Hand Lettering: Quick Guide to Mastering 3 Different Styles | Voni Lim | Skillshare

Hand Lettering: Quick Guide to Mastering 3 Different Styles

Voni Lim, Daughter of the Heavenly King

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12 Lessons (55m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Materials Needed

    • 3. Begin With Lines

    • 4. Lowercase A-Z

    • 5. Spacing

    • 6. Ink Weight

    • 7. Symmetry

    • 8. Minimalist

    • 9. Bouncy

    • 10. Class Project

    • 11. Bonus Class Project

    • 12. Final Thoughts

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About This Class


Seeing all those beautiful modern calligraphy on Pinterest and Instagram making you feel you wish you had the talent and creativity to be an artist? Fear not! This class will bring you feeling like a zero to a hero!

In this class, you will learn how easy it is to create 3 different hand lettering styles even with zero experience. You will then be able to use these techniques on your next birthday card, decorating your pin board, lettering yourself an inspirational word, or even painting your wall! Be ready to be blown away by your new found talent!

You will be using a pencil to create 3 different styles that speak to your own personality.

The 3 styles will cater to the:

  • Symmetrical OCD (for those who are picky on alignments) 
  • Minimalist (for those who live by ‘less is more’)
  • Bubbly & Bouncy (for those who find fun in a little chaos)

You will learn the basics of hand lettering modern calligraphy without the complexity of traditional calligraphy rules. You don’t need any expensive markers, brushes or pens. Just a pencil!

You don’t need any experience or prior knowledge! Just a desire to pick up a new skill.

I dare not call myself a qualified teacher, or trained art professional. Just your average girl next door who finally found something she’s passionate about and now a chance for her to share it with you.

You can also find Voni on Instagram @fivebagsofgold.




