Tips on Improving Your Lettering

Hi everyone!

Just a quick update on the ABCs Challenge. So far, everyone’s been doing great! You can check out more work at the #ABCsBookChallenge hashtag on Instagram.

I’ve been doing lettering for quite some time now – but I always say that there is always something new to learn. Most of the time, I get insights from students in class because they give out a fresh perspective on how to draw letters.

I’ve compiled some of the best ones here from the challenge and I’ll be sharing tips on how to improve your lettering for today. 🙂

Experimental Drafts

Featured work by @kateilao & @jissamari

Before working on your final artwork, it’s important to experiment with a lot of drafts – it opens up options on different ways to create layouts. Aside from having a lot of choices, doing drafts also exercises your creative juices and not limit yourself to just a particular set of font styles.

Font variety

Featured work by @ggprudenciado @nellaventura

After working on your drafts, it’s time to play around with your fonts – opt to add patterns or mixing up your serifs, sans serifs & scripts – you’ll be surprised at the infinite combination styles you’ll come up with. Fineliner pens are handy tools for this since they come in different weights (from thick to thin), making it easier to add variety to your letters.

Gradient Colors

Featured work by @aimrhodora @jazicka

If you’d like to work with color, watercolors are your best bet – take it up another notch by working with gradient styles. Gradients can be a combination of colors within the same family (analogous) or the total opposite (complementary). This effect can be achieved by incorporating water and “pulling” the colors as you move from one letter to another. Takes a lot of practice but the possibilities are endless!

Watercolor Washes

Featured work by @yamibears_ @aletejah

I’ve recently discovered the beauty of adding watercolor washes to your background. Instead of just having a plain white background, adding washes makes your work even more vibrant and put together. My tip is leaving it out to dry for at least 2-3 hours and use heavy duty watercolor paper (300GSM).

Illus Lettering

Featured work by @abeplr @jen_mandia

Lastly, level up your letters by making them illustrative, or adding illustrations. Think outside the box and compose different elements that could represent letterforms. Letterforms come in different shapes and sizes so it’s a great avenue to try doodling and drawing.


If you’re participating in the challenge, we have a few more prompts to go until Day 21! I have a big announcement on the 21st day so for those who have been part of the challenge since Day 1, stay tuned. 🙂

On another note, I have opened 2 lettering classes this July & August. Click here to sign up!

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This will be my last few classes for the year to make way for other projects and events. Hope to see you!


And in case you haven’t gotten your copy yet of my book, The ABCs of Hand Lettering, it’s still available at major branches nationwide, on Amazon, Buqo, and at the shop.


Hope these tips helped in improving your lettering. You can join the ABCs Book Challenge to help hone your skills and track your progress.

Any tips/questions you’re curious to ask? Leave a comment below.

Abbey 🙂

PS: Featured photo by Christie Lim, “Abbey Road” font by Mikko Sumulong.

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