How to teach yourself brush lettering

Jennifer Lee

My brush lettering journey began basically by teaching myself. I saw the beautiful work some fellow graphic designers were doing, and so I thought, "Well that looks so easy, I'm sure I can do it, too!" 

It wasn't easy. And I was kind of horrible at it. 

For some reason I kept trying, and eventually I got pretty good at it. Let me share some tips on how you too can begin your lettering journey by teaching yourself!

1. Get the right tools.

This is so important! Don't buy cheap knock-offs that you see on deal webpages/apps. You want Tombow pens. They are just the best!

I recommend just two to begin with. You can branch out and try other options later if you'd like. These two are the easiest to learn with, and quite frankly the ones I use the most professionally as well. 

Tombow Hard Nib (This pack has the hard and soft nib. I love and use both!)

Tombow Dual Brush (This pack of 6 black pens is what I always buy!)


Get both pens and a few extra in this beginner set!

You also want a very smooth paper. 

This HP premium paper is great for practice and final projects alike. Silky smooth, and affordable! 

2. Get some worksheets!

Purchase my workbook here, and get started!

3. Remember it's ALL about PRESSURE.

Having the right pen is key, but not the most important. YOU must learn to control the pressure of the pen!


I love to just write the alphabet over and over, and practice connecting the letters. After a few days, you'll be comfortable enough to use your lettering on a card or something. If you stick at it for longer, you're muscle memory will kick in, and you will become much more consistent with your work!

5. Spend some time LEARNING on Instagram!

Search for lettering videos on Instagram. Use specific hashtags like #brushlettering or #realtimelettering. Look for tiny details like how we lift the pen, and how we connect letters together. Time spent studying these details is so valuable!


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