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I’ve dabbled with lettering on and off for a couple of years but this year one of my goals is to actually master a technique or two. I’ve started to take it more seriously over the last couple of months and thought I’d share the resources I’ve used and note the ones which have been most useful.
Initially I thought it was as simple as copying a few Pinterest images but it turns out that’s like a toddler trying to run a marathon! Even something like the Paperchase Calligraphy Journal proved difficult at first.
Hand Lettering: An introduction to the art of modern calligraphy
It features basic rules and guidelines, plus quotes to trace over and space to try freehand. There are sections on modern calligraphy, brush script, and hand lettering, plus a section on how to mix all three to find your own style – something I’m still working on but I’d love to be able to achieve by the end of the year.
Hand Lettering Handbook
I bought a copy of the Hand Lettering Handbook from The Works months ago but when I finally cracked it open I found that it wasn’t the kind of thing I was looking for; it’s very illustrative and focuses on creative alphabets rather than technique and developing your own style.
Hand Lettering Ledger
Abrams & Chronicle sent me a copy of their Hand Lettering Ledger (reviewed here), which was a bit of a mash up between the Calligraphy Journal and Hand Lettering Book – more artistic than what I need at this stage but with plenty of inspiration.
I first heard about Simply Lettering magazine when STAEDTLER asked me to work with them on their blog hop. It sounded perfect for me as I still consider myself a beginner and I subscribed immediately – three issues for £6 was too good a bargain to miss. The first issue came with a workbook and two pens, plus details of loads of fun projects to try. Issue 1 is still available in WH Smiths and Sainsburys, etc, and issue 2 is out on 12 September.
I started making my way through the workbook but found that I was still struggling. Then came the most helpful resource to date…
Blink Lettering’s Better Brush Drills
Trying to copy quotes straight away was too much for me. Even starting out with a simple alphabet proved too adventurous. What really helped was breaking it down into different strokes. Not only that but being super repetitive with drills every day.
These drills are free to download and I found it so useful to practice a different area each day. When I sit down to letter I always start with a few drills to get me into the swing of things and the difference I’ve seen in just a couple of weeks is incredible. Now I think I’m ready to move on to actual letters and I’m tempted to purchase the alphabet workbook after pay day.
Hand Lettering and Calligraphy Practice Pad
I also found this hand lettering and calligraphy practice pad from The Works so useful. The guidelines are so helpful when you’re starting out – more so than a typical dot grid, which I hope to progress to soon and tart up my bujo. It’s only £3 in The Works and I’m hoping they’ll be restocked soon. At 135gsm it’s perfect for almost everything (I had the odd bleed with my dip pen).
What resources did you find most useful when you started lettering?