Reviewing Modern Brush Lettering

Now that we’ve practiced the formations of brush lettering let’s have a little fun with modern brush lettering.


What’s the difference between brush lettering and modern calligraphy?

Honestly, the terms can be use interchangeably, but for my purpose I define them as follows:

  • Brush lettering is the airy, casual script formed with a brush pen or paint brush. It is neatly formed within common guidelines.
  • Modern brush lettering emphasizes exaggerated forms in the creation of letters. Letter skirt the guidelines and dance and bounce along the page.

Helpful tips for forming modern brush lettering.

Think outside the lines.

The guidelines should fade into the background, used only to keep spacing in mind. Instead of meeting the base line or cap line, you need to cross them now and again and allow a rhythm to flow with the letters.

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You can refer back to my first post on modern calligraphy for extra guidance.

Using a soft tipe brush pen can help you learn the modern calligraphy style of creative lettering.

Moving beyond the lines is hard.

I’ve drawn in guidelines, using the small straight edge that comes in the Fudenosuke pen packages,  just so that you can see that I’m going right past them.


If you find the guidelines too hard to resist, move to a blank page. Yes, a BLANK page. Don’t worry about straight letters, because that’s not the point of this exercise. I use laser printer paper from Staples (Amazon carries a good choice of laser printer paper, too). It’s bright white and very smooth, which will help the life of your pens.

Let the letters dance.

You can focus on refining your style later, for now you’re learning how to allow the words to flow.

Here is a video demonstration of my modern brush lettering alphabet:

Next week we are going to start going deeper into style and design. See you then!

Find more information and all of the posts in the #loveYOURlettering: Part 2 series here:


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