Monday, September 25, 2017

Book Review: "Lettering With Purpose" by Brittany Luiz

"Lettering With Purpose" by Brittany Luiz was published on September 1, 2017 so it's already available as a soft cover now! I've had such fun learning all about lettering. This book is for both true beginners like me and intermediate lettering artists. Just a few pages into Brittany's book and I realized just how much I didn't know about lettering. Learning, for instance, that you're supposed to push hard on the down stroke and not push at all on the upstroke changed the way I looked at calligraphy. It also really changed my perspective to realized that there are basic rules to lettering and after you learn those rules you can then break them in strategic ways. I do love being a rule breaker so just this statement made me smile.
Practicing your ABC'sWatch your P's & Q's
When the book arrived from the publisher I literally devoured it in a day. Lettering With Purpose was so easy to read and understand that I got the hang of it mentally with almost no struggle. Brittany had me encouraged and raring to try right away. I've been interested in lettering much of my life but being a leftie, I've had little to no luck with calligraphy pens and their ilk. Enter Brittany and Tombow brush pens. YAY, I can actually DO this!
Hi, I'm learning LetteringOK, another group, I'll stop with the puns.
Before reading Brittany's book I hoped I could find a way to add "oomph" to some of my artwork with lettering. I have had a series planned in my head for six months but it required me to learn a new skill. I was truly shocked to find, with Brittany's tutelage, I could actually DO this thing that I couldn't for the life of me do it before. Let me be clear, I'm a total novice, I knew none of the rules of good lettering but I sure was an admirer of lovely fonts. I was anxious to learn and Ms. Luiz made it incredibly simple to understand.
She has sections on the basic rules of lettering, the tools of the trade, lettering styles, how to digitize your work, alphabet ideas, embellishments & flourishes and a bunch of prompts and art projects to keep a beginner going for months. Brittany covers it all and there's even space in the book to actually practice your lettering. I found the section on "what to make" really helpful, she suggests practicing on your grocery list everyday. Great idea!

What I found, as a leftie, is that I had to learn a little differently than what I was seeing on the practice sheets. For instance, my "j" and "i" start at the opposite 45 degree slant since I use the other hand to letter. I also have to "push" the pen agains some of the ups or down strokes instead of pulling. This means a little more learning is needed but within an hour I found my way. I just had to let myself learn slightly differently to compensate for doing it all with my left hand.

I know of two other reviews of "Lettering With Purpose" and both bloggers are much better at lettering than I am. As a beginner I have one perspective, but I thought you might want to read more learned opinions on this great book. Katie at Punky Projects did a comprehensive review as did Jessica at Brown Paper Bunny. Also, if you are interested in lettering, Brittany Luiz has a Facebook Group you can join and learn from, it's called The Lettering Lovelies.

If you'd like some extra lettering practice sheets, go to Tombow's site and click the download button! You can also troll the internet and Pinterest for many free printables all about lettering, alphabets, word sayings etc.
Brittany is not only an author and lettering expert but also the social media & content manager of Tombow. I purchased a ten piece set of Tombow Dual Brush Pens in the Brights but they come in many sets, go here to see them all! She also recommends the Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen set in both hard and soft tip. That's what I used to write out the "spring" set. I found the Fudenosuke pen incredibly useful and easy to use as was the dual brush pens. In fact, I can't imagine learning without them. Starting with a dip pen would seem foolhardy, especially as a leftie.

I plan to practice, practice and practice some more, until I have the basic lettering technique down pat. Then I can move onto creating my own personal font. I can't wait! Until then, I did one of Brittany's exercises. I traced around letters I had penned after finding a font I wanted to copy. Then I colored it in and added shadows on the back side of each letter. This will be my new header when my new Wordpress website goes live. Thank you Brittany for inspiring a new love of lettering. This is definitely a five star learning book for artists and lettering enthusiasts.

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  1. Ooh... I have always envied those sketchbooks full of fabulous font! My own 'chicken scrawl' is quite a let down! I bought a calligraphy book once but it was so complicated that it put me off before even trying... and then there's the pens... I just don't seem to get on with them... They're forever drying out and going all scratchy! Wow... you look like you have mastered it already!!

  2. I went ahead and ordered this and have been waiting for your review :)

  3. I may have to get this book. I'm a lefty too, and lettering is something that I've always struggled with.


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