Freehand lettering: a quick head-start

Freehand lettering: a quick head-start

Freehand titles and subtitles requiring larger letters can be accomplished easily with markers and felt tip pens.

This technique is good for schematic and preliminary drawings on marker paper, but these freehand outlining techniques can be adapted to other media.

Begin with guidelines about 3 cm (1½ inches) apart. Hold the marker gently. Make some letters, checking these pointers as you go:

  • The entire tip edge touches the paper.
  • The edge is aligned vertically all the time for vertical, diagonal,
    and circular strokes.
  • The marker is not rotated with the fingers, which would tip the
    marking surface onto its point or the heel.
  • Neither arm nor body is rotated.
  • The letters are made with a light touch, letting the edge of the
    marker create line width changes.
  • The toe and heel do not extend over horizontal guidelines.
  • Vertical strokes are consistently vertical. Use light vertical
    guidelines if necessary.
  • Smaller letters use the small edge at the tip of the marker.
Some examples to get you started:


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