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1. Introduction: I want to know a secret. I only use a pencil and a marker pen to do this. And you know what? You can do it too. It is so not difficult. All you need to know ISS the little tricks off what makes it look like this and I'm gonna bring you through it. I'm going to bring you through the Tipton tricks of how to hand letter modern calligraphy and three styles. I'm gonna walk you through in weight distance between letters, a lineman spacing and how to make it your own style. How to make it something that fits your personality because everyone likes thinks differently. So why don't you join me now? I did not graduate from our school of design. I've only been doing this for over a year now. And I got to create inexpensive, personalized give boxes for my friends and even created little baby onesies that I designed for them. And if you like me think that you do not have a creative going in you all the more I would urge you to come join me and discovery. Let's get started 2. Materials Needed: So what do we need to get started? You need a piece of paper. What I have here is a marker paper by Kansan. But any regular print copy paper it's fine in the resource is of this class you can down Look, these practice sheets that I've included so you can practice along with me. And also there will be empty pieces of paper like this with little boxes as guidelines which you can practice on. But if you do not have a printer at home, you can use any piece of regular paper and we can just use a ruler s guides. As for materials, I'm gonna be using a mechanical pencil. You can use a regular pencil. That is fine too. As I've said, we need a ruler for guidelines. We need any razor for mistakes. And the last one This is optional or marker pen for the optional bonus project at the end, and that's all you need. So let's get started 3. Begin With Lines: So, firstly, we're going to go through all the lower case alphabets for this class. We're only going through lower case in the upper case, um, eight z and we're gonna focus right now on consistency in the letters in the alphabets to have consistency. We want to make sure there's a lineman from top to bottom, so you would usually have an empty page, But just for practice, I have here, um, a sheet off little squares just so we re can have these lines here without having the hassle to draw it out. I will include this in the, um in the class and class resource is and that you can download it from them printed out if you want it as a guide. But of course, um, you can always use your rulers to just draw out, um, the lines, but it's gonna take a while. So I've included this for us, too, to practice on. So So just imagine every letter. We want to have the top line where all the bees D's, uh, l hits at the top. Um, there will be a middle section where we would write most of our letters and then going to the bottom. There will be the ones with those tales like Jay's and wise on G's. So you have here this would be a top line here top and this would be the bottom. And this heiress section here is your middle, which is where we would write the letters. So, for example, for a we want to be in this middle section range and that will go a right and then you go be but the B you have to go all the way up to the top. So how we would enter you go from the bottom, you go all the way up and you come down and then where it hits the circular be here it goes on Lee in the middle and that's your be. And then you can go on to see and d starts from the middle too, and and go all the way up and then come back down and cover it up a little bit. And then for E and an f, you start at the top of the middle. Here you go. One loop, you come back down and you go all the way back up into the middle here. And then you just have a little flick and that's your f e f g. So now, G, after you do your little circle here, you want to come all the way down to the bottom. She Oh, my Jeez, A little bit weird. I'm gonna do it out again. So, G, look at it and then you go all the way up. So do you see why it matters to have these lines as guides? So you know, where is your middle parts and where your top hits and where your bottom hits. So we're just gonna go through a to Z using this technique. 4. Lowercase A-Z: So let's start again from a and what I'm doing. I am ending my A in the middle of my middle section so that, um, keep that in mind, because when we do connectors, we want to connect it from the middle to the next alphabet. So be I can start from the bottom here, gold away, up, come down and have my B And for a B, you can connect it later to the next letter by just adding a little loop to come to the middle part off your middle section. So see, be like this de e f she So it doesn't matter if you end in the middle of your middle section or it ends at a top right here or here, because these just affects how consistently and allying your letter would be. How you want it to look like. If you want it to be a little more, um, idiotic, a little bit more unruly, a little bit more bouncy, Then you can change the height of where it ends and there were than where it connects to the next letter. But if you want it all to be consistent, then try to make it always end in the middle off the same, uh, height. So the a b c d e f g h age. Um, you can either start from here kerf a little bit make a little loop, come down and go make your h, or you can also just start from the middle. Have this come down half your little way up. H and I j come all the way down. Flick it up. Okay? Okay. You do that and then you can. There's two variations. You can just do this for a K or you want to just add another little Lupus. Fine, too. It depends on how you like your que to look like. And l I like to start from the middle for l It looks like this. Make sure this is long. The l is long and thinner. If not, it will look like an E if you make it late like it looked like capital e like a big e. So try to make it long and thin. K l m. So I m to a