Lockdown has been the perfect time to start practicing and perfecting new skills and after spending time on Instagram looking at beautiful hand lettering and calligraphy I decided that it was time to put some practice in! It’s a really relaxing and creative hobby and I’ve been enjoying watching my progress as well as having yet another excuse to buy more stationery! So if you want to do the same here are my favourite hand lettering supplies and resources for beginners and improvers alike to get you practicing and improving your skills.
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You might already be a master at calligraphy and lettering but if you’re a beginner or want to brush up on your technique then I recommend trying out some resources that will help you perfect your letters or teach you a new style.
Basic Lettering Learning Resources
If you’re a regular reader of the blog you’ll know that I recently released my first Skillshare class that teaches you the absolute basics of simple hand lettering. If you are a beginner and you’re intimidated by a lot of the more complex artistic calligraphy out there on Instagram and Pinterest then this is the course for you.
You can use the free workbook and follow the videos in the class to help you create simple but effective lettering for your Bullet Journal, creative projects and beyond. At the end of the class we’ll create a simple lettering compilation piece just like the one below!
You can get two free months of Skillshare by signing up here. Plenty of time to take my class and have a look at even more amazing Skillshare classes that will teach you new things.
Brush Lettering Learning Resources
I have to give a shout out here to one of my favourite stationery blogger friends Milly from Blink Lettering. After we did a live workshop together on Instagram all about the secrets of lettering I was inspired to join in with her Better Brush Letters challenge in April. Don’t worry if you’ve missed the challenge though you can complete the workbook anytime you like! Take a look at what it’s all about here.
Most good quality Bullet Journal notebooks have paper that’s good enough for hand lettering. Something that Milly taught me on our workshop was that the paper quality will have an impact on your lettering! The smoother the paper the nicer your pen will write and the smoother and crisper your letters will look.
If you’re printing workbooks make sure you have a good quality printer paper. It isn’t too expensive to buy and you can keep it for your creations only. You can also print dot grid on top of it if you want guidelines. I have free dot grid templates to download in my free resource library so make sure you subscribe to get access to that and lots of other cool creativity and productivity resources.
My notepad of choice for hand lettering is my A5 Rhodia Dot Pad. The paper quality is amazing and the A5 is a nice size for me. Dot grid is a really great option for using as guidelines without it having too much impact on the page. You can choose your perfect Rhodia Dot Pad here.
Fineliners are a great option for hand lettering basic letters and false calligraphy. Once you’ve had a go at print lettering, the next step is playing around with cursive and false calligraphy (tutorial coming soon!) and fineliners are nice and pigmented – perfect for this technique. My budget option is the Stabilo Point 88 black fineliner and my splurge option is this set of Staedtler Pigment Liners with varying widths which can be fun to play around with. Even if you want to create more complex calligraphy I still recommend adding them to your hand lettering supplies list so you can play around with borders and shadows.
If you’re a beginner be prepared for brush pens to take a little while to get to grips with. A lot of talented calligraphers make it look effortless but remember that brush pens are a tool that can take a bit of practice to master.
Pentel Sign Brush Pens
The Pentel Sign Brush Pens are one of the best brush pen options for beginners and are very likely to become o. When you’re starting out many calligraphy bloggers (including Milly from Blink Lettering) recommend adding them to your hand lettering supplies list and you’ll definitely see why. The tip is small and isn’t too soft which makes it easy to control. If the tip is too flexible and soft it can be hard to control your line precision and get a clean look for your letters. Get your own set of these awesome pens (or pick and choose some favourite colours) here.
Zebra Mildliner Brush Pens
The Zebra Mildliner Dual Tip Brush Pens are one of my favourite hand lettering supplies. I ordered the entire collection of these on a whim from Kawaii Pen Shop (Get 10% off your order with MAGPIE10) and I just adore the range of colours. They have a softer more flexible tip than the Pentel Sign Brush Pens but they’re fun to play around with when you’re creating larger letters for example titles in your Bullet Journal. I also really love the extra fine end of the pen which makes it easier to make little tweaks and corrections to your lettering. You can get every set from Kawaii Pen Shop – pastel, cool and warm.
Tombow Dual Brush Pens
Tombow Dual Brush Pens are an extremely popular choice among the online creative community and I have my own little collection that I use often. However they aren’t the easies pens to master – if you’re a beginner they can be a little tricky especially when you’re trying to create thin consistent up strokes! However their collection of colours is incredible and they’re a great quality pen to start experimenting with. You can pick and choose individual pens from Amazon here or treat yourself to a pack!
Finally we’ll quickly look at gel pens which are a great option to add shadows and extra flourishes to hand lettering. Gel Pens are very pigmented and by using metallic or white gel ink on top of darker colours you can produce a really cool effect to your lettering. My favourite gel pens are these Sakura Gelly Roll pens which come in an amazing variety of packs and look incredible on darker surfaces. Perfect for adding accents on to your letters.