Hand Lettering Essentials for Beginners | Mary Kate McDevitt | Skillshare

Hand Lettering Essentials for Beginners

Mary Kate McDevitt, Lettering and Illustration

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13 Lessons (1h 57m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Get Started

    • 3. Tools

    • 4. Lettering Warm Up: Part I

    • 5. Lettering Warm Up: Part II

    • 6. Understanding Hand-Drawn Letters

    • 7. More Tips

    • 8. Thumbnails

    • 9. Sketching Part I

    • 10. Sketching Part II

    • 11. Refining Your Sketch

    • 12. Final Inking

    • 13. More Creative Classes on Skillshare

277 students are watching this class

Project Description

Hand letter your favorite quote, title, or phrase.


Hand-letter your favorite quote, title, or phrase. Choose a phrase that's brief and personal, and gather inspirational images to help define your mood, tone, and style. Remember: regardless of your experience, the first steps of hand-lettering are crucial. Even the most seasoned letterer can see the value in revisiting these basic steps. Many people tend to jump into the computer too quickly to play with color and texture. The result is poorly drawn letters and too much emphasis on texture. This class and assgnment will help break down the necessary steps, and help us wrangle these 26 little letters.


Upload your final hand-lettered image and the process to create it. A completed project may include:

  • inspirations
  • mood boards
  • thumbnails
  • sketches
  • inked images
  • final image
  • notes on your process and inspiration


  • Download the 2-part project guide (below) for step-by-step instructions, images, and more on the class assignment. Part 1 covers inspiration, tools, a warm-up exercise, and notes for beginners. Part 2 covers sketching and inking.
  • The History of Type - a beautiful stop motion video that sums up the history of type in a fast and informative way.

  • Letterology - Blog chock-full-of vintage type.

  • Once New Vintage - Plenty of vintage reference material and free downloadable hi-res vintage ephemera.

  • Related Discussion: Where do you find Inspiration? Share with the class where you find inspiration for your lettering projects in this discussion.

  • Jet Pens - A great website for finding new pens!