If you ever wanted to learn lettering, this is the collection you have been waiting for. Learn the process of creating lettering designs from a collection of tools, books and online classes.
Just like you, I saw these interesting designs on Pinterest and could not stop wondering “how did they do that?”. Unfortunately, there are no tv documentaries to teach you that, but there are some resources online, if you know where to search.
In my attempt to learn lettering and create better logos, I went on a lettering search on “how to” tutorials. Searching for the tools needed to get those details, to the tips and tricks that maybe someone should have to know. This post is the result of that search.
Modern Calligraphy and Hand Lettering: A Mark-Making Workbook for Crafters, Cardmakers, and Journal Artists
by Lisa Engelbrecht
Calligraphy, the art of elegant, beautiful lettering, has increased in popularity over the last several years. From brides who want to address their wedding invitations to do-it-yourselfers who want to prepare certificates or make a family tree, and even for art journalers and scrapbookers who like creative text in their works, calligraphy books and classes are hot.
This new-in-paperback book will spark the interest of the calligraphy novice by introducing a new approach to lettering, one that combines a lively combination of traditional lettering styles, fun and scripty modern styles, and artsy street-style lettering, along with project ideas that incorporate creative lettering.
The book demonstrates the uses of traditional and cutting edge lettering tools, from classic calligraphy pens to bling-producing metallic foils and glue pens. It introduces a wide array of lettering styles with complete alphabets sample artworks that show an application. Fully stepped-out illustrations break down each letterform, taking the reader through each stroke and a large collection of gallery images provides further inspiration for how to use creative lettering in artwork.
Hand Lettering: Simple, Creative Styles for Cards, Scrapbooks & More
by Marci Donley and DeAnn Singh
If you think creating beautiful and graceful calligraphy requires years of training and a closet full of fancy pens and exotic inks, think again! Here, the authors explain how anyone can use simple tools and materials found in ordinary craft stores, as well as Q-tips, sponges, and other common items, to produce outstanding results. They provide examples of a dozen alphabet styles, as well as many decorative details. Color photography reveals more than merely the necessary brush and pen techniques—it also shows a vast range of ideas for using calligraphy in new and surprising ways.
Creative Lettering: Techniques & Tips from Top Artists
by Jenny Doh
Hand-lettering techniques are a popular and visually dynamic way to add textual elements to crafts, from journals to mixed-media art. Sixteen accomplished contributors—including calligraphers, painters, collagists, card makers, fiber artists, and graphic designers—give their personal perspectives on lettering. They all offer their favorite tools, how they use them, their signature technique with step-by-step instructions and photos, and an alphabet sampler of their own font. Gorgeous gallery images of each contributor’s work are also included.
The Art of Whimsical Lettering
by Joanne Sharpe
A “font” of information on lettering styles!
The Art of Whimsical Lettering is an artful instruction book on creating stylized fonts and expressive artwork with personal handwriting skills. Author Joanne Sharpe shows you how to create exuberant and personalized writing styles for your artwork–whether it be a journal, canvas art, or other projects that use text.
After an overview of Joanne’s favorite tools and surfaces, take a peek into Joanne’s personal lettering journal to discover how you too can collect inspiration, hone your lettering skills, and tap into your natural creativity. Joanne then demonstrates twenty art techniques for creating a variety of lettering styles using many different tools. She provides you with fifteen basic alphabets, ranging from simple pen-and-ink renditions to increasingly elaborated texts that reference calligraphy, vintage fonts, and doodle art, among other styles. Joanne also teaches you how to turn prosaic lettering into page art itself, merging text into illustration, or ornamenting words with decorative drawings.
