19 May 2019

A Beginner's Guide To Lettering

Last September I attended a brush lettering workshop and have been inspired ( & a bit obsessed) with lettering ever since! I'll get onto the details of the workshop shortly but I wanted to write up a post to help those looking to learn how to letter get some information so they can get started.

I have always had really horrible handwriting but have always admired beautiful calligraphy fonts and modern calligraphy in particular. So when I saw that Little Old Goose (Lucy) was hosting a beginners brush lettering workshop in Leicester, I thought I'd try something new. The workshop taught me how to letter in a modern calligraphy style using a brush pen and ink and I came home with some worksheets, a bit of practice and a beautifully written quote. I really recommend Lucy's workshops as they are intimate, you don't have to be afraid of going by yourself because lots of people came alone and she really gives everyone the attention they need!

After the workshop, I continued practicing drills, words and quotes using the brush pen, which is basically a water pen) and ink. I wanted to move onto something more defined and colourful so I purchased some coloured brush pens from WHSmith - just to get me started. I thought they were a cheap and cheerful option for practicing.

A few months later and I seem to be getting better and better... it only comes with practice! I recommend practicing a lot. I even began making homemade cards for birthdays, weddings and other occasions as a) it saves money b) personalised cards are cute and c) more practice.

More recently I was very kindly gifted some Tombow pens, which are basically the creme de la creme of lettering pens. The thinner nib gave me more opportunity to create more delicate letters and was actually much easy to control now that I've mastered the technique using the WHSmith pens. I sometimes like the delicate look but for bigger prints, the thicker style fills out the page and looks better.

You can also find plenty of books and workbooks that can help you practice your drills and words. It can also help with defining your style of lettering. I quite like the neat font but sometimes it's nice to make it a bit more fluid - you'll know what this means when you come to do it yourself! This particular book by Kirsten Burke is really good as you can practice using whatever pen you fancy, although the book does focus on a calligraphy pen (which I might actually have a go at next!)

There are a few Youtube channels that can be helpful too. I really like AmandaRachLee's work as she incorporates lettering with doodles and bullet journalling. I also find that Pinterest is a great source of inspiration for quotes, styles and ideas.

I'd really recommend building up and not investing too much in it in case it isn't for you. I found this the best way and now I feel like I'm pretty good (though you may disagree!). My family still find it hilarious that I have really scruffy handwriting but can letter really neatly... my sister is obsessed with me writing things for her! So I hope this was helpful to those looking to get into lettering but are a bit confused as to where to begin.


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