Do-It-Yourself: Lettering

Image credit: Dee Dee Lee

Who doesn’t like beautiful handwritten notes? I love receiving them, and now I love writing them too! I started off with calligraphy, but then I got too lazy with all the dipping and the cleaning, so I moved onto lettering, which is more like drawing and less like writing, with simpler, cheaper tools.

Get started

Lettering costs you almost nothing. All you need is a marker and paper – I’m sure you can find both in the abyss of your backpack. If you decided to get serious, you can buy brush pens in rainbow colours from art supply stores like Hobbycraft, or on Amazon. My favourite pen is Pentel Touch, the softness of the tip is just right, which makes it easier to control the weight of your strokes. If you’re getting Sharpies, make sure they are brush tipped.

Find inspiration

Inspiration is everywhere! If you pay attention, you can see beautiful lettering in shops, on chalkboards, and on cards. The easiest way is to look up ‘hand lettering inspiration’ and you’ll get over a million results. If you use Instagram, check out letteringleague, paigefirnbergdesign, lissletters, typexsundry and bydawnnicole.

Find resources

Now you’ve got your tools ready and your head full of ideas, it’s time to begin. There are plenty of online how-to videos, such as this one, that are of great help! It’s also a fabulous idea to find some uppercase and lowercase stencils online. There are so many free resources on the Internet that I wouldn’t recommend paying for a workshop to anyone. 

Display your work

There are so many ways to show off your skills – on notebook covers and envelopes, in cards or your lecture notes (it’ll make revision a tiny bit more enjoyable). I like motivational quotes, so very often I write them down on post-it notes and put them up. 
You can also write on coffee cups, although this is a little bit tricky because the surface is curved. My teacher friend once commissioned me to create personalised notebooks for her class, so it is possible to turn your hobby into a business too.

Lettering calms and clears my mind because I am so engrossed with what I am doing that I just forget everything. Keep practising and you’ll be well on your way to creating unique and stunning text for any occasion!

All photographs by Dee Dee Lee

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