down stroke go up and come down and go up and come down and and is the same so and A and M is just another extension. Often end and oh, yeah, for a no. I want to start in the middle of my middle boxes. I start here, make a loop, and then I want to go all the way halfway up and make intersection here. Oh, yeah, This is just to make it more calligraphy, like they're making more fun and bouncy. Some, uh, may not go to the extent to go all the way up. You can even just do like an O this. It really depends on your style. I like this better just to make it more fun. And man O p, sorry, I need to spell out my health pits B. You can start from the middle, Come all the way down. Remember those alphabets that need to come all the way down? P just like to be. You can connect it with the little swish down here or because modern calligraphy and hand lettering you don't really have much rules on. It's really to your own personal style compared to traditional calligraphy. So even if you don't connect, every letter is fine. And this is just what I like. Some teachers, me um may say that you have to connect all of it. There are certain rules, but what I'm sharing with you is just for you to get a quick head start. I'm exploring this letters for yourself. M N O P Q que And then you just come all the way up. I'll do take you again. It looks funny. Okay, so for our are needs to be looped on the top and then connected down to create our So what ? I'll usually dio IHS. For example, I get I used an old I use an old and then my connector here. Well, come all the way up so that I can start. My are when it comes down. This is the top of the art. And then it comes out like this so it is or so to write an are you just go make a little loop, come all the way down and curve up a little, And then you make another little curve down here for the body. So it looks like, like in our this part here would be this And this part here would be your legs. Do you see that? Let me do it. again. Are ours really difficult for me? Uh, you. But it takes practice After a while, you get a hang of it and you'll find a way to write in the way You like to see it. So p Q r. S s I like Teoh. Go from the bottom, Go up, make us curve down and my bottom will be bigger. I like this one. So the top of a small loop than the bottom. You see that t so t you just go from the top, Come down to the middle So shop and I like curves. So I like to to t my tease with a little accent like this instead of just this It does depends on what you're writing for what themes. But I like to go with a swish can having less space in one of space. And how a little bit so s t u I'm gonna go down here. So does this my top. This is my bottom. You you It's just like this. It's not too hard. You ve we go down, you come back up and you want to do a little loop so that when it comes down, you're able to connect it to the next letter when you write a word. What stood out again? V as T u v w Okay, so now W is just two V's, but you go w But instead of doing that, the loop Here you go. One much out. Let's do it again. I'm gonna move my paper. Sit again. W you go down and then you did. Do you see that little loop here? W so for the X. You remember, You want to connect the next letter, so you have to think ahead when you're writing a word when you're lettering a word. So my STIs first stroke from the left would connect my next letter, and it will be a bit more dramatic. So with this and then it will and then somewhere in the middle, so that I can connect it with another letter leader. And I would just go go up like that for a necks. You go down. You can even do like another, more dramatic one if you wanted to be. And that's when you will figure out, um, what your style is because you may not like how I do it. You like it more dramatic. You like it less dramatic. You like it more simple and that's fine. So what I suggest issue practice different styles as you write as you write your letters. Because if you see my circles of my a b c d p cues are more circular and a fatter shorter But some people would have it thinner and longer. So it is not really like your hand rating it iss more of drawing a letter. So where we know eggs Why you gonna finish the letters? Eggs? Why you start from the middle Come all the way down. Come back up and see Z. You can do it like this. It's like a an art three calm all the way up I mean again. Or you can even just do a simple Z and and then cross it. And then if you do this one you want, you just want to lift this tale up alot but so it connects with the next one. Okay, we've gone through all the letters 5. Spacing: Okay, So I'm just gonna give you a comparison of how you would you the with of your letters would affect your word, and tall would make it look shorter, Narrow Your words will look narrow and, um, compact. But for, like, uh, the letter that with this bigger, like a fatter letter and shorter, it would kind of make it look longer and more spaced out. So, for example, we will do the thin one. So imagine my little box, your I and fitting Just my A in that little box. I don't might. Even my connector is really close to my letter. And then I will commit. Maybe here. I'm not going to be really properly Let me do that again. So a be see Okay, so scratched us. But for a fatter and shorter one. Why I say it's shorter because it's It will look a little bit shorter when it's fatter compared to the other one. So but then the height guidelines are the same, so fatter 1 may look like instead of just this little box that my age is confined, it I may use, I mean spread out to this three boxes, for example, and be and I can connect this. See? Let's hit it again. A be see. Do you see how that is just rounder and plump year compared to the thinner one? So this is just a tip on how you can modify and alter your own style. So you just wanna watch for the distance between your letters to May extraordinaire, Style is consistent. For example, I am going to write Hello, This is my age, my e the distance between this and the