11 Pens and Tools to Help You Become a Hand-Lettering Pro
Feel like picking up a new hobby? Everyone needs a good creative outlet from time to time, and learning how to do hand lettering (also known as “modern calligraphy“) is a great way to explore your artistic side, even if you’ve never set foot inside an art class. If you’ve found yourself falling down a rabbit hole watching those mesmerizing lettering videos on Instagram, you might be happy to know that it actually doesn’t take much to get started on the path to start doing lettering projects of your own — it just takes practice! Here are some tools for absolute beginners to get started.
What’s the first (and best) thing to do when taking up a new craft? A class, of course! And Brit + Co has you covered. There’s a comprehensive lettering course that’s ideal for beginners right on the website. Plus, there are loads of other classes you can choose from to suit your needs.
Tombow’s Fudenosuke pens are amazing for beginners’ hands because they let you get used to applying just the right amount of pressure. Up until recently, you could only get them in basic black, but now the company has released a set of 10 colors to choose from so you can get creative right away.
Many hand-lettering experts out there swear by these dual brush pens. On one side is a soft tip that works kind of like a paintbrush, so you can make those pretty, curvy letters. On the other side is a hard tip that makes monolines (lines that are the same throughout).
Once you start stocking up on tools, you’ll want a nice place to store them. After all, you don’t want your lovely (and sometimes pricey) pens to get ruined. Put them in a place of honor by giving them a shiny gold, copper, and silver home.
If you’re taking your pens and tools on the go, keep them in a safe place that also expresses your whimsical side. This canvas pouch comes in three trendy animal prints: sloths, cats, or llamas.
Sometimes, it’s advisable for beginners to practice or trace designs with pencils, but you don’t need to settle for a boring old No. 2. Opt for this set of pencils that not only are easy to use but might also give you a little inspiration.
If you’re worried about eraser stains or leaving behind messy marks, go for the eraser that’s the best of the best. This one from Tombow works with both pen and pencil, so you have the neatest project possible.
Grid paper is ideal for beginners since it helps them guide their letter sizes and keeps their words straight on the page. Experts often suggest Moleskine notebooks since they have quality paper and they last a long time.
Getting good at hand lettering is all about practice, and part of practicing is tracing letters from printable guides you can find in books and guides.
If you happen to have a blank sketchbook or paper that you want to use, that’s great! Once you’re ready to graduate from gridded paper, one tool you can keep in your toolbox is a handy ruler to keep your projects looking nice and clean.
There are tons of hand-lettering and modern calligraphy handbooks and guides out there, and most of them are very helpful for those who want to try to teach themselves the craft. This one by Cristina Vanko is one of the most recommended on hand-lettering blogs and contains lots of exercises that will help you get better and tap into your creativity.