12 Inspirational Hand-Lettering Projects

Melody Weister By Melody Weister  |  Jan. 16, 2014

When it comes to lettering, there’s something about a handmade project that just stops us in our tracks. In this day and age, with so many beautiful fonts accessible to us at just the press of a button, the fact that there are still amazing designers willing to go above and beyond the norm and hand-letter their work impresses us to no end.

This dozen projects are no different; each of them made us stop and say, “Wow.” We hope you’ll feel the same way.


Lisa Nemetz’s identity for VQV

Argentina-based designer Lisa Nemetz’s identity for VQV, an organic restaurant, positively demands attention. The masterful, almost casual brushwork perfectly evokes the texture and vibrance of the food on offer.



Bryan Patrick Todd’s Shelby Park mural

I focused on a statement that reflected Shelby Park’s positive outlook and growth as a tight-knit community.

Louisville’s own Bryan Patrick Todd, a graphic designer and artist, documented the process of creating this gorgeous mural he was commissioned to create. Once the initial design and mockups were completed, he worked with a sign painter to see that the mural accurately reflected his design.



Jason Vandenberg’s hand-lettered projects

Toronto-based artist and graphic designer Jason Vandenberg initially caught our eye with his hand-drawn project entitled Earn Your Sleep on Instagram. On his website, however, Vandenberg documents each step of his process, from initial sketches and drafts, to the final, vectorized results. Worth a look!



Thomas Pena’s hand-lettered quotes

Hailing from Orlando, Florida, Thomas Pena’s impressive Behance profile showcases a knack for typography that extends across a variety of media, along with an arresting capability for hand lettering. His set of three hand-lettered inspirational quotes, edited using a faux-chalkboard effect, would make a fantastic wall decal or poster triptych.



Russell Shaw’s hand-lettering for the Illumination project

The Illumination Project is a DVD study series for small groups, developed from the video content of a live event held in Portland, Oregon. Russell Shaw’s hand-lettering takes it beyond the ordinary and creates an impactful and memorable product for young adults.



Nina Harcus’s Type Delight

With this project, Nina Harcus, a designer and foodie, features handmade typography visuals using ingredients like flour, pie dough, and other food items, to accompany the recipes in a book. These handmade visuals tell the story of a Patisserie chef named Marcelle, as he begins to fall in love with typography. As fans of typography and delicious food, we couldn’t overlook this tasty treat!



All Tropicana Co’s playlist project

Hailing from Monterrey, Mexico, graphic designer and illustrator Robba Saldaña has set out on a mission to create a different typographical representation of various songs by internationally renowned artists spanning the last several decades, and the results are astounding. From his depiction of Johnny Cash’s Hurt to The Chemical Brothers’ Galvanize, this collection is definitely one to watch.



Martina Flor’s Completely London cover

The brief was to create the cover artwork with headlines done with a visual that ties to learning.

When August Media made the decision to approach Berlin’s Martina Flor for the cover artwork for the magazine Completely London, they inspired one of the more notable covers we’ve seen to date. The minor irregularities in the lettering make it clear that Flor took the time to create this entire piece by hand, an artistic undertaking that speaks volumes about her commitment to her work.



MASH’s Chalk it Up collaboration

MASH, the collective of graphic designers and typographers Mary Faber, Alice Lo, Saranna Drury, and Haylie Gray, created this collaborative masterpiece showcasing lyrics from New Zealand musician Dave Dobbyn’s song Slice of Heaven over a weekend. Their blog entry about the piece describes the process they used to create such a large-scale monument to chalkboard typography.

MASH has been long time fans of Dana Tanamachi’s awesome chalkboard type…and we wanted to follow in her footsteps and give it a go ourselves. …We were all allocated a word or two to design digitally in Adobe Illustrator and then we used a projector to project our designs onto the custom built wall. Next we sketched our letters onto the blackboard and chalked it up!!

Be sure to watch the video for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the work that went into this amazing project.



Jason Carne’s vintage hand-lettering

The act of being “taught” how to be an artist always felt silly and counter-productive to my creative process… I decided early on that I wanted to teach myself everything I possibly could on my own to ensure that my approach and style was completely my own[.]

New Jersey designer Jason Carne may only be in his twenties, but his hand-lettered designs seem to have traveled forward through time. From film props, to t-shirts for Def Leppard, to beautifully imagined designs for small local businesses, be sure to check out the entirety of his collection.



Yulia Brodskaya’s hand-crafted typography collection

Russian-born artist Yulia Brodskaya has a unique gift for folding paper into visually compelling creations. Formerly called “quilling,” this paper-crafting technique is believed to have been used by monks and nuns in the Renaissance era when creating flourishes to adorn religious objects. Whether it’s her embellished version of a snippet from a $5000 bill or her cover for O magazine, this collection of papergraphy (as Yulia herself has deemed it) is worthy of perusal.



Axek Efremov’s doodles

So many great hand-lettering projects are the result of personal exploration. Axek’s creations, many of which feature hand lettering, are beautifully executed, for no reason other than, in his words, to defy laziness.



Have you used hand-lettering in a project? How well does hand-lettering work online? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.