Organising, arranging and representing text is a real art. Hand lettering is probably its most common name, but as with many things, some people call it other things and there aren’t clear dividing lines.
Regardless of its correct name, this skill can be Hand lettering can be a useful skill for Sketchnoters. After all, the same organisation and graphical prioritisation in Hand lettering is a key idea in sketchnoting.
With that in mind I decided to put together a list of useful hand lettering books that are great for beginners (and beyond) to start developing some more interesting lettering styles.
1. Hand lettering ledger
The hand lettering ledger by Mary kay is a beautiful hardback book with plenty of exercises. Not only does it guide you through some different styles of lettering, but it also has pages and pages for you to practice in.
The only issue I had was the fear of “ruining” my book…so grab some tracing paper or thin paper and write on top. The book covers a lot of different styles and has practice exercises as you go and has practice exercises at the end.
2. Art of Hand Lettering
The art of hand lettering also has a lot of chances to practice (see a pattern here) but takes a slightly different approach. Stefan looks a bit more at the origins of type and then has activities to cover those styles.
Then there are some simple compositions you can copy before moving on to more complicated ones. Buy the Art of Hand Lettering
3. Take a lettering journey
Heather Martinez invites us to join her in a journey across the United States of lettering. We travel to different locations with their own styles, reflected in hand lettering fonts.
On our way, you’ll meet other travellers who are ahead of you and have adapted these styles for themselves.
Buy Take a Lettering Journey
4. Caligrapher’s Bible
The calligrapher’s bible is a collection of almost 150 pages of different calligraphy alphabets, with instructions on how to write in these styles, as well as some instructions for pen use and flourishing.
This is a great reference book to get ideas and to explore different styles. Buy the Calligrapher’s Bible
I’m sure there are many more great hand lettering books and I look forward to finding more to recommend. If there are any you’d like to recommend, leave your suggestion below.