This post is for those who want to learn lettering and wonder about how to get started. You will find a little bit about the beginning of my hand lettering journey, people who influenced me as well as suggestions for online courses or places to find inspirational lettering teachers.
The beginning of my lettering journey
When I started to create prints and cards, I started looking for fonts that looked handwritten. One font artist that I came across and that I want to recommend is Nicky Laatz. She makes gorgeous handwritten fonts. But many of the fonts I found and liked came with licenses which were not clear to me. Especially since I wanted to use them for products for sell. At the same time I got several requests for designing wedding invitations and that is when I found out about the art of hand lettering. And the more I researched the more amazing artists I found and the more I wanted to learn this form of drawing letters. I also thought, that it would be a great additional skill for me as a graphic designer.
The Brush Letter Practice Guide by Random Olive
I started lettering in October 2015, so I have been lettering for about seven months now. First, I tried to draw letters by myself just by looking at other peoples work, but that did not go so well for me. I got pretty frustrated. And then I found the Brush Letter Practice Guide by Random Olive. And I loved it! The guide has a practice schedule for you and tracing sheets for uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers. And all you need to practice is a brush, ink and normal copy paper. I loved that, because I did’t know yet how that journey would go and those where materials that I already had. My family had sent me the Derwent Brush pens, which I actually got for watercolor drawings. Instead, I filled them with water and black ink (I got the black drawing ink from Pelikan) and used them for practicing brush lettering. By the way, Random Olive also shares videos on YouTube, Instagram and now on Persicope (@randomolive), where you can watch her writing the letters.
If you already own or simply prefer brush markers, like the Tombow Dual Brush Pens or the Visaquarelle from BIC (there are many different brush pens), you might like the free Worksheets of Sharisse (Instagram: @piecescalligraphy). You could also purchase the Brush Lettering Practice Worksheets by Kelly (Instagram: @kellycreates), the #letterattack Brush Lettering Guide by Tanja (Instagram: @frauhoelle) or the Lettering Practice Sheets Printable by Sarah (Instagram: @theinkyhand). They are all amazing lettering artists. There are many more, but these are some artists I really like and have been following for a while now on Instagram.
Another artist I would like to recommend is Tam from Lettering Tutorial (Instagram: @letteringtutorial). She creates podcasts that you can listen to on Youtube, iTunes or Stitcher. Her podcasts are about topics related to lettering and she introduces amazing lettering artists. She also proposes quotes that you can letter and share on Instagram using the hashtag #LetteringTutorialGallery. I love the podcasts and it is nice to listen to them while you letter.
Online courses and e-courses
A class that I started recently, but that has had a huge impact on me is the online course Let’s Start Lettering by Amanda Arneill. She is such an amazing lettering artist! I love the class and Amanda is an amazing teacher. You get practice sheets and videos, material recommendations and many tipps. I still haven’t finished the class, but so far I absolutely love it! You can check more details on the Let’s Start Lettering Online Course on her website Amanda Arneill (Instagram: @amandaarneill). She also offers a new course now called Digitize Your Designs (DYD), which looks great as well.
Another amazing artist who offers online classes is Melissa (Instagram: @lissletters). She letters with real brushes like Random Olive and all her work looks gorgeous. You can check out upcoming classes and her work on her website.
Jenny Highsmith (Instagram: @jennyhighsmith) is a lettering artist that I found in the beginning of my journey. She offers a Hand Lettering E-Course and a variety of other courses and workshops that you can check out. The website looks beautiful, showcasing all the wonderful pieces Jenny has done. So I recommend checking out her website.
Another artist I came across just a little while ago is Caroline (Instagram: @ckelso) from Made Vibrant. Her work is gorgeous! She also offers an e-course called Better Lettering Course. She also offers a course on branding and a course on creating your first e-course.
Recently, I started classes on Skillshare. There you can also find many amazing lettering teachers! I still want to try out more classes, but one person that I already highly recommend is Teela. Her page is called Every-Tuesday and she does not only have amazing Skillshare classes, she also offers free tutorials on YouTube and on her website along with beautiful freebies. She shows how to get started with brush lettering, how to create watercolor textures, how to digitalize your lettering and many other skills.
A great way to learn and also to find amazing artists is through the many lettering challenges you can find on Instagram. The challenge I started with was the #letteritoctober challenge by Jenny Highsmith. Then I found the #brushletterpracticechallenge by Random Olive and the #letterattackchallenge by Frau Hoelle. I love all three challenges. For beginners the last two that I mentioned are easier, because they focus on one word or few words, while the challenges from Jenny Highsmith often have phrases, very lovely ones, but whole phrases are harder to letter in the beginning.
So here are some challenges I recommend:
- #brushletterpracticechallenge by Olivia (Instagram:@randomolive)
- #wordaweek by Amanda (Instagram: @amandaarneill) and Valerie (Instagram: @valeriemckeehan)
- #letteritapril by Jenny Highsmith (Instagram: @jennyhighsmith)
- #letterattackchallenge by Tanja/Frau Hoelle (Instagram: @frauhoelle)
- #30daysdraworletter by Julia (Instagram: @farbcafe) and Diana (Instagram: @dianasoriat)
- #togetherweletter by Liss (Instagram: @lissletters) and Lauren (Instagram: @renmadecalligraphy)
- #BetterLetteringCourse by Caroline (Instagram: @ckelso)
- #letterarchive by Emma (Instagram: @blackchalkco) and Becca (Instagram: @thehappyevercrafter)
- #lexiconletteringchallenge by Sara (Instagram: @handmadebysarat), Amy (Instagram: @oneartsymama), and Lindsay (Instagram: @lshannondesigns)
- #InspiredbyinDetail by Joanne (Instagram: @indetailcreative)
- Weekly challenges on Instagram on @letteringleague founded by Jenn (Instagram: @hijenncoyle)
There are many more, so this is just an extract of some challenges you could follow.
Some places to look for lettering artists
There are so many amazing artists that I follow on Instagram, which is a great place to find amazing artists. If you browse through the challenges or skillshare classes you find many talented artists. That is one way to find people. You can also find artists by checking out the list of the Tombow Brand Ambassadors. It is a list of artists who work with Tombow products. Not all of them are lettering artists, but may of them are. As mentioned above, Tam Love introduces artists along with their pages and works in her podcasts. So if you check her posts with the show notes you can find inspiring artists as well.
There are so many talented letterers out there who deserve to be mentioned but I think it would be impossible to mention them all. So in this article I focused on the people that influenced me and who teach lettering so that you have some starting points for your journey.
You are very welcome to add your thoughts or recommendations via Discuss below this post. If you have any questions you are also welcome to write me through the contact page or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a wonderful day!