The Explosive Hand Lettering Rebellion

Hand Lettering Power Course

If you’re interested in learning about hand lettering and typography from Denise Bosler, check out her Hand Lettering Power Course at HOW Design University.

A stealthy resurgence happening in the design world—a rebellion against the cold, sleek, digital environment in which we designers spend most of our time. Hand lettering is not-so-quietly making a colossal comeback, exploding into the forefront of design. It no longer has to hide on the B-side or apologize for looking hand lettered. Categories that used to be forbidden, such as logos and packaging, now embrace this historic form of typographic expression. It’s appearing everywhere—even on A-list products such as movie titles, magazines, book covers and advertisements. Hand lettering is out, proud and absolutely amazing.

The beauty of hand lettering is its flexibility and adaptability. It can be found in so many forms and so many different types of media that it appeals to almost every audience. From whimsical to elegant, and old school to new school—there is hand lettering inspiration out there for everyone.

Hand lettering involves taking a completely different approach to the use of text in design, moving away from the skills used for traditional typography. Whilst typography concentrates on the art and technique of arranging type, generally using preexisting typefaces, hand-lettering is the art of drawing letters. To put it a little more simply, typography is graphic design, whereas lettering is illustration.

Let’s celebrate this illustrative and creative expression of letters by looking at a six designers who have turned hand lettering into an art.

25 Stunning Hand Lettering Projects

Mary Kate McDevitt: Whimsical Charm

marykatemcdevitt.com

A graduate of Tyler School of Art, Mary Kate has made a career out of sweet and fanciful lettering projects. There’s sense of cozy delight in her work like the feeling you get from a comfy chair and a nice cup of tea. With clients such as AT&T, Chronicle Books, Sesame Street, O magazine, and the United States Postal Service, it’s little wonder Mary Kate is such a sought-after letterer.

All images ©Mary Kate McDevitt

MaryKateMcDevitt Hand Lettering MaryKateMcDevitt_1 MaryKateMcDevitt_6 MaryKateMcDevitt_5

Louise Fili: The Epitome of Elegance

louisefili.com

Fili’s name commands attention in the world of hand-lettering. She is the Queen Mother of letters and has trained some of the top lettering artists of today including Jessica Hische and the (below-mentioned) Dana Tanamachi. Gracefulness and old-world charm emanate from every logo, restaurant branding, book cover and poster she creates.

All images ©Louise Fili Ltd.

LouiseFili_6 LouiseFili_3 LouiseFili_2 LouiseFili_1

55 Hi’s: Cheeky Playfulness

55his.com

55 Hi’s Ross Moody began his career tinkering on the side with hand-lettered silkscreen prints. Several years later his love for the craft has seen him develop a successful business producing greeting cards, posters, calendars, glassware and more. His often sarcastic, sometimes cheeky, and always beautiful lettering stands out in the market, his approach typified by his invitations for the Semi-Annual No Pants Dance.

All Images ©55 Hi’s

55His_5 55His_4 55His_3 55His_1

 

Matthew Tapia: Sketch Perfection

matthewtapia.tumblr.com

Tapia is a designer and letterer based in Hawaii. His fearlessness in sharing stunning hand-lettering pencil sketches and whipping out sharpie-drawn sayings has endeared him to over 37,000 Instagram followers and proves that hand-lettering doesn’t always need “finishing”to be beautiful.

All Images ©Matthew Tapia

MatthewTapia_1 MatthewTapia_2 MatthewTapia_5 MatthewTapia_4

 

Eric Marinovich: Jack of all Letter Trades

erikmarinovich.com

The other half of Title Case (http://titlecase.co), Eric Marinovich has a wide stylistic range. Marinovich’s hand-lettering portfolio ranges from primitive to elegant to grunge to everything in between, an impressive lettering diversity that matches his equally impressive client list.

All Images ©Eric Marinovich

EricMarinovich_6 EricMarinovich_5 EricMarinovich_4 EricMarinovich_1

Dana Tanamachi: Chalk Princess

tanamachistudio.com

There’s something beautiful about nonpermanent works of art—the preciousness we give to something that could disappear at any moment. Dana Tanamachi’s command of chalk art lettering is far from precious, however. Her tenacity, dedication and finely-tuned talent produce gorgeous works of chalk art lettering for a wide variety of clients including O Magazine, Google, TIME Magazine, Bloomingdale’s and Target.

All Images ©Dana Tanamachi

DanaTanamachi_6 DanaTanamachi_5 DanaTanamachi_1 DanaTanamachi_3 DanaTanamachi_4


DeniseDenise Bosler is a graphic designer, illustrator, and professor of communication design at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. She earned a B.F.A. from Kutztown University and an M.F.A. from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Denise has focused her design work on print collateral, product packaging, and identity development in both print and digital projects.

Looking for more hand lettering and typography resources? Check out these items from MyDesignShop.com:

 

 

Related Articles:

ADD A COMMENT

1 COMMENT

  1. Wonderful article. Great to see a resurgence of this art form. I’ve noticed an increase of hand lettering with my undergrads in recent years.