To lead a well-balanced life, one must have a passion that sustains, a passion that inspires, and a passion that can keep you in shape. For the passion that pays, some people have their own small business to show for it. The one that keeps them in shape has chosen sports or activities that keep them in shape.
And lastly, for the passion that inspires, some choose arts and crafts – specifically lettering. If you are passionate about lettering, it is advisable to get the best hand lettering books to record your progress.
Having a trustworthy lettering book at your disposal will ensure that you improve your lettering skills. However, finding a good lettering book is not easy, since numerous brands are out there in the market.
If you are a beginner and want to find the best book for your lettering, this article will help you. The information included in the reviews below will guide you about the brands you may encounter during your shopping.
- Best Hand Lettering Book Reviews
- 1. Chalkfulloflove Hand Lettering 101
- 2. Whitney Farnsworth Simple Lettering
- 3. The Ultimate Guide to Modern Calligraphy
- 4. Amy Latta Hand Lettering
- 5. Paper Peony Press Calligraphy
- 6. Maghon Taylor Happy Hand Lettering
- 7. Kiley Bennett Super Simple Hand Lettering
- 8. Chalkfulloflove Hand Lettering 201
- 9. Cindy Guentert-Baldo Hand Lettering
- 10. Amanda Kammarada Workbook
- 11. Megan Wells Hand Lettering
- 12. Lettering Design Co Lettering for Beginners
- What to Look for When Buying Hand Lettering Books
- Other Important Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Hand Lettering Book Reviews
1. Chalkfulloflove Hand Lettering 101
If you want to learn lettering, knowing all fonts should be your priority. And when it comes to font training, nothing beats the Hand Lettering 101 (Modern Calligraphy Series).
I like this hand lettering worksheet. The spiral-bound looks sturdy, and the intricate gold trims add extra protection. Not only that, but the coils complement the book’s cover, which made it a total knock-out.
The size and thickness are just right and fits perfectly in my bag. It is pretty handy, and I can bring it anywhere to practice consistently.
I found this very useful as a stress reliever.
Besides, the pages are easy to write with. It contains numerous amounts of blank practice pages. The pages are thick enough to prevent bleeding of the ink on the other side. Working on inspiring words and quotes has never been this convenient.
There is plenty of room to try out different fonts and designs. I love tracing the sample provided and practice right after on the blank pages. It’s nice to scrutinize them side-by-side. With lots of practice in this book, I can say that I am now pretty confident to try my hand-lettering style and make some cards for my colleagues and relatives.
I also love that this is not as expensive compared to many other modern calligraphy books available online. Besides, the instructions are clear, simple, and easy to follow.
2. Whitney Farnsworth Simple Lettering
Having a good calligraphy practice in your bag book is a practical solution if you are a complete beginner in calligraphy. If you are looking for a dependable lettering practice book, Pretty Simple Lettering by Whitney Farnsworth can offer you the best guide.
I find this particular lettering workbook very practical. It has all of the fonts that a beginning lettering artist may want to learn. With over 128 large pages, it offers numerous tips, ideas, and tricks useful for studying a wide variety of letters and different styles.
More importantly, it is relatively simple and easy to follow because the author breaks down ten individual alphabets, including the upper and lower case letters. She also explains the different types of pens and brushes that would work for each lettering style.
Aside from the tracing, she also discussed the placement of letters and how to properly space them from one another and turn them into words. I appreciate the last section of the book, where I showed off my minimal floral calligraphy creations and made some poetry quotes that inspire me.
Believe me, this book has all the essential details and techniques for a newbie and would improve a pro’s skill. I also find the cover attractive. It was what prompted me to buy the product in the first place.
3. The Ultimate Guide to Modern Calligraphy
We can all agree that calligraphy’s beginning stage is painfully slow, especially without a reliable instruction. So if you are thinking about learning calligraphy, there can be no better book for you than The ultimate guide to Modern Calligraphy.
