You may be coming to a place in your coloring where you want to add your own embellishments or personalize some of your favorite colorings for gifts for others with hand lettering. You can always trace something you create from your computer but most of us that enjoy creating artsy things may want to learn to do this part of the craft ourselves.
Luckily, there are several amazing calligraphers and hand lettering experts out there to help.
Hand Lettering “How To” Books
An Introduction to the Art of Creative Lettering from Paige Tate. To start off with, this book is just super cute with its polka dots and size. It’s spiral bound so it opens flat for you to be able to do the exercises you are given.
• Hardcover, oversized gold binding and gold corner protectors
• Step-by-step instructions for how to create various fonts and designs
• Thick premium paper, perfect for lettering
• Beautiful coffee table book and practical workbook
This 160-page book has the best reviews of any lettering book on Amazon.
- Learn five major hand-lettering styles, then transform your writing into art.
- Practice pages allow you space to master each letter in every style.
- Sections demonstrate how to embellish your letters, mix different styles for emphasis and flare, add decorative effects like shading, and combine text and illustration.
- Easy-to-follow tutorials and sections to trace, color, or complete make hand-lettering approachable for anyone.
- Project ideas demonstrate ways to brighten everyday items, create striking art, and add a meaningful touch to gifts through hand-lettering.
An Inspirational Workbook for Creating Beautiful Lettered Art by Amy Latta. While hand lettering can look intimidating, artist and blogger Amy Latta has a friendly and down-to-earth approach that will give you the confidence to draw impressive designs after practice. This book contains 46 workshops to help you progress through the steps of hand lettering.
This is a new book in 2019 by June & Lucy. They provide an inexpensive Learn to Letter book in their Hand Lettering Workbook with Tips, Techniques, Practice Pages, and Projects. You can also find them on Insta to share your work and ask for tips.
This book has nothing but 5-star reviews! WOW! The author says ” We are not aiming for perfection, we are aiming for Joy and by hand lettering scripture verses, positive messages and life-giving words, creative hearts can release their inhibitions, feeling free to make mistakes, try again, and celebrate the journey– both in lettering and in life.” This book is large 8 x 10″ & spiral bound.
Modern Calligraphy & Hand Lettering for Beginners: A Step by Step Guide to Beautiful Hand Lettering & Brush Pen Calligraphy Design. This book is Spiral Bound 11 x 10 with 126 Pages.
This was one of the first books I picked up on the topic of hand-lettering and it’s still one of my favorites. Her examples are both easy to follow and easy to adapt to your own style.
Joanne then demonstrates twenty art techniques for creating a variety of lettering styles using many different tools. She provides you with fifteen basic alphabets, ranging from simple pen-and-ink renditions to increasingly elaborated texts that reference calligraphy, vintage fonts, and doodle art, among other styles. Joanne also teaches you how to turn prosaic lettering into page art itself, merging text into illustration, or ornamenting words with decorative drawings.
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Joanne Sharpe also has just published a book entitled The Art of Whimsical Stitching if you have ever taken your favorite coloring book artists to fabric, this is the perfect accompaniment for you.
Chalk Lettering is SUPER popular right now and this book is amazing. It has a practice chalkboard built right into the book.
In over 60 lessons, learn the ABCs of lettering (literally) and basic styles: serif, sans serif, and script. Next, how to layout a design, combine various styles into one cohesive piece, add shadows and dimension. Master more advanced letter styles, from faceted to ribbon to “vintage circus.” Use banners, borders, flourishes.
This is another of my personal favorite books that is packed with great information to take basic block lettering to something really special to embellish your projects.
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A Step-by-Step Workbook for Learning Decorative Scripts and Creating Inspired New Styles
This book has four sections featuring different artists, Gabri Joy Kirkendall, Laura Lavender, Julie Manwaring, Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn each share their own specialties in the book. After a brief introduction to the various tools and materials, lettering enthusiasts will learn how to master the art of hand lettering and typography through engaging, easy-to-follow step-by-step projects, prompts, and exercises. From the basic shape and form of letters to cursive script, spacing, and alignment, artists will discover how to transform simple words, phrases, and quotes into beautiful works of hand-lettered art.
Dawn Nichol runs a wonderful hand lettering group on Facebook and Instagram where she posts a lettering challenge a day and invites those new to the art to share their images with others on social media. In her first book, she goes into some basics and gives you pretty coloring pages to practice and some other projects to have fun with.
This book is very basic and includes quite a bit of material in it that is not strictly lettering exercises or lessons. If you are brand new then this is a good book to start with but you’ll want to move on to something else for a more in-depth introduction or join her on Facebook here. She also offers freebie practice sheets on her website.
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If you have an artistic younger member of the family, Dawn has created a book just for them as well. Adventures in Hand-Lettering 40 Exercise to improve your Hand Lettering skills Many of the reviews say it’s a great book for beginning adults as well.
Hand Lettering Supplies
Hand lettering supplies can be as simple & inexpensive or as complex and pricey as you want, just like all other artsy endeavors we pursue as adults. We have pulled out our personal favorites and crowdsourcing from our socials for what lettering supplies people love the most. If we have missed your favorites, please let us know in the comments.
