Learn Hand Lettering with These 5 Quick Tips
Hand lettering can seem like a daunting thing to learn sometimes, but I’ve taught it to people who think they have the worst handwriting in the world so I know that it can be done! These are the 5 quick tips that I use to teach everyone who comes to a workshop with me, and they’re here to help you to master the art of hand lettering!
When you first start out with hand lettering, it’s really tempting to try and jump in and create full works of art, but doing this can actually hinder you rather than help you. Attempting to letter a full sentence or phrase in a super intricate style straight away will set you off on the wrong foot. It will most likely be too difficult, not turn out how you picture it in your head or how someone else did it, and this can discourage and deter you from keeping at it! Instead, start small. Try just one letter at first to get the hang of it, then try combining a couple of letters, then work your way up to words, and sentences after that. Slow and steady wins the race, and it will help you learn lettering much easier.
Use Your Rules & Guides
I have been hand lettering for a long time now, and I still use my rules & guides when I’m working. Ruling lines for your baseline and x-height will help you to keep your letters all the same height and consistent in their placement, and using a guide for your angles will help you to maintain the same angles throughout a piece of work. These are especially great while you’re learning and practising, because you’re not having to think about any of these things while you should be focusing on practising your strokes or drawing instead.
Thin Up, Thick Down
The general rule of thumb for script lettering, whether you’re drawing it, or using a brush pen, is thin up, thick down. This means that if you’re drawing the upward stroke of a letter, the width of the stroke should be thin, whereas if you’re drawing a downward stroke, this should be much thicker. This will help to keep the proportion of your letters consistent and maintain the flow throughout a word or phrase.
Slow & Steady
This tip can vary depending on what style you are going for and what tools you are using, but my general rule is slow and steady. Keep your hands steady and go slowly to get the best results. You don’t need to rush anything, and actually going slower will help to keep your strokes strong, clean and consistent. Take your time and really focus on your strokes and lines.
Practise Makes Perfect
Last but not least, practise makes perfect. Hand lettering isn’t something that you can just be amazing at overnight, it requires practise in order to improve. I am still practising and learning all the time, and I always will. There are always new styles, techniques, tools and concepts to learn and they all take time. Be patient, keep practising, and you’ll see massive improvements in your work along the way!