What is Brush Lettering?
Updated: Mar 7, 2020
When I chat to people about what I do I’m often asked, ‘What is brush lettering?’ So I thought I’d break it down for you with this handy little guide.
Brush lettering (also known as hand lettering) is an artistic writing style that’s very similar to calligraphy. It’s often called modern calligraphy as it has a far more relaxed and natural approach than traditional calligraphy which has stricter rules to follow. There’s a lot more freedom to do your own thing with hand lettering and put your own stamp on your work, which is why I love doing and teaching it.
Your handwriting adds personality
I'm a designer and illustrator, so it’s the creative element of brush lettering that really appeals to me. While calligraphy focuses more on hand control, brush lettering is all about patterns and strokes; understanding the flow of each letter and combining the letters to create visually stunning words.
Your own handwriting plays such a big part in the unique brush letter strokes you produce. I look at it as a very personal way of expressing yourself. There’s no pressure either, as I feel you can't get brush lettering 'wrong'. As long as you apply the techniques to your own handwriting, you’ll create a lovely piece of work or lettering that’s unique to you.
What is the technique?
Well, in a nutshell, with each letter you apply more pressure on the downward stroke and less on the upward stroke. There is a rhythm to each one and once you’ve discovered what your flow is, your letters will come to life.
I use brush pens (one of my favourites is the Tombow Dual pen) to create my work. At all my workshops I show you exactly how to use the pen (which you get to keep!) and create worksheets for you to practise your letters.
If you’d like to see how to do brush lettering IRL, you’re in luck! I have two upcoming workshops. The first is at the Wilds Cafe on Thursday 13th February at 7pm and the second, at Hello Darling on Saturday 28th March, where I’ll talk you through everything.
This year I launched The Brush Lettering Club, which my workshops are part of and soon I’ll be adding worksheet downloads and a monthly subscription service, so keep your eyes peeled!