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Instagram is filled with photos and images of fancy calligraphy and talented font writers that inspire us to pick up a pen and doodle the day away writing mottos and our favourite quotes. We want to be able to write like these people do.
But what happens when your handwriting just isn’t that pretty?
We looked at ways to make your lettering look like it belongs in an art gallery...
#1 - Start at the beginning
If we’re going to be able to create works of art we have to be realistic, it’s going to take time. Be patient and start from the beginning. Copy some of the lettering from free printables such as this one by Liz On Call or take inspiration from some Instagram accounts such as @calligraphynerd or search Pinterest, and try to replicate what they achieve. Going back to basics and spending time copying individual letters can really help build a portfolio for you to reflect on.
#2 - Don’t stick to one font
Whilst you’re learning how to write individual letters try practicing different fonts. Build up a portfolio of different designs you can use later on, this will be a life saver when you have a quote you really want to write but don’t know what font to pair it with.
#3 Relax your hands
One important tip that we’ve learnt from calligraphers is to relax your writing hand to ensure that your ink flows smoothly. Being tense means your writing becomes stunted and too precise, when ideally you want your fonts to look like they flowed from the pen to page.
You should want to practice your lettering because it’s something that you find fun. So don’t tense up, relax and enjoy the concentrating on writing as a way to forget about the stresses of everyday life.
#4 - Find a pen that suits you
Invest in a really good fountain or calligraphy pen that will make writing a pleasure rather than causing painful hand cramp. One of our favourite pens to doodle the hours away is the Kaweco Liliput Copper Fountain Pen. This small and compact pen becomes mighty in the hand when you start writing. Its thin body with smooth curvature fits comfortably in the palm and its medium fountain nib allows ink to flow smoothly from the pen.
Or if you’re really committed to hand lettering why not try a calligraphy pen. The Lamy Joy Calligraphy set is what font dreams are made of. It’s the perfect set to get you started as it includes a calligraphy pen with 3 interchangeable nibs allowing you to vary your line length and create intricate designs. It’s also the perfect gift for any stationery addict as it comes in a beautiful metal presentation tin.
So ditch the chewed and broken bic that you’ve had for years and treat yourself to a proper hand lettering pen that will make your fonts come to life.
#5 Experiment with ink
Our favourite thing about calligraphy and fonts is the ability to create designs with so many different beautiful inks. Match the ink to suit your personality. Maybe treat yourself to Diamine’s Pink Glitz, a beautiful and shimmering ink that is perfect to create magical designs.
Or if you’d rather create traditional designs try using Kaweco’s Fountain Pen Ink cartridges. Available in deep blues, light violets and mystical greens these refills are really easy to change and put in your fountain pen, meaning you can vary your ink depending on the designs you’re creating or your mood.
#6 - Practice makes perfect
Be realistic. It takes time to create beautiful designs, so don’t feel the pressure to rush yourself and get it perfect first try. Practice on scrap pieces of paper, allow yourself to make mistakes and don’t always compare yourself to the perfect designs you see on Instagram. It’s a great way to practice mindfulness and disconnect from everyday stresses.
However, if all else fails then you can always start tracing your favourite lettering, we won’t tell anyone!
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