How-To-Letter: Fun Groovy Lettering

Have you ever wanted to learn lettering? Now is the time to learn! Today we are covering 70’s inspired ‘fun and groovy’ letters! 

In this confusing and frustrating time of our lives, what are you doing for your mental health? Like most freelancers out there, my work hours (hence, my paycheck) got reduced recently. And it’s been a hot mess shuffling through the chaotic internet to get correct information on financial relief for myself and my parents. Despite all this chaos, here are some things I’ve been doing in order to stay calm and sane: 

1) Reading books: I’m not really a big book person but I like to read from time to time. Reading books, especially in times of hardship, clears my headspace and keeps me from overthinking and worrying. Also, reading is a great way to learn and expand knowledge. My current interests are hand lettering (obviously) and branding. Hence, I’m currently reading “The Brand Gap” by Marty Neumeier and “House Industries Lettering Manual” by Ken Barber.

2) Taking online courses: On a regular basis, I keep a list of online courses and/or YouTube tutorials to watch when I have more free time. This way, when the down time comes, I don’t have to spend time searching and get right into expanding my skills! Since last year, I grew to have a bigger appreciation for and desire to do mural painting. Luckily for me, my favorite online instructor and lettering artist, Lauren Hom (@homsweethom), opened an online course on mural painting. This week, I dedicated my time on finishing the course and now I feel even more rejuvenated creatively!

3) MAKING ART: Lastly but most importantly, I’ve been making art. In difficult times like today, art and creativity can be overlooked because it’s not “essential”. Sure, art does save our lives or grant us financial support, but it sure is therapeutic to our mental health! In the past week, I’ve painted one mural, practiced drawing daily, and filmed a “how to letter fun and groovy letters” video!

This week, I was initially going to do a tutorial on “beveled 3D block letters” BUT I received a request on a different style. So here’s how to letter “sparkle” in groovy letters!

 Materials you need for making fun and groovy letter tutorial are (You can click on the item to buy them directly from our amazon affiliate link! We get a small commission every time you shop from our links! Thank you for your support!):

  • Paper: Any kind of paper in any size is fine. In this tutorial, I grabbed a scrap piece of white cardstock in roughly 6.75×4.5 inches.
  • Pencil & Eraser: Can be either a regular pencil or mechanical pencil — your choice! I always prefer mechanical pencils (because I don’t like sharpening pencils).
  • Ruler: Not super necessary but use it if you want to draw clean guidelines. Freehanding guidelines is 100% cool!
  • Gold Pen: Since we’re lettering “sparkle” I decided to use a gold pen! There are many different gold pens out there so use whichever one you like. I personally like the Uni-Ball Gel Impact gold pens because the ink flows well and I think it looks most “gold”.

Here are simple five steps to draw fun groovy letters:

  1. Draw Guidelines
    For this tutorial, you’re going to need to draw four horizontal lines (equal spacing) and some vertically slant lines. The first three horizontal lines – from top to bottom –  indicate: cap line, x-height and baseline. The last horizontal line at the bottom is a guideline for the descenders.
  2. Draw “Skeletons”
    Once guidelines are drawn, you’re going to roughly space out the letters. Make sure the word has equal white space on its left and right. If you don’t get it right the first time, that’s ok! Erase, redraw and repeat as much as you need to. 
  3. Put Some Weight
    On the “skeletons” of each letter, roughly sketch out some weight. Keep in mind of the spacing between the letters. Positive space of the letters and negative space around the letters should be equal and balanced.
  4. Stylize Letters
    After letterforms are drawn, stylize the letters by adding flourishes and stars. Add flourishes to letters p, k, and e for a more sophisticated and balanced look! Furthermore, add some stars to complement the word.
  5. Ink It
    Outline the letters, let it dry, erase the pencil sketches, and then fill in the outline. There are two things to note when using metallic pens. One: for most metallic pens, the metallic sheen gets erased when you erase pencil sketches so if this happens, no big deal, just redraw the outlines afterwards. Two: use light pressure when filling in with metallic pens because the ink could get scraped up and get streak-y if you put too much pressure.

We want to hear from you! Now it’s your turn to make fun and groovy letters! What will you letter? Was this helpful to you?

About Sister Tip: #sistertip is a weekly educational series on branding, creative content creation, business, and marketing from our boutique creative studio – Studio Salty! We hope you enjoy all the tips and tricks of what we learned while operating a small boutique studio! We are a woman owned and operated studio that focuses on helping small businesses amplify their message. We’re always taking requests for our #sistertip blog post, so feel free to comment below what you want to learn next! 

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BY: JULISHA KIM @julishakim @_studiosalty

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