Hand lettering can be seen everywhere right now. From Pinterest boards to signs outside stores, this is a way of creating a phrase of words that really stands out and looks amazing. Most of the time, the words are each done in a different font to emphasize some of the words and the phrases used are often inspirational phrases, though they can be just about anything.
If you love the look of freehand lettering, you may want to give it a try yourself. This is an excellent way to be creative and can help you let your inner artist out. You don’t need any experience with calligraphy or other types of writing to get started and you can start working on your first piece right away.
This does not need to be done a certain way, so you have unlimited options for what phrase you use and how you put everything together or shape your letters. However, you may want to take a hand lettering class to learn more about how to choose the styles you’ll use to make sure it looks great together and how you can create letters in different styles.
In fact, learning the basics of drawing can help you greatly in hand lettering. If you need a little digital help, Adobe Illustrator is a great way to make cards, posters, and other hand lettering gifts.
What is Hand Lettering?
Hand lettering is, basically, a way of using letters and words to create art. Instead of typing the words or using your own handwriting, you’ll draw words on paper and embellish them to create a work of art made using any material you may prefer. This cannot be done on a computer, which means it’s going to be unique every time someone does a new project, even if they use the same basic style for their letters.
This is not the same as calligraphy or your normal handwriting because those types of writing include rules about how to form the letters. While you do need to make sure the letters are recognizable, they can be big, little, flowy, boxy, balloon-shaped, or any other shape and style you might prefer. Through your project, you can use the same style for all of the words or switch back and forth between different styles that look great together.
Do You Need Perfect Handwriting to Do Hand Lettering?
Your handwriting follows specific rules to make it as uniform as possible, even if you haven’t thought about those rules since you were a young child learning to write. If you think about how you learned to write, you’ll remember you used handwriting paper that helped you learn how tall each letter should be, how wide each letter should be, and how the letters went together to form words and sentences.
When you learn how to do hand lettering, you can forget most of that. Letters can be varying heights, thick or thin, squished together or spaced further apart than you would if you were just writing down the words. You don’t have to follow specific rules and you can take your time to perfect how the words look on the paper.
Hand lettering is more a form of art than it is handwriting, so you don’t need perfect handwriting to start learning hand lettering. You can learn how to draw your letters using different styles to create amazing art that you’re going to have fun with instead of just writing down the phrase.
Start with an Idea
For your first freehand lettering project, you’ll start with an idea. You should have a phrase or a group of words that go together you’ll want to practice with. This can be just about anything you want, but you may want to keep it to just a few words for the first time so you can focus on the process without worrying about spending too much time on each part.
Then, you’ll want to figure out your layout. This is where you may use a lot of paper. Try different styles for the words, change which words are next to each other and where you start a new line or change which words are larger than others. Look at some examples of different layouts to see what you might prefer for your first project and give it a try to test how it might look.
Play with Your Letters
When you have your phrase and your layout, you can play around with the words even more. Change the style of writing for one word, adjust how large or small it is, and make the letters thicker or thinner. This is artwork, not handwriting, so don’t be afraid to play around with the words a lot before you find something you like.
If you aren’t sure how to play around with the letters or you want to learn how to do different styles, consider taking a hand lettering class. These classes enable you to learn more about the process of playing around until you figure out what you like and help you learn about the different styles you can use in your own work.
This should be the longest part of the process. You’ll want to make sure you get everything just right so you love the way your phrase looks on paper and you’re happy with how you’ve drawn the letters. This part of the process should be done in pencil, so don’t be afraid to erase something and try drawing it again if it’s not the way you like it. Remember, it doesn’t need to be perfect, but you will want to make sure you love how it looks.
Add Embellishments to Your Work
Another part of learning how to do hand lettering is learning how to add embellishments. These can be just about anything you might add to the drawing to help make words stand out or help make sure you get your message across to anyone who will see your work. If, for instance, you want to make one word stand out, you can add lines next to the word for emphasis, draw arrows pointing to the word, or other small drawings or lines meant to add to your work.
You may want to play around with the embellishments as well before you make a final decision to see what’s going to look right. A lot of lettering is simply playing around until your artwork looks the way you want it to look. If you need help with designing or using embellishments, go ahead and look at some of the classes that are available for you to take. They might provide a few amazing ideas you can use or they can give you some inspiration to try different things until you find what works for you.
Add Color or a Background Design
Once the freehand lettering is done, you can finish the project by adding a background. You’ll want to make sure the background does not overpower the words you’ve created, but you will want it to add to the overall feeling of your work and what you’re saying.
You can add a background by hand. One way to do this is to add the background to the paper with your finalized lettering on it. You can use any art medium to add the background. Another is to create a background on another piece of paper or on a canvas or other material. Then, you can simply trace the lettering you’ve done onto the new material and color in as needed.
One more option is to use your computer to add a background. You’ll need to upload your design to the computer and import it into an editing program. Once it’s on your computer, you can save the lettering and try out as many different backgrounds as you want. You can also change the color of your letters or add further embellishments to truly make your work look fantastic.
Take Classes to Learn How to Do More
If you’d like to learn how to do hand lettering, taking a class might be an excellent option. You’ll be able to learn more about each of the steps to create your own art and you’ll be able to see how others go through this process on their own. There are classes available online, so you can take the class at your own pace and work on it whenever you want.
View some of the beginner classes that are available to get a better idea of what they entail before you choose one. This way, you can choose one that may focus on methods you want to try out or that you’re interested in learning for your first project. The right class is not going to just teach you how to form different letters but teach you how to use those letters to create amazing artwork in your own style.
If you’ve admired the hand lettering projects you’ve seen online or in person and you’d like to see if you can learn how to do it on your own, go ahead and give it a try today. You can take a hand lettering class and start learning how to create beautiful artwork with letters and phrases. See the classes available today to learn more about what you can do.