hand lettering 101

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of type design. And although I don't have access to software to do so at the moment, I also enjoy dabbling in graphic design. It's easy to see that Photoshop and other advanced software have made creating stunning, unique designs endlessly possible. However, if you want to see some serious skills, look no further than old-school Disney credits. Peter Pan debuted in 1953...definitely no Photoshop back then. Can you believe the talent of those type designers and background artists?!
Though I have almost zero experience doing so, the idea of creating beautiful "type" without any actual typing is quite intriguing. So...I decided to test the waters with a simple journal cover makeover. 

To start, I found the journal I wanted and measured the available design space. Using a pad of graph paper, I blocked off the square where my design needed to fit and roughly sketched the proverb out. I came across this verse a few months back and for a perfectionist like me, it is a great perspective to remind myself of. (Also, pretty appropriate for my first attempt at something new!) On the right, you can see the grid lines I drew on the journal cover to transfer the design over and (hopefully) keep the proportions correct.

Next, I re-drew the verse onto the journal, cleaned it up a bit, and traced over it with Sharpie.

The final step was to embellish the letters a little and add a simple free-hand design on the folding cover flap. It certainly isn't perfect but given the subject matter, I'm very pleased! 

Definitely more time-consuming than some Photoshop projects, but hand-lettered design is going in the "fun crafts to practice" column! Any experience with hand-lettering your own projects? Tips for a noob?


  1. So incredibly beautiful! Wow!!!

  2. We are seriously kindred spirits. I love typography and lettering. A while back when we were helping my parents move, I found a lettering/typography textbook that my mom had in college in the early 1970s. SO much fun to look through! When we eventually build that apartment-above-the-garage and you move in (you know, after you and Strider have lived in your new state for a while and decide to move again), you can borrow it. ;)

    I should also tell you that although I'm not a big commenter, I have been thoroughly enjoying your blog. After reading your post mentioning "The Nesting Place" I promptly purchased the book. It was just what I needed to read to inspire me to "just do it" and make some changes at home! (The fact that in T-5 weeks or so I'll be returning from the hospital with an EXTERNAL child instead of an internal one is also good motivation to make some changes... yeah.)

    And I just added Julia Child's book to my wishlist. Now, off to cook something...


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