At the start of the year I made the declaration that 2017 would be the year I’d finally try hand lettering. When I was a kid I’d drag out the old Letraset book and I would practice tracing the different fonts. The second job I had after leaving school was at a sign shop. As a sign designer I worked with hundreds of fonts and I learned a bunch about formatting and white space and how different fonts communicate messages differently. It was at this job that I developed a huge crush on old vintage signs. I so wanted to be able to do freehand work but I just didn’t have the confidence to try. Until now.
Thankfully we are blessed with an internet full of helpful tutorials and practice sheets to help novice hand letterers like me. I’ve also found inspiration in a couple of books about hand lettering. Want to know my favourites?
1. The Ultimate Brush Lettering Guide: A Complete Step-by-Step Creative Workbook to Jump Start Modern Calligraphy Skills – Peggy Dean
2. In Progress: See Inside a Lettering Artist’s Sketchbook and Process, from Pencil to Vector – Jessica Hische
3. Creative Lettering and Beyond: Inspiring tips, techniques, and ideas for hand lettering your way to beautiful works of art – Gabri Joy Kirkendall, Laura Lavender, Julie Manwaring, Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn
4. Hand Lettering 101: An Introduction to the Art of Creative Lettering – Chalkfulloflove
5. Hand-Lettering (An Interactive Guide to the Art of Drawing Letters) – Megan Wells
6. Hand-Lettering for Everyone: A Creative Workbook – Cristina Vanko
7. Little Book of Hand Lettering – Emily Gregory
8. The Joy of Lettering: A creative exploration of contemporary hand lettering, typography & illustrated typeface – Gabri Joy Kirkendall, Jaclyn Escalera
9. Adventures in Lettering – Dawn Nicole Warnaar
10. Hand Lettering: Creative Alphabets for Any Occasion – Thy Doan
11. Scripts: Elegant Lettering from Design’s Golden Age – Steven Heller, Louise Fili
12. Hand-Lettering Ledger: A Practical Guide to Creating Serif, Script, Illustrated, Ornate, and Other Totally Original Hand-Drawn Styles – Mary Kate McDevitt
When I was in primary school I had ridiculously neat hand writing. I was obsessed with being neat. I borrowed the creatively titled Lettering Book (this is a more modern version) from the library to learn different typefaces and I’d spend ages making sure each letter was spot on. I was at the top of my hand lettering game as I transitioned into high school. Unfortunately I soon learned that bubble writing and swapping full stops for love hearts was frowned upon in high school. It was heartbreaking to realise that legibility was more important than creativity. Five years of scribbling notes killed my creative game and I never hand lettered again. So when I see the work of someone like Noel Shiveley I get super jealous and I ponder what could have been.
Noel is an amazing hand letterer from Colorado Springs who creates pin worthy pieces of art including those that fit into my favourite subgenre – poignant-and-inspirational-phrases-over-grand-landscapes. Follow Noel on Instagram and prepare to be wowed.
(How’s your hand lettering game? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook)
If you caught My Three Favourite Things newsletter a couple of weeks ago you would have seen a beautiful watercolour wedding invitation designed by Santiago Sunbird. I’m in awe of Bree and Sarah Hankinson’s work. It’s beautifully designed and while it is watercolour (and watercolour is so ‘in’ at the moment) it’s also understated and unique, which is everything you want from your wedding stationery, right?
Follow Santiago Sunbird on: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Website
These prints from Oh My Deer caught my eye today. I’m a sucker for a beautiful, hand lettered poster. If you’ve seen pictures of my office on Instagram (@krissyb) you’ll know what I’m talking about. Nothing looks better than a beautiful, flowing script proclaiming some catchy wisdom about getting up, dusting yourself and giving things another go (check out my Words That Inspire board to see what I am talking about).
I think I have *just* enough space on my wall for these three.