Trend Requiem – Hand Lettering

By Taheerah | 23rd January 2014 | 16 Comments

Hey everyone! Happy Thursday – and welcome to the first instalment in my new series: Trend Requiem!

From yesterday’s warm-up post:

Trend Requiem is an exciting new feature I’m bringing to my blog. Following my Moxie Fab World post of the same name back in December 2013, I felt compelled to turn that one-off into a regular feature for my own blog! Once or twice a month, I’ll be providing an in-depth and inspiring look at a particular trend in our industry.  With a combination of inspirational images, prose and product round-ups, I hope to leave you feeling excited, inspired and ready to try out these trends for yourself!

Our first instalment focuses on a trend that is hotter than a Summer’s day and is infusing itself more and more into our crafty world: Hand Lettering!

I am completely loving the resurgence in time-honoured techniques lately. There seems to be a focus shifting toward the true meaning of ‘craftsmanship’. Letterpress is one such example that has seen a recent surge in popularity, and with other traditional techniques such as paper-cutting, quilling and origami, it seems we really want to take control back from the clutches of the digital world and evoke the feel of tradition and hark back to a simpler time and use our hands. Hand Lettering fits in perfectly with this ethos, and with the beauty and skill involved in this perfectly penned art form it is easy to see why.

Last year we saw chalkboard take centre stage as a trend, and it was only natural that hand lettering would follow hot on its heels. The two are a perfect marriage:

Christmas Chalkboard Card

Fancy Chalkboard Lettering

The Lost Art of Hand Lettering
Source: Pinterest Source: Pinterest Source: Pinterest

But hand lettering encompasses a much broader spectrum than expert wielding of a quill or compelling use of chalk – and its applications vary far and wide between the commercial and the creative worlds:

Advertising et Marketing:

Hand lettering created by M Saatchi for the Australian Government

Jessica Hische - Starbucks

seed circus ♥ the transcontinental affair
Source: Pinterest Source: Pinterest Source: Pinterest

Products et Branding:

Esquire hand-lettered cover

Charlie’s Quenchers, by Brother Design Ltd

Flour Pot Bakery design by Sarah Nicely
Source: Pinterest Source: Pinterest Source: Pinterest

By now you’re seeing that hand lettering is not merely confined to calligraphic flourishes but is an expression as unique and individual as the artists themselves:


Alphabet by denisedaysmith on Flickr

40+ Excellent Hand-Lettering Inspirations | GoMediaZine

grafikr: Città Del Vino 2014
Source: Pinterest Source: Pinterest Source: Pinterest

Even calligraphy itself has moved with the times and embraced a modern, freer style:

Custom Calligraphy Return Address Stamp -- Mixed Calligraphy and type by AngeliqueInk on Etsy

Hand written calligraphy address on

40+ Excellent Hand-Lettering Inspirations
Source: Pinterest Source: Pinterest Source: Pinterest

So what of our world? Here are just a handful of beautiful examples created by some of the hottest designers in our circles:

A to Z...You! by Jocelyn Olson

Love Notes Release – Day 2- More Uses for Pocket Die by Nina Yang

Hero Arts Catalogue Hop by Julie Ebersole
Source: Jocelyn Olson – digital element Source: Nina Yang – stamping Source: Julie Ebersole – stamping

*Fill Your Paper With The Breathings of Your {Heart}*: Shoot For The Moon

Glitter Makes Everything Better by Laurie Willison
Source: Taheerah Atchia – hand penned Source: Laurie Willison – die cutting

So how can you create the look of hand lettering yourself? There are a variety of products out there for the beginner and experienced alike.

