If you want to get started with hand lettering, don’t stress, it might be easier than you think! And you can start today! For real you don’t need anything fancy and you don’t need to sign up for a ton of classes or buy all the supplies to start. It really is a great creative outlet with an easy entry point.
I have listed below a few ways to get started with hand lettering. You can pick and choose which items on the list to start with, but basically if you have a pen (or pencil) and a piece of paper you can already start! If it seems too daunting to “just start” then read on and you’ll find some easy ways to get started from finding inspiration to joining challenges for accountability! Working on my own hand lettering skills has been such a fun journey over the past few years and I hope you enjoy your own journey!
#1 Get supplies
You don’t need to go out and buy every single pen, marker, and sketch book to start out. You just need a few quality supplies (good quality does not always equal expensive) to get started. I recently went over my top supplies in this post. But if you just want a few items I’d say a pencil, erase, good pen (love my papermate flair pens), and a sketch book like this kraft one is all you really need!
#2 Follow hand lettering artists
If you don’t know how to start or what to do following hand lettering artists is a great idea. This can help inspire you and see the journey of other artists. I find it helpful to check out everyone from newbies to pros plus it’s fun to see the huge variety of styles out there. Here’s a few of my favorite hand letterers that I follow religiously:
#3 Schedule time to practice
If you want to start anything and improve, then you need to make the time for it. And hand lettering is no exception. The easiest way to make this happen is to pencil in practice time in your schedule! Pick an amount of time that seems doable to you and not daunting (or else you probably won’t start!). You can even start with a chunk of a few minutes once a week and go from there. As long as you’re consistent and having fun that’s all that matters.
I love using a daily tracker when I’m trying something new. If you think that might help you too, then I have a fun and free printable tracker for accountability and a way to track your progress with hand lettering. Just sign up for my email and you’ll get access to the printable through the vault.
#4 Join a hand lettering challenge
Sometimes you need a little more accountability when doing something new and if scheduling time to practice isn’t enough then maybe joining a hand lettering challenge will help. There always seems to be one type of challenge or another on social media. And there are plenty of lettering prompts you can pick from if you’re just starting out. If you’re too intimidated to share your progress on social media, don’t worry, it’s not required. Doing a challenge can be just for you, or maybe have a texting buddy to send your lettering pieces to is a way to stay accountable without publishing it.
Here is just one example of a creative challenge to keep you consistent:
#5 Check out hand lettering books
I have a whole list of hand lettering books that are on my wish list here. I also have some more books on my favorites page here. Of these books my favorites so far are Wedding Calligraphy: A Guide to Beautiful Hand Lettering by Laura Hooper and Calligraphy and Nib + Ink: A Modern Calligraphy Sketchbook by Chiara Perano.
There’s just something nice about having physical books to look through and practice with when you’re working on a new skill, especially a skill that is also done by hand and not on a computer!
#6 Watch videos of hand lettering
One more great way to get started with hand lettering is to watch videos and tutorials of hand letterers. You can find tons of these on Instagram and YouTube for free. Or you can find classes on sites like Skillshare (Enjoy 2 free months to try out Skillshare with my affiliate link!).
If you can’t get enough of hand lettering everything, here’s even more resources I’ve shared in the past.