How To: Brush Lettering

Brush lettering, a type of modern calligraphy, is a great way to spice up a project or even improve your handwriting. It gives your typography style, and is totally fun to do! After only a few quick, easy steps, you'll be on your way lettering all sorts of things! This Instructable will set you up with some tips on how to start your lettering journey in only about 10-15 minutes.

Step 1: Step One: Gather Your Materials

What resources do you have? Are you really prepared with some pens made exactly for this purpose, or is your pen collection limited to only a ball point? Whatever you feel like using to letter, go get it! I recommend Dual Brush Pens for the best results, but Broad Crayola Markers will also do an excellent job. If neither of these are easily accessible, any old pen (or even pencil) will work as well. You also will need to grab printer paper, scratch paper, a ruler, and a pencil for this project.

Step 2: Step Two: Map Out Your Design

It's always a good idea to plan out exactly what you intend to letter beforehand. Take your ruler and draw some straight lines as guides on your paper. Lightly draw your cursive letters on top of these lines in any style you want. Make sure your word or phrase fits on your paper. It doesn't look good when you try to squish the last few letters in at the edge. I always like to do a quick little "trial run" on some scratch paper beforehand, just to make sure I like how the letters look together. It's a design choice, and you need to be able to decide if what you're doing is exactly how you like it. Other things to consider before putting what you want on your final product include color, size, shape, etc. So, I suggest quickly testing out your pen and/or what words you want to write.

Step 3: Step Three: Get Writing!

To brush letter, you have to make your down strokes thicker and your up strokes thinner. This is the key to brush lettering: whenever you move the pen in the upward direction, make your stroke a lot thinner in comparison to your strokes that are in the downward direction. It may be a good idea to try some strokes going up and down as seen in the letter "u" or in the letter "n". Add swirls on a "g" or a "y". Have fun with it! Eventually, you'll start to develop your own creative cursive style the more you write. When you're comfortable with your pen and your design, start writing on top of your penciled letters. If you make a mistake, it's easy to clean it up with a smaller tipped pen of the same color.

Step 4: Step Four: Erase Any Pencil Marks and Show Off Your Work!

After you finish going over your pencil lines with the pen, be sure to erase any stray marks from your paper. Now you're all done! How easy was that?! You also can try making new words with different pens. Experiment all you want!

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