Where to Begin
As a young person, did you ever spend your time doodling on your notebooks. You created hearts with initials in them. Doodles with hearts and various lettering styles. Well, it's now a dazzling way to create hand lettering that can be used for your own personal artwork, or you can use creative lettering for client projects. Eventually, after some practice, you might take your talents to the internet and sell your projects online.
It all begins with recapturing that whimsical lettering that you used to do in high school and polishing it until you are proud to share it with others. Still, where do you start when all you've done is some simple doodling?
You might even be wondering why I've started talking about hand lettering here when it's usually all about creative writing prompts. I love words in all their shapes and forms. This is yet another creative way to bring pen to paper. (Eventually, we'll also have paper projects, calligraphy, and other types of writing “things”) Imagine taking a quote from your own book that's made you incredibly proud and creating your own banner with it. It takes your writing to a whole other level.
Like the art of writing a story, it all begins when you sit at your desk and pick up a pen. While you don't need special pens and paper to create beautiful lettering, you will want to practice with tools that make the art of creation easier.
Study Lettering Styles
There are plenty of lettering styles to choose from when it comes to your own work. To really understand lettering, you should know about all kinds of font classifications. You don't have to study them like you're taking a high school calculus exam, but as you're copying then creating your own styles, you'll want to see why they're different.
There are Serif type styles like Transitional and Old Style or San Serif, Script type and Decorative. Serif has a line or symbol attached to the letter itself. The ones without lines are called San Serif, or without serif. Once you understand the classic types of letters, you'll be able to determine what style attracts you the most.
San Serif Lettering
Invest in some tutorials or books to really get into the lettering in a solid way that you can duplicate on your own. We recommend a beginning lettering book to get started.
Questions to Ask Yourself
You'll want to be sure that you pick a writing utensil that is easy for you to work with on your sketch pad. Start with one type of tool whether it's sharpies, watercolor, pen, or pencil and ink.
- Do you like the precision of a fine tip pen?
- Does the swirl and swipe of markers appeal to you?
It's best to start with a pencil, so that you can erase any problem marks. While some people are able to start with pens and markers, many professionals will start with a pencil before making their art permanent with markers and pens.
After learning the fundamentals, you can start crafting your favorite embellishments like banners, flowers, leaves, or balloons. As you start to learn and let your pen flow, the elements that you add will become more personalized.
If you're unsure of the type of pens and markers you'd like to use at the start of your lettering, you can purchase a beginner kit that has a two types of brush pens, sharpie markers, an instruction booklet, and 2 fine tip pens in gold and silver. Along with these items, there is tracing paper for practice and card stock and envelopes when you're finally ready to debut your very own creative lettering.