When thinking of lettering, do you think of calligraphy or do you think of bubble letters you did on your folder back in grade school? For me it's brush lettering that pops into my mind first, because that is my favorite kind and what I mostly work with.
But how many lettering styles are there?
Let me tell you a little secret, there are infinite styles of letters. Because lettering is created by each artist from scratch there are no two identical styles, even if we think they look alike.
Take for instance the word STRAWBERRY, I did some quick sketches below, I tried bubbly letters, funky serifs, faux calligraphy, decorative with details and representational (the one that looks like each letter is a strawberry) and even stuffing all the letters into an actual strawberry shape. And even if I told you to recreate these, yours would look different, unique to just you.
How do I come up with styles?
The trick is to google and doodle. You can look up styles online or in your favorite lettering book. Then with those inspirations — because stealing is bad — you can now start to sketch your own letters for your lettering design.
Keep in mind the basics
Don't start going crazy and getting panicky because you don't know what to pick, or don't even know your options. Think of these basics.
Start a couple sketches with sans-serif letters, then some with serif or script, play around with shape and size and decorative elements.
Don't be afraid to sketch and sketch and sketch. It may take a while before you finally get something that sparks that joy and makes sense.
DECORATE YOUR LETTERS
After you're all done with the shapes and sizes of your letters, think of some decorative elements to add. Play around with dots, lines, textures, swirls, drop shadows, outlines, banners and more.
Like I said, there are infinite ways to do this so just jot down your ideas and see where they take you.
Want to learn more about lettering, styles, supplies and digitizing your piece? Check out my Lettering Course!