I recently announced a new feature called ‘Lettering Legends’. If you are not sure what a ‘Lettering Legend’ is then here is a brief summary. A ‘Lettering Legend’ is somebody from the lettering community that has inspired others, they may or may not be well known but they are certainly worth knowing about. If you’d like more detail, then please read the introduction article that I previously wrote. The first ‘Lettering Legend’ that I introduced you to was brush artist Emma Holmes, and it was actually Emma who introduced me to Lettering Tutorials next ‘Lettering Legend’.
I’m really pleased to reveal that this months ‘Lettering Legend’ is Belinda Love Lee. Belinda takes after her name, and really is lovely. She was very enthusiastic about being a ‘Lettering Legend’, and has created some amazing lettering work in her time. Belinda has inspired a lot of people all over the world, including myself and the above mentioned Emma. The style of lettering Belinda uses is very unique and personal. She has her own store selling her beautiful hand made lettered goods. Belinda was even brave enough to design her own wedding invitations and stationary, which you can read more about in the interview below.
You can find links to Belinda’s website, and social media accounts at the end of the interview to see more of her great work!
For those new to lettering, how would you define your style of hand lettering?
“Hmm, good question. It’s easier for me to envision how I’d like others to see my style so, I’m going to flip the question around. I’d like others to describe my hand lettering as casual, effortless with a touch of whimsical to it. I try to make sure it’s not overly girly, elegant and structured, but more loose around the edges. Though, at the same time as I’d like for my style to be effortless, I still make sure it’s fairly neat and organized in layout.”
Do you have a favourite lettering item, or tool that you’re attached to a bit too much haha?
“Oh definitely, I have this one paint brush that I always use for my hand lettering. For some reason the bristles on it have just formed into a direction that works for my tiny hand lettering. I have yet to find another paint brush that can provide the same comfort and flow, I even have it set aside from the rest with a little bit of washi tape stuck to it so I don’t get it mixed up. lol.”
You’ve worked on a lot of lettering projects, including branding, logo design, stationary, collaborations and more. What lettering project stands out the most and why?
“The first project that really put my work on the map was the branding I did for Christina Yan, so that project will always stay close to my heart. Then I would proudly say, that my favourite project would be my own wedding invites. I had full creative liberty, and it was good to have the challenge of working within our tiny budget, considering all those factors I think it turned out amazing! But mind you at the time it was a much hard task then I anticipated.”
Both buzzfeed and creativebloq have featured wedding lettering created by you. Creativebloq goes into detail about how you designed all of your own wedding branding using your own lettering. There is often a little stress involved with any creative project, making sure you keep a client happy etc. How was it creating your own lettering for such a personal and significant event?
“Firstly designing your own wedding invites, and designing them well (it ain’t no DIY cut and paste here) is a real privilege that probably not many people get to experience. The process of designing our own invites definitely added stress on top of the other countless wedding tasks, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I wouldn’t have been fully satisfied if I had someone else design or letter my invites.
I was able to bring out the major OCD in me, and made sure that everything was down to a tee, from the lettering, to illustrations, to the paper choice. The main goal was to keep each element representative of our effortless and casual lifestyle – we had a hands on hog roast at our wedding, so the invites had to fit the bill!”
You mention on your website that your favourite colour is the same shade as the sea, green combined with blue. Do you find it difficult to avoid these colours influencing your lettering work when necessary, and what advice would you give to those trying to break lettering habits?
“The struggle is real!
I find myself naturally leaning towards designing in this color which I call grlue – it’s the perfect mix of a little bit of green and a little bit of blue but it’s not exactly mint or turquoise hence the name grlue. Sometimes what I’ll do is work on a logo with this color first, then when handing the concepts over to my clients I’ll switch it to their desired colors. It just seems to help get it out of my system while not compromising the end result. Interestingly enough though, sometimes I get clients who will come to me with their favorite color also being grlue, so in these cases it works out to be a win-win!”
Is it best to be comfortable at lots of different styles of lettering or develop your own style?
“Great question! I personally have chosen to work within the confinement of my own style, simply because I feel that it sets my work apart and gives it a bit of an edge. Though even within my own lettering there is a variety of styles I work with – the kerned out typography, the thinner dainty style, the calligraphy, the brush lettering – all in all I’d like for someone to be able to recognize my hand lettering from afar. That’s not to say that I don’t value those who can work in many different hand lettering styles, if anything I envy them for their beautiful talented hands, that can work a million wonders. Sometimes I do wish I could work in different lettering styles as perhaps that would open up my market, but for now I’ll stick with what I’ve got – just me, myself and my hand!”
What advice or tips would you give those first starting out at lettering?
“Just start, and get going! At the beginning everyone’s technique is s**t so don’t judge your work from what you see at the moment. Give yourself time to grow. If you saw some of my old work just merely 2 years ago, it is embarrassing as. I’ve never had formal hand lettering training, as that doesn’t seem to fit my personality, but what helped me develop my own flow and style was just putting pen to paper, experimenting and enjoying the process of growth.”
Thank you for your time Belinda
“Thanks for having me!”
You can find Belinda online in the following places: