A Tutorial in Hand Lettering With Creative Lettering Resources to Learn From
Hand lettering is a powerful design skill for message delivery, If you’re looking to learn creative lettering check out this tutorial in hand lettering with plenty of awesome resources to learn by.
© WILL PATERSON
By mastering the skill of creative hand lettering, you can draw logos and postcards, create advertisements, and graffiti. But first, you should learn the basics. For that we’ll provide you with a brief hand lettering tutorial and plenty of resources to keep you motivated.
Working with letters is both design and art. It opens up a huge space for creativity by communicating words visually in different styles, which ultimately conveys a very different mood and image. If you’re thinking that hand lettering is not a very useful hobby — you’re mistaken. Design companies, like the one this post is appearing on, use custom hand lettering for brand personalization, communication and appeal to specific audiences.
Check out Pixel’s custom graffiti lettering for Sips Elixirs Logo and branding. This is an example of tying lettering into a very specific company culture.
How to learn hand lettering?
To begin this tutorial in hand lettering, it is important to define the concepts. Many people confuse lettering with calligraphy and fonts. Hand lettering is a way to draw and stylize letters beautifully. Pencils, ink, brushes, chalk, and other accessories can be used. The finished drawing can be corrected and improved on the computer.
Alternatively, calligraphy does not tolerate corrections. The essence of it is to draw letters gracefully and accurately at the first attempt. Both in lettering and calligraphy, the emphasis is on the uniqueness of the work and the artist’s skill, and this is their difference from the font. A font is a standardized set of letters designed for reuse.
Once you have understood the terms, it’s time to choose the right way to learn how to fly.
Personally, I like Lettering & Type: Creating Letters and Designing Typefaces and In Progress: See Inside a Lettering Artist’s Sketchbook and Process, from Pencil to Vector. In my mind, Jessica Hische is probably the queen of hand lettering and her daily drop caps project contributed a lot to the recent rise of hand lettering’s popularity. But really the biggest help for me was just daily practice, with someone who can give you quality feedback on your work.
Finally, If you can get your hands on any books by Doyald Young those should be great too. Unfortunately, they are very hard to get and very expensive. I have Logotypes & Letterforms which is cool but doesn’t teach much fundamentals, his other book Fonts & Logos is considered to be the bible of lettering 🙂 but the cheapest one I found was 75$
Video hand lettering tutorials
Of course, from some videos on YouTube, you won’t become a professional, but you can try out a new hobby for yourself and “fill your hand”.
There are hundreds of videos on how to learn lettering, so I think it might be good to narrow down to some case-specific videos; check out e.g. How to Make Hand Lettering Logo
Many drawing and design studios conduct workshops and masterclasses on lettering, including free ones.
There are a number of great video courses on YouTube and Skillshare. Also, look into Sean McCabe’s learn lettering course at www.seanwes.com
Who do I subscribe to?
To gain inspiration, subscribe to Instagram accounts of the best lettering masters creative lettering resources.
Matthew Tapia, an artist and graphic designer from Hawaii, is very good at conveying the mood and style of a text. In his Instagram blog he also often publishes examples of quality lettering and interesting fonts from other creators.
If you’re interested in how professional artists work, sign up for a Meisographic account. This author often posts videos, detailing the process of calligraphy and lettering, and this is a truly hypnotic experience.
In his works, Rylsee uses funny phrases like “too shy to rap” and “don’t trust someone who doesn’t like pizza.” However, funny quotes aren’t the pinnacle of the artist’s work; he’s very good at typography, design, branding, and installation.
The beauty and complexity of the work of this Swiss studio are striking: every letter and element is worked out to the smallest detail. The guys have created their own recognizable style that looks equally good on handwritten works, as it does in graffiti and graphic design.
To sum it up
Whatever route you take, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of doing and learning by practicing every single day.
Find a medium that works for you, learn fundamentals, try to copy \ imitate artists that inspire you and it will come 🙂