This is the ONE question I get repeatedly on social media that I often do not answer. Not only because of how many times this question is asked but because the type of tool you use to create something typically doesn't matter. Crayola or Copic - just make! Sure, having a pen that doesn't bleed everywhere is great but purchasing the nicest pens will not automatically make you a hand lettering star overnight.
I am still not very confident in my work and I have been lettering for a year and a half. I bought nice Copic markers, fancy paper, ink and calligraphy pens when I wanted to dive in. I started working with these tools and became overwhelmed. I now realized that I just didn't know how to use these tools - I skipped the step where I was just supposed to MAKE.
In this post, I am going to share with you the simple tools anybody who has an interest in lettering would need. These tools will help you learn the fundamentals of lettering. Then, go out and buy your fancy pen and different colored Copics! I will go over every tool & show you what I've created with them and where you can purchase. Please, use the tools you have first!
Pen holders are for traditional pen & ink lettering. You have to dip the pen into the ink after every few words to reload. This is probably my least favorite tool here just because it is a little more complicated. When I do use it, I will use a rounded nib for a consistent weight.
Any pencil will work but I grabbed a huge pack of these pencils a year or so ago. Nothing fancy! If I sketch, I will use these! I typically like a softer lead but they work fine.
The Micron Graphic 1 pen is the one that I ALWAYS carry with me. This one is pretty much the only one I will say to go out RIGHT NOW and purchase. The ink is pure black india ink. I love to use them for drawing and writing. They're wonderful for doodling and sketching also.
All Micron pens are glorious! I would suggest that in addition to purchasing a Graphic 1 pen, you grab a finer pen also. You can grab them in packs (different sizes) or singles.
Honestly, any sharpie will do the trick also. They bleed so keep that in mind. Often, I will use sharpie for lettering first and then clean up the lines with a micron. You can tell the ink from the sharpie and micron apart on paper, remember that if you're not planning on scanning them into photoshop to edit.
Lastly, Copic markers are a recent favorite of mine! Please do not purchase these if you're not sure you will like lettering! They are pretty expensive for a marker. I like them because of the felt tips (you can write with both ends!) and the choice of color.
Before you go and add of these pens to your cart on Amazon and cry over the total, pick up a pencil or sharpie. Find some thicker paper so that the sharpie doesn't bleed. Pick a word and just write it over and over! Try different thicknesses and pressure. Space the letters apart and then bring them closer! If you start liking what you're seeing, go for the Micron pens! Over time, you will figure out works best for you. Good luck!
- Amanda Liz
Creative Director + Founder
Wallflower Design Co.