Get Started with Hand-Lettering with these Inspiring Books

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Typography Sketchbooks

by Steven Heller

About the book:  Selected by the worlds most knowledgeable and well-connected graphic-design commentator, Steven Heller, this survey gets into the minds of designers who create typefaces, word-images and logos through their private sketchbooks. Arranged by designer, this collection of typographic explorations intimately reveals how nearly 120 of the worlds leading designers and typographers continually strive to find new and exciting ways of communicating through letters and words, and provides fascinating insights into their work. Aimed at all those who use type, whether by hand or on screen, this revealing compendium stresses the importance of good typography at a time when reading habits are changing, and celebrates a craft that has endured for centuries.

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Scripts

by Steven Heller,Louise Fili

About the book:  Elegant, quirky, fluid, brutish, ostentatious— a visual resource of cursives and other typefaces that resemble handwriting.

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Elegantissima

by Louise Fili

About the book:  Louise Fili has been an inspiration for designers around the world since the 1980s, when she raised the bar on book cover design, creating close to two thousand jackets as art director for Pantheon Books. In 1989 Fili founded her own graphic design studio, Louise Fili Ltd, and branched out into the fields of restaurant and food packaging design. Her lavish and elegant typography, often hand drawn, helps advertise and market such well-known brands as Sarabeth's, Bella Cucina, Jean-Georges, and Good Housekeeping, among many others. Known for her intense attention to detail, her fresh reinterpretation of vintage sources, and her passion for all things Italian, Fili has won numerous awards. Elegantissima, the first monograph on her work, covers the breadth of her nearly forty-year design career and is a must-have for graphic design students and professionals, as well as anyone interested in advertising, food, restaurants, Italy, and books.

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In Progress

by Jessica Hische

About the book:  This show-all romp through design-world darling Jessica Hische's sketchbook reveals the creative and technical process behind making award-winning hand lettering. See everything, from Hische's rough sketches to her polished finals for major clients such as Wes Anderson, NPR, and Starbucks. The result is a well of inspiration and brass tacks information for designers who want to sketch distinctive letterforms and hone their skills. With more than 250 images of her penciled sketches, this highly visual ebook is an essential—and entirely enjoyable—resource for those who practice or simply appreciate the art of hand lettering.

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The ABC of Custom Lettering

by Ivan Castro

About the book:  An authoritative resource for designers, typographers, signwriters, illustrators, pinstripers, and other creative professionals Need to produce some flyers? Want to draw up a logo for a band? Does your local speed shop need a T-shirt design? Don't want to use the same old computer fonts? Well let graphic designer and typography teacher Ivan Castro show you The ABC of Custom Lettering. This practical and inspirational workbook features easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions for hand drawing a range of letterforms, from Modern Roman and Gothic through to Latin, Script, and Interlocked. Offering traditional instruction methods with a modern twist, this reference also comes with gallery sections for inspiration and accompanying projects to practice your technique.

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Sign Painters

by Faythe Levine,Sam Macon

About the book:  There was a time, as recently as the 1980s, when storefronts, murals, banners, barn signs, billboards, and even street signs were all hand-lettered with brush and paint. But, like many skilled trades, the sign industry has been overrun by the techno-fueled promise of quicker and cheaper. The resulting proliferation of computer-designed, die-cut vinyl lettering and inkjet printers has ushered a creeping sameness into our visual landscape. Fortunately, there is a growing trend to seek out traditional sign painters and a renaissance in the trade. In 2010 filmmakers Faythe Levine, coauthor of Handmade Nation, and Sam Macon began documenting these dedicated practitioners, their time-honored methods, and their appreciation for quality and craftsmanship. Sign Painters, the first anecdotal history of the craft, features stories and photographs of more than two dozen sign painters working in cities throughout the United States. With a foreword by legendary artist (and former sign painter) Ed Ruscha, this vibrant book profiles sign painters young and old, from the new vanguard working solo to collaborative shops such as San Francisco s New Bohemia Signs and New York s Colossal Media s Sky High Murals.

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Hand-lettering Ledger

by Mary Kate McDevitt

About the book:  The ultimate tool for designers and creatives looking to tap into the trend of hand-drawn lettering, this workbook features step-by-step lessons on a range of styles plus more than 120 practice pages, making it the ideal place to learn and perfect this in-demand design skill.

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Little Book of Lettering

by Emily Gregory

About the book:  Typography is always one of the designer's first considerations when it comes to making a statement, and in recent years the world of lettering and type has exploded in an unprecedented wave of creative discovery. Contemporary artists, typesetters, and designers of all kinds are exploring new horizons in illustrated and hand-drawn lettering, digitally rendered lettering, and 3D lettering. This collection—large in scope but petite in size—surveys the recent lettering renaissance, showcasing a diverse range of talent in gorgeous, eye-catching examples and profiling today's innovators. In a stunning little package that expertly combines a handmade feel with a modern aesthetic, this is the ultimate inspirational collection of contemporary lettering for design buffs and type enthusiasts alike.

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Hand to Type

by Jan Middendorp

About the book:  Hand to type is a stunning compilation of handmade and digital scripts that showcases the beauty of handwritten letterforms. The book features work by some of today's most successful and original calligraphers and lettering artists. In addition to fonts and lettering using the Latin alphabet, it introduces artists who explore Cyrillic, Arabic, and Greek scripts. The book's rich visual examples are complemented by in-depth interviews with outstanding calligraphers and type designers conducted by editor Jan Middendorp. Hand to type also offers a revealing glimpse into processes by which handmade letters may be turned into digital files. Prominent guest authors introduce the workings of scripts with which many readers may be less familiar - from Arabic and Indian writing systems to the amazing scripts found in pre-war German school books and on Amsterdam pub windows.

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Lettering and Alphabets

by J. Albert Cavanagh

About the book:  Stresses the practical application of lettering and gives examples of 85 styles

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The Missing Ink

by Philip Hensher

About the book:  Tells of the story of the endangered art of penmanship, reflecting on what handwriting reveals about a person's personality and history while paying tribute to the warmth of a handwritten note.

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The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering

by Valerie McKeehan

About the book:  Ubiquitous at boutiques and cafés, on Etsy and Pinterest, in stationery and home decor, the art of chalk lettering is hotter than ever. Valerie McKeehan, an Etsy standout whose work has been featured in magazines and websites from Good Housekeeping to RealSimple.com, teaches us everything we need to know to create gorgeous hand-drawn chalk designs. The book is also a practice space, with three foldout “chalkboards”—the inside cover and foldout back cover are lined with blackboard paper. In over 60 lessons, learn the ABCs of lettering (literally) and basic styles: serif, sans serif, and script. Next, how to lay out a design, combine various styles into one cohesive piece, add shadows and dimension. Master more advanced letter styles, from faceted to ribbon to “vintage circus.” Use banners, borders, flourishes. And finally, 12 projects to show off your newfound skills: including a Winter Wonderland Snow Globe; a smartphone-themed birthday card to text friends and family; a one-of-a-kind party invitation to create, photograph, and mail; and a bake sale sign guaranteed to put everyone who sees it in the mood for a cupcake!

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