These 10 Tips for the Hand Lettering Beginner are truly helpful. Even for those who don’t have much time on their hands (like me)!
10 Tips for the Hand Lettering Beginner
1. Practice, practice, practice
Everywhere you read, you will see that this is the #1 tip hand lettering experts give. And how much fun is it to hear something like that?! Not very. Hand lettering is different than your normal writing. Don’t feel discouraged; just believe in it. Practice really does go a long way!
2. Observe Others
When you’re not practicing, you should be observing. Observe how one letter connects into the other. Observe how the letters swoop. Do they all connect? Are all words written in the same form or are some emphasized over others? How so?
3. Forget the Pens
Practice with pencil! This is a super great way to change your marks when you recognize where you’d rather have them. It can be hard when you’re just beginning to identically repeat something, so to be able to adjust and learn from something you at least partially love can be very helpful! Recognizing where your mark should have gone is a great indicator that you’re growing already.
4. But find your favorite pen
We all have our favorite pens to write with, so why not have a favorite pen to practice your hand lettering? My favorite is the Pentel Sign Pen; although, I’ve heard numerous great things about Tombow pens. Find what fits your style and comfort and master it!
5. Or make use of what you already have
Have you ever thought to practice with Crayola markers? They are a great tool to practice stroke thickness; thick downstroke and thin upstroke. This whole time, who knew? The only reason I bought two more Pentel Sign Pens this month is because I had a hard time finding them in the store. But using what you have at home is a super easy (albeit obvious) way to stay within your budget!
6. Go beyond pen and paper
Hand lettering is not like typical hand writing. It is a form of drawing. If a pen or pencil doesn’t seem to be clicking well, perhaps you were made to hand letter with a paintbrush? Or maybe a wood burning tool? Maybe even digitally with a tablet and stylus? There are so many awesome variations with hand lettering; don’t limit your focus to just one kind of medium!
7. Download practice worksheets
These are truly the best ever! It’s so fun to trace a letter and realize you can make that same stroke on your own! There are thousands of options out there to download for free, but if you want something GREAT and love supporting others’ small businesses, go ahead and purchase a workbook that someone has put together. I guarantee you will not be upset with it as a resource!
8. Don’t skip a day!
Even if it means a few nonsense scribbles in your sketchbook, keep that hand moving. Pulling from Tip #1, practicing makes all the difference. The more you do it, the sooner you’ll see improvement, and then the more you’ll want to do it! It really can be a beautiful cycle!
9. Try out various styles
Have you ever stopped to think about how many different styles of hand lettering exist? MANY! It’s because people find what works best for them, and then make it their own! It’s fun to think that “your hand lettering style” is out there; you just have to go find it. Let this be a fun adventure for you to discover your personal style.
10. Celebrate your improvements! (And make sure you reflect.)
Even if the change isn’t where you want to be in the end, you should still celebrate the progress you’ve made! Not only is your hand lettering improving—which is a fantastic sign, no pun intended—but you’ve also stuck with something long enough to see improvements! That is a victory in itself! *high five*
And there you have it. My 10 tips for the hand lettering beginner.
What steps have you taken this month to reach your goal? Are you wishing you would have started already? Well now is that time! Forget about any time that you feel is “lost” and just look forward.
Next month is the perfect time for you to begin!