It’s finally here friends, the hand lettering tutorial you’ve been waiting for! I’m super excited to show how you can make some beautiful hand lettered graphics and use them for your own enjoyment as well as on your social media platforms!
I’ve been hand lettering for a several years now, ever since my friends got me a calligraphy book for my birthday, and I absolutely fell in love with it! What I love about hand lettering, is that not only does it improve your own hand writing, but it opens up so many options including making professional custom graphics, being able to bullet journal, and so much more. So not only is it fun, but it’s super helpful and a great tool for many different uses.
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Let’s get started!
The best way to learn how to hand letter is by starting with a brush pen and a book or practice sheets (recommendations and resources at end of post) This helps you to get the “feel” of hand lettering and become confident and comfortable with the real tools before trying it out digitally.
There are so many different ways to hand letter including traditional calligraphy, bouncy, flourishy, monoline, watercolor, etc. Although it’s exciting to try all versions out, make sure that you master one type of hand lettering before moving on to the next so that you can do your very best instead of rushing it. In this tutorial, we’re going to focus on just brush script calligraphy because it simple, versatile, and beautiful. So let’s get into it!
Practice, practice, practice these strokes. They are the base of calligraphy! As you can see above, there are several different strokes. The main ones are the first two, so make sure that you got those down before moving on.
- Light strokes: Practically every time your hand moves up or across in calligraphy, you will use light pressure on your brush pen. This creates a thin, light stroke which beautifully complements the thick strokes.
- For thick strokes, every time you are moving down in calligraphy, you will apply harder pressure to create a thick, bold stroke.
- Putting them together can be tricky at first, but it’s very necessary that you master it before moving on to letters and words. Like I said before, practice a lot! Eventually, it becomes muscle memory.
You see why stokes were so important? They make up the letters, which make up the words, which make up the hand lettered designs! Honestly, this part is pretty simple and fun, you just put the strokes together and see words forming! And I know that I shouldn’t have to say it again, but PRACTICE. Oh, and something SUPER important, calligraphy is not cursive. Cursive is one continual swirly thing, and calligraphy is made of individual strokes. So that means that you pick up your hand in between strokes instead of just making one long run on word.
Now for the fun part! Combining our letters to make words. Make sure when you do this that you leave that little “flick” at the end of the letters, as that creates a smooth transition to the next one. Are you guessing what I’m about to say… practice!
After you’ve mastered your words, then you can start experimenting with them by adding them to your bullet journals, notebooks, school papers, and more! Play around and create designs and doodles and have fun!
For digital hand lettering
(Resources listed below for this part). What I love about hand lettering with an IPad, Apple Pencil, and the Procreate app is that it is actually easier than on paper! Which is why I totally recommend doing it the “old fashioned way” first so that you have the hard stuff down and ready to use when needed. When doing calligraphy this way, you can change the color, font, calligraphy type, texture, design, and soooo much more. The Apple pencil feels just like a brush pen and so it doesn’t feel weird or foreign at all to your muscle memorized hands and wrists 😉.
Another great perk to this is that you can easily transfer your hand lettered masterpieces to your photo album and then to your Instagram, Pinterest, Blog, etc., and it looks very professional. Using this you can also create blog banners, fonts, sign offs, graphics, and more! I highly recommend trying this out if you’re able after you’ve mastered doing it with a brush pen and paper.
Resources & hand lettering products
- This hand lettering book is perfect for learning more ways to hand letter as well as create designs.
- These brush pens are the ones that you will want to get 100%. You can pick other colors, just make sure that they are Tombow brush pens.
- My FREE practice printable sheets for modern calligraphy!
Digital hand lettering resources
- An Apple Pencil and IPad. I’m not sure if you can use other brands of technology, but i know that these two work very well.
- The Procreate app. This is an absolute MUST if hand lettering digitally. It has so many options and has extremely good quality and accuracy.