Creative Lettering and Beyond: Inspiring tips, techniques,
and ideas for hand lettering your way to beautiful works of art
by Gabri Joy Kirkendall , Laura Lavender , Julie Manwaring , Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn
Creative Lettering and Beyond combines the artistic talents and inspirational tips and tutorials of several professional hand letterers and calligraphers for a dynamic and interactive learning experience. After a brief introduction to the various tools and materials, artists and lettering enthusiasts will learn how to master the art of hand lettering and typography through engaging, easy-to-follow step-by-step projects, prompts, and exercises. From the basic shape and form of letters, to cursive script, spacing, and alignment, artists will discover how to transform simple words, phrases, and quotes into beautiful works of hand-lettered art. The interactive format and step-by-step process offers inspirational instruction for a wide variety of fun projects and gift ideas, including hand-rendered phrases on paper and digitally enhanced notecards. Artists will also discover how to apply lettering to linen, coffee mugs, calendars, and more. Numerous practice pages and interactive prompts throughout the book invite readers to put their newfound lettering skills to use, as well as work out their artistic ideas. Covering a variety of styles and types of lettered art, including calligraphy, illustration, chalk lettering, and more, artists will find a plethora of exercises and tips to help them develop their own unique lettering style. With comprehensive instructions and fun, inspirational exercises and projects, Creative Lettering and Beyond is a must-have resource for anyone who wants to learn this beautiful and stylish art form.
Modern Calligraphy: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Script Calligraphy
by Molly Suber Thorpe
Learn script calligraphy from an in-demand calligrapher and wedding invitation designer
Calligraphy is about creating something uniquely beautiful, whether to celebrate a special occasion like marriage or to use every day in the form of stationery. Author Molly Suber Thorpe, an award-winning designer and calligrapher based in Los Angeles, works closely with her international clients to give them the distinctive products they’re looking for. Now you can learn from this experienced expert how to master this fresh modern lettering style. The first book to teach this bold new style breaks the calligraphy process down into simple steps so anyone can learn to create their own stunning wedding invitations, thank you cards, gift tags, and more. Starting with an overview of the supplies—from paper to ink to pens—you will learn how to form letters, words, and then phrases by following Molly’s clear step-by-step instructions, and by practicing with the provided templates. After mastering letter forms using a pointed pen and ink you can take it to the next level by learning how to use watercolor and gouache, or how to digitize your calligraphy. The twenty projects in the book provide lots of inspiration for making your own and are grouped into three sections: weddings, entertainment, and personal stationery. With loads of ideas, practice exercises, and helpful tips, soon you will be turning out gorgeous script calligraphy pieces like the ones featured in wedding magazines and popular websites like Pinterest
Mastering Calligraphy: The Complete Guide to Hand Lettering
by Gaye Godfrey-Nicholls
The centuries-old art of calligraphy has rarely witnessed a more diverse and prolific explosion of new work than in today’s hand-lettering revival. Mastering the Art of Calligraphy is the most comprehensive and up-to-date volume on this traditional craft and its contemporary practice. Brimming with both practical instruction and more than 700 inspirational photos, this is the definitive new guide for both serious calligraphers and budding hand-lettering enthusiasts. Inside are step-by-step instructions accompanied by examples of current work, plus historical information, artist profiles, troubleshooting tips, and an extensive resource section. Perfect for students, artists, professionals, and hobbyists, this is a tremendously valuable addition to any arts library.
Elegantissima: The Design and Typography of Louise Fili
by Louise Fili , Steven Heller
Louise Fili has been an inspiration for designers around the world since the 1980s, when she raised the bar on book cover design, creating close to two thousand jackets as art director for Pantheon Books. In 1989 Fili founded her own graphic design studio, Louise Fili Ltd, and branched out into the fields of restaurant and food packaging design. Her lavish and elegant typography, often hand drawn, helps advertise and market such well-known brands as Sarabeth’s, Bella Cucina, Jean-Georges, and Good Housekeeping, among many others. Known for her intense attention to detail, her fresh reinterpretation of vintage sources, and her passion for all things Italian, Fili has won numerous awards. Elegantissima, the first monograph on her work, covers the breadth of her nearly forty-year design career and is a must-have for graphic design students and professionals, as well as anyone interested in advertising, food, restaurants, Italy, and books.
Calligraphy in 24 Hours
by Veiko Kespersaks
Serious beginners who open this book can really learn the ancient art of calligraphy in just 24 one-hour sessions. A carefully structured beginner’s course, Calligraphy in 24 Hours starts with basic instruction and progresses through sessions that challenge readers with projects of increasing difficulty. An opening lesson introduces students to the standard calligraphy tools–pens, inks, and papers. Tutorials that follow go on to teach the basic strokes for constructing 15 different alphabets, letter-by-letter. Timed exercises are presented to help learners build speed and confidence, and to produce beautifully finished lettering with accuracy and consistency. They will learn how to create professionally designed greeting cards, wall hangings, place settings, wedding invitations, and more. Instructions are complemented with more than 350 how-to color illustrations.
