How to Add Personality to Your Lettering Style

Editor’s note: Jodi Ohl is back with new inspiration! Check out her newest Lettering Lesson here, and scroll down for an instant preview. ~Cherie

Lettering techniques | Jodi Ohl,
Art by Jodi Ohl. “I recommend having at least a fine-tip, a medium-tip, and a thicker, bullet or chisel-tip pen and marker, as well as one or two different sizes of white gel pens or markers, a pencil, and a kneaded eraser,” she says.

From Lettering Lesson Volume Five: Writing Blocks by Jodi Ohl

Creating playful words and letters using block and bubble lettering styles brings me right back to my childhood. I always had a notebook on hand and would get lost in a world of doodling chunky, fun inspirational words and phrases. Things haven’t changed much. Flash forward many years, and my favorite style by far is one reminiscent of the lettering style of my schooldays. Access to more sophisticated tools, such as professional-grade markers, pens, and paint markers, has elevated my style. But the truth is, you just need a few basic tools to get started, and the rest is icing on the cake.

Before getting into the tools and some fun lettering exercises, I have to stress how important it is to practice as much as you can and to not be afraid to make mistakes. Experiment with the size (width and height) of your lettering, as well as with the embellishment of each letter. Add doodles, color, dots, dashes, lines, shading, and whatever else you can think of. Doing so will add personality, and make each font you create uniquely yours.

Lettering techniques | Jodi Ohl,
Art journal pages by Jodi Ohl. ”Understand that every pen has its moments of glory and its challenges,” Jodi says. “Keep a journal with test lines and notes, so that when you grab a tool for a lettering project, you’ll know what works best for each situation.”

My lettering techniques are less than perfect. Many of my favorite lettering projects arise from mistakes I’ve made or opportunities I create for myself. I try not to discard what I’m working on unless I do something really careless, like spill ink on the paper. Even if something dramatic like that happens, I try to figure out a way to make the ink splotch part of the quirkiness of the design. If you make a mistake, such as not spacing the letters uniformly or grabbing the wrong color marker for your pattern, don’t give up. Trust yourself to figure out how to make it work, despite any perceived imperfections. The idea is to have fun and play, and see where that sense of adventure takes you. ~Jodi

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Art Journaling and Lettering, Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques
Jodi Ohl

About Jodi Ohl

i'm a mixed media artist, writer and instructor who loves the adventure of art making and meeting like minded individuals! I'm from Aberdeen, NC and the mother of two young men (no longer boys ) ages, 15 and 21


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