Wedding stationery is the first thing your guests will see of your big day. This sneak peek will set the tone for your wedding so it’s important not to overlook small details like hand lettering. Including elements that are both aesthetically pleasing and purposeful will elevate your wedding to represent you and your one true love.
The best part is that you don’t have to spend much to achieve a hand lettering look for your wedding stationery. This helpful guide will help you get started and practice your skills. It includes everything you need to know, including a list of materials and a printable alphabet chart for practice.
What is Hand Lettering?
Many people compare hand lettering to calligraphy, but there are important distinctions between the two. Calligraphy is a form of handwriting with letters formed in a deliberate and rhythmic fashion using a nib pen. Hand lettering is a form of drawing to create decorative letters.
The art of hand lettering allows for more freedom in the interpretation of letters and fonts. You can use just about any kind of pen to create the the text, including brush pens, markers, and even ballpoint pens. Hand lettering has become especially popular at weddings in recent years, with beautiful examples used to decorate on the day stationery and invitations. It’s also common on social media feeds, where it seems like the pros can write just about any word flawlessly and effortlessly.
Hand lettering may seem intimidating at first, but it’s actually easy to learn. To help you get started, we created this hand lettering tutorial along with an instructional video that includes basic tips.
Materials Needed for Hand Lettering
You’ll need the right tools before you start, so here is a list of materials we recommend for hand lettering for beginners.
- Paper – A paper pad specifically designed for markers is a great way to start. The smooth surface of the paper allows for the optimal fluidity of strokes.
- Ruler – Mastering the basics is all about consistency. A ruler will help you establish straight lines to practice on.
- Pencil – You’ll need a pencil to establish your baselines, x-lines, and cap-heights to guide your first few words.
- Brush Pen – A brush pen with a medium-length brush tip, such as the Kuretake Cocoiro pen, is ideal for beginners. The length is long enough to create flowing strokes and short enough to maintain control.
- Stationery Card – By the end of this tutorial you’ll be able to write your very own hand lettered wedding stationery.
Basic Hand Lettering Terminology
Before you start putting pen to paper, there are few words we use in our video tutorial that you should become familiar with:
- Cap Line – The guiding line that establishes the height for all capital letters.
- X-Line – The guiding line that establishes the height for all lowercase letters.
- Baseline – The guiding line upon which the entire word or phrase sits on.
- Flourish – Flourishes are decorative strokes added to letters to provide movement. It’s easy to go overboard with flourishes, so the key is to maintain balance in order to create an elegant look. Flourishes include loops and swirls.
How to Hand Letter Video Tutorial
Now that you’re familiar with basic terminology, let’s get started. Check out our video tutorial below, which teaches you how to achieve the perfect hand lettering style.
Hand Lettering Alphabet
The key to mastering the art of hand lettering is practice. Our reference guide below includes all the letters of the alphabet to help you hone your skills.
So, to recap, here are a few pointers to keep in mind while you practice your hand lettering skills:
- Establish a cap-line, x-line and baseline to guide your first few letters.
- Release pressure on upstrokes to create thin lines.
- Apply pressure on downstrokes to create thick lines.
- Stray outside of the guiding lines to achieve a more dynamic look.
- Play with loops and flourishes once you’ve mastered the basics.
Guest post by FTD
Images provided by FTD