The First Steps of Hand-Lettering: Concept to Sketch (Lettering I) Premium class

Mary Kate McDevitt, Letterer

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12 Videos (1h 57m)
    • Trailer

    • Getting started!

    • Tools

    • Lettering Warm Up Part I

    • Lettering Warm-Up Part II

    • Understanding Hand-Drawn Letters

    • Final Tips

    • Thumbnails

    • Sketching Part I

    • Sketching Part II

    • Refining Your Sketch

    • Final Inking


About This Class

Style a phrase you love. Share it forever.

Count us among the thousands transforming our handwriting into artful drawings. In this 2-hour class, the talented Mary Kate McDevitt reveals the first steps of hand-lettering and inspires us to concept, design, and letter words for any use—a poster, magazine, t-shirt, or anything else we imagine. Plus, the impressive class project gallery speaks volumes for her clear guidance on common missteps, conceptual illustration, and digitization. We're sharpening our pencils.

Learn by doing.

Find a quote, title, or phrase that speaks to you, and develop an illustrative concept that matches its mood and tone. Using your favorite drawing materials, create a hand-letter sketch that's meaningful, lasting, and inspiring.

Watch 16 video lessons.

  • Researching and Brainstorming. Research and brainstorm ideas for your hand-lettered phrase, as well as different possible applications. 
  • Sketching. Sketch out concepts that fit your idea. 
  • Exploring Styles. Develop a clear concept and explore styles appropriate to the application—all while keeping your style. 
  • Finalizing. Finalize a drawing that is ready to scan. 

Also see: The Final Steps of Hand-Lettering (Lettering II).

1,368 of 1,392 students recommendSee All

Lots of tips to learn and improve lettering skill. I totally recommend this class :)
Great class! Easy to follow and very helpful. I would recommend it.
a great class here i learned a lot!!





My name is Mary Kate McDevitt, and I've been working as a full time freelance letterer since 2010. I've had the privilege of working for a number of great clients, including Nintendo, Sesame Street, Nike, O Magazine, Chronicle Books and CMYK Magazine and more. I take on a variety of projects; everything from editorial illustrations to headlines for advertising, to book covers, journals, posters, wine labels, and products.

I live and work in Brooklyn, NY with my boyfriend, the screen printer Fred DiMeglio, and my fluffy cat Peppy Mew Mew.

For more information, and to view my entire portfolio, visit