Have you struggled with creating even spacing, sizing and lettering in your hand lettering? It can be really difficult as a beginner! I know we focus a lot on letter formation, but spacing and sizing can often be a struggle spot. I wanted to share some things that I think might be helpful for you! Here are 6 quick tips for getting your letters even and proportionate.
Step 1: Practice Using Lined Paper
The first thing I would recommend is to practice using lined paper. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, although I wouldn’t recommend using rough paper on brush pens due to fraying. But using lined paper can help to keep you writing all of your letters to be the same size.
The lined paper that I’m using is just one that I created, and I am happy to share this one with you for free! Simply find the form at the bottom of this page titled “READY TO START?”.
I personally just print them out right on my home printer, but like I mentioned, I would recommend a smoother paper if you’re using brush pens that could get frayed. I personally use HP Premium Paper because it’s amazingly smooth yet very affordable!
Step 2: Think Of Letters As Individual Strokes
Step two is to Think of letters as individual strokes and not one long word. When we write the word all in one thought or one stroke, it can be hard to get consistent sizing because we’re worrying about so many things. For example, I may be focusing on our thick and thin strokes, which letter comes next or keeping my pen going so that I don’t get a choppy connection. But when you take it stroke by stroke, you can focus more on the little details that can make such a big difference in your handlettering.
Step 3: Write Slowly
Step 3 is to GO SLOWLY. I feel like this is such a frequently talked about topic, but so many of you have told me that watching real-time lettering is so helpful. I letter pretty slowly unless I’m using worksheets and again, it just helps me to pay attention to the details, rather than paying attention to things that could be a little bit more routine. When I’m writing quickly, I’m just trying to keep the flow of my writing going so it ends up being sloppy or messy. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to letter as slowly as I do. But by intentionally focusing on what you’re doing, your sizing can become a lot more even and your lettering may look a lot more polished.
Step 4: Discover The Best Pen (for you!)
Step 4 is to find the best pen… FOR YOU. And that last part, for you, is super important!! Not every pen is great for every person. In the video above I’m sharing a few pens that I find that I can create really even lettering with. Oddly enough, many of the tips are pretty similar. They are also super flexible and bounce back really well. This is just my preference and yours might look totally different than this! But pay attention to which pens you’re always grabbing first or which ones you used in the pieces that you’ve noticed your lettering looks really top notch in.
Step 5: Use Practice Worksheets
Step 5 is to use practice worksheets! I don’t think it’s any secret that I love lettering practice worksheets! To be honest, they take quite a long time to make because I draw them by hand onto the iPad, and I wouldn’t have put all of that time into them if I didn’t think they worked! But I really do think that if you letter consistently with lettering worksheets, they can help you to develop that rhythm you need to create even letters.
These are my 1000 Words worksheets where I have written out over 1000 words to practice. This worksheet bundle is HUGE and again, I try to make stuff that think will be super helpful! So even though it might feel a bit excessive to have over 1000 words to practice, I wanted people to feel like they were getting tons of great practice materials when they purchased this printable! You can find this worksheet by clicking here!
One thing that I have noticed is that over the course of my years of making lettering worksheets, my own hand lettering has become more consistently even. I can’t be 100% sure that is what has caused it, but if you go back and watch my older videos – and please don’t cringe too hard at my newbie videos! – you can see that my lettering style is just sooo different than it is now. I really started to notice that it changed around the time that I made my Simplified Lettering Beginner Bundle and it just makes me feel like I am actually becoming a product of my own lettering worksheets which is super fun!
Step 6: Don’t Try For Perfection
And step 6, which is really important, is please please please don’t make perfection your goal in hand lettering!
I have fallen into this trap when creating products, thinking that if a couple of my letters weren’t absolutely identical that people would be upset, but I finally came to realize that this is still hand lettering! You are not using typed up fonts and you are not a computer!
Don’t hold yourself to that standard because the beauty of creating hand lettering its that it’s made by you! Evenly spaced and consistently sized lettering can really help you to have a polished lettering style, but don’t mistake polished for perfection. Make sure to let your unique self shine through!
So I hope that those 6 tips were helpful for you! Don’t forget to grab your free lined printable practice worksheet below!