While the coloring book craze is starting to wane thanks to oversaturation, there’s another creative practice that’s sweeping the internet: calligraphy, or as it’s also commonly known, creative lettering!
You can’t just pick up any pen and letter to do it well, though. Your tools are crucial, as we’ve learned by trying to use a variety of pens not designed for the purpose. However, once you know what to buy, you’ll find there’s a wonderful, meditative quality to creative lettering that’s instantly addictive. And yes, it’s way better than coloring.
Here are the items we recommend if you’d like to get started.
1) Tombow fudenosuke brush pen
Of all the pens I own, the Fudenosuke is the one I pick up the most for my creative lettering projects. It’s a incredibly precise tool that’s terrific from moving between fine and thick lines. This pack comes with a soft and a hard tip pen, both of which produce different effects. If you don’t know where to begin this is a great way to start.
Price on Amazon: $5.96
2) Rhodia classic black notepad
Not only do your pens matter, but the type of paper you use to letter matters too. Choosing smooth, acid-free, archival safe paper will be best for the life of your pens as well as your lettering projects (more on why here). Not only is this pad from Rhodia well-priced, but creative lettering bloggers praise it for being “smooth as butter” to write on!
Price on Amazon: $12.38
3) Kuretake Fudebiyori pen set
When you start investigating hand lettering, you’ll see a lot of people using Tombow brush pens. They are excellent tools but not super friendly to beginners (especially if you don’t have a steady hand). Try out the Kuretake Fudebiyori set instead, which is a solid set of primary colors that’s much easier to handle. As your muscle memory for creative lettering develops, you’ll eventually be skilled enough to move to any pen you want.
Price on Amazon: $12.99
4)Pilot’s Enso Creative Hand Lettering calligraphy set
Designed specifically with the lettering fan in mind, Pilot’s Enso Hand Lettering collection wraps excellent tools in absolutely gorgeous packaging. Not only are these sets very affordable, but they also make for terrific gifts. You can choose from several calligraphy sets, two fountain pen sets, a set of lettering pens that include bold, medium, and fine, and a collection of gorgeous gel pens.
Price on Amazon: $30.29
5) Creative Lettering and Beyond
If you’d like to gather some inspiration, Creative Lettering and Beyond may be a good guide to get you there. Lettering professionals share their secrets within its pages. It also features examples of many different fonts, as well as how to get your strokes right and tons of other tips. And there are sections on chalk lettering and even lettering on glass!
Price on Amazon: $11.97
6) Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleedproof White
If you’re ready to put your creative lettering skills to work on actual cards and want to make sure you don’t make any mistakes, you might want to have a bottle of this miracle stuff handy. It’ll correct everything from marker colors to watercolor, making it easy to erase your errors absolutely.
Price on Amazon: $9.99