Hand Lettering Challenge Week 3: Eccentric Capitals

Tonight marks the start of another week in the Menagerie Stamps Hand Lettering Challenge! You can still have a go at last week’s challenge here. This weeks focus font is…

Just the capitals again 😉 Next week will be lower case I promise!

Here is the workbook Eccentric Hand Lettering Workbook

If you like our free workbooks, please subscribe and like this post!

If you want to join the challenge, post pictures of your progress on social media and tag Menagerie Stamps.


Hand Lettering Challenge Week 2: Retro Capitals

So today is the last day of Brush Lettering Week in the Menagerie Stamps Hand Lettering (so it’s not too late to post pics on your blog, twitter or Instagram and tag MenagerieStamps if you want to join in ;). I will continue practising brush lettering, but from this evening onwards, there will also be a new focus:

These gorgeous capitals are from the font Odalisque. They have a fun vintage feel and will hopefully be a lot easier than brush lettering!

Here is the free workbook for this week:  Retro Hand Lettering Workbook 2

I’ll be posting pictures in the upcoming days! Follow us here, on Twitter and Instagram so you don’t miss a thing.

Hand Lettering Friday! Week 1 Challenge

It’s finally here! The first day of the Menagerie Stamps 12 week Hand Lettering Challenge! 😀

Brush lettering is the focus of this week’s 1 hour session, and this gorgeous font pictured below is the inspiration.

Julie, our design consultant, is a Master Calligrapher. She has been practising for over 30 years, won countless awards, been teaching for years, and now she is providing free tutelage to the Menagerie Stamps community!

So here it is, Julie’s words of wisdom on how to create your own beautiful brush lettering:

The secret to creating the ebb and flow, ie. the thick and thin, of lettering such as this is: pressure. Unfortunately, this is simple in theory but difficult to achieve in reality. It takes years of practise to achieve the precision necessary to produce visually perfect calligraphy, but you can accomplish a looser look such as this through some basic exercises focusing on pressure, grip and angle. First, to get a handle on pressure, take your brush marker and make elongated loops on some scrap paper. Apply pressure on the down and release pressure on the up section to create thick on the down and thin on the up. This may be trickier than you think as people are ingrained to apply even pressure, but practise makes perfect!

So this is what the pressure loops exercise looks like done by a complete novice (aka. me). Do at least half a page to begin with.

The other key element to calligraphic-style writing, is the angle of the pen. With different angles, you can achieve different looks. The issue here is that people are used to writing at one very specific angle, usually almost directly down onto the paper. With calligraphy, you will most likely need to hold the pen much further from the tip and with a much greater angle than you are used to, and this can make it very hard to control. Once again, it’s all about practise. The more you do it, the better results you will see.

Thank you Julie!

Once you have a grasp on being light-handed enough to create more and less pressure on demand, it’s time to try some letter forms 😀

Here is a template to show you an example of some brush lettering and how to achieve each.

To see the template in action, head over to the Menagerie Stamps YouTube channel for a demonstration video.

You can also download a free brush lettering worksheet here: Brush Lettering Worksheet 😀

Here is a photo of this week’s progress (still just tracing, next week I will try some free-hand). The demo video shows what I achieved in more detail.

Subscribe so you don’t miss next week’s instalment! You can see a sneak peek of the next focus font on our twitter & instagram accounts. We are also on YouTube, Facebook and Etsy.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend,

Meg & Merlin

Hand Lettering Challenge!

I have wanted to improve my hand writing for many years. Why? It’s atrocious! I make cards regularly, and the one thing that lets me down is my hand written message 😦 This is especially humiliating since my mother is an extremely gifted Calligrapher. I should know better right?! Maybe I didn’t get the calligraphy gene, or maybe I just didn’t try hard enough to learn. Either way I am determined to change this! So I am challenging myself to practice hand lettering for 1 hour every week for 12 weeks to see if I can improve.

Currently I am gathering samples for inspiration with a plan to begin practice next week. From then until the end of the challenge, every Friday will be ‘Hand Lettering Day’. I will post pictures of the source and my progress both here and on Instagram. Subscribe to this blog, or follow Menagerie Stamps on Instagram to see what progress I make over the 12 weeks. Even better yet, join me! Improve your own hand writing by dedicating just 1 hour per week to some lettering exercises. Then post a picture of your results and tag Menagerie Stamps! We are on Twitter as well 😉