So you’re comfortable with your calligraphy and you want to start mixing it up with block letters, buuuutttt…your block letters SUCK 🙄.

I get a lot of questions about my block lettering and how I manage to make it so neat and perfect to use on projects like these….

 

And, what I say next might toooootally shock you…

But it’s all about PRACTICE.

I know, I know… I bet you tooootally didn’t expect me to say that (*SARCASM*), but it’s true.

Personally, I LOVE spending hours on end doing these letters over and over again. But if you’re reading this, I’m willing to bet you’d rather just get a few quick tips to help you improve yours.

So here’s my step-by-step process.

 

Prefer to watch than read? Feel free to skip right to the video and see these mistakes in real time! 👇🏻

 



First things first…

Tools

  • Rhodia Grid Pad Paper (but it can be anything– just not BLANK.).
  • Any monoline pen or pencil (can also be anything, just NOT a brush pen)
  • A ruler

    For more on supplies, click here for my free 50-page guide!
Grab the free supplies guide here!


STEP 1: PRACTICE BASIC LINES & SHAPES

Grab your paper and pen (I actually just used a Sharpie!) and practice making some basic lines and shapes. Up, down, slanted, sideways, rounded… just shapes!

  • Grab a different coloured pen and correct each line.
  • Put a star beside which direction you felt more comfortable!
  • If you’re feeling too shaky or uncomfortable, start by using a ruler for this step!
Fill pages and pages of this until you’re feeling comfortable.


STEP 2: PRINT OFF A FONT GUIDE SHEET

Find a block font that you like and print it out.

Open up a word processor on your computer, and type the letters A-Z. Then scroll through the fonts and find one you like the style of.

I also like to print mine in two different sizes. One bigger for practice, and one in more scale that you would be more likely to actually use.

I suggest SANS SERIF letters!


STEP 3: TRACE THE PRINTED FONT

Put some marker paper over the top (I use Canson Marker Paper) and use a ruler and draw yourself some guidelines on the top, bottom, & middle of your letters.

Then, trace away!

The key here is to do the tracing MINDFULLY. You should be taking note of what you’re tracing, thinking about the shapes and working on your muscle memory… not just phoning it in!

Notice things like the edges of the letters (how square they are or how rounded they are), and the height of the crossbar on the different letters!



STEP 4: FREEHAND COPY THE SAME FONT

Now do the exact same thing again, but without tracing.

You can choose whether or not to keep the font to the side as a reference, or hide it and use your memory.

Again, use a ruler and draw yourself some guidelines on the top, bottom, & middle of your letters.

Then, freehand away!

You’ll probably want to do this step more than once!


STEP 5: PRINT & COPY FULL WORDS

It’s time to print full words with that same font, and practice them all together!

The key with this step is to think about the SPACING between the letters. This is *crucial* when you start using your letters in your work… spacing can make a huge difference in how pleasing your letters are to the eye!

For this step, I like to print a list of words, trace one, THEN freehand beside it.


STEP 6: START DEVELOPING YOUR OWN STYLE

Once you’re comfortable with the style you’ve been learning, you can do this same process with tons of different fonts and come up with bits and pieces you like from each. You’ll naturally notice parts of different letters that you like and dislike.

Then, you can start modifying and developing your own style.

Slant – angle some of the horizontal or vertical lines of the letters to give them more flair.
Change the height from your cross bar. It’s that horizontal bar in the letters that have it. Try moving it up or down!
Play w/ weight – make them wider, thinner, thicker, make them into what we called “bubble letters” when we were kids.


STEP 7: RINSE & REPEAT!

And that’s it! Just keep repeating the process, modifying little things about your style, and eventually, you will get good at block letters. 


Remember, it’s ALL about practice!


 

If you want to keep rolling with improving your skills, make sure you also check out this video, where I go over The 4 Most Common Mistakes Beginner Make in Brush Calligraphy!