next letter you want to watch for that so it's not too far apart. It's not too close together, and then you don't have a space, and then you look like one of my letter is just to like suffocating. So you see the distance between letters will affect how your your where it looks like. So if I don't space is out. This is what's gonna look like If I don't space it out. It's not too bad. It's just really hard to read for, in my opinion, it's just really close together. But if you like it that way, that's fine, too. So imagine if I space it up even more like a dramatically spaced it out. How does that look to you? I mean, I think it's a little too much, but hey, it's your cell. There's a difference. And that's why every Ah person that letters and there's does this modern calligraphy. There is always a little bit of difference in, um and what they do, and that's why it's unique. And that's why it sells. Because that's your own unique point that other people may like me. Look for you when you want to do this s your own side gig or help other people because you have your own style and other people can't really copy it. You know, look up for us facing between letters. Look out for the height of your letters. Look out for the parts where you will end, See you see if it all ends around in the middle, then it will look cool, more consistent, and then in next following tips, I will show you how to make it not so consistent to create a different style 6. Ink Weight: Now we're gonna talk about down strokes and up strokes. And these are what makes, uh, letters look like modern calligraphy Because you want the down strokes to have wait and the up strokes to have very looked very thin. The weight is very light. So what I mean by that IHS, when you write in a you think of this stroke when you're going down, this is downright and now you're going up and then you're going down again. Do you see that As you practice with me? A. This is going down and then you're going up and this is going down again. So to make it look like it's calligraphy, you want at weight to the down strokes, and that's just what it iss, You know, you don't need to have to practice calligraphy for many years to be able to do this, but this is really the basics, the tip of it. So when you you remember this down stroke, you just need to color it in to put your weight. Imagine a brush. When you press in the brush, you put pressure and a brush, you will have more fluid coming out of it onto your paper, and when you lift up the pressure a little bit, then you won't have much anger color on it. And that's what we want to dio. So these are two down strokes. Can you see that already? The A. So let's do another one. You just go and do just a little bit on this part here. So a common thing that might make it look funny is how much you color it and how much weight you put it in and whether it is natural looking because some might not look as natural. For instance, if it's supposed to go heavier down here, but then we only make it to light. And then there's really not much difference in the down strokes and up strokes. It may not look as good. Do you see that this is a really thin? But then these two are really thick. The down strokes are really heavy for me. I prefer to Thich ones. So if I write Hello early man right high, just like this. Where is my down stroke? This one? I was going up and down here so this would be colored in. I went up again and down again. It should be colored in. I went up again and my I was down. So they should be colluding so sometimes Because I made a mistake. So my other lines, my other thin up strokes should be really thin. But I had to cholera it it in a little bit more and it will make it thicker. So it does look a little bit weird. So you just have to. A tip would be just make their down strokes thicker so that their risk significant difference in your up strokes and you're down strokes because you want you're up strolls to be really thin and you're down shows to be really sick. Let's do another word just for a different example. Let's do Hello. Hello Age I'm coming down. I'm going up and coming down again. I am connecting my my age. Who the e u don't Don't forget on this connector to make sure that height is always almost same. Do the E that's going up. I'm coming down and going up again and I'm doing my album from here. The top of the middle. I'm coming down, going up, coming down. I'm going up. It's OK you can join it together just joining together afterwards. And then my Oh, I'm coming down, going up and coming down and push So it just It looks very raw if you don't color it in to put in the weight in quake. So this is what we need to do. This is where's the down? Stroke this part right down and go up. And this is a down and go up and this is down. This is down. This is down. This is down. And here there's a little bit of down. So how do you think that's gonna look like after we put the weight in? Now, how does that look to you to space out? I think it's a bit too spaced out, but you can do it again. You don't keep trying. Keep trying. Make it Victor. If the space a little bit too small just right it on the big a piece of paper. Um, choose. Ah, shorter work first to see how you like the look of it and then figure out What's your preference? What works for you? What about this? This doesn't look too bad, right? So this is basically it. I mean you can't even say this is like cheating way too, to learn how to let her. What looks like modern calligraphy before you actually hold on a minute before you actually use brush lettering? Because then that is really on the control of your your hands and your brushed in your pen . But this is really drawing it out. So once you've practiced this tips, and then let's move on to do the three styles how you can make it look different and various, So I'll see you in the next video. 