You’ve probably seen monoline lettering without even knowing it. The simple hand lettering style is common in graffiti, and it’s a popular trend in minimalist logos. It’s also a simple technique that even beginners can quickly pick up! 

Graphic designer and lettering artist Ricardo Gonzalez is known for his gorgeous monoline lettering designs. Here, he breaks down how anyone can create a monoline letter logo or wordmark. 

What Is Monoline Lettering?

First, a primer: Monoline is a form of hand lettering that is characterized by consistent line weights from point A to point B. Monoline letters can be thick or thin, but not both—the line width needs to stay consistent. 

Examples of monoline lettering from Ricardo Gonzalez’s Instagram account, @itsaliving.
Examples of monoline lettering from Ricardo Gonzalez’s Instagram account, @itsaliving.

Monoline is different from calligraphy, a lettering technique in which the line weights vary. As you’ll see in the example below, calligraphy and other hand lettering techniques often utilize both thick and thin lines in each letter.

A few examples of non-monoline lettering. 
A few examples of non-monoline lettering. 

How to Do Monoline Lettering

Materials

Grab your markers—Krink are Gonzalez’ favorite.
Grab your markers—Krink are Gonzalez’ favorite.

Both markers and pens work perfectly for monoline lettering. Gonzalez recommends Krink markers, which are flexible and easy to find, and prefers those with a round tip. 

No matter what type you choose, stay away from calligraphy pens or nibs. It’s also hard to create a monoline look if you’re using ink that’s either too runny or too thick.

Getting Started

Warm up by drawing straight, simple lines.
Warm up by drawing straight, simple lines.

Before you even start lettering, it can be a fun experiment to draw two dots, then connect them with a line. Use any pen, pencil, or marker. Look at the line you drew and see if the weight is consistent. Try it a few times to get it just right. This is part of your practice for perfecting your monoline stroke.

Drawing Monoline Letters

Practice drawing the alphabet
Practice drawing the alphabet

From there, you can start practicing drawing monoline letters, focusing not only on the letters themselves, but also the connections between each. Gonzalez recommends writing the lowercase alphabet, letter a through z, in one long series, to start getting comfortable with the letters. Repeat this again and again, trying out different styles along the way. “Every single letter can be written in a very different way,” he says. “Eventually you will improve letters, and you will make them more your own.” 

Adding Graphic Elements

Adding simple elements can turn your lettering into a logo!
Adding simple elements can turn your lettering into a logo!

After you’ve perfected your letters, it’s time to turn them into a logo! This isn’t as complex as it sounds—just write out the word in monoline lettering, then add simple shapes and lines around the wordmark. “Because I like to create a streetwear- and graffiti-inspired look, I keep the graphic elements around my lettering simple,” says Gonzalez. “I might add a few dots, an underline, or a diamond to create a solid wordmark, but the idea is to echo the same weight of the letters to achieve that look of consistency.”

Perfect Your Monoline Lettering

Lettering a Monoline Wordmark: Create Graffiti-Inspired Uniform Lines .