Hand Lettering

Each month, I’ve been focusing more on one goal for the year over the others, setting aside a few hours a week to one goal instead of trying to fit them all in. This has been making it easier to dedicating more time to them rather than spreading myself too thin by trying to do a little of them all. One of my goals was to work on my hand lettering skills, and having only taken a calligraphy and letterform class in design school, I wanted to practice it more and get better.

Over the month of May, I practiced as often as possible—which ended up not being that much, but much more than I had before—and, though I still need to work a lot more, I can definitely see an improvement from just one month alone! Some were done quickly, some when I had a few hours to spare, so the quality varies. Overall, I definitely felt like I had improved by the end. (Also, if anyone has tips or books on lettering, please share!)

Here are a few pages of work I’ve been doing over the course of the month:

After doing some on paper, I wanted to try vectorizing a piece of lettering to use in a full design, and because I’m already working on redesigning book covers of some favorite books to add to my portfolio, I though I’d give it a try and add some lettering to my redesigned cover of The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. I’m not entirely happy with it—my lettering skills still need a lot of work, but it was still worth it to try out.

I also designed the cover without the lettering, which I prefer anyway, to go into my portfolio. I did it in a few different color options, and I think I prefer the white cover with the single star shape.


Monthly Selections: March 2016

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

A beautiful, rough look into two odd teens who fall in love in the 80s and deal with their families, school, and each other. Eleanor & Park is such a good book and it’s now at the top of my list of favorite contemporary YA. Cute and heartbreaking and incredible.


In Progress by Jessica Hische

After it was recommended to me, I bought illustrator, designer, and letterer Jessica Hische’s In Progress, a look into her process and the work she’s done. Since I’ve been wanting to practice my hand-lettering skills ever since the calligraphy class I took a few semesters ago, I was really excited to get this and I’m ready to look to this for inspiration for practicing my skills.

Birdy – “Keeping Your Head Up”

I’ve listened to Birdy a few times, especially her rendition of “White Winter Hymnal,” which I listen to all the time in my usual rotation of playlists. Her newest song, “Keeping Your Head Up” is beautiful and I dig the video’s style and costumes.

Design Obsession

It’s a toss up between these Caran d’Ache pencils and their packaging/the wrappers for Mast Brothers chocolate bars.