Hand lettering tutorials on Illustrated typography and hand lettering. Jennifer Coyle Skillshare class assignment #the100daychallenge

Hand lettering tutorial and projects

Hand lettering is like sketching; with a little practice you can get surprising results. A recent hand lettering tutorial inspired me to begin filling my sketchbooks with lots of illustrated type. The beauty of hand lettering is that there’s no pressure to be exact!  I am really enjoying the challenge of illustrating type! Hand lettering was also an assignment from MATS Bootcamp this month, which I didn’t get to finish but I did do the last illustration on this post.

Each week I try and watch at least one tutorial on line, to glean wisdom from, and develop  as an illustrator. Fonts or calligraphy and hand lettering have been on my wish since the increase of editorial needs with clients. It is something I have wanted to do and a challenge yet overcome!

Like pattern design, hand lettering has slowly begun to creep its way into my illustration work. I discovered a hand lettering tutorial recently, that not only delved into the process of lettering by hand, but also taught how to transform the drawing into an actual font that can be used on computers. Didn’t the drooling start after that!?

I enrolled in a hand lettering tutorial class by Jennifer Coyle titled, Paper to Digital – Create Your Own Hand Drawn Font. This is what I have done so far…

Stage 1: Hand lettering tutorial

In Jennifer’s hand lettering tutorial she gave an easy to understand introduction on the anatomy and terms of type. Recommending we begin in our own hand writing and without reference, I began. I don’t usually write as curly and ornate as my project font, however I do scribe on an angle, and often draw rounded or ornate and curly shapes when I sketch randomly.

I began with all caps (as recommended) and a hard grey-lead pencil. I used a HB, 0.3 mechanical pencil on blue graph paper grid which I downloaded from the Internet. I didn’t draw the letters P or O. They will be an edited version of the letters R and Q eventually. After scanning and revising, I noticed my letter X needed widening.

This was my rough.

First stage of hand lettering tutorial

Stage 2: Hand lettering tutorial

The next step was to trace over the letters in a softer, 0.5 2B mechanical pencil.

You where then instructed to trace your drawing in ink but I detoured slightly. I opened up Photoshop and coloured the image using the hue and saturation setting. I also made it semi-transparent to print it out lightly. This was so I my lines would be much darker than my print out when scanning again. Also the red line would be easier to remove being a different colour from black in Photoshop.

Second stage of hand lettering tutorial

Stage 3: To be continued but…

The project isn’t finished as yet. I will need to return to the hand lettering tutorial to figure out the computer font side of this process and download a program to complete it. I also have to finish drawing my font.

Since beginning this project, I have sketched and inked lettering like an obsessed woman! It is so much fun and up until now I never realised this.

Here are some examples of what I have been doing since and the lettering I did for the MATS assignment. There is more on my Instagram account as I decided to do a 100 day hand lettering challenge. Yes – I’m hooked!

Anyone else out there with this addiction? I warn you – it’s like chocolate!

Hand lettering tutorial inspired inking
Hand Lettering Tutorial. Inspirational typography for my collection
Hand Lettering Tutorial. MATS Bootcamp Global poster lettering

Lastest updates:

We reach over 1100 likes on my Facebook account and we are heading toward 600 on my relatively new Instagram account — yay! It is great to have others to share my sketchbook with!

My website and logo is undergoing a makeover so things will be moving around just for now. I have lots of changes going on as I am developing courses and freshening up the galleries.

I have some exciting things happening – very soon! My next post will be one of the many celebrations this year…stay tuned!

2 replies
  1. Jenn Coyle
    Jenn Coyle says:

    Hey Kayleen – your work is so beautiful and I love following you on Instagram and seeing what you’re doing with lettering. I’m glad that you’re a fellow lettering addict! Thanks for sharing my class 🙂

    • Kayleen
      Kayleen says:

      Hi Jennifer!

      Thanks for coming across to my website too! Your class was great. I had no idea how to make font and can’t wait to add that to my list of adopted creative passions ha ha ha! I have yet to run out of curiosities. Forever a student I think.

      I’d love to see your final illustration of the crow. It is only a thumbnail. Is it anywhere on line? Post a link if you like 🙂


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