• Radiant Geometry Hand Lettering Tutorial by Nico Ng

    Artist Nico Ng has returned with another fabulous hand lettering tutorial! Today, he’ll show us how to make stunning “Seize the Day” artwork to display in your home or give to someone special.

    A DIY greeting card that says "SEIZE THE DAY" written in radiant geometry hand lettering

    Hi, I’m Nico Ng, and I’ve returned to TPK with a stunning hand lettering tutorial. Today, I’ll guide you through how to create geometric hand-lettered “SEIZE THE DAY” artwork using a 5-inch Composition Ruler. Keep in mind that you can adapt these instructions to different paper sizes or create a smaller version in your journal or notebook using the 3-inch Composition Ruler. Freehand drawing is also an option!


    You don’t have to own a lettering composition ruler to make today’s project, but it will make life easier. Click here to see other projects that you can make with a lettering composition ruler!

    1. Gather Your Supplies

    You’ll need to compile a few simple supplies to make this piece:

    2. Draw the Layout and Border Lines

    Begin by centering your composition ruler on the paper and marking the measurement markers. Then, draw the center line to guide your word placement.

    To mark the measurement markers, use your mechanical pencil to make a mark in the dots at the top and the bottom of your composition ruler.

    Next, create a border around the paper that’s approximately 0.5″ from the sides of the page and 1″ from the top and the bottom of the page.

    Now, use your composition ruler to draw lettering shapes as shown below. Shoot for two curved banners on the top and the bottom and a rectangle in the center.

    3. Plan Your Letters

    Now, use a pencil to lightly sketch letter skeletons. For this hand lettering project, you’ll be using a bold sans serif style for the words “Seize” and “Day”, so draw those a bit thicker than “the”.

    The word “the” will be in a script style with contrast. Try to accurately sketch the thick and thin parts of the letters, even when sketching freehand.

    Be sure to draw “the” with thick downstrokes and thin upstrokes. Basically, you’re creating faux calligraphy.

    4. Make a 3D Effect

    To create a long 3D shadow effect, draw two reference points: one at the top center of the word “Seize” and another at the bottom center of the word “Day.”

    From the bottom reference point, draw lines to the edges and corners of the word “seize.” You can hold your pencil at the reference point and rotate your ruler from that point to locate the correct position easier.

    Repeat this step from the top reference point to the edges and corners of the word “day.”

    5. Outline the Letters

    This is the part of the hand lettering tutorial where the piece starts to come to life! Use your gold marker to outline the words “Seize” and “Day”.

    Then, use a black marker to outline the 3D effect and the word “the.”

    Then, use the black marker to draw a wavy border that roughly follows your border pencil guide.

    6. Fill In the Blanks

    Once your ink has dried completely, erase the pencil guides. Then, fill in “Seize” and “Day” with the gold marker.

    Once you’ve done that, use the black marker to fill in the 3D effect. Then, fill in the border with a black brush pen (a brush pen makes for faster coverage).

    Adding black marker to "Seize the Day" hand lettering artwork

    7. Add a Bevel Effect

    To add a simple bevel effect, draw an inline at the center of the gold letters using the white gel pen. Leave a space between the inline and the ends of the letters.

    Then, connect the ends and corners of the letters to the inline, and draw diagonal lines on the curved parts of the letters. You can use the image below as reference where to draw the bevel lines.

    8. Add Festive Embellishments

    Let’s finish up this hand lettering tutorial by adding a few festive decorations in the negative space that remains! You can make your lettering piece more visually appealing by adding random sizes of sparkles, dots, diamonds, stars, and confetti around the lettering in gold and black.

    Then, use white ink to write the words “Carpe Diem” in your favorite script or calligraphy style along the bottom part of the border.

    Congratulations! You’ve created a new lettering piece that you can use to decorate your space or share with someone to inspire them.

    A DIY greeting card that says "SEIZE THE DAY" written in radiant geometry hand lettering

    I hope that you enjoyed this hand lettering tutorial, and I would love to see your own “Seize the Day” project. If you like the tutorials that I’ve been writing for TPK lately, please let me know! You can reach out to me via DM on Instagram (@nicong.co) or by email at [email protected].

    Let’s keep learning, growing, and inspiring together! 🌟