How to add more depth to your lettering.

April 3, 2018





Up and until now you may be in a situation where you’re loving creating lettering pieces, yet you feel like you need and want to do “more”. You want to pull the rabbit out of the hat so to speak and add in some “wow” factor to your work. You’ve been scouring through Pinterest, and you’re sick of seeing the same type of niche and clean influences, and you want to expand your skillset.



As a huge fan of surfing through Instagram, I find I draw a lot of inspiration from illustrators who blend in typographic elements. When browsing along, I came across Daniel Hatcher’s profile.


Not only did I find his work incredible infectious, but I loved his use of shading. The primary technique he used was stippling. So we’re all on the same page the accurate definition of stippling is: a surface with numerous small dots or specks.




Once finding the critical term I then just started googling and looking on other art/design inspired blogs and social media sites to find more uses for it. Which I then came across lettering artist Andreas Pedersen, who is incredibly experimental when it comes to illustrative typography and stippling.


In essence, narrowing down what problem you’re trying to solve and doing active and deliberate research pays off to help widen your scope and expand your skillset to take your work a lot further.


Now when researching a new skillset, we still don’t necessarily become “masters” of that skillset. It does take practice and time. Going further into this niche, I found some other lettering artists who use the stippling technique. With “deliberate” practice in mind, I saved a mini library of all these pieces.




Echoing Seanwes’s thoughts, deliberate practice is where you isolate a problem or weak point you have and set time aside to work on that weak area. In this case, the anemic area is stippling. If you’re confident and probably experience enough, you could probably just try experimenting and adding stippling to your work the best you can.


Though for those of us who like to be on training wheels, I highly recommend getting some tracing paper or via a digital drawing tablet tracing your influences. This method isn’t to then re-post on social media and claim the work as your own. It is merely to build up the muscle memory and “feel” how great pieces are created. Again this approach might not work for all, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed by trying a new technique, this is a great way to ease in and get more comfortable with a style and not feeling like you’re aimlessly walking around in the dark.


So go ahead and don’t be shy to get out of your comfort zone. It’s hard to try anything new without a proper framework and experience, so this method aims at easing into things and trying something new.


The most significant take away should be the formula of;

• Identifying the problem

• Researching Ways other people have solved this problem

• Finding pieces of work that have solved a similar problem

• Replicating/recreating these pieces for practice.


Feel free to comment with any questions or other illustrative lettering styles that inspire you.

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