The Universal Hand-lettering Process
There really seems to be just one drawing technique that all hand-lettering artists use and teach. The process Isabel Urbina Peña introduces in her workshops is the same as the one Martina Flor teaches, for example, and that’s probably because it is just so simple and effective: developing a design in severel steps using tracing paper.
In the Universal Hand-lettering Process, you start with a series of quick thumbnail sketches to try out different ideas and layouts, pick the one you like the most, and draw a first rough draft in the size you want to work in. Then you trace over the first draft on a sheet of transparent paper, further defining the design. On separate layers of transparent paper you redraw each previous version, improving it step by step. In the final step, you ink the last drawing – and that’s all there is to it.
At Isabel Urbina Peña’s workshop, a crowd of 50 people learned the Universal Hand-lettering Process and each of them came up with an idiosyncratic hand-lettered version of the word “Berlin”.
Written by Chris Campe •