Lettering With a Purpose (, # )
By: Brittany Luiz
Published: September 1st 2017 by Walter Foster Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)
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Goodreads description--Lettering with Purpose is a beautiful and thoughtful book for anyone interested in developing their own artistic alphabet. Whether you’re hoping to personalize greeting cards, or just enjoy the art, hand lettering is an uplifting and compelling craft to learn.
Aspiring artists and lettering enthusiasts will explore and deepen their understanding of this art form by delving into a variety of lettering techniques. You will also enjoy 100 reflective lettering prompts to spur the imagination and help readers answer the question: "What should I write?"
Your lettering journey will begin with lettering basics. This intuitive guide includes suggested tools and materials, the anatomy of letters, how to pair different lettering styles, and thorough tutorials on working with a variety of mediums. You’ll be creating striking layouts and compositions in no time.
Additionally, artists will find a wide range of lettering styles and techniques demonstrated step by step, including brush calligraphy, bounce lettering, and more, plus complete alphabet ideas that include reproducible practice pages that can be used to perfect their skills.
Once your artistic bones are there, move on to adding embellishments and flourishes! Add pizzazz to your work with frames, laurels and garlands, flowers, swirls, and more.
To cap it all off, a section of perforated pages at the back of the book contains fully illustrated frames, with blank openings so readers can fill them in with their own inspired lettered designs.
I started getting interested in the idea of hand lettering in 2016. At that time, I started Bible Art Journaling. So much of my personal style in Bible Art Journaling has been either getting an image in various mediums onto my Bible page that reflects the story or message or a particular Scripture or using word art to draw my focus and attention to a section or passage. Yet, even though I was big into word art in high school (not just drawing bubble letters, but typography in a bunch of different styles), my skills have severely declined as I haven't used those particular ones in upwards of ten years or so. And I've never branched out in calligraphy, faux-calligraphy, or hand lettering in this way before. I have watched many YouTube videos (tutorials, etc) about hand lettering. And so when I saw Lettering With Purpose available on NetGalley, I knew I had to check it out.
One of my biggest complaints is that the e-galley version that I received had to be read on the computer using Adobe Digital Editions. I've used this software for a few review books in the past, but it isn't my preferred method of reading a book. However, I figure maybe this particular book doesn't translate to a Kindle Edition in the best way. What that means for me is that when I came to sections where the book provides room to practice, I had to use a sketch book. This normally wouldn't bother me, except for the 100 prompts at the end of the book. And as this wasn't a book that I purchased for myself, there were restrictions on printing. All of that means that my allotted time I've been given to read and review this book will likely expire before I can make my way through each of the 100 prompts. And that makes me sad. But it does motivate me to perhaps go out and buy this book for myself once it releases anyway.
The tutorial content provided in Lettering With Purpose wasn't much different or much more detailed than I've found in the YouTube videos that I've watched. But Brittany Luiz does offer one particular tip that has helped me above all others that I've found. That's on the upstroke of a letter--which should appear thin in contrast to a thick downstroke--use as little pressure on the pen as possible to create the line. She also goes into a good bit of detail on the amount of pressure needed on the downstroke which helped me as well. I had previously been really struggling with making the transition between my downstrokes and upstrokes in thickness due to the incorrect amount of pressure I was applying to the pen in both cases. Beyond that though, I found most of the information presented was information that I'd already received.
One small frustration is that there were a couple of step by step tutorials within the book that required more products than your basic brush pen. These tutorials would be great if I had the products that she references on hand. But the materials needed aren't something that a beginner should likely have. These were great for showing some of the versatility in what all you can do with hand lettering, but disheartening as I didn't feel like I could actually complete the tutorials.
All of that being said, I'd be willing to spend the money to purchase Lettering With Purpose for the sole reason of the 100 prompts at the end of the book that I mentioned already. These prompts are ideas to help you determine what to hand letter when you're stuck, and specifically what to hand letter that will be meaningful to you and unique from the thousands or other pieces done by someone else.
Lettering With Purpose is a great guide to beginner hand lettering with a hint of the potential that it can become. Even though a lot of the information wasn't entirely new to me, someone just starting out and not having researched much at all about the art will find everything they need to know to get started. I particularly like the prompts at the end of the book to get you inspired with things that are meaningful to you that you can hand letter. Lettering With Purpose gets 4 Stars from me. Have you read Lettering With Purpose? What did you think? Let me know!
My own Bible Art Journaling:
My own hand lettering using the prompts from Lettering With Purpose (keep in mind...I'm a beginner):