I chose this lettering book because it is a more affordable option than the other lettering books in the market. Plus, its beautiful cover has a premium matte-finish. With lower cost, it still offers the same quality features and content compared to other books.
Besides, it has a lot of useful information, and there are sufficient practice pages for each letter in the alphabet. Incredibly, the author even discusses the styles of pens that will work best and what font they are for.
For beginners, the instructions in this book are on point and easy to follow because of the terminology, and the meaning of those terms are well explained. It also teaches how to use brush strokes, the correct positioning of the body, and pen.
Best of all, the dedicated author provides access to download additional practice pages. Isn’t that amazing? I can print them once my sheets run out. This would also be a good introduction for my kids to learn the art and make them productive on this quarantine.
4. Amy Latta Hand Lettering
Calligraphy has a surprisingly therapeutic effect as it lets you take your mind off the things that cause stress and focus instead on creating. If you seek relief from your stressful work or environment, the best product to try is Hand Lettering for Relaxation.
The lettering book is so much better in person. I love how its set up is like a workshop. I haven’t gone through all 46 lessons because I want to work my way on each topic with diligence. So far, I’ve read about watercolor backgrounds, monograms, overlapping texts, and blending colors.
Also, I find each lesson very detailed and not overwhelming for a newbie like me. Aside from that, the pages are of high quality; they are thick, pleasant, and not heavy at all. It was well-bound and lay flat, which makes it comfortable to write on.
The fantastic embellishments, such as vines, banners, ribbons, and feathers, add interest, and enrich the pages. There are also cute doodles, lovely floral and leaf patterns on some pages. Another exciting content which I’m currently obsessed with is the advanced banners and mixing fonts.
I have been practicing for days to use these techniques in my journal and enhance my words with some flourishes. Also, the author – Amy Latta, includes some tips to digitize user creations. Cool, right? Trust me; you won’t be disappointed in the least.
5. Paper Peony Press Calligraphy
The Lettering and Modern Calligraphy by Paper Peony Press is another top-rated pick from beginners in art. You can try this to reduce the stress of staying at home during this worldwide pandemic.
I love using this calligraphy book. The layout and design are equally impressive! Also, beginners in calligraphy should consider purchasing the book as it is very reasonably priced.
I am thrilled that the author made the terms and instructions simple, detailed, and easy to understand by dividing the book into 15 fantastic projects. My favorite so far is the part about hand-lettering alphabets and connecting the letters.
Aside from the helpful upper-case and lower-case lessons, there are different fonts and embellishments to explore. Each chapter is informative, and in the end, there are projects to practice. I can utilize the practice pages to see my progress and show off what I’ve learned.
It was nice to see some notes of encouragement at the bottom of each page too! I am also grateful that I can request additional practice sheets for free by sending the author an email. This is convenient once I’ve run out of practice pages.
6. Maghon Taylor Happy Hand Lettering
If you want to escape the internet for a while, learning calligraphy through Happy Hand Lettering by Maghon Taylor is one of the worthwhile activities you can engage yourself in.
After seeing this wonderful Hand Lettering workbook online, I purchased it right away. I love how the gold spiral coils complement the book’s pretty cover. The binding also makes it conducive for long hours of practicing since it lay flat on the table. Also, this one comes with traceable pages for us to keep up with our progress.
The book is beautifully written and will show you that hand-lettering can be both fun and motivational. Compared to the other brands of black and white worksheets, this one is bright and charming. It’s like the feeling of the author radiates in this book consisting of 14 hand lettering projects. Plus, all uplifting notes and scripture verses added interest and motivated me to work harder.
I love how it comes loaded with tips and exercises that are easy to comprehend. The quality of the paper is superb. It is thick enough to prevent ink from bleeding on the other side.
Besides, the author did cover some helpful techniques for basic hand-lettering, and the narratives are something I can relate to. This is ideal for beginners who don’t want to feel too much pressure while learning and stimulating for those who share the same beliefs.