Calligraphy (First Steps Series)
by Don Marsh
Make your first steps in calligraphy fun and rewarding!
You’ll be delighted at how easy this guide makes it to address invitations with a touch of class, send unforgettable greeting cards, and craft unique and meaningful gifts.
With Don Marsh’s simple and straightforward instruction, you’ll be creating graceful handwritten expressions in no time! By learning a few key strokes (most of them found in the letters “a” and “n”) you’ll be able to form all the letters of the alphabet.
In this book, you’ll find everything you need to begin—including:
Which tools and materials to buy to get off to a good, affordable start
Easy-to-follow instructions for the most practical and popular lettering styles—simple italic minuscules, simple roman capitals, simple italic capitals and swash caps
Easy (but effective) exercises that make learning fun
How to create numerals and decorative flourishes
Copy-and-use practice sheets
Inspiring examples of the art of calligraphy
More than a dozen projects—complete with stroke-by-stroke instruction—show you different ways to apply your new skills. You’ll find practical and imaginative ideas for greeting cards, invitations, romantic verse and much more. And with Don’s help, you can get started right away
Drawing Type: An Introduction to Illustrating Letterforms
by Alex Fowkes
Part inspiration and part workbook, these hand-drawn type of images will inspire and excite any designer to draw and explore type. Drawing Type features real-world projects and sketchbooks of well-known type designers, including interviews about their processes. Playful, hand-drawn type can easily be used in a range of disciplines within design and illustration such as packaging, editorial, posters, advertising, online graphics, and signage; the hand-made aesthetic is more prevalent now than ever.
Alex Fowkes will help you to create custom lettering and typographic layouts. Alex encourages you to start drawing all kinds of typography, including serifs, sans serifs, and scripts. He provides ample examples of typefaces to draw inspiration from so you can become confident enough to draw your own. Drawing Type is perfect for learning and developing your skills at home or in a classroom–an invaluable resource that you can refer to again and again!
Hand to Type: Scripts, Hand-Lettering and Calligraphy
by R. Klanten , J. Middendorp , H. Hellige
Although, or perhaps because, most of us write less and less by hand, our fascination for handwritten letterforms is growing. Typeface designers who specialize in traditional, charming, or spectacular lettering with a handmade look have become role models for today’s young typographers and graphic design students. Script fonts–digital type families based on handwriting–are among the most sought on the typography market today. Scripts from the past, be it 18th-century formal calligraphy or advertising headlines from the 1960s, are being digitized and turned into OpenType programming. The love of the hand-written look is nothing new. Even the oldest printed books pretended to be something unique and not a machine-made mass product. Hand to Type is a collection of some of the best work by today’s lettering artists in the fields of hand-made and digital script forms. The book includes texts about outstanding designers and contains a series of expert chapters outlining the principles of script forms that may be lesser known to most western typographers–from the German Sütterlin to Arabic and Asian scripts. Hand to Type also traces script fonts back to some of the earliest examples: hand-lettering as a sign of authenticity, or printing type made to look like formal writing.
Playing with Type: 50 graphic experiments for exploring typographic design principles
by Lara McCormick
Playing with Type is a hands-on, playful approach to learning type application and principles. This engaging guide begins with an introduction to the philosophy of learning through the process of play. Along with a series of experimental design projects with an emphasis on type, the author provides designers with a “toolkit” of ideas and skills developed through the process of play. The awareness and sensitivity to type styles, forms, and type choices gained through these visual experiments will increase the designer’s confidence in their personal and professional work. This book can be used in the classroom or independently, and readers can go directly to exercises that appeal to them.
Hand-Lettering Ledger: A Practical Guide to Creating Serif, Script, Illustrated, Ornate, and Other Totally Original Hand-Drawn Styles
by Mary Kate McDevitt
The ultimate tool for designers and creatives looking to tap into the trend of hand-drawn lettering, this workbook features step-by-step lessons on a range of styles plus more than 120 practice pages, making it the ideal place to learn and perfect this in-demand design skill.
Little Book of Lettering
by Emily Gregory
Typography is always one of the designer’s first considerations when it comes to making a statement, and in recent years the world of lettering and type has exploded in an unprecedented wave of creative discovery. Contemporary artists, typesetters, and designers of all kinds are exploring new horizons in illustrated and hand-drawn lettering, digitally rendered lettering, and 3D lettering. This collection—large in scope but petite in size—surveys the recent lettering renaissance, showcasing a diverse range of talent in gorgeous, eye-catching examples and profiling today’s innovators. In a stunning little package that expertly combines a handmade feel with a modern aesthetic, this is the ultimate inspirational collection of contemporary lettering for design buffs and type enthusiasts alike.
Calligraphy Bible: A Complete Guide to More Than 100 Essential Projects and Techniques
by Maryanne Grebenstein
The Ultimate Guide to Essential Materials, Techniques, and Projects for Calligraphers
From ancient to modern times, the art of calligraphy has brought the written word to life, beautifying folklore, letters, poetry, and more. Embark on a journey through time, as the book examines the history of writing and its transformations. Between these pages, you’ll find:
· A detailed guide to materials, tools, and setting up your own workspace, as well as a troubleshooting section.
· An Alphabet Workbook for practicing all the book’s letterforms, from Foundationals to Copperplate, alongside beautiful examples.
· Clear demonstrations map out every type of line, stroke, and flourish you may encounter.
· Easy to follow instructions for gilding, illuminating letters, mixing colors, flourishing, and creating ornate borders to frame your work.
· A wealth of projects to put this ancient art to practical, modern day use, including wedding invitations, posters, letterhead, and more.
· A comprehensive list of suppliers and calligraphers’ societies all over the country
With something for everyone, Calligraphy Bible offers the tools you need to explore the limitless possibilities of calligraphy. Immerse yourself in this detailed, instructional resource, and, in no time, you’ll be flourishing, gilding, and writing like a calligraphy master!
Digitizing Calligraphy: From Sketch to Vector
by Molly Suber Thorpe
In recent years calligraphers have felt an increased demand for two unique skills: modern flourishes that are elegant (without looking like they came out of the eighteenth century) and digitized calligraphy that can be used in print and online in the form of logotypes, advertising, title treatments, printed stationery, and beyond. In this course you will learn my favorite techniques for both skills as you are guided through all the steps of creating your own flourished, calligraphic logotype.
Learning natural, purposeful flourishing techniques is important for any calligrapher or lettering artist, but especially for those who combine script with graphic design, as it is in high demand for calligraphy’s application in logo design, book covers, magazine title treatments, and just about all other forms of hand-drawn script.
Vintage Hand-Lettering: Styling Phrases for Timeless Appeal
by Mary Kate McDevitt
Join letterer and acclaimed Skillshare teacher Mary Kate McDevitt as she explores vintage inspirations in this 30-minute, project-based class. As you watch her step-by-step process for redesigning a vintage package, you’ll learn the crucial skill of how to interpret reference material without copying, while also practicing and growing your own sketching, lettering, coloring, and layout skills.
Along the way, Mary Kate shares tactics for flourishes, tips for achieving a vintage look, and useful questions to guide your own packaging project. By the end, you’ll have a beautiful, hand-lettered piece to transform a soap or chocolate label, embellish a brand identity, or share with a loved one.
Lettering for Designers: One Drop Cap Letterform at a Time
by Jessica Hische
Jessica Hische has been lettering for years, working on all sorts of projects from Wes Anderson movies to Dave Eggers book covers. For every lettering project, the basic unit is the same: a single letter.
In this self-paced class, she will teach you her process, starting with that crucial unit: a simple and beautiful single letter in the form of a drop cap. A drop cap is the large letter that starts a chapter in a book, an art form found in manuscripts dating back 2,000 years.
You will learn Jessica’s lettering process along with plenty of the tips and tricks acquired over the years.
Research – The importance of starting small and picking the right book.
Brainstorming. The keys to letting ideas out of your head and onto paper.
