So I’ve been cooped up inside bored as hell on a Saturday with hay fever and I fell down a YouTube hole watching videos about hand lettering and I thought I’d share my favourites with you because I’m nice like that.

You may have seen some of the projects where I’ve used hand lettering, most recently this tattoo-style t-shirt design for Naturally Kind Foods


then there was this guide, Top Tips for Working with Trans People for TransBareAll

Top Tips for working with Trans People cover

and I also did this illustration for CIO Connect magazine a while back which is probably the first time I tried it.move to the cloud

1) Go with the flow

So anyways, first thing first is getting your hand flow right – the way you hold your hand and the way your arm moves across the page. Here is someone who goes by the name of Cream5 on YouTube and I like him because he has a very sexy voice and occasionally swears. But possibly more importantly than these things is that he convinced me to go back to basics with some really simple shapes and to concentrate on getting more flow into my work.

2) Write letters

The next step once you’ve got your drawing hand all limber is to practise your lettering skills. Here is a guy just messing around with a brush pen and he just makes it look so easy. It’s soundtracked by Radiohead’s song Daily Mail which is somewhat discombobulating but hey, go with it.

3) Lettering how-to

If you’re new to hand brush lettering then it is totally worth watching some videos featuring Glen Weisgerber. He looks amazing – like he was a roadie for Frank Zappa – and he paints exquisitely. I guarantee that watching this video will make you at least 15% more masculine.

4) Lay it all out

The next step is to work on the layout. This is a good video by someone called MadeByMarzipan. I’m not the greatest fan of her style and the music is so twee it makes a vintage photo of a pug wearing a sailor suit look like something by H R Giger. But she’s got a good way of explaining how she comes up with the layout of her pieces so it is totally worth a look.

5) Preparation is everything

In this short video – not exactly a tutorial but useful still – we can see all of the intricate guidelines and preparation that Christoph Mueller lays down before inking his spectacular work. The amount of prep you do is entirely personal and also will depend on the style of lettering you’re using – have to confess I don’t know if I’d have the patience for this but my it is beautiful.

6) Take a tablet

Here’s a great video by Laura Coyle about hand-lettering directly into Adobe Illustrator using a Wacom tablet. I don’t know if it’s a way I’d ever want to work – I just love drawing by hand too much – but I might give it a go seeing how quick it is.

7) Be a goddamn genius

Hand-inking, tracing, scanning, photoshopping, jaw-dropping. This is the level of skill and dedication we’re aiming for, my good people.

So anyway, those are the vids I liked the best. Hope you enjoyed them as much as I did.