7. Kiley Bennett Super Simple Hand Lettering
Kudos to the author offering beginner calligraphy learners this helpful book. If you are also struggling to learn the first steps, try this Super Simple Hand Lettering book.
There is so much to love about this book by Kiley. Let’s start with its twenty traceable alphabets. The twenty different alphabets given in this book provide both experienced and novice writers with new styles to experiment with or use for projects. Each alphabet style comes with suggestions on where and how to apply it in projects.
In addition to font styles, the quality of the paper is remarkable. It can accommodate most ink types without bleeding on the other side.
Best of alll, the Super Simple Hand Lettering also gives you pages to exercise your creativity by making your alphabets on the practice sheet section. This feature takes learning hand lettering to a whole new level, as it helps you discover your style.
The author of this efficient hand lettering book for beginners also provides beneficial practice exercises and unique projects that make learning fun. The book’s activities and projects allow for the practice of various writing styles on different materials to give you a real experience.
You are also granted a special gallery section containing easy-to-cut-out lettering inspiration to keep yourself encouraged. And there are also brush recommendations for beginners.
8. Chalkfulloflove Hand Lettering 201
The Hand Writing 201 book by Chalkfulloflove is specially created for intermediate hand letterers, and it has so much to offer.
This beautifully designed book comes with a variety of writing styles and enough space to practice on. Intermediate writers would appreciate this book because it goes beyond basic writing styles and projects to develop their skills further.
Beginners may find this lettering book a bit challenging because it contains mostly advanced color and design techniques. However, the author already created a hand lettering book for beginners, a predecessor to the Hand Lettering 201.
Other important aspects of this book include a series of efficient projects to help cultivate your writing skills, along with beneficial tips and tricks you could utilize to take your hand lettering to the next level. The projects come in a series of six, aiming to help learners get accustomed to different writing styles.
The writer’s writing tips and tricks are the highlights of the whole book, and they genuinely help to make the best of what must have been learned through the course of the book. Hand Lettering 201 provides art enthusiasts with a colorful and fun way to learn.
9. Cindy Guentert-Baldo Hand Lettering
If you’re looking for a way to master the art of hand lettering for journal writing, getting yourself a copy of Cute Hand lettering by Cindy Guentert-Baldo would be an excellent place to start.
Hand lettering is a beautiful form of art that requires the right kind of guide to properly master, and Guentert-Baldo’s Cute Letter Hand Lettering provides just that. This book offers tips and tricks to get you started on journal hand lettering and helps take your hand-lettering skills to the next level.
Cindy’s hand lettering book is well detailed and pocket-sized, making it very convenient to move about with and practice wherever you like.
The book’s layout is quite easy to comprehend. And so beginners can easily learn by following the instructions. This hand lettering book focuses on handwriting and gives step-by-step instructions on connecting letters using different font styles.
Another impressive feature of this lettering book is the quality of the paper. It is thick enough to prevent a reasonable amount of ink from bleeding on the other side.
The best part about this book is how it inspires you to keep practicing because practice makes perfect. With no time, readers can learn to write as beautifully as expert journal hand letterers.
With seven detailed chapters, this one stands out from other books with its cute styles. It adds a sweet touch to your journal, making your style more versatile. Best of all, this creative lettering journal can be an ideal practice book for your little daughter.
10. Amanda Kammarada Workbook
The next best worksheet for you is The Hand Lettering Workbook by Amanda Kammarada. It can provide a smooth, calm, and creative way for art enthusiasts to master the art of calligraphy and hand lettering at any level.
This workbook provides a detailed guide on how to write beautifully while allowing learners to experience the simpleness and calmness that comes with hand lettering.
Most importantly, it comes with a lot of practice space to allow lettering enthusiasts to master each alphabet style and hand-lettered font at their pace.
