Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Chalk Lettering — Tips, Ideas, and Techniques [Part One]


A Complete Amateur's Guide to Chalk Lettering — tips, ideas, and techniques │ thehappytulip.com

I'm obsessed with all types of lettering — hand lettering, chalk lettering, digital lettering. I have a chalkboard wall in my home where I pretend I'm Dana Tanamachi and try to create my own beautiful lettering works of art. If you happen to follow me on Instagram, you perhaps saw my latest chalk creation.

I'm obviously no expert, but I want to share a few things I've learned from my own practice and observation.

So here's . . .

"A Complete Amateur's Guide to Chalk Lettering — Tips, Ideas, and Techniques: Part One."


Chalk shouldn't be intimidating to anyone. It's a very forgiving medium. If you mess up or don't like the look of something, just erase it and start over. And while having great handwriting to begin with is easier, I think just about anybody can letter something beautifully with enough practice and patience.

The Basics

There are three broad types of lettering: serif, sans-serif, and script.

A Complete Amateur's Guide to Chalk Lettering — tips, ideas, and techniques │ thehappytulip.com


Serifs have little "feet" at the bottom of each stroke. Serifs have been around for a long time. Typically they are found printed in newspapers and books. Times New Roman is a typical serif font.

Sans-serifs don't have any "feet" or serifs. Sans-serifs are generalized as more modern and are the preferred type for computer screens. Arial is the archetypal sans-serif font.

Script is the the broad group of fluid writing styles that many people associate with cursive or calligraphy. Scripts can range from very basic to extremely intricate and ornamental.

Within these broad groups there is room for a lot of variety.

A Complete Amateur's Guide to Chalk Lettering — tips, ideas, and techniques │ thehappytulip.com
One thing that I've learned is contrast is interesting. Try pairing tall, thin letters with short, blocked letters or a plain sans-serif with a flowing, elegant script.

A Complete Amateur's Guide to Chalk Lettering — tips, ideas, and techniques │ thehappytulip.com

Practice Idea: Pick out two contrasting fonts and practice writing out the alphabet imitating the fonts as closely as you can.


If you need further inspiration, I like to look at Pinterest. Here are a series of H's that I pulled from a variety of designs that I found on Pinterest.

A Complete Amateur's Guide to Chalk Lettering — tips, ideas, and techniques │ thehappytulip.com

Relax and have fun while you practice. If it's not perfect — no big deal.

Hint: Sometimes I find it helpful to not think of the letters as letters but just a series of shapes. If you can draw a curved line and a straight line, you can create beautiful lettering.


In Part Two, I share how I decide what lettering styles to use, how I layout my chalk designs, and a few more tips and tricks.

You can find Part Two here.


Linking to:
Inspiration Gallery at Craftberry Bush
Tutorials and Tips Party at Home Stories A to Z
Link Party Palooza
The Creative Collection Link Party

6 comments:

  1. Looking forward to Part Two!

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  2. I think your tip for thinking about letters and numbers as shapes is brilliant! Thanks for this awesome post!

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  3. Thank you for this. I am working on my first chalkboard art (still in design-stage) and your tips are so usefull.

    re from Iceland:
    Stína Sæm

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear what you have to say. All comments that are kind, helpful, and relevant are welcome.