial has two parts. In the first, I’ll show you how to draw a pencil lettering draft. In the second, which will launch tomorrow, I’ll show you how to use your draft in order to make a final, impressive piece.
1. Gather Your Supplies
For this part of the tutorial, you’ll only need a pencil + eraser and a grid/letter ruler (optional but highly recommended). Note that I’ve also created a free 15-page downloadable PDF to make your life easier! You can use it to write the phrase in this block lettering tutorial and any other phrase, as well.
2. Choose Your Words and Their Design
For today’s project, we will use the phrase “You are loved”. Since “loved” is the most important word, let’s make it stand out by using block letters in a tall, monoweight style. To balance the design, we will write “you are” in a lovely script style.
The trick is to make the block letters tall enough so that the script letters do not affect their legibility.
Drawing Block Letters (A Detailed Block Lettering Tutorial)
If you’re new to block lettering, it’s a good idea to take things slow by sketching out your block letters on a separate piece of paper first. This way, you can make sure your design looks great, and you can make any necessary adjustments before moving onto the final paper. That sketch/draft is what we are going to focus on in part I of this tutorial. I suggest drawing all your block letters in 4 x 11 unit boxes. (One unit = one dot on the ruler.) To keep the thickness consistent, it’s helpful to use of the grid/letter rulers from the Grid Ruler Bundle. If you’re working with wider or narrower letters, feel free to adjust the size of the boxes accordingly.
1. The Letter L
You’ll start with the first letter, “L”. Use the Edge Measurement Guide of your grid/letter ruler to quickly draw the stem and leg of the letter in the same thickness. Align the guide on the left edge of the box and draw a line, then align the guide on the base of the box and draw another line. At this point, it’s a good idea to download my free printable. It will help you to draw any block letter, including those shown in this tutorial!
2. The Letter “O”
Next, let’s move onto the letter “O”. Draw another 4 unit x 11 unit box next to the letter “L”, and allow 2 units’ worth of space between the letter boxes.
Now, find the circle pair with a 4 dot diameter. Align the top circle to the top of your box, then draw the inner and outer circles.
Use the same circular guide to draw the bottom curve.
Now, use the Edge Measurement Guide to draw the left and right parts of the letter “O”.
Pro tip: when drawing sharp or curved parts of the letter, try to overshoot it a little bit so the letter appears to be the same height as the letters beside it.
3. The Letter “V”
Next, let’s move onto the letter “V”. Draw another 4 unit x 11 unit box that’s two units to the right of the letter “O”. Then, draw a vertical centerline to use as a guide when drawing the vertex (the bottom, angular part) of the “V”. Use the Grid to dot the points for your diagonal lines and then use the Edge Measurement Guide to draw the letter “V” in a consistent thickness. Be sure to overshoot the bottom part of the letter “V” since it’s a sharp element.
4. The Letter “E”
For the letter “E”, draw another 4 unit x 11 unit box two units to the right of the “V”. Then, use the Grid to plot the corners of the stem, arm, bar, and leg of the letter “E” (the vertical and horizontal bars of the letter “E”).
5. The Letter “D”
For the last letter, “D”, draw another box of the same size and use the Circular Template to draw the curved corners on the upper and right side of the box, then complete your letter “D”.
6. Assess Your Spacing
Now, take a step back and look at your letters to see if there are any adjustments you need to make. Even though we spaced out the letters equally with 2 units, the lettering may look uneven. That’s because some letters create more white space between them, making the letters look more distant from each other.
As you draw more and more block letters, you’ll start to recognize letter pairs that need to be closer or further apart. This means that you might be able to skip making drafts. But, for your first few compositions, it’s a good idea to make a pencil draft first, as I have done here!
Phew, that was a lot of information. Let’s take a break, and then I’ll show you how to complete the project on black cardstock tomorrow in my Intertwined Script and Block Lettering Tutorial: Part II. Stay tuned!