The chapters of this book were carefully designed to guide beginner hand letterers thoroughly and provide useful tips to the experienced ones. The book also gives information about the basic principles of hand-lettering before diving into the different lettering styles.
In addition to the beautiful writing styles and fonts provided, this handbook also contains instructions on connecting those letters to create words. This particular feature makes this hand lettering book stand out among most others because learning how to apply the unique styles given in the book to actual writing crowns the whole experience.
Part of the beauty of hand lettering lies in the type of tools used, and so the hand lettering workbook by Amanda also gives users advice on the right tool kit for hand lettering for beginners.
11. Megan Wells Hand Lettering
If you are a complete beginner in calligraphy, the Hand Lettering: An Interactive Guide by Megan Wells will provide an interactive way to learn the art of drawing letters.
It has five different basic styles of hand lettering and details guides on how to do it. With this book, you learn how to draw letters and how to embellish them using watercolors, acrylic, and colored pencils.
The pages of this book are beautifully designed to capture readers’ attention and keep them engaged throughout the learning process.
I am thrilled that tutorials in combinations of texts and illustrations are provided as my children, and I can learn together. They are guides on adding decorative effects to letters and mixing up different lettering styles creatively to add flair, with enough space to practice.
Beginner hand letterers are not the only ones who find this book handy – experienced hand letterers could also fall back to it for reference and inspiration. This book walks learners from the right tools to use, down to applying different writing styles in creative projects, while doing so with the perfect balance of instructions and a workbook.
12. Lettering Design Co Lettering for Beginners
The final entry is a book professionally made for users to master the calligraphy art form. You can rely on Lettering Design Co. quality products and especially their Lettering For Beginners to start your journey, just like me.
This book is elementary with three writing fonts – script, serif, and sans serif. These fonts are lovely and can easily add a beautiful and personal touch to DIY projects.
The major upside of this book is how much space the author creates for us to practice. Since our skills can only develop with a lot of practice, this feature is indeed valuable. It is particularly helpful for slow learners who require a lot of blank space to practice over and over. So you take your time with it.
Having a lot of space to practice just a few fonts makes it easy for learners to master them in a short time, and being perfect at writing only three font styles is undoubtedly preferable to being rusty at numerous of them.
Notably, at a low price, the brand does not compromise its paper quality. I am amazed by how superior the ink and the comfort the paper brings while I practice. This book allows me to use different pens without worrying about ink bleeding and smears in the process.
After using this workbook, moving further into lettering would be more comfortable. You could even go-ahead to create simple projects with the knowledge gained.
What to Look for When Buying Hand Lettering Books
Like any other art form out there, hand lettering can seem quite complicated and too hard to do. But when it comes to art, the best thing to do is to learn, apply, and retry for a better result.
No one gets good just overnight! However, that is where the resource materials come in. Such best books for hand lettering are there to help out budding artists with the proper learning structure to master hand lettering. These are some of the essential factors to look at to pick out the right best hand lettering books for beginners!
The Right Concepts
When looking foor learn hand lettering book, look for the one that best satisfies your current needs. When talking about finding the right concept, you should look at the books you are trying to impart. Is it helpful for you as a starter? Will it cover the most basic concepts that will equip you better as you track your progress as an artist? Does it present the right theories, observations, and overall information you might need in your current skill level?
When looking for the right concepts, try to consider the current skill level you have, focusing on the things you NEED to know and not so much for the things you just WANT to now. A good book gives you a great starting point and concisely points you to the proper directions (and not just distract you with cool pictures!).
One overlooked aspect when looking for the hand lettering for beginners book with the right content for you is communication. Does the author speak your language? Do you feel more comfortable with an upbeat, sunny tone of writing? Do you respond better to easy-to-read and funny writing? Or are you more of a no-nonsense, all-technical kind of learner?
How the information is communicated can be crucial to your learning experience, and so pick the one that suits your vibe, so you don’t forget to enjoy it while learning. That is a must!
