- Handwriting is back in fashion. Typography dominated the design world for many years, but recently, hand-drawn lettering, also known as brush lettering or calligraphy, has made a huge comeback. You’ve probably seen hand-drawn letters on movie titles, magazine covers, book covers, wedding or party invitations and advertisements, as well as on your friends’ Instagram and Pinterest pages, and it’s no wonder. Lettering by hand is an amazing way to create unique, one-of-a-kind pieces of art. A beautifully drawn word, phrase, or quote has the power to evoke strong emotions.You don’t need to be a professional artist or illustrator to create beautiful handwritten lettering. Modern brush pens make calligraphy accessible, affordable, and fun. Brush lettering takes a little practice, but soon you can craft beautiful brush-lettered creations.
What Are Brush Pens?
Calligraphy, which is defined as decorative handwritten lettering, has been practiced for thousands of years all over the world. Different cultures favored different types of writing implements. Ink brushes were invented in China around 300 B.C.E. and were also used in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Originally, they were made from different types of animal hair attached to bamboo stalks and dipped in ink.
Modern brush pens combine a brush tip with a marker pen. They’re portable, accessible, and affordable, and allow you to create beautiful letters in a freer style than calligraphy by using a fountain pen or dip nib pen.
How to Choose a Starter Pen
There are many types of brush pens, some of which are easier to learn how to use than others. The tips of modern brush pens are made out of animal hair, nylon hair, or felt. They come in a variety of colors and thicknesses, from fine to broad, and the tips have varying degrees of flexibility.
In general, pens that are more marker-like (and less brush-like) tend to be easier for beginners. A felt-tipped brush pen may be an ideal starter pen. Felt pens have firm tips, which offer more control and more predictable strokes. Once you master lettering with a felt pen, you can move on to a softer brush-like pen made of nylon or animal hair. They’re a little trickier to use, but allow for more artistic effects.
Beginners’ Tips on Brush Lettering
The key to brush lettering is to apply heavy pressure to create a thick downstroke, and ease up the pressure to create a thin but steady upstroke. The only way to learn is to put pen to paper and start practicing.
- Use smooth paper. Regular printer paper is rough, and your pens won’t last as long if you use it. Tracing paper, marker paper, or premium laser printer paper are good practice options. Later when you create finished products, consider investing in heavier-weight smooth Bristol
- Hold the pen with a relaxed grip, as you would a regular pen or pencil, except hold it closer to the tip for more control over the pressure.
- Keep the pen at about a 45-degree angle, not upright, from the paper.
- Practice downstrokes, upstrokes, and curves before you start lettering.
- When you’re ready to work on letters and numbers, practice with workbooks and online tutorials.
- Experiment with different fonts until you find a few you like. Also experiment with blending colors.
- Once you master lettering, pay attention to how you arrange the words and other visual elements on the page (a principle called page layout) in order to create more pleasing designs.
Practical Uses for Brush Lettering
Brush lettering is a fun way to express your personality and add beauty to your day-to-day life. It comes in handy if you’re planning a formal event, such as a dinner party or a wedding. Here are some practical places to use your brush lettering skills:
- Thank you notes
- Save-the-date cards
- Greeting cards
- Place cards
- Plant markers
- Website graphics
- Home décor
- Fabric designs
Relax and Have Fun (Eventually)
Brush lettering has become popular because it’s fun. However, when you first pick up a brush pen, you may feel frustrated for a while. Keep at it. With practice, you’ll train your brain and muscles to effortlessly make fluid letters. Don’t worry about perfection. The best part about brush lettering is that it’s not perfect. Unlike formulaic type-fonts, brush lettering can be as original, whimsical, and creative as you are. Before you know it, you’ll be delighting people with one-of-a-kind invitations, cards, and décor.
Graphic source: Highpulp