Handlettering in the Bullet Journal - Make your headlines simply beautiful
Unpaid advertisement // Brand names are mentioned in this blog post
A weekly overview without a nice headline? A cover page without handlettering? Actually, there is almost no such thing in the Bullet Journal. In order to be able to design the pages in the journal in a really creative and beautiful way, you can't get around the lettering. I have learned my handlettering styles through practice and would like to share a few tips & tricks with you today. Every beginning is hard (or tedious) and simply requires a little patience and practice. If it doesn't work out the way you want it to the first time, that's not bad at all. The more often you try out different fonts and headline styles in the Bullet Journal, the better it will be over time. I therefore include a page every month where I practice and try out headlines for the coming month.
Easy Handlettering - your perfect start and a little tutorial
Before you start designing headlines or quotes, you should always have a look at how it works. I have created a small "how-to-letter info graphic" in my Bullet Journal. Maybe this overview will help you a little bit and make it easier for you to get started. Basically, the handlettering is not difficult, it only depends on the right handling and line management. Therefore I would like to explain the graphic (see below) a little bit more:
In the left column you see a simple letter in cursive.
The middle column shows the same letter in lettered script. For this I used a brush pen with a hard tip. I often use this style, because with a little practice the lines are really easy to draw.
In the right column the same letter is shown again as handlettering, but here I wrote the font with a soft tip. Here you can clearly see that the lines are even wider than with the harder tip.
How does the handlettering work? The principle is actually quite simple: the lines that run upwards during writing remain thin. You can do this very easily by pressing the pen very lightly on the paper and guiding it gently. Actually you only use the front tip of the Brush Pen.
The lines that run downwards while writing the letter are written thicker. You can easily do this by pressing the pen more firmly onto the paper. As the tip of a brush pen adapts, the lines automatically become wider.
That was already the whole secret! :) The difficult thing about lettering is to get the narrow and wide lines neatly in one writing flow - and that takes a lot of practice!
Fake Lettering for fast implementation
In the "how to letter" graphic, I have used extra lines at the very bottom to type the letter "u". If you don't have a brush pen yet or if you don't know how to use the right handlettering technique, you can use this method to create some nice headlines. To do this, simply draw a guide line on the thick lines (writing: lines run down = thick) and paint it out. This way the letter will also look like handlettering.
Do I need a special pen for the Handlettering writing style?
Basically you can try to get a nice font with every pen. But if you want to write your lettering with different strong lines, you will need a brush pen. These types of pens do not only make sure that the lines are clean and beautiful with the appropriate technique, but also help you to create your handlettering with the specially made tip. Most of the pens are water-based and can therefore be used very well in the common notebooks (bullet journals). Already after a short drying time the Brush Pens are absorbed into the paper and cannot smear anymore.
I currently use the following pens for my handlettering, my headlines in the Bullet Journal:
Tombow Brush Pen black with hard tip (I personally recommend for the start)
Tombow Bush Pen black mit soft tip (I personally recommend for the start)
I have linked the products here again. All my materials can also be found in my former blog post "Which material is right for my Bullet Journal?" Feel free to have a look!
Lettering abc - my alphabet and own lettering style as a template
In the beginning I created a small template with my personal handlettering alphabet for cheating. Here I simply wrote down my own letters. So I don't have to think about it every time and can just look again if I don't remember a letter immediately. With time you will develop your own alphabet in your personal writing style. This will make your Bullet Journal unique and personal!
I would like to point out that I bought all products myself and use them for my private use. There is no cooperation with any of the mentioned companies/brands.
Happy Journaling and have fun! :)