+9 Best 2021 Books to Start in Lettering

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The best books to learn lettering

Thanks to the Internet, today you can easily find a lot of different resources and books for handwriting or lettering. Some of them are very helpful, while others are a bit mehh (totally subjective).

Today we are also very used to the idea of ​​getting information very quickly, and with just a few clicks you can get your questions answered and learn something totally new.

But this concept was not always the case, people used to learn and consume content in a different way, a way that perhaps today is unfortunately not so popular anymore.

This post (review) is about the traditional way of learning – with books!

We have compiled a list of +9 AWESOME books for hand lettering that will help you improve your skills whether you are a complete beginner or a more experienced letter artist.

The best Lettering Books to practice

FOR THE BASIC THEORY

Lettering books

John Kane’s Typography Manual

It is the basic that should not be missing, each theoretical argument is compiled in this book, a basic understanding of anatomy and the typefaces that should not be missing in your collection.

Lettering books

The Anatomy of Type by Stephen Coles

A whole catalog of fonts and their detailed structural analysis, until now only available in English but it certainly helps you better understand each part of the letter and as two fonts that seem similar, they are vastly different.

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Digital Fonts by Alec Julien

The perfect manual for creating your own fonts, although there are many totorales online on how to do it, it does not compare with the structure of the book, it accompanies you throughout the creative process, to the point of marketing a font.

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The ABC of custom lettering by Ivan Castro

Already deeper into the field of lettering and once you have understood the basic elements of typography, you can start with this very complete guide to lettering, the basic principles and the rules that you must take into account. Currently there is already a Spanish version of it, a lot of theory that will serve your purpose.

FOR THEORY AND PRACTICE

Lettering books

Mastering Calligraphy by Gaye Godfrey-Nicolls

The best complication of calligraphic, gothic, copperplate, brush lettering styles, and more, for my taste the most complete book, has the participation of several artists, history and styles, it is a whole catalog that allows you to experience each style as it brings a practical guide to strokes and tools.

Lettering books

The complete book of chalk lettering by Valerie McKeehan

A complete guide to lettering focused on specific tools, an art in influx, highly sought after in restaurants and shops, which goes hand in hand with the art of lettering, a quite interesting and complete book that will show you useful techniques not only in the lettering on blackboard if not any other as it shares important tips on decorations and styles.

PRACTICE MAKES A MASTER

Lettering books

How to draw type and influence people by Sarah Hyndman

A very casual and brief book that not only has an exquisite editorial design, but also shows us the behavior of typography in different media in a 100% practical way.

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Three feelings cute lyrics

Not one of my favorites, but very entertaining and understandable, if your intention is not 100% professional, this will be your option, practice sheets from start to finish, it contains many worksheets, various alphabet models that you can copy with the aim of practice and generate your own style.

Lettering books

Chalk full hand lettering 101 sees it

An excellent option to practice, with a large format and also the only work book that thinks about the user experience since instead of being bound in a traditional way, it is bound with a spiral and that allows you a better execution of the practices, by like “Beautiful Letters” it brings a tool guide, a bit of theory and alphabet books to copy and practice.

THE INSPIRATION

“Inspiration exists but it must find you working”

-P. Picasso

Seeking inspiration is one of the best practices, as it leads you to educate your eye, observe an infinite amount of graphics made by other design professionals, lead your eyes on the right path, instruct you without realizing it and form a style in you that will be reflected in your future work, in this area the number of books is infinite, since many authors have specialized in compilations of all kinds of styles, here are some of my favorites.

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Typography Sketchbooks by Steven Heller & Lita Talarico

Steven Heller joins an expert in graphic studies focused on good typography with a large number of books that meet the same rules and structures, as the title says, the book is a great compilation of projects in their natural and initial state, the part of the outline, Throughout the book you can observe their ways of working, undoubtedly a great inspiration for when you start in the world of lettering.

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Steven Heller scripts and Louise Fili

One of the most successful couples in the world of design, illustration and calligraphy, they have created a whole publishing empire with books that handle the same style, same format, same number of pages but different content, this in particular is a beautiful compilation of elegant lettering of a golden stage of design.

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Slab serif type by Steven Heller and Louise Fili

Same formula, this book is a wide collection of posters, signs and more, whose main character is typography, inspiring if you are looking for results in this area of ​​typography.

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Expressive type by Alex Fowkers

A recent book that collects lettering from a 100% current perspective with current artists, which becomes a guide to who to follow on Instagram since all the works contained in the book are current, Ian Barnard, Sam Lee, Martina Flor, among many others, all structured in categories such as branding, packaging, etc, a good book for your collection

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In Progress by Jessica Hitsche

A jewel that I recently analyzed in more detail in an article, undoubtedly one of the best investments in books since it covers an entire process from the conception to the digitization of very good graphic design projects where the protagonist is lettering.

If you are passionate about lettering and want a face-to-face experience, don’t miss the opportunity to join me in the workshop that I will be giving in April in CDMX, for more information, check the event now !!

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