The Resurgence of Sign Painting and Hand-Lettering

Posted: 30/08/2017 by Lewis Astridge

We now live in an age where ideas are driven by technology, innovation, perfection and efficiency. Our communication is driven by clean uniform fonts and colourful emojis. Any form of tangible messaging has now lost its personal connection in exchange for pixel perfect text and the urge to save seconds in our daily lives. Lost in a field of repetitive clichés, businesses strive to be individual and stand out. But how can they do these things when current design trends provide everyone with the same core toolkit?

Hand lettering offers the opportunity to express a product and or service while maintaining the human connection. As the designs are done by hand no two works will be identical which adds diversity and individuality. Pre-existing fonts and assets aren’t used which allows the art to be customised to suit the client’s product. As there are no limitations it opens the style up to infinite industries.

Here’s a quick guide on how to do hand lettering:

  1. Gather your basic tools: pencil, pen, ruler and eraser
  2. Find some plain or grid paper. If you selected plain paper, then use your ruler to draw some guidelines. Your grid is your guide. Trust the lines; use them to manage your work. They’ll help you with your spacing and consistency.
  3. Decide on a font style; serif, sans-serif or script
  4. Sketch out your letters and words. Draw the same word multiple times. Due to its organic nature you will receive a different result each time.
  5. Once you’re happy with what you have, you can move to the final stages of inking. Alternatively, if you’re familiar with a vector program such as Adobe Illustrator you can scan the sketch and trace it.

Try the 26 day challenge. Each day draw a different letter of the alphabet. You could do just the letter or a word starting with that letter.

Practice, practice, practice!