You are surrounded by letters and written messages every day and everywhere. In addition to telling a story, letters can inspire feelings in various contexts, including logotypes, posters, billboards, t-shirts, and book covers. What if you could create lovely hand lettering that’s full of character rather than using a preexisting font?
You are in the right place if you’ve already dabbled with the vast world of hand lettering or considered it but weren’t sure where to begin. First, we’ll examine the necessities you require to begin this fantastic voyage of hand lettering.
What is Hand Lettering?
The terms “type” and “typography” are sometimes used interchangeably to describe hand lettering, calligraphy, typesetting, and type design.
The process of creating typefaces that are accessible to everyone is known as type design. A type designer develops letter systems, ensuring that all the letters of the alphabet can be used in countless combinations.
Arranging a type designed by a type designer in a specific layout is known as typesetting. This could be as straightforward as a black-and-white newspaper or as intricate as a brochure emphasizing typography.
This was done manually in the past. Today, we use computers for everything.
The writing is faultless and exquisite in calligraphy. Calligraphers employ muscle memory to hone their style over many years of practice to write all the copy flawlessly on the first try the next time they are hired to create a wedding invitation.
Calligraphy and hand lettering have entirely different processes, even though they frequently resemble one another.
Writing with a single motion to produce written art is called calligraphy.
Last but not least, hand lettering is the art of drawing letters, which can take on a variety of sizes and shapes, from conventional-looking letters to ones that are elaborate, detailed, and less obvious. Any style, on any material, using any media, can be used to accomplish this.
A composition made using hand-drawn letters is known as hand-lettering.
Even though there are no standards for hand lettering, some general principles should be followed.
Postcards, invitations, and other design prints or digital works you want to personalize and distribute can all benefit from using hand lettering to add flair.
How to Start Hand Lettering
Let’s quickly review several applications for hand lettering before we get started. The variety of applications for this art form might surprise you.
Get Your Tools
A hand letterer doesn’t require any expensive equipment.
You will only use a pencil, paper, an eraser, and a ruler. However, consider utilizing the appropriate calligraphic tools if you want your letters to look calligraphic (such as brush pens or nibs).
There are a few options if you wish to use your lettering in a digital medium. First, use a graphic tablet, iPad Pro, and Apple Pencil to begin digitally from scratch.
Alternatively, you can scan your work and alter it in Photoshop or Illustrator using the built-in tracing feature or manually trace it using the Pen tool.
Know About letter Construction and Relation
Having rules to follow is crucial when drawing letters. They assist you in maintaining ideal letter proportions so that your letters interact harmoniously with one another.
The ascender line indicates how lengthy a lowercase letter’s ascender should be (like l, h, b). The height of an uppercase letter is known as the cap height.
A lowercase letter’s height and the line that supports the crossbar are referred to as the x-height. All letters rest on the baseline. The descender length for a lowercase letter is indicated by the descender line (like p, j, g).
You may need to make some optical adjustments and slightly disregard these recommendations in some circumstances.
We use a few primary forms regardless of the font style. In addition to the combination of these, we have spherical shapes (like the letters O or C), triangular shapes (like the letters V or A), and rectangular shapes (like the letters H or E).
The circle and the triangle would appear substantially smaller than the rectangle if all of these forms were placed on the same baseline and were the same size. Why? The square, as opposed to the circle and triangle, touches the baseline and cap height along its whole boundary.
Although they are physically the same size, optically, they are not. It would be best if you relied on your vision and gut feeling to slightly enlarge those letters above the baseline and cap height. By how much should they be enlarged? That’s up to you, though! You’ll eventually find it more manageable until you can do it automatically. The lowercase letters also follow the same convention.
Discover the Structure of Letters
To be able to refer to the “small item on the end of a lowercase letter” the following time by its correct name—a terminal—you must first get familiar with the terminology used the most frequently. You’ll be able to discuss this subject once you are familiar with these terminologies.
You need to know this before diving into the actual lettering.
Add dimension, Details, and Decorative Elements
The drop line, drop shade and drop shadow are the three types of shading discussed while discussing dimensions.
Draw the same shape behind your primary one to make these. Then, to make your letterforms even more expressive, you may experiment with them and create some pretty intriguing shadows after you feel comfortable making these.
You could, for instance, make a vanishing point and connect all the edges of the letter (or word) to it, or you could tinker with the location and use some solid, bold shadows. Check out some letterhead design ideas.
Once every dimension has been completed, you can proceed to add more depth. Determine the direction of your light source and draw dark areas where the light wouldn’t reach your letter.
You may occasionally need to include some information on the letters themselves. Add everything you want, from basic flourishes and shading to elaborate embellishments.
There is no set way to add them; the only requirement is that the letterforms remain readable and pertinent to your project.
Add Decorative Elements
You may occasionally want to fill in the spaces between your letters. But, once more, always keep the letters readable.
Be careful not to overdo the flourishes and other small ornamental details. Alternatively, ensure your idea and aesthetic match if you are excessively creative.
Draw expressive letterforms
You must be able to express feelings and emotions exclusively through the manner of the hand-drawn decorative letters if you want to be a hand letterer.
For instance, unless it’s a circus conference, you generally won’t use a decorative, circus-themed slab serif for the title of a great event invitation or stylish script lettering for the cover of a sports magazine.
Try practicing by using letters to represent different words. First, choose a word, then consider the emotions it might arouse. Everything that comes to mind when you think about the given word should be included in a list. You can write about anything—objects, emotions, styles, etc. The longer the list, the better.
Although you don’t have to employ these ideas, it’s good to consider them all and pick the ones that best support your notion.
Start painting after you feel you have all you need. At the start, concentrate only on getting the idea onto paper. Don’t be too particular about your sketches. Stay away from the details, and don’t be upset if you make a mistake. A sketch is meant to be chaotic! Try to sketch quickly, without overthinking, and follow your gut. Draw up several ideas for the selected word to select the best one. Download your free banner templates at All Time Design.
Stunning Hand Lettering Inspiration and Tips
Let’s look at these lovely examples and professional advice to understand hand-lettering better.
This music poster is highly intricate and detailed. The juxtaposition of the flower imagery is unique, elegant, and lush, while the writing itself is detailed, deliberate, and classic. The text is almost perfectly positioned; it appears as though the letter emanated from the flowers (notice how the letters resemble leaves?).
Use Different Lettering Styles
An excellent method to differentiate your work is by combining various lettering styles. For example, this paraphrased quote employs two different ways or writing styles: one that is scripted and carefully written and the other that is more straightforward and authentically expressed. However, the core message can still be read clearly and loudly because the two techniques balance each other and add nothing. Check out some envelope design ideas.
This work represents a distinctive method of hand lettering. This artwork was created using natural bubble gum that was painstakingly plucked and stretched to achieve the ideal appearance. This initiative took off when it was put into practice and stands out compared to more conventional efforts.
Letter On Interesting Surfaces
Choosing to write letters on paper repeatedly can seem monotonous and tiresome at times. Try out a different surface, in this case, a skateboard. The skateboard’s distinctive design creates a new working space, and there are many ways to customize the background.
Bring In Natural Elements
This hand-lettered design is embellished with leaf accents, which offer a lovely touch of the outdoors. Everything appears connected and planned as the leaves sprout from various parts of the letters. It wouldn’t have had the same impact and would have appeared disconnected if the leaves and letters weren’t connected.
Without a doubt, hand-lettering is a unique type of art that is stunning. It necessitates patience, talent, and practice. The artist behind every one of these examples is tremendously committed to their craft.
This layout has a fun personality thanks to the pink donut’s vivid contrast with the yellow plate. The expertly crafted text that surrounds it is what makes it stand out. Different letter styles in each group of letters just add to the pleasure of this poster. If the letters were more subtle, they would be obscured by the vivid image.
Stick To Your Roots
When you indeed sketch out your hand-lettering, it frequently turns out better. In this illustration, you can see the roughness and flaws you’d usually get rid of once you moved into the computer, but those flaws give this piece character and life.
Stick To A Simple Color Palette
When hand-lettering, a broad color palette isn’t always the answer. Even though only three colors are used in this illustration, they are employed in a way that gives the impression that they are brighter and more colorful than there are. You might be amazed by how creative you can be if you experiment with limited color palettes.
The central focus of this hand-lettered composition is an artwork of a skull and arrows. The lettering’s curves imitate the skull’s contours, and the skull is cleverly incorporated into the design. The words “through Hell” in the skull create a pleasing contrast and break up the photo of the project.
Have A Purpose Behind Your Design
This phrase’s gorgeous and mesmerizing decorative letters are composed of a minutely detailed script. It is simply mind-blowing how much care was put into everyone, even the fragile ones. But what makes it even more perplexing is that this piece was made on purpose. Due to the quote, the letter detailing, which depicts hops and barley used in beer production, makes complete sense.
Incorporate Other Elements
This particular example is unique because it isn’t all just illustrated type. Instead, the letters have been combined and placed over flowers and other flora images. This unifies the components and gives depth. The letters’ softness complements the flowers’ femininity, and the contrast between the script’s white and the flora of red and green is vibrant.
DIY Projects with Letters
We are constantly looking for affordable ways to add style to our offices. You may accomplish this easily by including decorative letters in your craft. So it’s understandable why word art is all the rage right now. Monograms or phrases are the ideal statement item for any decor, regardless if your taste is traditional, modern, or unusual. To distinguish your brand, use DIY lettering projects.
Rich, opulent letter art can be created with cheap supplies. These DIY projects will appear quite expensive to the casual eye, yet you’ll know you created them on a comfortable budget. You can afford to create a focal point for any room in the office, whether you want to add a playful message to a nursery or elaborate monograms to your room.
Look no further than these DIY projects with letters if you’re searching for a quick and striking way to add some personality to your space or room. From all around the internet, we’ve hand-selected inexpensive and fun DIY letter project ideas that can drastically change a room. These designs are jam-packed with great ideas that you may adapt to fit your craft sensibility. So browse it out to get inspiration and ideas for your decor!
Go Green With a Living Monogram
Make Decorative Letters
Make Cardboard Molds and Fill Them with Plaster of Paris
Patterned Marquee Letters Brighten the Room
DIY Turf Letter
Rustic and Simple Stick Characters
DIY Silver Sparkle Disco Letters
Confetti Letters Make a Playful Impact
Twine Letters to Dress Up Your Door
Simple and Modern Concrete Letters
DIY Golden Decorative Letters Look Like Liquid Metal
Create Your Own Marquee DIY Letter Project
Wooden Color-blocked Gold Foil Letters
Decorating with Wooden Letters
Large letters can be used as monograms to add a distinctive touch to your decor or to spell words on a wall or shelf.
Add Flair with Laser-cut Filigree
You undoubtedly feel the impulse to dive headfirst into hand lettering and create elaborate, detailed quotations. But first, practice drawing one word at a time. If you don’t have sturdy bricks, you can’t build a house, right? But, with these fundamentals, the opportunities to draw letters and advance your abilities are limitless. Explore some name ideas for design businesses.
Share your craft and project with the world by designing your office or business workstation with a top-tier design! Remember that everyone was once a beginner and that sometimes they all need a little encouragement from other designers.
You can gain insights, experience, and great ideas in different ways on All Time Design.
You get access to an assigned graphic designer and graphic templates to help design your company when you sign up. These options allow you to get more ideas and become creative in your letter design project(s).