Sketching – The real-world process for how letters are designed. I’ll share my sketch books and sketching process for a true behind-the-scenes walkthrough.
Digitizing – My essential tips and tricks for Illustrator, including how to use handlebars and where to place your vector points.
Critiquing – The constructive, core process for critiquing your own work and getting those perfect finishing touches (ahem, perfect curves).
The First Steps of Hand-Lettering: Concept to Sketch (Lettering I)
by Mary Kate McDevitt
Style a phrase you love. Share it forever.
Count us among the thousands transforming our handwriting into artful drawings. In this 2-hour class, the talented Mary Kate McDevitt reveals the first steps of hand-lettering and inspires us to concept, design, and letter words for any use—a poster, magazine, t-shirt, or anything else we imagine. Plus, the impressive class project gallery speaks volumes for her clear guidance on common missteps, conceptual illustration, and digitization. We’re sharpening our pencils.
Learn by doing.
Find a quote, title, or phrase that speaks to you, and develop an illustrative concept that matches its mood and tone. Using your favorite drawing materials, create a hand-letter sketch that’s meaningful, lasting, and inspiring.
Watch 16 video lessons.
Researching and Brainstorming – research and brainstorm ideas for your hand-lettered phrase, as well as different possible applications.
Sketching – sketch out concepts that fit your idea.
Exploring Styles – develop a clear concept and explore styles appropriate to the application—all while keeping your style.
Finalizing – finalize a drawing that is ready to scan.
The Final Steps of Hand-Lettering: Color & Texture (Lettering II)
by Mary Kate McDevitt
This is the second class in a two part series on Hand Lettering. See: The First Steps of Hand Lettering is linked.
Here, we’ll pick up where we left off and explore the process of bringing a piece all the way to a final digital state.
In this class, you’ll learn Mary’s process for digitizing lettering, using color, and adding texture to illustrations. She will offer you tips and tricks picked up along the way and demonstrate how you can use them in your own illustrations.
If you find letters beautiful and want to turn your handwriting into artful drawings, this is the class for you. Even if you’re already a skilled letterer, you will learn new tips on what to avoid when adding color and texture and how to make a clean final file that is ready to share with friends online or send to a printer.
You will taken through the step-by-step process to create a final hand lettered piece.
Digitizing – You will learn how to digitize your lettering without compromising the hand-drawn edge. We’ll scan, clean up, and vectorize in this phase.
Adding color – We will take a look at different methods for adding color to your lettering.
Creating texture – We will discuss new ways to add texture to your drawing to make it your own.
Finish touches – We’ll cover those final touches you can apply to create a great final piece.
What You’ll Make
We’ll take a hand-lettered phrase and finalize it by vectorizing, adding color, and bringing in texture.
While the most crucial part of an illustration is, of course, the drawing, knowing how to add color and texture to create deliverable files to your client is also very important.
Introduction to the Art of Modern Calligraphy
by Molly Jacques
Interested in a beginner’s crash course in the basics of modern calligraphy, but have no idea how to start? This class starts at the very beginning, covering the basic tools and preliminary knowledge of modern, pointed-pen calligraphy and giving you a solid understanding of how to compose a truly unique alphabet!
Within the design community, there has been a rise in demand for basic and advanced calligraphy skills to use in a variety of ways, from wedding calligraphy to typeface design. Through this class, you’ll strengthen your eye for design, typographic detail, and distinctiveness.
In a world bombarded by images and lettering thousands of times a day, coming across an image of true distinctiveness is something to cherish. Create that moment.
This class is divided into four progressive units: Understanding the Tools, Learning Letter Structure, Learning the Alphabet, and Developing a Style.
Creating Layouts with Your Calligraphy
by Charmaine Al-Mulaifi
Learning how to create the perfect layout is a vital skill to help build your knowledge of calligraphy! Now is the time to combine it all together, and create a beautiful piece. In this class, we’ll cover how to create invitation and envelope designs.
We’ll cover everything you need to know to create an effective and elegant layout with your calligraphy skills.
Connecting Words – We’ll start off by starting to connect letters and words together. This is how we’ll start to understand how different words work together in our design.
Creating Hierarchy – We’ll discuss the different considerations of hierarchy that you can apply to your own layout.
