We have a confession to make. We have horrible handwriting. Like, literally, the worst. Sometimes we’ll write notes to ourself and minutes later I can’t figure out what they say, it’s that bad. But at the same time I have this fantasy of being able to create amazing calligraphy or hand lettering, and starting a stationary shop filled with all my designs. How crazy is that?? While becoming a champion hand letterer will most likely never happen, I have to say this hand lettering tutorial from FTD is SUPER helpful. We’ve shared a few of their basic hand lettering tips below, but be sure to visit their instructional blog post for a helpful video and even more tips. There’s even a downloadable free printable card you can use for escort cards or even a love note. 🙂
To start, here’s what you’ll need:
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- Paper – You should look for a paper pad specifically designed for markers. The smooth surface of the paper allows for better pen strokes.
- Ruler – This will help you be consistent and establish straight lines to practice on.
- Pencil – Start with a pencil to establish your baselines, x-lines, and cap-heights.
- Brush pen – Look for a brush pen with a medium-length brush tip, which will allow you to create flowy strokes while still maintaining control. We like the Kuretake Cocoiro pen for beginners.
Here’s a few takeaway points via FTD that you should remember when hand lettering.
- Establish a cap-line, x-line and baseline to guide your first few letters.
- Release pressure on upstrokes to create thin lines.
- Apply pressure on downstrokes to create thick lines.
- Stray outside of the guiding lines to achieve a more dynamic look.
- Play with loops and flourishes once you’ve mastered the basics.