Brothers challenge each other to create amazing hand-lettered quotes

They had no idea where their friendly sibling rivalry would lead them.

Ian Simmons and Tory Burke are two of a kind. The Nebraska residents are both graphic designers and artists with a love of friendly competition—and now their gorgeous 365-day penmanship projects have made them the toast of Reddit and Imgur.

[8/365] Watch the leather…

A photo posted by Ian Simmons (@conflictstar) on

[12/365] MUSICLYRICS: #VoodooChild (Slight Return) #JimiHendrix @extensis #audibleinspiration

A photo posted by Tory (@toryburke34) on

“My brother and I basically assigned the concept of our projects to each other,” Burke told the Daily Dot. Like other notable art projects, theirs revolved around doing a 365-day challenge, where the participant draws or creates something on a daily basis. 

“Art is better with an audience.”

Simmons decided that Burke’s assignment would be to hand-letter music lyrics every day. Burke took the challenge seriously, carefully considering what he would draw and why:

The first week I did music lyrics I created each one to be what I considered the birth of a music genre. Those genres kind of set the tone for what I try to cover each week. Rock, Punk, Hip Hop, Classic, Blues, etc. I have an appreciation for many types of music and I want that reflected in this project. 

[21/365] MUSICLYRICS: Friday is #PizzaDay the best day of the week! #theaquabats @theaquabats

A photo posted by Tory (@toryburke34) on

Meanwhile, Simmons began crafting a year’s worth of film favorites. “I told him he should do movie quotes and then he said, ‘OK, you do music lyrics,'” Burke said.

 “I’m a huge film fan and it seemed like a natural fit,” Simmons told the Daily Dot. 

[29/365] Forged in the fires of Mount Doom…

A photo posted by Ian Simmons (@conflictstar) on

[34/365] Demented and sad, but social…

A photo posted by Ian Simmons (@conflictstar) on

“These seemed like natural ideas to us,” Burke said, “because we are always throwing movie quotes at each other during our conversations or talking about songs and bands.”

Ever since, both brothers have been posting their daily work to /r/penmanshipporn, a haven for practitioners and fans of the art of fine lettering.

[10/365] #musiclyrics Let it Roll Baby Roll! #TheDoors

A photo posted by Tory (@toryburke34) on

[26/365] You ain’t never had a friend like me.

A photo posted by Ian Simmons (@conflictstar) on

They’ve also shared their work on their respective Instagram accounts, toryburke34 and conflictstar. Simmons additionally shared his on his Imgur, Twitter and Tumblr accounts, conflictstar@conflict_star and iansimmonsdesign.

In addition to showcasing their talents, the project has proven an inadvertent chronicle of the year to date in pop culture, as their daily drawings have touched on everything from the passing of Mad Men and BB King to the coming of Age of Ultron and Mad Max:

[29/365] MUSICLYRICS: for BB

A photo posted by Tory (@toryburke34) on

[16/365] I have an army.

A photo posted by Ian Simmons (@conflictstar) on

Although neither brother does hand-lettering professionally, they both say their projects have already been worth it. “We really didn’t realize how much fun it has been to do these projects,” Burke said, “but we’re having a blast and the reaction to them has been amazing.”

We asked Simmons if he had advice for anyone looking to get into the hobby of print lettering themselves. His response is encouraging for anyone looking to try their hand at a new art and skill:

As far as tips, find something that excites you. Take something you love and start writing. Experiment. And make sure you put it out in the world, even if you don’t think your good enough. Art is better with an audience.

Thanks, guys—we’re definitely feeling inspired.

H/T Imgur; Illustration by Ian Simmons via conflictstar/Instagram; Remix by Aja Romano

Aja Romano

Aja Romano

Aja Romano is a geek culture reporter and fandom expert. Their reporting at the Daily Dot covered everything from Harry Potter and anime to Tumblr and Gamergate. Romano joined Vox as a staff reporter in 2016.