Blog Handlettering Inspiration

Top 5 Lettering Essentials


If you’ve landed on this blog post, chances are you’ve seen all these amazing Instagram photos of gorgeous lettering and you’re thinking “I WANT TO DO THAT!” On our blog, we are going to start sharing tips, tricks, and inspiration for your lettering journey.

To kick this off, we are going to first talk about the top five essentials that you need to begin lettering. And the best part is you more than likely already have some of this lying around! You don’t have to spend a ton of money to begin lettering.

  1. A Pencil! 

You didn’t expect number one to be something as simple as a pencil, did you? The reason this is number one is because I often use a pencil to draw out my designs before using my brushpen. This saves you lots of ink and paper. Instead of throwing away hundreds of sheets of paper because your design “just isn’t right”, you can easily erase and adjust your designs as needed instead. Once you have it where you want it, you can go back over it with your brushpen. You can use absolutely any pencil you choose. I just so happen to love these pretty Rifle Paper Company ones! They don’t write any differently than any other pencil, they’re just pretty. Seriously, you can just grab any ol’ pencil from your junk drawer (don’t pretend you don’t have a junk drawer- we all do!)

Where to get it: Rifle Paper Co.

  1. Paper

You can use any kind of paper to begin with. I started out just using copy paper because I had a ton of it laying around. It’s inexpensive and easy to find. I used that copy paper for practicing and used cardstock for specific projects. You can find unlimited amounts and sizes of cardstock at Michaels or any craft store. Rhodia has writing pads with gridlines and guides you can use if you need more structure and help with making your letters straight. But for now, I just suggest using copy paper!

Where to get it: Amazon

  1. Brushpen (Tombow Fudenosuke)

When I first started getting into lettering, I struggled with finding the “perfect” pen. I tried all kinds of pens that I heard about on Instagram, Amazon, or from friends. It took me months to find one that was easy to use as a beginner. Then I stumbled upon Tombow’s Fudenosuke brush pens. These were so easy to use and to control. And since I was new at this, I needed an idiot-proof pen. I fell in love with these pens and have never looked back. I use them for almost every project and I supply them to all my workshop attendees. So what do I love about them? Well it’s just like holding a regular pen so it feels natural in your hand. The nib (the tip of the pen) bends so you can easily apply pressure to your downstrokes. AND the ink flows evenly with each stroke, meaning you don’t get gobs of ink splatter on your paper. Tombow Fudenosuke comes in two types: hard and soft nib. The hard nib is not as flexible as the soft nib but still gives you the even flow. I use them both and suggest that you try both of them to see which you feel most comfortable with.

Where to get it: Amazon or Michaels

  1. Tracing Paper

One of the best ways to begin lettering is to learn from others. There are so many good worksheets and workbooks from lettering creatives out there. You can find free digital downloads online from various artists that you can print at home (stay tuned because we will be releasing our own digital downloads in the months to come). Using the tracing paper, you can trace the letters until you start to feel comfortable writing the letters on your own. From there, you can start creating your own lettering style! How exciting is that?! Tracing paper is one of the essentials I give to all of my lettering students.

Where to get it: Amazon

  1. An “I can do it!” Attitude

As with any new skill or hobby, it takes practice. I know you’re probably sick of hearing the phrase “practice makes perfect” but the reason that phrase is so overused is because it’s TRUE. When I first started out, I was terrible. Instead of quitting and never picking up a pen ever again, I stuck with it. The only way to get better at doing something is to do it often. Instead of gorging on popcorn while binge-watching Netflix, I picked up my pen and paper and practiced lettering while binge-watching Netflix. I combined something I found comforting (re-runs of The Office) and something I wanted to learn (lettering). I used my downtime to learn something new and rewarding. I’ve been lettering for three years now and have seen such a drastic improvement on my lettering. You have to tell yourself that this is something that you are capable of learning and that eventually you will not just be “good” at lettering, you may even have your own lettering biz someday! So grab your essentials, turn on Netflix, and get to lettering!

Where to get it: Within yourself!

I hope you’re feeling confident and prepared to begin your lettering journey! Subscribe to our blog to get updates for future lettering posts!



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