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Faber-Castell – Hand Lettering for Beginners

What is hand lettering? 

Hand lettering is more than just creating fancy letters, it’s a form of art. Through various techniques and styles, hand lettering adds character and creativity to traditional handwriting.  Although often compared to calligraphy, the freedom behind the strokes and design of hand lettering delivers a modern twist on the classic design. 

Hand Lettering Tools: 

When learning how to hand-letter, it’s important that you have the right tools to support your work. These Faber-Castell materials are a great place to start. 

Graphite Pencils: 

Before getting started with ink, we recommend having a trusted graphite pencil on hand to create guidelines for your lettering, or even to sketch out your design. With break-resistant lead, the Castell 9000 HB sketch pencil is a great choice.

FC119000 – Castell 9000 Sketch Pencil HB 

Brush Pens: 

The most important tool when it comes to mastering hand lettering is a brush pen. Brush pens are flexible but dimensionally stable with a stroke that can vary from 1 to 5mm wide.  

An artist favorite, the brush Pitt Artist Pen is a high-quality hand lettering necessity. Available in  60 colors, Pitt Artist Pens are made with professional-quality India ink that won’t bleed through your pages, are waterproof, lightfast, and archival. These pens work beautifully on all types of paper and even canvas. Several artist-selected wallets for hand lettering are available. 

Pitt Artist Brush Pens

FC267115 – 4 Count Lettering Set

FC267116 = 6 Count Hand Lettering Set 

FC267117 – 6 Count Hand Lettering Set II

FC267118 – 8 Count Hand lettering Starter Set 

Other tools: 

While brush pens are the most important tool for hand lettering, other Pitt Artist Pen nib sizes are useful to have for embellishments such as the fineliner and the bullet nib. Once you become more comfortable with lettering, there is a world of materials to explore and incorporate into your hand lettering.  

Pitt Artist Pens

Hand Lettering Fundamentals: 


The way you hold your brush pen deeply affects the result of your stroke. Hold the brush about  2 inches above where the nib meets the barrel. If you hold the brush too close to the nib, you’ll lose the range of motion required. 


In general, you want the nib to hit the paper at a 45-degree angle. A good way to test this is to put the tip of the nib perpendicular to the paper and slowly lower your hand until your pinky finger hits the page.

Strokes & Pressure: 

When drawing, you want to pull the nib down to create a thicker stroke, and up to create a  thinner stroke. Achieve thick downstrokes by using the body of your brush pen and applying heavy pressure. Achieve thin upstrokes by using the tip of your brush pen and apply very light pressure. 

This lowercase alphabet is made up of ten basic strokes. By learning these strokes, you will not only be able to create this lowercase alphabet, but they will give you the fundamentals to begin to develop your own lettering style. 

Once you have some experience with different strokes, pick a word and practice writing that in as many different ways as you can think of. Keep experimenting until you find a style or two that you like. Then,  practice those styles and perfect them. Hand Lettering gives you creative range to make something uniquely your own.

Practice with the Help of Faber-Castell: 

Mastering hand lettering takes practice, practice, and more practice! Try out one of our lettering kits with workbooks for further tips, techniques, and inspiration. 

FC770411T – Modern Calligraphy Kit

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