Typography, calligraphy and lettering

What Is Brush Lettering?

Lettering artist James Lewis introduces us to this technique

Over the last few months or years, you may have heard the term ‘brush lettering’ more frequently. Lettering artist James Lewis (@jamesllewis) will shed some light on the art of illustrating letters, and explain what it is all about.

What is brush lettering?

In essence, it is the art of illustrating letters, words, and phrases by hand. It is achieved through different media: brush pens or paintbrushes and paint.

It is an old technique that has had a big revival over the last five years. Brands are looking for new ways to stand out from the rest, and brush lettering is a lovely handmade option, highly appreciated by the market.

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James Lewis

What is brush lettering used for?

This technique can be used to create art pieces or marketing campaign designs; to create brand logos, complement illustrations, and anything else you can think of.

Once you’ve mastered the basics of brush lettering, you’ll be able to create logos, letters, typefaces, and calligraphy.

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James Lewis

What kind of creative uses brush lettering?

Any creative person can benefit from using brush lettering with various objectives in mind. Whether you are an illustrator, a graphic designer, a traditional painter, or an enthusiast, this technique will make you stand out among your competition.

As in James’s case, sharing this technique on social media could attract business clients.

What do I need to learn brush lettering?

The first thing to do is to learn about calligraphy and get to know the shapes of the letters and how they work.

Once you have this basic knowledge, you can start illustrating letters with a brush pen or paintbrush and paint. These exercises teach you how each mark has a different meaning. They help you understand how each mark changes according to your hand or tool's pressure and inclination. Paintbrushes and brush pens behave differently and require different hand movements. You can learn to handle these differences with practice.

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James Lewis

If you want to start practicing already, sign up to James’s course, Introduction to brush lettering and learn to master a brush pen and paintbrush to illustrate with letters.

You may be interested in:

- Basic Script Lettering Tools and Stationery.
- The Amazing Letters of James Lewis.
- 7 Lettering and Calligraphy Artists That Will Inspire You.


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