7. Symmetry: So we're gonna talk about symmetry O C D. And this is particularly for people who, um, lows how the look is clean, the look iss not too chaotic. It's very aligned for people who like when they create presentations in PowerPoint, like each off the box is at the same height and the same with. And we just picky on it. And I notice because when I do presentations, I am like that even if it's a little bit off and the margins are weird, that's where I can pick those things out. And even if the content and everything is right, But that shift in height or with it irks me. So this is for people who really like a clean, organized, symmetrical look, And it is basically what we have learned before it ISS So you want the height to be the same. And what we're gonna do is I'm gonna for the next three videos three styles we're gonna do . Our names were gonna let her our names and my name is Ronny, right? It is v o and I So it's gonna look like this, the oh, and I and do you see how the letters are almost all the same height. The connectors are almost all at the same height. It's not entirely in the middle of you. Draw a line across it, but it is somewhat there, and that's what makes it clean. Is the symmetry of it. The alignment, the height, the distance. So then, that's when you you add your weight in and do you see that I'm gonna do in her name? Um, let's do Joel Joel J. Oh E No. Well, do you see the connectors? How this one, This O T E. It's slightly hired in A J, but that's OK. It's not too significant. It's not too drastic. And then the connector from the E to the L here it's somewhat similar. And even if I ended my l all the way up here, it's OK. It does not really affect it, and then it will look like this. Once I add in the ink, we so do you see how it's more symmetrical this way? So this this style will be part of your class project, So practice on this symmetry. This alignment remember, focus on the distance between the letters distance between the letters, the height off the letters, and this then will be the key to your line 8. Minimalist: This is the second style guys, this is I call it a minimalist. Does this how you can't really change and alter your style? Based on the size of the letter based on the length of the connectors based on how long the word is so minimalist is for people who really believes less It's more you really like a clean look white space, small letter, small words And this is how we will look like. So when you go through the style, you'll be able to then figure out an alter your own letter your own way. You letter it. So how do we do this? I'm going to write Vanni. So before it is we had before it is we had one like this and looks bigger. It looks chunkier. It looks border. But now you want a smaller longer than their look So it will go like this. Vanni would go. You want us? The key here is your a long connector Long connector. So the key here, Bonnie, I'll go with my V a long one a calm down a V and you're going to do it really small k Really small. You go. You move it along, then you dio and it's really small and can go it up a little bit. Remembers really tiny. And I just look it up, Giovanni. Now, look, my V is much bigger than my own, and then I So I'm gonna do that again because I don't like how it looks. I want all of it to be the same size. So remember Astin Connector release movie. Oh, good night. Small and then good night. And I You want your connectors. You can make it like parallel. Or you can make keep start from the bottom and goes swish up a little bit, but not like Woo. You just want it like very little difference. Okay? Don't we don't want it to be going well. Remember, less is more so you see that? Okay, let's do it again. Shop the small. Remember, everything is small here, small and long. You see that? I like this one. So let's doing her name. Joel J really Small J and small o small e small l. I still think it's a little bit too big. And because there's no entrance to the J so I can I can just add an entrance You, but looks like that, right? So I am not sure if you can see because I'm writing it really lately. Okay, let's do that again to go small J Move it up Small own moving along Small e moving along and l know nicey My l looks like a cap like a bigger e. So remember what I said in the first couple videos that make sure your Ellis long and not fat. If not, it's gonna look like any. So let's do again, Jake. She small j move it long. Small. Oh, move it along. Small e movie Long and l How's that? Let's do another one. Yes, I like this one. I like this one. So then you can leave it like that Or you can just then add in your weight. You remember adding in your weight because this is really small. So you can add too much NFL. It's gonna look funny. So just a little bit of pressure. It's a little bit of pressure. Just one, the one I like. I'm gonna add a little bit here just a tiny bit. Now, this is what you want to achieve. How do you like that I like this one, too. It depends on the style and the design of what you're trying to do. If you want to. Do you want to do it for something like a kid's room? A kid's birthday party you may not want to do to see, because this gives you more off Lake and elegant, Um, theme. Like a classy theme, minimalistic, more up class. Not so fun, a bit more serious, a bit more mysterious. This would fit it better. But if you want it more happy, more youthful and bubbly than let's look on to our last style. 