How to Do Bounce Lettering + Calligraphy. What is Bounce Lettering? Find out in this tutorial and grab a FREE Bounce Lettering Worksheet to practice!
How to Do Bounce Lettering
First things first. What is Bounce Lettering? Bounce lettering is a great way to add style and character to your hand lettering.
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist. -Picasso
That quote pretty much sums up bounce lettering. To show you what I mean by that, let’s look at some basic typography terminology.
Total newbie? You might want to start over on my Hand Lettering 101 page HERE.
Bounce Lettering Basics
In the above image, I’ve drawn the word “happy” elementary-school style, so I can define a few terms for you.
- Ascender Height: The line ascenders hit. An ascender is a vertical stroke found on lowercase letters that extends above the letter’s x-height. Examples include b, d, f, h, k, and l. Sometimes, the ascender extends about the cap height.
- Cap Height: The height of capital letters from the baseline to the top of the letter.
- X-Height: The height of the body of a lowercase letter.
- Baseline: The invisible line where all characters sit.
- Descender Line: A line below the baseline where the bottom of descenders hit. A descender is a vertical stroke found on lowercase letters that extend below the baseline. Examples include g, j, p, q, and y.
In elementary school, when we were all learning to write, we were told to stay within the confines of those lines (just like I did with the word “happy”).
Now that we understand these basics, the concept of bounce lettering is really simple.
We’re going to break the rules and have fun drawing our letters outside the lines!
Putting it into Practice
In the top version, all my calligraphy sits on the baseline. This is a more traditional style of lettering. While it’s still pretty there’s not a lot of variation.
In the bottom version, I’ve extended my calligraphy outside the confines of lines.
Can you see how that adds a ton of style and character?
The possibilities are endless and there are so many ways to vary Bounce Lettering!
That’s all there is to basic bounce lettering. The key to growing your skills in lettering and calligraphy is simple: practice makes progress!
Now, Let’s Put it into Practice!
One of the best ways to learn how to do bounce lettering + calligraphy is to practice. I’ve created a simple worksheet for you to practice both Traditional and Bounce Lettering + Calligraphy styles.
By doing this worksheet, you will get a better feel for the differences between each style, using your own lettering.
The phrase you’ll be practicing is “Be brave enough to bed bad at something new”.
Download the Free Practice Sheets
The practice options include a Printable PDF for use with traditional Brush Pens and a JPG for use with the Procreate app (using an iPad and Apple Pencil).
- For the printable one, I recommend using the Tombow Fudenosuke.
- For the iPad worksheet, the DND Brush Basic is ideal. Just adjust the brush size on the slider to match the worksheet you’re doing.
Custom lettering design + worksheets are ©Dawn Nicole Designs®. They are for personal use only. Re-distributing, the PDFs and JPGs violates digital copyright laws. Please share these free worksheets only by using the link to this original blog post on bydawnnicole.com. Thank you for respecting my copyright. 😉
Using the Printable Practice Sheets
- Print on Brush Pen friendly paper. The recommended copy paper is HP Premium32 Paper.
- Be sure to set your printer scaling “Fit to Page.”
- The Printer I currently use is the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M281cdw. I snagged it at Costco for a great price!
Using the Procreate Practice Sheet
Save the worksheet JPG to your iPad and open Procreate.
- Click the + sign and choose the “screen size” canvas while holding your iPad in Portrait Orientation.
- Click the wrench icon in the top left corner and select “insert a photo.” Select the lettering worksheet JPG from your photos. Adjust the worksheet’s size to fit the canvas.
- From the layers panel, click the + to add a layer for lettering. That way, you aren’t lettering on the same layer as the worksheet.
Want to learn lettering + calligraphy in greater detail?
Check out the five-star rated Workbooks + Procreate Brushes in my shop!
I hope you found this How to Do Bounce Lettering + Calligraphy Post helpful!