The following are helpful tools and supplies that will get you started with lettering.
I will only recommend tools and supplies that I have used myself and know to be beneficial to you. Otherwise I will only recommend tools and supplies that I have thoroughly researched, that again I believe will be of value to you. Please don’t ever feel like you have to purchase any lettering tools, these links are only here to help guide you.
Get The Staedtler Lead Holder / Clutch Pencil – This is one of my go to pencils for hand lettering. With the right sharpener you can get a really pointy tip, that doesn’t break as easily as a mechanical pencil tip does! ‘Lead Holder / Clutch Pencil vs Mechanical Pencil’ will give you an in depth break down of the Lead Holder / Clutch pencil.
Get The Pentel Sharp Mechanical Pencil 0.5mm – This is my other go to pencil. The Pentel mechanical pencil will give you thin consistent lines, and is great for drawing any tiny details. Again for a breakdown visit ‘Lead Holder / Clutch Pencil vs Mechanical Pencil’.
Get The Faber Castell Lead Holder / Clutch Sharpener – This is a tiny little sharpener, that’s very affordably priced. An essential for the Lead Holder / Clutch pencil for keeping the tip sharp and pointy, as you can’t use a regular pencil sharpener with it.
Erasers / Rubbers
Staedtler Mars Eraser / Rubber – A good old eraser / rubber is a must when you’re new to lettering. I’ve used mine so much for my lettering practice, as it’s pretty difficult to draw straight lines and curves accurately when you first start off. Your eraser / rubber will be your friend!
Get The Strathmore Bristol Smooth Paper 9 by 12-Inch Pad – I cannot put into words how great the Bristol Smooth paper is. It’s of an excellent quality and makes drawing curves a lot easier where the surface is so smooth! Checkout ‘Useful Lettering Tools: Paper’ for a more in-depth look at this paper, and for the other types of paper listed below.
Get The Staples Multi-use Printer Paper 4000 Sheet Carton – You can’t beat plain printer paper for hand lettering. It’s great for practicing on as it’s so affordable, it’s also usually quite easy to trace through for refining your lettering work without using a light pad. It’s the paper you can see on the left in the above image.
Get The Strathmore Watercolor Paper 9 by 12-Inch Pad – Watercolor paper can provide texture to your hand lettering, it also copes with inking more so than cheap printer paper. The ink doesn’t usually bleed as much as this type of paper is intended for using inks etc on. You can see from the above image that this type of paper has tooth (bumpy bits on the surface).
Strathmore Tracing Paper 9 by 12-Inch Pad – I haven’t personally used tracing paper for my lettering practice yet. I know a lot of letterers do use it to refine their lettering work so I’m making sure it’s included. I’m recommending Strathmore tracing paper because I know Strathmore paper is of excellent quality.
Sakura 6-Piece Micron Black Ink Pen Set – Micron pens are a great choice for inking your lettering, they come in an assortment of sizes so you can get very thin lines to thicker ones. You can purchase them in a larger pack than the 6 pack I use, but I find the 6 pack gives a good range of thicknesses. The 0.5mm, and 0.3mm thicknesses are my favourites and the ones I use the most.
Tombow Black Dual Brush Pen – The Tombow brush pen is the first brush pen I bought, as it was the only one my local stationary shop sold! The Tombow brush pens come in an assortment of colors, and are good for a bit of light practice with. I find the ends on them do go soft quite quickly, but you might find you like a soft brush tip anyway.
Sharpie Permanent Markers 24-Pack Electro Pop Colors – Sharpie pens can be fun to letter with due to the different assortment of colors they come in. I recently discovered the Sharpie electro pop pack which includes some very cool modern colors. Check them out if you want to add something playful to your hand lettering collection.
Westcott Clear Non-Shatter 12 Inch Ruler – A ruler is a very useful lettering tool. Beginner to advanced letterers use a ruler. It’s main purpose in lettering is so you can draw guide lines on which to place your lettering. I highly recommend a clear one, as it allows for you to see any lines you’ve already drawn underneath your ruler, then put down the next line more accurately.
If you’re looking for a starting point with guide lines, have a look at ‘Hand Lettering Guides For Beginners’. If you sign up to my Newsletter you can also get a FREE printable pack of line guides to practice on, which can save you needing a ruler initially if you don’t have one!
Huion 17.7 Inch (Diagonal) LED Tracing Light Pad / Box – I don’t personally own a light pad / box just yet. However this is one that I have thoroughly researched, and will be purchasing in the near future. I used light pads / boxes at University and they do make your life a lot easier when it comes to tracing. They can save you money too in the long run, as you don’t need to use tracing paper with a light pad / box. It is possible to trace your work using a window, but this can be a lot of hassle. You need to tape your work to the window, then your wrist and arm movements are instantly limited. This is because of having to hold your arm at an awkward angle to draw, you will also get arm ache if doing this for a long period. So a light pad / box can be a useful tool.
HP Envy 4500 Wireless Color Printer, Scanner and Copier – I have the printer a couple of models down from this one and have stuck to HP for years. I find them affordable, and nearly every HP printer now has an option to connect a smart phone, tablet or computer wirelessly, so you can print much more freely. A printer, scanner and copier combined is useful so that you can scan and digitise your work. Also so that you can print out any digitised work to see how it’s looking in print. As sometimes colors and textures can appear different on screen than in print. A printer is also helpful for a beginner letterer, as you can print out existing lettering and then trace it to practice your skills. I have been using my HP printer for all three of the above since I started to learn how to hand letter.
If you’re looking for more lettering stationary the following can get you stocked up.
Jet Pens – US and International Shipping
Cult Pens – UK and International Shipping
Dick Blick – US Shipping
Some of the links above will take you to Amazon.com where at no extra cost to you, if you end up purchasing something I will earn a little from Amazon.
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