Hand and Brush Lettering: What is it?

Hand and brush lettering are exciting design trends that have made a huge appearance over the past few years — it’s everywhere these days! But what exactly is it? This post will hopefully provide you with some further insight.


Hand Lettering

To put it simply, hand lettering is the art of drawing letters. There are many different writing tools that can be used when hand lettering, including but not limited to fineliners, gel pens, chalk and paint.

What I personally love about hand lettering is how customized it can be. You start with an inspiration or concept in mind and make it into your own reality. You decide the layout, the text, the fonts, the decorations, etc. You have the chance to make it completely your own, unlike anything anyone has ever seen before!

I usually start with help lines to make a rough pencil sketch of my idea. Then I trace over it with pens and erase the pencil markings. Of course there are many different approaches to hand lettering but I have found this to work best for me.

One of the things I often hear from people during my workshops is that they have poor handwriting and that because of this they believe they are doomed at hand lettering from the start. Fortunately, this is not true. You don’t have to be an artist to learn hand lettering, you just need some patience and lots of practice. Don’t give up!


Brush Lettering

Brush lettering is essentially a variety of hand lettering. It’s comparable to calligraphy in the sense that specific strokes/techniques are used to create consistent lettering in a graceful cursive style. In the simplest terms, brush lettering is the art of writing letters using brush pens.

These pens have very flexible, pointy tips resembling paint brushes. This allows you to press down relatively hard, creating a thicker line. The basic technique can be quite tricky. For each letter, heavy pressure should be applied on the downstrokes and light pressure on the upstrokes. This might seem unnatural at first but with some practice, you will be able to do so without even thinking about it.

*For beginners, it might be helpful to make a mini guide for yourself until you have the technique down.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please fill out the contact form and I will get back to you as soon as possible!

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