Holdfast and Stay Strong

Holdfast and Stay Strong - student project

My name is Michael P Harrold.  I've been struggling to learn hand-drawn lettering on my own, and I'm excited to work this course.  Feel free to follow along!

I've chosen to work with the phrase "Holdfast and Stay Strong"

Something about old-school sailors and the wide-open ocean has always resonated with me.  When I decided to start my own business the name "Holdfast Media" was the first thing to mind, and it just kinda stuck.  

I've built my entire brand and sales pitch around nautical terms and icons, and I really love the simple old-school style of branding.  I'm picturing this lettering project as a vinyl storefront window piece.

 Thank-you for looking, your support and feedback is invaluable. 


I sat down today with a blank piece of paper, and just started drawing until the work spoke to me.  I'm fairly impressed that I created this on the first go actually. 

Holdfast and Stay Strong - image 1 - student project

The icons I'm attempting to add to this are my sales pitch for web design clients, as I said before - I use a lot of sailing / nautical analogies when talking with clients...here's the nutshell version:

  • Sailboat: We will build a seaworthy website to represent your brand on the web
  • Compass: We will locate your target audience, and navigate towards them 
  • Anchor: Once we're in the right place, we'll anchor down and start building relationships
  • Steering Wheel: We will continue to guide you down the right path as your business grows. 
  • Holdfast and Stay Strong - image 2 - student project


    I haven't abandoned my first sketch, but I really wanted to try something a little more like the copperplate script...so I set up another grid, and got to work.  I'm really enjoying lettering by hand, and within a structure; before this, I was just randomly scribbling on my tablet in Illustrator.  

    Holdfast and Stay Strong - image 3 - student project

    I feel like the more I drew on the script piece, the worse it got.  I'm going to run with these, so that I can start moving forward with re-creating them in Illustrator.

    Holdfast and Stay Strong - image 4 - student project

    Holdfast and Stay Strong - image 5 - student project

    Michael Harrold
    Director of Marketing and Social Media