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By Danielle Fritz | Friday, September 18, 2015

Hand Lettering Challenges for Designers

hand lettering challenges

All designers need a little inspiration now and then.

I was coming off of a draining advertising art-director role, feeling burnt out and desperate to revive my passion for the craft of design.

Intrigued by the hot hand-lettering trend, and having always harbored a love of sketching and typography, I set about creating mini hand-lettering challenges for myself—to take my design skills to the next level.

I won’t lie—it took time and persistence to learn these skills.

But in just a few years I’ve built a large reference library and growing portfolio of work, improved my ability to sketch multiple styles quickly, gained confidence in my lettering and illustration abilities, and pushed my conceptual thinking and writing skills.

And whether you’re new to hand-lettering or a seasoned pro, you can benefit from these challenges, too.

Give them a try!

By Trish Meyer | Monday, September 14, 2015

Try Your Hand at Calligraphy! Start with These Pens

calligraphy tools

As a typoholic with a vast type library, I always thought I could find the perfect font for every job. But so often when designing a motion-graphics opening for a video client, I found the title required a more personal touch than even the most charming “handwriting” font.

So I decided to learn calligraphy.

Calligraphy is “continuous writing” with little to no touching up, and it ranges from very formal to very expressive. Depending on which calligraphic script (also known as style or hand) you want to write, you’ll need either an edged pen or a pointed pen.

Here’s a Just-Enough-to-Be-Dangerous Guide to traditional calligraphy pens. I’ve included a pair of videos so you can see how these tools work, along with a link to a Resources page if you’d like to do further research.

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 1.40.44 PM

By Von Glitschka | Monday, August 17, 2015

Conquering a Hand-Lettering Challenge—Fearlessly


Over the last three years I’ve branded the local TEDx event here in my hometown of Salem, Oregon. This year’s theme was “Fearless,” which made me think a lot about my own fear of failure in the context of design and creativity.

The logos I had designed for the previous two TEDx Salem events were what I’d call aesthetically “clean” and they were appropriate—but clean just didn’t seem fearless to me.

So I decided to try something I’d never done before and to ignore any fear of failure. I wasn’t sure it would work, but I wouldn’t let fear stop me.

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