Sketchbook Adventures: Summer Lettering Fun

Published by Nela Dunato on in Art, Creative process, Graphic design, Sketchbook

Sketchbook Adventures: Summer Lettering Fun

Some of you may know that years ago I used to run a very active sketchblog. Sadly, with the start of this blog, I’ve found less and less time to post there, and eventually I stopped altogether.

I thought it would be fun to share some of my sketchbook explorations here more often, just like I did with my sketchbook flip video.

Today I want to share a peek into my hand lettering practice.

I only posted about one lettering project on this blog before, the Komfor band logo design process and I actually did quite a bit of it.

This post is a compilation of photos of my hand lettering from a couple different sketchbooks.

Ok enough talking, let’s get to the eye candy!

Lettering sketches Birdsong

This is one of my oldest lettering projects, from exactly 2 years ago. I did it as I was lying on the beach (sketching on the beach was something I did a lot at the time, and would like to get back into).

I later turned one of these sketches into a vector:

Lettering Birdsong vector

This wasn’t used for any project yet. If you’d like to buy the design, let me know!

Sketchbook brush pen lettering

These were just some random experiments that I then used in sample graphics for my textured stock photo pack 21 Subtle Nature Photo Backgrounds.

Watercolor lettering ocean

Last summer I had the opportunity to work on a really interesting lettering project. These are some concepts that were never used in the end, but I was very fond of them. Especially considering that I never even tried these particular styles before.

Here are some of my favorite sketches from this project.

Lettering sketches script

Lettering sketches script

Lettering sketches script

Lettering sketches script

Retro lettering sketches

And here are the retro fish shaped ones turned into vector:

Retro fish shaped lettering logos

OK so not all of them are from a sketchbook, but I hope you don’t mind!

Sometime a year ago it occurred to me that I could use lettering to create attractive blog post graphics. I get to practice lettering, plus have a unique post image to share – win win!

Sell your idea before you make it - sketchbook lettering

This was the first one, made for the post Sell Your Idea Before It’s Ready. As most of these, it’s done freehand with a brush pen (so purists might say it’s actually calligraphy, not lettering).

Month of Fairies sketchbook lettering

This was for my Month of Fairies project. The branches and letters are done with a brush pen, the small type is made with a dip pen, and the fairy drawing with a micron pen.

Ballpoint pen lettering - depression

This is for my recent post Everything I know about depression, done in ballpoint pen to match the illustration I had done before.

Sketchbook lettering Creative Business

And this one I did a few days ago is for a post that hasn’t been published yet, shhh…

Sketchbook brush pen lettering Authentic Branding and Authentic Promotion

Just recently I created these hand lettered titles for the cover of my free Authentic Promotion Guidebook and the upcoming Art of Authentic Branding course.

Watercolor lettering Summer

Watercolor lettering Trust the flow

These are just random watercolor doodles for fun and practice.

If you liked this, check out more of my lettering pieces in this post!

P.S. If you want to learn lettering from one of the best teachers of the craft, check out Learn Lettering. It just launched with a brand new Masterclass, and you can get the Starter Class for free!
I have no affiliation with Sean McCabe, and won’t get anything in return if you end up buying his course. I just wanted to share some love since he’s been one of the most generous people I’ve ever seen, and his podcast has been immensely helpful to me.

If you’re not interested in learning lettering, but would love for someone to design a hand lettered logo for you, check out my logo design services and contact me! ;)


Some blog articles contain affiliate links to products on Amazon or Jackson's Art Supplies. I’ll get paid a few cents if you buy something using my link, and there’s no extra charge to you.

4 responses to “Sketchbook Adventures: Summer Lettering Fun”

  1. Thank you, David! :)
    Yes, I love brush pens. I actually don’t have a brush marker yet – the ones I use have bristles. I’d love to get a few markers though, you can do more consistent strokes with them.

  2. Pretty! Love seeing your practice letterings next to the finished product. It looks like each project has a story arch.

  3. Thank you, Thea!

    You said that so beautifully.
    I love seeing other people’s processes from start to finish because you’re right, there’s a story arc in the creation process that we often miss if we only see the finished result.

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