Type Trends: Hand-lettered

The increasing call for letters to do what type can’t has resulted in newly forming presence of custom lettering in graphic design. This comes in answer with the design undercurrent I’ve noted here in our series toward a more substantive, personable, and relatable tone across the medium. Having started my career in type doing lettering projects for design studios, I see the industry’s renewed emphasis as most welcome. Find below a few examples of hand lettering at work.

Above, my own lettering explores a few styles generally: inscriptional, blackletter, grotesque, inline, brush script, and formal script, making use of the ball-point pen, pointed brush, and broad-nibbed fountain pen.

Here, letterer and illustrator Laura Serra’s work demonstrates how an image’s text can be personalized through a distinctive line quality and texture. It shows how lettering can solve some of the fit problems associated with type, such as with a similar-looking Scotch face. And one may also note that lettering’s role seems to have shifted lately to incorporate larger bits of copy than merely a short name or phrase.

Type and graphic designer Tânia Raposo shows some of her process in a vernacular lettering job for a Lisbon magazine.

And finally illustrator and letterer Alex Trochut delivers a slick piece of digital lettering, no doubt after working out a lot of the details on paper.

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