9. Bouncy: and we're back. Teoh. Bouncy. So this is more of a fun style. I really like this style. This is has been my latest, um, practices my latest craze because it's just really okay and Ruley. So how this is different from the 1st 1 is the height of the letters are not the same you want to very the height. The height is not the same. So, for example, you see this bouncy. My connectors does not always mitt in the middle. It's a bit up. It's a bit down somewhat. You need to somewhat make it all come to the same area to just so. For example, this is a middle. You want to make it Eli's come up or come down or come to the middle somewhere there. But you can vary it so but imagine if you're not aware of it, you can start from the up and they will go down, and then your letter will continue looking like it's going downward, and that's not what you want. So what you want to do? A tip. You have to make sure when it goes up, you come down a little bit. You come to the middle and come up again and come down so that it is within this range. Off the letter, your letter will look more uniform, but also a bit chaotic. And like you see for example, my end my end This does not end in the same height s the same places this part here because they then goes all the way down and I come up again. And that's how you can make it look a bit more balancing. So let's go back to my name. I think go from a V can come down a little bit lower on my connector. I can start my own, the bottom here. And I go all they have to come down and make this Oh, really dramatic my end. I can come down all the way and then come back up again and then finish off My I If this Oh here is too dramatic for you. That is fine. I can make this again. Maybe you're smaller one and then I go My connected can go all the way up And I go in and and I can you see how it iss a bit unruly? Some people may not like it. Some people may look at it and say, No, this is weird. It's not polished, but that's what we want. That's the look that we want or you can make the V small, the older, bigger and really small long legs. And I Do you see how that isjust Very crazy looking. Maybe you looks a bit too compact together, and then we can space it out, make your connectors a bit longer. Do you see how that iss how that works? So then you remember to color it in. Some people actually like the way this looks. Um, if you don't use a pencil if you use a sticker tip, um it may look quite cute in a sense, where it's just really round and fat, and some people like that. It doesn't have to be just, um, down strokes and up. Strout's where the down stroke is thicker and upstroke is, uh, dinner. No, that's how a bouncy one will look like. And let's do another name. Joel. So you go, Jay. My always gonna be a little bit small. My e can go a little bit big and my Elkan gold the way down here and you see how this l is just significantly Not in the right proportion to go to the name. And that is fine. That is absolutely fine. You can even make j huge because maybe you want to have like a capital J, but with a slower case. Look, E o e. And your hell is just like just like that occurs and the loops. These are what makes it bouncy, even like entering on the squish. How it connects the connectors are the ones that help you make the bouncy looks and as well as the different size of it. Yeah, So these are what's important to make. It looked bouncy, so let's try it. 10. Class Project: Now it's time for you to work in your class project. So what you're gonna do is you're gonna letter your name in the three styles that we went through. The symmetry, the minimalist and D balance. See? So what I have here I've done my name in the symmetry and day minimalist and the last one the bouncy. So I've cut it up in strips so that I can see the difference on its own and whether which one I like. So if you can see this one is the symmetry where the connectors are more or less on the same height and the same length to give it a clean look, compare to the bouncy, the bouncy. You have to look at it together and see what's the difference. So if you can see the end, the connector for the lake of the end, as a bit lower and longer to make it more different. And if you can see the way this eye hooks up and the way this end hooks up, this one's a little bit fatter and longer, too the right. But the end is a bit lower, and then hire to make it a different curve. So for the bouncy you can change up how to connect her looks and how ah wide or how narrow it iss from the letters and for the minimalist This is what I've got. You remember the connectors are really long and not to Ah, significant. And the letters are really small, so why don't you give it a go? 11. Bonus Class Project: and guess what? You have a bonus class project. So with the same techniques that you learn in the previous videos, now it's time for you to move up a level to use a marker pen. It looks nicer. It definitely looks nicer with a marker. But then it is also a bit more risky because it's hard to erase mistakes. So for this class project, it's gonna be a little bit harder, because now I want you to pick 1 to 2 words to describe what you are thankful for today. And what I have here is clean water. I am thankful that I have access to clean water today, and I'm just I want us to be a reminder for all the times where maybe I am just I take it for granted. There are parts off the world where people don't have access to clean water, and I just want to be thankful for that and to letter it up and just as a reminder for me today, and that's what I want you to do for a bonus class project and on Lee with a marker pen, can't wait to see what you create 12. Final Thoughts: thank you for going through this class with me. Now that you have gone through all the three styles, I am so excited for you to discover your own lettering style. So just some final thoughts I've put together. Ah, comparison of the three styles that we went through so that you can compare it side by side . There's a symmetry, the minimalists and the bouncy. And if you notice that I did not put the ink weight in so it can also be another style for you to consider. So for the symmetry, it is a clean and a line look, and you want to watch for the distance between your letters, the height of your letters and your connectors, and these will give you proper alignment for the minimalist Remembered less is more you wanna watch for long connectors and connectors that are more horizontal compared to wake of bouncy vertical connector and watch for small letters. And these will give you a minimal look. And for the last one bouncy, it is a fun and more chaotic look. You wanna watch for inconsistent connectors, inconsistent loops and these will create your own style. So have fun