The Right Style
If I am not looking for a particular person or author, I tend to look for art books that discuss a specific art style.
Once in a while, a particular style catches your eye. Be it because of its aesthetic look, or its potential alternative uses in other forms, looking for a book that discusses a specific style allows you to know more about the form’s basics and limitations. In other words, books that will interest you about the ins and outs of a particular style are great books for your shelves.
There will be a lengthy balance of words and illustrations when it comes to books on hand lettering. However, you must not be disheartened by this (as some would expectedly be). Artbooks about style tend to go towards the explanations of theories and ideas. It tackles the process in-depth and can guide you through various application stages through a thorough and precise process explained step by step.
If you are like me who is easily intimidated by vast blocks of words (and in an art book), I would advise you to keep an open mind as style books can be like that sometimes. The good news is that with the popularity currently experienced by the art form of hand lettering, you can find the best book to learn hand lettering that is more of your style, pace, and proficiency!
After finding a book that speaks to you in a tone that pushes you to a positive learning mood, you are now to look for the best book for you when it comes to application.
When talking about the application, you are talking about two things.
The first one is a technical application. This is where we see how the author applies the techniques, concepts, and styles he/she discussed. Is this the technique that you wanted to learn? Will it help you in building your skillset to move on to the next lesson?
Much of this quality content hinges on the communication between the author and the reader. Concerning the previous factor, the actual application also needs to be properly communicated.
Assuming that you are learning hand lettering by your lonesome and are not in the presence of an art teacher. In that case, one of the most critical aspects of finding a good hand lettering practice book is the proper communication of application instructions.
Besides finding a book with the right tone and content, you also need to value the teaching instructions’ clarity!
With pace, we are taking a more specific route in terms of skill level and learning mode. The best hand lettering kit for beginners will cater to two things. First, it will cater to your learning mode. Hand lettering has become quite trendy in the past couple of years, thanks to the wonder of a little something called the internet, and one great thing that came out of it is that it has become quite accessible for everyone!
Nowadays, any aspiring artists interested in the art of hand lettering can come to a local bookstore and pick up a few reference books, as well as a handful of materials! That also means that there is a vast array of options for choosing a book suitable for your learning mode.
There are some questions you might want to ask yourself. Do you retain information by reading about details extensively? Choose an in-depth technical book! Do you learn more by seeing the results of step-by-step instructions? Choose one that appeals to you visually! Remember to choose a book that will complement how you process information and learn.
Another thing to consider when choosing a book based on pace is your current skill level. Correctly identify how high you are in the ladder, and what that level requires. Do you think you are still starting at the bottom of the ladder? Then choose the For Beginners books to have a steady foundation.
Are you quite confident in your basic skills and want to move to the next levels? There are several mid-level techniques for experienced artists out there too! Even for those at the expert level, there are still style-specific resource books available.
Choose a hand lettering book that best suits your learning style and skill level. This is so you would not be intimidated and shocked by the possible information overload, or be dragged slowly by basic lessons that you have already passed. Learning must always be fun and enjoyable, especially with hand lettering!
Now, there are many aspects to the factoring of a book’s price. It may be because of the content’s quality, the author’s expertise, the level of hardness, etc. What is important to remember is that a book’s information does not automatically influence.
There are pricey hand lettering books that can be quite a dud, and at the same time, there are affordable books that can prove to be more valuable than the price tag says.
What is important to do is balance out all the factors above and make a decision based on it. Choose the right hand lettering books for you in terms of the content, the communication, and the learning style you need at your current level. No matter what the price of your chosen book, think of this step as an investment in the artist’s future in you!
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is the best hand lettering book?
Since art is subjective, the definitive answer to this question could be entirely debatable. There are several hand lettering books written and published throughout the years, and it could be impossible to list them all down. However, some books are generally accepted as must-haves for your bookshelves, especially in the art department.