Adding Flourishes – Finally, we’ll add the finishing touches with a focus on how flourishes contribute to the spacial design.
Design the Layout – We’ll finalize the layout of your invitation including where everything is placed.
The Art of Lettering: Intro to Hand-Drawn Script
by Neil Tasker
“First and foremost, script typography is musical. Scripts – whether formal or informal, joining or discursive – have a rhythm” – Paul Shaw
In this self-paced online class Neil will teach you the fundamentals to building letterforms in script style by hand. This course is entirely hands on, no computer software required. While this is not technically a calligraphy class, you will go through and study how script was built in the past from nibbed pens and brushes.
This class is for designers, artists or anyone who is really looking to get hands and learn the basics of how to begin drawing script lettering.
History and Research – We will go over the history of script and also show the process of of finding relevant material to study.
Fundamentals (forms, guidelines and tools) – In this section we will look at the process of how script letterforms are built with a select tools and guidelines to follow for beginners.
Sketching – I will share my process and walk through how I put the fundamentals together to draw script lettering.
Decoration – We will lightly talk about adding flourishing to script lettering, looking at balanced compositions and not going overboard.
Layouts for Lettering: Hierarchy, Composition, and Type Systems
by Jon Contino
When creating lettering for a product or specific output, you must carefully consider images, illustrations, and negative space to communicate an idea in a defined area. This means that the layout is often more important than the letter work itself. Whether you are a freelance designer or simply hand letter as a hobby, taking your word forms and incorporating them into a practical layout is an incredibly valuable tool for your creative arsenal.
Jon has been fortunate to work on countless projects requiring a plethora of layouts, both with other brands and my own endeavors. From clothing to signs to sports equipment, each platform presents new challenges, but the underlying principles of hierarchy, composition, and communication remain the same. I am looking forward to sharing these lessons so your own lettering style can flourish on a multitude of platforms.
You will go through ways to apply your lettering skills to a variety of outputs, using simple layouts to achieve beautiful results. Please note that we will NOT be going over how to hand letter. (There are plenty of other awesome Skillshare classes for that!) We’ll cover:
A History of Layouts – Important takeaways in poster, packaging, and advertising design from previous generations and today.
Hierarchy and Spatial Design – How to establish order and value when communicating written words, and how to use thumbnail sketches and shapes to create a map for your lettering placement.
Type Systems – Figuring out which typefaces work well together to support your lettering and communication goals.
Integrating Type with Image – How to use hierarchy and spatial design to find a balance between photo, illustration, and type.
Make a Living as a Hand Lettering Artist
From typographic fundamentals to professional practice.
by Sean Wes
Each course contains multiple, exhaustive video lessons along with articles, resources and quizzes, all helping you understand the finer points of lettering and typography from concept to completion.
Each of the 3 classes below feature a different level of education. The hobbyist will get a great overview of lettering and typographic fundamentals in the Starter Class.
For the designer looking to improve, you’ll get several core courses with the Intermediate Class that will take your lettering to the next level and add a solid set of skills to your toolkit.
The serious letterer will find the greatest value in the Master Class with 10 in-depth courses on everything from custom type logos to getting a solid understanding of licensing and design contracts.
Hand lettering tutorials
Emma had a hard time finding classes and tutorials online so after some research and digging around she decided to share her own journey through hand lettering and the courses and things she learned with everyone who is interested.
30 Days To Better Hand-Lettering E-Course
Whether you’re a beginner who has never tried your hand at lettering or you’re an intermediate-level letterer looking to pick up some pointers on style or digital tools, my goal was to create a highly affordable, information-rich course that would allow you to noticeably improve your lettering skills in a relatively short amount of time.
Learn the basics of hand-lettering AND receive a daily practice prompt list for improving your skills over the course of 30 days.
Some of the tools needed
Please understand that these tools are not necessarily “the ones” that you can’t do lettering without. These are just some of them that I found useful for anyone starting to learn about lettering.
For more pen sources, visit JetPens or CultPens. If you are in the US, I recommend you approach Amazon or Jetpens, as the shipping costs are almost 0. If you are living in Europe, I recommend CultPens, the shipping costs are decent. Please share with me any other sources.