Looking to add some creative influence to your Instagram feed? These top hand lettering artists are guaranteed to inspire, impress, and entertain.
From lettering chalk murals, to creating designs for magazine covers, to teaching hand lettering classes on Skillshare, these 10 hand lettering artists are making serious waves in the lettering community. Whether you’re already a hand lettering pro or are just starting out, we definitely recommend following all of these artists ASAP — your newsfeed will thank you.
Mary-Kate McDevitt is one of the most popular hand letterers working today. We sort of think of her as the Obi-wan Kenobi of letterform design — a lettering expert who spends her time bestowing knowledge onto students around the world. Her Skillshare tutorial “the Essentials of Hand Lettering” is the most comprehensive in the game (not to mention one of the most popular classes in our community, period). Mary Kate graduated from the Tyler School of Art and has designed work for clients like Nike, Nintendo, and CMYK Magazine. Besides being a true hand lettering dynamo, she’s also one of the best teachers around.
Matthew Tapia is a hand lettering artist hailing from the great state of Hawaii. He started off his career as a digital designer but eventually decided to show off his hand lettering skills as well. Matthew’s hugely popular on Tumblr and Instagram where he frequently showcases his hand lettering projects. In particular, he often shares his pencil sketches and is known for his ability to create attractive hand lettering projects without special finishing.
Jessica Hische is one of the most successful hand letterers on this list. Not only does she have a fruitful freelancing career (having worked with clients like Wes Anderson, The New York Times, Victoria’s Secret, and Samsung), she also made Forbes list of 30 under 30, twice! She splits her time between Brooklyn and San Francisco, and her Skillshare class on dropcap lettering is getting more and more popular every day. She recently even published her own lettering book. Titled “In Progress”, it showcases Jessica’s lettering process — from pencil sketch to final product.
4. Louise Fili
Every experienced hand letterer is familiar with the work of Louise Fili. She was previously a senior designer for Herb Lubalin and eventually became the art director of Pantheon books. While at Pantheon, she designed almost 2,000 book covers — pretty impressive stuff. Her influence in the design world is expansive and she has works in the Library of Congress, the Cooper Hewitt Museum, and many more. Plus, she’s not afraid to share her knowledge having personally trained many other successful hand lettering artists. Two of her students — Dana Tanamachi and Jessica Hische — also made this list.
Rylsee is the artistic name of Cyril Vouilloz, a well-known visual artist born in Geneva who now lives in Germany. He has a ton of experience in the fields of typography, mural painting, and design, but a few years ago he developed a passion for hand lettering. This hand letterer has traveled all over the world and his work has been showcased in places as varied as Spain, Switzerland, Israel, Brazil, and France. Ryslee’s hand lettering projects often have an acerbic twist, featuring funny takes on phrases like “Remember when we all died in 2012” and “Never trust someone who doesn’t like pizza.” He’s also adept at designing promotions, branding, and in-store display installations.
Dana Tanamachi is a designer and lettering artist who specializes in chalk lettering. Like Jessica Hische, Dana also worked under design pro Louise Fili. She has a super impressive list of clients including Penguin Books, Ralph Lauren, and USPS. Besides that, she’s designed magazine covers, book covers, and was even named a Young Creative to Watch by HOW Magazine. Chalk lettering is becoming more and more popular every day — you’ve probably seen lots of restaurants affixed with chalk lettering displays outside — and Dana Tanamachi is one of the modern pioneers of the form.
7. Jon Contino
Jon Contino is a New York-based lettering artist who has been interested in mass marketing and street art since early childhood. He realized that in order to stand out from the crowd, he had to be able to wield a combination of modern artistic techniques and more traditional approaches. Jon’s lettered for a wide variety of clients including Texas Monthly, Jameson Whiskey, Whole Foods, Keebler, and Miller High Life. Jon’s a major force in the hand lettering world and is also a co-owner of the CXXVI Clothing Company.
8. Ross Moody
6 years ago Ross Moody founded 55 Hi’s — a popular greeting card company — and he hasn’t looked back since. Though he was initially part of an advertising agency, Ross soon realized that he wanted to do something more meaningful (plus there’s that huge perk of being your own boss). People use 55 Hi’s to buy quality hand lettered prints with witty phrases. The company also produces posters, greeting cards, glassware, calendars, and lots of other items — all featuring his hilarious wit and easily recognizable hand lettering style.
Even though Jake Bartlett is primarily a motion graphics artist, he also completed a huge range of hand lettering projects too. Jake’s an LA-based artist who happens to be a complete expert in Adobe After Effects — a program he’s been using for more than a decade now. He’s got a super successful freelance business with clients like YouTube, Yahoo!, NatGeo Wild, and Pepsi. He teaches three popular Skillshare classes where he shows other aspiring artists how to make their pieces pop with After Effects.
10. Erik Marinovich
Erik Marinovich is a lettering expert and the co-owner of titlecase.co, a popular typographic company. His other co-owner? None other than Jessica Hische! Erik is a popular designer and letterer who had clients like the Atlantic, the Gap, and Newsweek. He’s also a co-founder of Friends of Type and has even been featured in the Type Directors Club. He was involved in different types of hand lettering projects, and his work is a little bit different compared to the work of traditional hand letterers.
Eager to see your name added to a list just like this one? Check out some of Skillshare’s most popular hand lettering classes, and start creating projects of your own. We’ve got the most comprehensive (not to mention funnest) tutorials on the web — featuring teachers like Mary Kate McDevitt, Jessica Hische, and Erik Marinovich!