There are several stamp sets on the market which embrace the hand lettered look:

WPlus9’s Valentine Wishes is a go-to staple in my crafting arsenal. I hope they release an all-round sentiments follow-up!:

Avery Elle’s Oh Happy Day is free-flowing, versatile style at its best:

New kid on the block Winnie & Walter’s The Big, the Bold, and the Happy features beautiful big hand-lettering style sentiments with some companion sentiments in a sympathetic type:

Technique Tuesday’s Incredible lends a touch of realistic whimsy:

Mama Elephant’s Confetti featues just plain beautiful handwriting:

There are a growing number of dies that take the hassle out of the handwritten:

Avery Elle’s Simply Said: Love:

Simon Says Stamp’s Brilliant And Strong:

Paper Smooches’ Hello Words:

There are even stickers and paper collections getting in on the penmanship parade:

Heidi Swapp Vintage Chic Buzz Words epoxy stickers:

Studio Calico Printshop Rub-On Words:

Studio Calico Printshop Collection Papers:

Those with an electronic die-cutting machine or who scrapbook and/or use digital elements in their cardmaking will appreciate the versatility of fonts, and there are countless free fonts available for download which have a handwritten look:

Finally, if you’re wishing to try your own hand (pun unintentional) at calligraphy and hand lettering, a number of online classes are popping up all over the web:

Melissa Epslin’s I Still Love Calligraphy Course ($95) – the cost may appear prohibitive but a unique aspect includes personal feedback and critique from Melissa herself:

Kal Barteski’s Life Scripted Brush Script Class via Studio Calico ($40 with discount available for Studio Calico Kit subscribers) – enrolment through to 31st January, with class commencing 1st February:

Introduction to the Art of Modern Calligraphy Course via Skillshare ($20 with discount codes available) – taught by renowned calligrapher and lettering illustrator Molly Jacques, this course will give you a thorough grounding for developing your own unique style:

Calligraphy supplies are also linked in Melissa’s class and the Skillshare class, but in my honest opinion your best option is to source a local or online/mail order art supplies service which specialises in these products once you develop your skill beyond the basic.

Some tips for personal penmanship:

Loosen your wrists and movements with gentle stretching and warm-up exercises
• For the beginner tracing over examples of type will help you get a feel for your tools and the movements involved in penning letters
Experiment with different tools and techniques
Practice, practice, practice!

I have created a special Pinterest Board for this topic where you will find a veritable treasure trove of inspiration, products, paper crafting examples and more! And I also have a separate Fonts et Typography Pinterest Board is you are looking for something specific to the font department!

Hand lettering is a truly exquisite art form and one that I expect to endure in popularity for quite some time. This is a skill that bridges generation and cultural gaps and encompasses everything from the whimsical to the elegant! I hope I’ve left you feeling inspired to try this trend yourself, and I would love your feedback on this post and any follow-up questions or suggestions you may have!

Make something beautiful today!

Useful Links & Supplies:

16 thoughts on “Trend Requiem – Hand Lettering”

  1. Way to run with this feature, and so excited we're going to see more of it!! Lots of eye-candy here and resulting inspiration. Hand lettering is so hot right now, and I'm loving it even more than the chalkboard trend. Loving the work of Kal Barteski, and her partnership with Amy Tan. Saw she had a feature on Blurb today … check out the video:

    You are so ambitious Taheerah, love to see all your ideas take direction here.

  2. A truly excellent post, Teheerah! I am a big lover of hand lettering too so this is a wonderful resource. As Julie stated above thanks for including Winnie & Walter alongside such awesome company! I look forward to reading many more installments from this inspiring new feature.

  3. Taheerah, this post is outstanding! We are so honored that you gave Winnie & Walter a shout out – I'm tickled pink!!! And I saw your pinterest board with all of the fab projects too! I loved all of the examples in the post *sigh* – thanks so much!!!

  4. the time, effort, love and professionalism in this feature is so evident. Excellent post!! I think it is my favorite feature of them all!

  5. This is a fabulous post, Taheerah! Thanks for including my card. 🙂 I've been thinking about taking the Molly Jacques course, although I don't know if I want to get into one more set of crafty supplies. ha ha I LOVE the look of hand-lettering!

  6. Great job! I mastered a specific style of lettering during my college days where I learned to print a certain style for architectural blueprint drawings. It has stayed with me and I love it. Great writing you did here!

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