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  1. I really enjoyed reading your post on lettering! I’m fairly new to it although I jump in from time to time! I’d have to day the bounce lettering info was really helpful as I find it really difficult to give that sort of flair to my lettering. It’s what I live about hand lettering but what I find most difficult! I’ve practiced A LOT and for done reason I really struggle with knowing when to go up or down etc. which I think is vital in giving your work flair! Do you have any resources,
    tips or tricks, etc. that might help me develop those skills? I just can’t seem to figure out when or what I should keep consistent and when, what or how much I should “bounce”. I love this type of art and I try to improve my skills but often get frustrated.

  2. Thanks so much for this amazing article! I am a calligrapher and have a shop on Etsy called LetteringHeaven. SO many good tips in here!

  3. Shelby, thank you so much for going into so much detail. Nib calligraphy still really scares me but seeing your results makes me want to give it a go!

  4. Hands down the best brush lettering resource. I keep coming back to this ALL the time! πŸ’œ

  5. Amazingly detailed and hands down the best tutorial, thank you for sharing your knowledge Shelby!

  6. Hi Shelby! Thank you for this awesome beginners guide to lettering! I appreciate all the details and information you have provided. I just bought some of the pens you suggested and I can’t wait to get started!

    1. I’m thrilled that you found this article helpful! Enjoy lettering with your new pens πŸ™‚

  7. Yvonne Z. says:

    Hi. Best tutorial I found. Thank you for all the help!

  8. Ellie Davis says:

    Hi, just getting starting with lettering and need to know about spacing between letters. I appreciate any information you can give. Thank you

    1. Hey Ellie! The amount of space you put between letters is very much a stylistic choice. You can do very close together or very spaced out. The only things you need to try to focus on are 1) consistency — make sure you keep the spacing consistent throughout the word, and 2) readability — don’t squish the letters together or space them way out if that makes the word unreadable. Readability should always be the main goal with lettering!

      I hope that helps ?

  9. Deb Lundstrom says:

    Hi Shelby! I am in love with the navy blue notebook you used in the 3-24-20 email. I’ve been searching on-line, but have had no luck. Did you make that yourself? Could you, please, let me know how I can get one?

    Thanks for sharing your talents and being so generous!

  10. Hi Shelby, I just started Bujo in Feb 2020 so I’ve enjoyed your site. Thank you for your thorough handlettering article! My mom was a professional Calligrapher for many years before computers took over. She did thousands of envelopes for weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, anniversaries as well as poems and other specialty items. One of her popular services was white ink on black paper – she used a nib pen and then we had to individually spray each envelope with a light coat of clear spray paint so the ink wouldn’t run or rub off in the mail! This was in the 1980s! My father, brother and I write in classic chicken scratch!

    1. How cool that your mom was an actual professional calligrapher! That is so neat ? I love hearing stories like this, thank you!

  11. Thank you for this! I subscribed to your newsletter and look forward to this learning journey!

    Can you speak more about the special needs us lefties have? I have trouble with flex nibs; some stub nibs for note taking do not work too well for me as well. I will try the tombow for some fun lettering and see how it works.

    1. I’m thrilled that you enjoyed this post! I wish I could speak more on the troubles that lefties face in lettering, but since I haven’t personally dealt with those challenges, I can’t really offer advice on how to overcome them. However, I may compile a list of a few lefty letterers to add to this post so you have some further reading.

      I hope you enjoy the Tombows! Thanks again for this feedback ?

      1. Thank you, yes please do.

        I will look into purchasing some of your guides as soon as I figure out the best comfortable method for me to write cursive and fun lettering.

  12. Im driving myself knuts! i bought a nib calligraphy kit on Amazon. Got it out and practiced some. Got really frustrated as I didn’t do as good as I wanted to. I want to learn nib calligraphy mostly but also hand lettering and all that goes with that. Does it matter which one I learn first? Is there a better one to learn first?

    1. Nib calligraphy is a tough nut to crack when you first get into it! Brush lettering and nib calligraphy are two practices that rely on a lot of the same movements and techniques, but they require very different tools. As far as I can tell, there isn’t one that is better to learn first — both have their own unique challenges. However, once you start to gain skills in one, you will have a better jumping-off point for the other since the base techniques are similar.

      If you already have the materials for nib calligraphy, I’d say to just keep on working with that. There’s no need to go buy brush pens right now (unless you want to, of course!). It’s always rough at first, but as you continue to practice, you will have an easier time with calligraphy. I hope that helps and good luck!

  13. Now that was a LONG guide. But it was worth reading it. Your style is great, I love your “r”. πŸ™‚
    Although I am lettering since some years some of your tipps were new to me. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Wow! I’ve doing lettering for the past year (from watercolor, brush pens, and pointed pen calligraphy) and this guide is seriously the most concise overview of everything I’ve studied. So nice to have this list of basic supplies and info to forward to my friends and family that want to get started with lettering. Thanks for compiling it!

    1. I’m so glad you liked this guide. I put so much time into creating this guide, and really do hope it can help people pick up this incredible hobby!

  15. Hi, this was really helpful!!!
    Just wondering…
    How long does it take to get muscle memory for brush lettering if you practice eg. 10-15 mins a day?

    1. It will vary from person to person, but you will grow incredibly fast if you letter every day for ten minutes! I can’t say exactly when my muscle memory took over, but I also didn’t practice that regularly. If you practice that much, you will certainly see improvements week after week. Make sure to keep the things you letter so you can compare your work because it won’t always be drastic improvements! I hope that helps πŸ™‚

  16. I copied some of this guide into my own bullet journal, which also gave me practical practice with some of the techniques mentions (such as the lines, the lettering families, up and down strokes etc…) and it’s really interesting!

    1. Little Coffee Fox Team says:

      I hope you had fun and continue to practice your lettering Emily!

    2. Thank you so much for putting together this guide. Its easy to follow, and very informative. Especially the part with the Nibbs! Can’t wait to try it!

  17. This is such a great detailed guide! Thank you for putting it together.

    1. Little Coffee Fox Team says:

      So great to hear it’s been helpful for you Beth Anne!

  18. Denise Stone says:

    Dear Shelby, I love your blog! I have bookmarked several pages so that I can keep refering to them all the time as I practise your instructions and advice. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us all. I am very new to the world of journaling and have found your blog to be one of the best. It is easy to understand and your instructions are very clear. I have learnt so much from you. I have always enjoyed calligraphy but the the world of brush lettering is now someting I can add to my skill set, thanks in main to you. Again my heartfelt thanks.

    1. Little Coffee Fox Team says:

      We are so happy to have you here Denise! Enjoy the journey πŸ™‚

  19. Awesome, this is something I’ve been wanting to work on. But, the Tombow Dual Brush link led me to the brushes on Amazon for $222 CAD. Would you say that’s a good price, or too high? It’s a 96-piece set, so I just want to get your opinion on cost since I’m sure you’ve spent a few bucks and know what things should cost.

    1. The cost of the 96 set is pretty high, I’ll admit! It’s about $140 USD for me. While it’s certainly more cost effective for a beginner to grab just one of the 10-sets, I thought I’d include the full set for the go-big-or-go-home types. If you’re just wanting to dip your toes, I’d fully recommend you grab one of the 10 sets I list in the paragraph below the dual brush pen listing! I hope that helps, Kari!

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