10 Lettering Pointers from the Pros

If hand lettering is something you have wanted to try, the 2016–2017 Lettering Lessons Collector’s Edition is not to be missed. A variety of artists share their art and expertise in an inspiring mix of styles and projects. Accompanying videos offer a close-up look at artists’ work and a visual assist in learning their techniques.

Whether you’re looking to add some hand lettering to a journal page, a painting or collage, or want to create stand-alone hand-lettered art, you’ll find everything in one place with this Collector’s Edition. Learn to create inspiring letters with style and meaning, using pens, markers, paint, and more. Add playful scribbles, funky designs, interesting shapes, and bold colors. This collection has it all.

Here are 10 tips gleaned from this 2016–2017 Collector’s Edition.

1. Use guidelines. Using guidelines will help you keep your letters where you want them. In Volume 1, Taylor Huizenga shows how using guidelines, and adjusting the median line higher or lower, can give your lettering a whole new look.

Just getting started? Working on guidelines will help you navigate hand lettering with less anxiety.

2. Make your mark. Decorate basic block letters with your favorite designs and make them your own. Whether you add simple dots or stripes or something more elaborate, your handmade designs give letters a personal touch like no other. Taylor Huizenga uses all kinds of lines, squiggles, dots, and colors to give every letter of the alphabet its own look. Volume 1 will help you change everyday print letters into works of art.

3. Add a border. Jodi Ohl shows how to enhance your lettering with a fun border. In Volume 4, you’ll learn all about creating a variety of letters with and without borders.

4. Color inside the letters. Once you’ve added shadows, borders, and designs inside and around your letters, Jodi Ohl wants you to try adding color inside the openings in letters like D, B, P, and in cursive letters with loops, such as lowercase d, j, or l. Check out Volume 4 for all kinds of intriguing ways to make your lettering stand out.

Create a whole new look by adding color inside the letters in your hand-lettered designs.

5. Hand carve letter stamps. If you thought hand lettering was limited to using pens, paint, and markers, think again. In Volume 6, Jodi Ohl carves stamps to create initials, words, and phrases, and hand cuts letters from craft foam for more lettering fun. Make your stamps as simple or detailed as you like, and add unique hand lettering to your art.

6. Write on waves and curves. Kari McKnight Holbrook shows us how to write on waves, undulations, and arcs to add interest and fun to your hand lettering designs. In Volume 7, Kari shares her secrets for creating and using these fun shapes to add flair to your hand lettering.

Who says you have to write on straight lines? Make your hand-lettered designs stand out on waves, undulations, and arcs.

7. Keep a copy of the lettering styles you’ve developed. We all know how important it is to take notes of the great colors we mix, the tools we love, or the designs we create. Kari McKnight Holbrook stresses how important it is to also keep copies of your lettering styles and designs as visual reminders. In Volume 9, Kari will show you all kinds of ways to connect letters that you’ll definitely want to keep track of.

Use lines, dots, squiggles, and more to connect your hand-lettered designs for a unique presentation.

8. Use graph paper. If you’re lacking confidence in your hand lettering, get an assist with graph paper. In Volume 10, Alexandra Snowdon says to lay a piece of tracing paper over graph paper, so you can see the grid lines, and draw your letter in pencil. The graph paper will help you keep the size of the letters uniform, height and width, and keep serifs lined up and even.

9. Think of the subject matter and choose a lettering style that suits it. Adapt your hand-lettered design to fit the theme or mood of your piece. Creating a birthday card or journal page? Opt for casual, artsy lettering. Working on something more serious? Choose a more formal lettering style. Alexandra Snowdon selected a chunky, bold font for this fun peach design in Volume 11. Alexandra also used masking fluid for this fun technique. Check it out.

10. Look at magazines and newspapers for inspiration. Having trouble getting started? It’s okay to look online and in books, magazines, and newspapers for inspiration. Use the lettering styles you see as a jumping-off point and get creative. Anything goes for fonts and embellishments.

This 2016–2017 Lettering Lesson Collector’s Edition has everything you need to get started in hand lettering, or to add fresh styles and designs to the hand lettering you already do. Get inspired and try something new. There’s plenty to choose from in this collection.

P.S. Click here for more hand-lettering ideas inspired by our Lettering Lessons!


Art Journaling and Lettering, Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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