The Basics of Creating Mixed Lettering Styles. How to mix and match different lettering styles to create a balanced yet fun piece with a ton of character!
The Basics of Creating Mixed Lettering Styles
Finding your style as a lettering artist takes time. It’s been nearly five years since I started lettering and I am really just starting to feel like I’ve found my style. It’s it’s mixed up, doodle-y, colorful, imperfect, and most importantly, “me”.
I’ve been getting a lot of requests on the mixed lettering style. I shared a tutorial with my Happy Email Club subscribers but had some requests to further explain the various styles of type. When you break it down, creating mixed lettering styles is easier than it might appear.
For mixed lettering styles, I’m really just combining the various style of type. These main types can be broken down even further into more detailed categories. I’m going to list some of the major ones out for you in case you want to do further research but for the purpose of keeping things simple, we’ll focus on the main classifications.
- Script. Script type can be further classified as Casual, Formal, Calligraphic, or Blackletter/Lombardic.
- Serif. Serif letters have bars on the ends of letter strokes. Sub-classifications include Slab, Clarendon, Old Style, Neoclassical/Didone, Transitional, and Glyphic.
- Sans Serif. Sans means without, so San Serif means “without serif”. Substyles include Square, Grotesque, Geometric, and Humanistic.
- Decorative. This is the broadest category. I call these the fun types. If a type doesn’t fall into Script, Serif, or Sans Serif, there’s a good chance it’s a decorative style.
Creating Mixed Lettering Styles: LOVE Lettering
Ok, so let’s put this into action for some lettering, shall we? The following is a tutorial for this mixed “Love” lettering, but the basics steps are the same for every single mixed lettering piece I create. You can also grab a printable reference sheet below.
Step One: The Sketch
My sketches start really rough. In this piece, I mixed a Script, Monoline (one weight) Script, Serif, and Sans Serif.
This is also where I sketch out my ideas for flourishing and space-filling details.
Step Two: Create Your Lettering
Step Three: Add Color
Step Four: Add Details
It’s Your Turn to Try this Style!
Helpful Lettering + Calligraphy Posts:
- Check out Lettering Bundles + Procreate Brushes here.
- Visit the Hand Lettering 101: Newbie’s Guide to Getting Started page here.
- Check out the free hand-lettering worksheets archives here.
- Visit my Brush Lettering FAQs page here.
- I run a free Facebook Art + Lettering Group which you can join here.
- Check out all my favorite lettering supplies on Amazon here.