I’ve been in the graphic and web design field for 10 years now and one thing I learned about being a better designer is to look for inspiration. I’ve searched and searched for a lot of inspiration when I freelance. I look at different websites, logo designs, creative art works.
When I first started doing hand lettering, it was actually for my daughter’s first birthday party. I didn’t have a printer back then, and I didn’t want my signs to be lame, so I did some research and discovered hand lettering. I followed a few pieces and everybody at the party loved them.
I’ve always played around with words, characters, writing them differently, even in Chinese characters – but it wasn’t until my daughter’s first birthday that I realized how much I love type. I remember thinking during my first typography class in post-grad “I’ll never understand typography, they’re for really artsy people” and yet here I am.
Looking at typography for the past 10 years did help me become an instant hand lettering artist, but nothing I did was without inspiration. I rely heavily on Pinterest and a few people that I follow in Instagram. I definitely suggest that go through Pinterest and just copy somebody’s else’s work so you get an idea what it takes to do a piece.
Right now, I’m challenging myself to follow a different artist’s style per week. I find that the more I push myself to design a piece that is complicated and detailed (such as shading with dots, 3D effects, illustrations), the easier it is to do flat designs.
You may not need 10 years to become a hand lettering artist, it’s just a matter of looking at different types and how to affect a person’s response to it. This way, it’ll help you design your piece better.