How to Do Hand Lettering to Improve Penmanship | Skillshare Projects

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How to Do Hand Lettering to Improve Penmanship

Your handwriting has formed over years of writing. When you first started learning how to write your letters, you practiced each one over and over until you had the basic shape down pat. Once you mastered the shapes of the letters, you likely didn’t put as much time into actually practicing the letters, but just used them whenever you needed to write something.  

Today, you may have looked at your handwriting and decided it needs to be improved. Whether it’s evolved to be more difficult to read or you just want to make your handwriting prettier, you may want to learn about handwriting practice for adults. 

The good news is, you don’t need to practice the same way you did as a young child. You don’t have to just write each letter over and over and over. Instead, if you want to learn how to improve handwriting, you might want to look into hand lettering. This gives you the chance to be creative, have fun, and create amazing projects, and your handwriting will naturally improve as a result.  

Why Should You Improve Your Penmanship? 

Many people decide to learn how to improve penmanship because their handwriting has gotten so bad it’s not very legible anymore. This may be because they haven’t written much by hand in recent years because of computers or because they write so fast they just don’t take the time needed to write legibly. Others want to learn to improve their handwriting because they never really learned how to write properly and to have handwriting that looks good. 

You may want to improve your handwriting for just about any reason. The main goal is likely to have handwriting that is easier for others to read or that looks better when you’re writing something down. You might not really need pretty handwriting for a grocery list, but you may want to have prettier handwriting when you make a birthday card for a friend or designing your best t-shirt yet.

How Does Hand Lettering Help Improve Your Penmanship? 

Hand lettering is using text drawn by hand to create art. Instead of just writing each letter on the page, you’re taking the time to draw the letters, spending a bit of time on each one to make sure it’s perfect and make sure it fits well with the rest of the letters. Typically, you’ll hand letter an entire phrase in an interesting composition and add a background or embellishments to create artwork from your text. You may even decide to try out different styles to get the look you want. 

To improve penmanship, you need to slow down and focus on what you’re writing, not scribble through a grocery list. You’re trying to create something that looks beautiful, not trying to sign your name as quickly as possible. When you go slow and draw each letter individually, and spend time on composition as well as style, you’re going to end up with a beautiful project with hand lettering you’re proud of. 

As you learn how to slow down and pay attention to forming the letters through hand lettering, you’re also learning how to improve handwriting. You’re focusing on how the letters are formed, even though you might use different styles and won’t use your normal handwriting. That focus, however, translates over to your own handwriting and you’ll see it start to improve as you do more hand lettering.  

What You Need to Start Hand Lettering 

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to try out hand lettering and see how it can help you improve your handwriting. In fact, you don’t need to purchase anything at all to get started, although you may want to invest in special pens and brushes once you know what you like and what you want to do. When you want to learn how to do hand lettering, you’ll need to gather paper, a pencil, an eraser, a ruler, and a pen. If you have crayons or colored pencils readily available, grab those too and get started.  

You’ll want to start out with plain paper and a pencil to sketch a few ideas. Try the phrase you want to do with different compositions and styles before deciding on the one you want to do. You may need the eraser and ruler to make sure everything lines up properly while you’re planning out how you want it to look. 

Once you have decided on the layout and style you want to use, sketch it in the full size on a new sheet of paper. Use the ruler and eraser to make sure you have it just the way you want, then trace your letters with the pen and fill in if needed. This is where colored pencils or crayons may come in handy. You can use them to color your letters or create a neat background. 

Take Classes to Learn Hand Lettering 

If you want to learn how to do hand lettering, you may want to go ahead and sign up for one of the online classes that are available today. There are many different classes to choose from, so you can select the one that meets your needs the best. You’ll want to make sure the class covers everything you need to know, not just one style of hand lettering. 

It’s a good idea to start with a beginner class that reviews tools you may want to have, beyond the ones mentioned here, as well as how to use the tools in your work. You’ll also want to choose a class that reviews composition, design, embellishments, and more so you’ll learn everything you need to know to get started. 

As you learn hand lettering, you’ll see how fun it can be to improve penmanship. If you enjoy hand lettering and want to learn more, you can always choose additional classes that will help you learn how to do different writing styles, learn how to upload your designs to the computer to embellish further, and more. There’s really no limit to what you can do and there are classes available to help you learn.  

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Work on Creating Your Own Designs 

During a beginner class, you may use the phrase and styles the instructor chooses so you can copy what they do exactly and learn how to do it properly. However, the main goal is for you to learn how to do hand lettering on your own. Start by trying the designs the instructor does, but then use the styles and layouts you’ve learned with phrases you like and embellish them the way you want. 

You’ll want to experiment to see what works well for you and what you might prefer. You may also want to learn more about different tools people will use, such as brush markers that allow you to easily make thin and thick lines with the same pen, so you can give them a try. Use different styles, change layouts, and experiment with colors to create your own unique designs you’re going to love.  

Learn How You Can Use Your Own Designs  

Though your goal may have been to improve your handwriting, you may find you really enjoy hand lettering. There are many different ways you can use hand lettering to create fantastic projects you can keep, give away, or sell. Hand lettering can go way beyond handwriting practice for adults to a fun hobby you can actually use to make gifts or to make a little extra money. 

Hand lettering can be used to create posters or paintings to hang in your home or your office. Try using inspirational phrases that you’re going to enjoy seeing and reading every day and that may inspire you in your life. You can also use hand lettering to create birthday cards, thank you cards, or other types of cards.  

If you really enjoy hand lettering, you can make basic cards to sell to others or sell posters, t-shirts and artwork you create with your own hand lettering designs and ideas. These can be sold online or during craft shows. Even if you don’t make a lot of money from the projects you sell, it gives you an excuse to create more and you’re going to be having fun while you make a little bit of extra money. 

In case you're not done learning, you can always give yourself extra milestones, too. Learning how handwriting flows gives you an edge to learn figure drawing and how the human figure curves and flows. 

Your handwriting may not be perfect, but if you don’t like how you write right now, you can learn how to improve handwriting. The best part is, you can have a lot of fun while you’re learning to improve your handwriting and you can end up with a new hobby you really enjoy. 

Hand lettering is fantastic handwriting practice for adults, although it can be much more than that as well. Give hand lettering a chance today to see how much you might enjoy it and to see how much your handwriting can improve by taking the time to learn how to do the lettering. View hand lettering classes now to get the help you need to start learning how to create amazing projects you’ll be proud of.  

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