Hand Lettering Paper
You will need nice paper to practice your lettering projects onto so that you don’t mess up your actual project and to learn the process. This big pad by Strathmore is 11×14 with 50 spiral-bound sheets. The paper is suitable for lettering, drawing and mixed media projects. For lettering, you don’t want to use your watercolor paper as it has a texture that makes it hard to form smooth lines you will want in your lettering. I also really like the Visual Journals by Strathmore that come in several sizes and types of paper. Either artist paper or mixed media paper works great. Canson Multimedia Paper is another great option.
You can use Tracing Paper over samples in the book to get a feel for the form and structure of the letter. Inexpensive pads of graph paper are great for practicing your sizing and spacing of letters as well as getting a handle on your ascenders and descenders.
Palomino Blackwing Pencils
Harder pencils will work better than a basic #2 you are used to because they won’t smear and are easier to erase after you ink on top. This is a great chart to figure out which pencil will work best for you.
This Staedler is a nice choice for a mechanical pencil,
Hand Lettering Pens and Markers
Prismacolor has come out with a great set that includes everything a beginner needs to get started. 2 pencils, 7 illustration markers, 2 dual-ended art markers, an eraser and a tips & tricks pamphlet.
Each set includes two Dual Brush Pens, Fudenosuke Calligraphy Pen, MONO Twin Permanent Marker, MONO Drawing Pencil and MONO Eraser.
This is my favorite set of six different nib sizes. It is only suitable for detail work and embellishing your hand lettering.
You may already have some Pitt Pens since they are our favorite pen to use in Coloring Books because they don’t bleed through the paper. Tombow Brush Pens and inexpensive double-ended Sharpies work well too.
Best Brush Pens for Hand Lettering
- Durable nylon brush tip can create fine, medium or bold strokes
- Included colorless blender pen softens and blends colors, creating a watercolor effect
- The water-based ink is non-toxic, blendable, non-bleeding, and odorless
- Tips self-clean after blending – Color Options
Brush Lettering for Beginners – Tips from Tombow
- Printable Swatches
- 24 Pack of dual tip brush pens, 48 colors
- Each dual tip brush pen offers two colors, making them perfect for blending and shading
- Water-based Pigment, Acid-Free, Lightfast, Odorless, Xylene Free
- These work beautifully for coloring books as well
Koi Coloring Brush from Sakura
Alcohol markers do NOT react to water but they will blend beautifully by either blending them together for an ombre effect or using the colorless blender.
I have talked about Copic Markers in reference to coloring books here where they really aren’t the best thing to use in most cases, however, for hand-lettering, they are divine!
These are top of the line for artists and the price reflects. Although expensive, the thing to remember is that they are refillable, you can change the nibs and they will last you a lifetime with proper care.
You can start with a basic set before you invest hundreds in the set shown above. That is a dream come true up there. But I started with this basic set. Remember these are very blendable with the colorless marker and into each other so you can blend to create a myriad of colors with a basic set and a bit of color wheel knowledge.
Click to order Copic Markers Amazon US, Uk or Canada
Copic does offer their markers as one-offs as well as small sets like this one.
The poor man’s ( or woman’s) Copics. They are alcohol-based but they don’t blend as easily and don’t have replaceable nibs or refillable ink. They are gorgeous pens though and are easy to use for your hand-lettering projects.
Not all alcohol markers are expensive, a set of Pentel markers will work well for hand-lettering and be kinder to your pocketbook. These are fabulous for detail work when you aren’t looking for the brush style lettering, or to use for outlining or detailing on your hand-lettering.
Yep! That’s right, good old Crayola’s are great for hand lettering, you can get thick and thin lines from the same bright happy marker and if you kids touch them there won’t be any fireworks. They don’t blend well but you won’t be using these for your professional presentation, they are great for fun and to practice your lettering with. Spring for the big box!
Raise your hand if you already have a sharpie collection! I know I do. The dual tips are perfect tools for hand lettering, easy to find and inexpensive. You can buy them by the box so you’ll always have them on hand. The dual tip is my favorite not only for art but for my kitchen marker, my car marker, I have one of these pretty much everywhere. Plus, you can write on anything with your sharpie so if you want cute lettering on that clay pot in the garden? Sharpies are your tool of choice. These come in several colors as well as black.
Ok, I confess to having an unnatural love for my Gellies! I have used these pretty pens since I was scrapbooking my 30-year-old daughter’s baby books and guess what? Those pens still worked when I pulled them out of my craft storage when I started coloring almost two years ago. I’m still in love with them. The glitter and the metallics are just so gorgeous and vibrant. Take care as you do with all gel pens and watch for smearing but the dry fairly quickly. You can use them to letter or to add embellishments to your hand letters. You can get the big box with all the colors here or order them in smaller batches like Metallics and Glitters etc.
I use these glitter pens to enhance little spaces in my lettering to make them super special.
Brush Marker Storage
Brush markers should be stored horizontally so you have lots of options, these inexpensive stackable cubes or this Crafter’s Companion option which holds 72 Copics or any other markers you have and love. It is designed so the markers stick out a bit so you can grab them easily.
This will come in quite handy too to see up close when you are adding details.
LED Lighting is a must for detail work. Here is another of our favorites.
It has 3 Color Modes with 4 Levels of Brightness.
Hand-Lettering Tutorial Video’s
How to do Cheater Calligraphy by Dawn Nicole
Brush Lettering Practice
Hand Lettering Accents Tutorial
If you have any questions or other favorite tutorials please be sure to share there below.