I have detailed the top ones I’ve tried above, but if I were to choose just one, I consider June & Lucy’s “The Ultimate Guide to Modern Calligraphy” as my top choice.
How does it work?
Different books will work differently, especially with art books! When it comes to finding the top-rated hand lettering books, it is mostly about two things.
First, it is about finding what skills and areas you want to improve. These are the books that will polish your fundamentals, and they hammer such concepts to you not just so you would have a vast array of styles to choose from, but also so you would know how to toy around with the limitations of the said styles! This is one of the best takeaways from studying ‘for beginner’ books!
And second, it is about finding a way to OWN the style you have learned in the past. When you have mastered the fundamentals and have seen its limitations, you must now amass knowledge on putting your little spin to it, making it dance to your rhythm.
And after you improve to the level you aspire to be in, you are now to get back to the first thing and learn something new again! The cycle of learning never stops!
Who is this for?
The top-rated hand lettering books out there can cater to all kinds of artists. They can be for budding artists trying to break into the scene, they can be practicing artists trying to hone the basics, and they can even be for those who have mastered the craft but want to tackle it with fresh eyes!
What are the different types of lettering books?
There are some different types of lettering books, as it is with all art books. They focus on various aspects of the hand lettering art form and different paces. There are author-focused books, style-focused books, and even specialty books for in-depth reading.
Many Beginner’s Guide-type of books out there give you a more general introduction to the art when it comes to skill level. Artist’s Guide-type of books are also available out there for those with advanced skill levels.
Why do you need hand-lettering books?
Although it may seem plain, the art of hand lettering is filled with complexities amidst its beautiful aesthetic. Each dot, line, and curve means something and goes somewhere, and although this might seem simple at first, it can be complicated in the application!
As is with anything, books help you understand the ins and outs of various techniques and styles. These books can help you type in different fonts, use different tricks and tips, and generally inform you about the world of hand lettering!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most trusted hand lettering book brands?
Since art is a truly subjective field, no one definite brand will be dubbed as ‘most trusted’ without encouraging long discourse and arguments. However, some books frequently turn up in most lists, like the ones we mentioned above!
What is the best way to learn hand lettering?
Like in any other art field, the key in hand lettering is continuous learning and re-learning of techniques. You need to gather specific knowledge, like techniques and tips from other artists and experts. Furthermore, finding the best hand lettering pens to use is as important.
But as we know, knowing is just half the battle. The other half is practice, practice, and practice! Other than purchasing the hardcover ones, you can also look for the hand lettering books for beginners PDF to practice more.
How can I learn lettering?
There are books available in the market that cater to beginner artists and aspiring art enthusiasts! These books can offer you the basics of the art form. With general information regarding the art form’s rich history, its uses, and basic techniques as a foundation, one can purchase now and start learning immediately!
Where to buy?
If there is one great thing about the art of hand lettering, it is that it never goes out of style! Like great art forms, it just flows with the times. It adapts with the current vibe of the era, bringing old school styles and the new school techniques and re-invents itself time and again!
Because of this constant market strength, hand lettering books are available from your town corner street bookshop and even up to the specialty art stores! There are also great resources that can be found and shipped online, making learning even more comfortable as you do it in your own homes! You can even download hand lettering workbook pdf to work on your skill.
How to care for hand lettering books?
Like any other book, there are three major rules when it comes to caring for art books. The first rule is about bookmarks. Only use proper bookmarks to care for the quality of your pages, as well as the spine. The second rule is caring for the spine, making sure it does not fall apart. And the third rule is just a simple one: it’s about keeping oily fingers off the fine pages!
If you have chosen your favorite hand lettering books. Don’t forget to check out our list of best markers for hand lettering.
When looking for the best hand lettering books for you, make sure to consider all the factors and tips that we have discussed above!
Look for the book that best captures your taste and style, while also having an excellent command of teaching and a firm grasp of techniques. And if you are having a hard time choosing, consider the one which teaches you skillful tricks and tips too!