The Best Markers for Hand Lettering. My top five favorite tools for the art of hand lettering and brush calligraphy.
If you’re new to lettering, pop over to my Hand Lettering 101 page. It’s the newbie’s guide to getting started with all kinds of lettering and calligraphy.
The Best Markers for Hand Lettering
I often get asked about which markers are my favorites to use for hand lettering and brush calligraphy, so I put together a list of my top five favorite tools!
Most of the markers listed below are flexible tips which also makes them ideal markers for calligraphy. Be sure to scroll to the end of my post for my top tips on getting started with learning Brush Calligraphy.
No. 1: Tombow Fudenosuke
The Tombow Fudensuke is the best brush pen for beginners who want to learn the art of lettering and brush calligraphy. When I teach in-person classes for creatives new to the art form, I always use this marker.
The small brush nib is much easier to learn with than larger nib brush pens. If you learn with the Fudenosuke First, larger tipped markers will be much easier when you move onto them.
Features of the Fudenosuke
- Small-Tipped Brush Nib
- The tip is made of durable nylon, so it won’t fray. Be sure to use brush marker friendly paper still though. The Fudenosuke can look streaky on some papers.
- It is filled with water-based pigment inks.
- The ink flows easily.
- Dries quickly.
- It comes in three main options: Hard Tip | Soft Tip | Twin Tip
- As of October 2018, the Fudenosuke now comes in a pack of ten colors. The Fudenosuke Colors set is hard-tipped.
Where to get the Tombow Fudenosukes
- Amazon: Combo Pack (Hard, Soft, + Twin Tips) | Colors
- Tombow: Combo Pack (Hard, Soft, + Twin Tips) | Colors
No. 2: Karin BrushMarkerPRO
These are some of my newer favorites. The brush tip, made of super durable nylon, is very flexible which makes it ideal for brush calligraphy. I’d call the size of the brush tip medium to medium-large.
Features of the Karin BrushMarkerPRO
See my full review of the Karin BrushmarkerPRO here.
Where to get the Karin BrushmarkerPROs
- The U.S. authorized Karin Marker seller is Artistic Isle on Etsy. Her shipping speed and customer service were all-around 5-star! You can check out her shop here.
- Karin Markers does ship internationally, and you can see the pricing and shipping options here.
- You can also find them on Amazon here.
No. 3: Tombow Dual Tip Brush Pens
The Dual Tips are my very favorite brush calligraphy pens because they’re so versatile. But again, I recommend you get comfortable with the small tipped brush pens first and then move onto the larger tipped ones.
Features of the Tombow Dual Tips
- Dual-ended brush pen: Large Brush Nib + Fine Bullet Nib.
- Dual Tips come in 108 gorgeous colors. They used to come in 96 colors, but 12 new colors came out recently.
- Vibrant water-based ink colors that blend exceptionally well.
- The flexible nylon fiber brush tip allows you to create medium or bold strokes by changing brush pressure.
- To prevent these from fraying, be sure to hold your pen at a 45-degree angle to the page and only use them on brush marker friendly paper.
Where to get the Tombow Dual Tips
Here’s a look at how beautifully they work as watercolors.
No. 4: Tombow TwinTone Markers
These are my go-to marker for a traditional hand-lettering. That means I use them when I draw letters (versus using a brush marker and pressure for brush calligraphy).
Features of the Tombow TwinTones
- The TwinTone is a double-sided marker with two tip choices – broad bullet tip for bold lines or extra-fine tip for detailed lines.
- The Bullet tip is 0.8mm, and the extra-fine tip is 0.3mm.
- They are ideal for use with planners and bullet journals. I use them in my Passion Planner.
- TwinTone Markers come in sets of 12 for a total of 36 colors. The sets are Brights, Pastels, and the brand new Rainbow set. There are no duplicates between the three sets.
- Their water-based ink doesn’t bleed through most papers.
- The tips are made of a durable fiber that maintains shape after use.
- Ideal for creating monoline lettering styles and faux-calligraphy.
Check out my full review of the Tombow TwinTone Markers here.
Where to get the Tombow TwinTones
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Get 15% off your order at TombowUSA with code dawnnicole15 (the code is not case sensitive).
- Tombow USA ships to the U.S. and Canada with free shipping on orders of $30 or more!
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- Not valid for the Tombow VIP Club box.
No. 5: The Apple Pencil
Ok, so this one is digital, but it still deserves a spot on the list!
Until the magic trio that is the iPad + Apple Pencil + Procreate App, I preferred to letter on paper and digitize in Adobe Illustrator.
But with the introduction of the Apple Pencil, lettering digitally is now one of my go-to tools for creating hand lettering and calligraphy. The capabilities of the Procreate App are beyond amazing.
For more info on iPad Lettering, head over to my iPad Lettering 101 page.
Want to learn Brush Calligraphy?
Here’s the best way to get started.
- Purchase a small-tipped brush pen. It’s easiest for beginners to learn with and I strongly recommend the Tombow Fudenosuke pen. It comes in a hard and soft tip. Both are flexible for brush calligraphy to varying degrees and I recommend the combo pack to see what you prefer. I get mine on Amazon.
- For iPad, the DND Basic Brush from this set is the one that works fabulously for all my worksheets.
- The recommended paper is HP Premium32 copy paper is affordable yet super smooth making it ideal for brush calligraphy practice.
You’ll want to get basic drills/strokes down to learn to use pressure to control your stroke width before moving into letters/words.
Free Practice Sheets
30 Days Workbook from my Shop
My workbooks are instant download and you print at home and practice. They’re designed for beginners, five-star rated and include videos you can watch as well. This is the recommended order:
When you’re ready to move onto words there are three fun options for small brush pens:
Ready to start?
Get started with The 30 Days of Drills Workbook!
This workbook is perfect for busy beginners who want to learn the art of Brush Calligraphy. Commit to doing just one worksheet every day for 30 days and keep track of your progress with the included checklist!