© 2016 by The Crafthood.  Newcastle & Durham, UK

The Crafthood Ltd

Co No: 11988590

What is Brush Lettering

September 30, 2019


The question we get asked the most about lettering is 'What is brush lettering?'. It's not surprising that this is commonly asked; a brief google search interchanges terms such as 'hand lettering', 'modern lettering', 'modern calligraphy', 'brush calligraphy', 'brush script' and 'brush lettering', confusing huh?


For us brush lettering is, mark making with a brush to create letter forms.  Sure it can be calligraphic in style but the good thing is it doesn't have to be. In fact mixing up the style of letters is one of the things that gives brush lettering such personality.  Brush lettering differs from [what we cover in] modern calligraphy in terms of the tools used (brush over nib) but also in the general feel of this type of lettering.  As with modern calligraphy there is a basic rule of, thin up strokes and thick down strokes, but the use of a brush over a nib makes this a far freer experience with less easily anticipated results.  The different marks are made by adjusting the pressure and direction of the brush.


We love brush lettering for its versatility, we have used it across a number of products and projects.  You can see from the examples that choices around the style of brush lettering can have a huge impact on the overall look of the finished item.


Brush lettering encourages difference. It can be illustrative in style. It has personality and is incredibly relaxing to practice.  Due to its focus on movement to create smooth lines brush lettering is incredibly mindful, allowing you time to stop which in our fast paced and increasingly digital world is a blessing.  When you practice and nurture the skills, you notice quick development and increased understanding of the materials used in brush lettering.  


The choice of materials can be vast but essentially all you need to get started is a brush, some ink (or a brush pen) and paper. Through experimentation, you notice how different tools and  techniques effect the final result for example, deciding to move the brush quickly will produce a very different style to slow and steady movement.

We see people catch the brush lettering bug at all of our workshops. Often we receive comments about how much of a flow people get into and how they didn't think about anything else whilst they were practicing.  Concentrating on the mark you are making and the pressure you are applying to the brush means it is pretty tricky to concentrate on anything else - ideal if you are looking for a feel good activity to de-stress!



Workshops are a great way to get a firm foundation of lettering and to meet a bunch of like minded folks.  There are increasing numbers of lettering workshops available, if you'd like to join our #letteringlovers tribe you can find out all about our range of lettering workshops here.


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