Best Hand Lettering Books: 15 Must-Haves For Your Library

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Improving your hand lettering skills takes practice – a lot of practice. There are tons of different resources available to help guide you as you learn, but one of the best I have found is hand lettering books. Here are the best hand lettering books to help you understand and practice the art of hand lettering.

Hand lettering is the art of drawing letters and words and involves drawing out letters and building them out through design. 

If you are new to the world of hand lettering and want to improve your skills, you’ll need some resources. These days, you can find a considerable amount of helpful information online. With a bit of searching, you can find everything from picture guides to video tutorials on YouTube.

All of those resources are helpful on their own, but I have found that books provide a profoundly different learning experience. They allow you to step away from technology and get lost in learning and practicing a beautiful art form.

Even if you’re a YouTube video tutorial devotee, having a couple of well-chosen hand lettering books at home will help you improve your hand lettering skills even more.

There are tons of hand lettering books available (with more being published all the time!), so how do you know which ones are right for you?

Here’s my list of the best hand lettering books available today. I include a brief review of each recommendation to help you narrow down the list and choose a couple that will give you the tips, tools, and instruction you crave.

Things To Search For In A Hand Lettering Book

Learning any new skill takes time and practice, and hand lettering is no different. It may not come intuitively at first, which is why having helpful resources at your disposal is so important. I’m a huge proponent of getting instruction – the proper instruction – so that you can master your new skills quickly.

That said, not every book on hand lettering is equal to its peers. Here are some essential components to look for in the best hand lettering books.

Skill Level-Based Instruction

In order to compare apples to apples as you look at different hand lettering books, you need to know whether the books you are looking at are geared towards beginners or more advanced hand lettering artists.

Buying a book that teaches advanced skills will be too overwhelming for beginners. And purchasing a beginner-level book won’t be helpful for an intermediate or advanced artist.

Find books that teach to the level you currently are and move through a progression to the next level (or beyond). 

Further, it should contain pictures in addition to instructions and tips. Some books focus on images and sorely lack helpful instruction, creating unnecessary frustration for you. The best hand lettering books strike a great balance between the two.

Finally, make sure that the books you’re considering hit the right tone. If you can’t connect with the author or instructor’s writing, you won’t get the most from your investment. At best, you won’t enjoy the process. At worst, you won’t learn what you want to learn from the book.

The Style You Want

There are many different hand lettering styles, so if you have a specific style that you want to learn, look for a book that covers it. You’ll likely find in-depth instruction about the process along with pictures to guide you.

Pace And Progression

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the author cover the techniques and concepts that I want to learn?
  • Will this book help me improve my skillset and keep moving forward?
  • Does this book move forward at a progression that’s comfortable and easy to follow?
  • Are there worksheets or materials to help you practice actually writing?


The critical thing to remember here is that many factors help determine the price of a book, including the author’s expertise, content quality, quality of materials, etc. 

There are expensive hand lettering books that can be a complete waste of your money. By the same token, affordable options may be extremely helpful and valuable. In this case, picking the more expensive option doesn’t necessarily provide you with a better product. 

When you’re evaluating the books you think you want, take some time to examine the factors I mentioned above and balance them out so that you choose the book that fits your learning style, instructional preferences, and how much you want to spend.

Now it’s time to check out the books on my list of the best hand lettering books!

The 15 Best Hand Lettering Books For Beginners And Beyond

In this list, I am covering all skill levels. I will note what level each book fits into so that you don’t think you’re buying a beginner book and then end up with one you don’t understand.

1. The Ultimate Guide To Modern Calligraphy & Hand Lettering For Beginners by June & Lucy

Target Skill Level: Beginner

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I know that the word calligraphy is in the title, making it confusing. But really, this book is all about the lettering. It covers calligraphy some, but it focuses on hand lettering.

The author shares tons of helpful information that’s PERFECT for beginners, including:

  • Explanation of important terms.
  • Excellent instruction on brush strokes and body positioning.
  • A breakdown of the styles of pens to use for each font.

There are even practice sheets for each font, different letters, words, and phrases! You can print them out for extra practice or share them with the kids so everyone can learn together.

NOTE: the pages are a little thin, so you may find that your ink bleeds through.

However, for the ultra-affordable price, it’s worth every single penny and many more too!

Overall, this is one of my very favorite hand lettering books and one I recommend to people all the time. It provides great instruction, lots of lettering ideas and tips, and plenty of practice to take you from a brand new beginner to an artist who can confidently hand letter anything you want.

2. Hand Lettering 101: An Introduction To The Art Of Creative Lettering (Modern Calligraphy Series) by Chalkfulloflove 

Target Skill Level: Beginner

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One of the things you probably want to do is learn different fonts (they’re so much fun!), and this book is where you should turn for a large variety of font instruction.

The author provides detailed instructions on many different fonts that are exactly what you would want them to be: simple, clear, and easy to follow.

Other helpful features that make me include this book on the list of the best hand lettering books are:

  • Thick pages so you don’t need to worry about ink bleeding through.
  • A spiral-bound design that makes it easy to practice lettering.
  • Convenient size so you can take it with you anywhere.
  • Lots of blank practice pages to try different fonts and designs.

The one big drawback to this book is that there isn’t instruction on how to draw capital letters (this is found in the companion book Hand Lettering 201).

Overall, this book is a terrific addition to your hand lettering instructional book library. It’s affordable and comprehensive (minus the capital letters issue). 

3. Hand Lettering 201: Intermediate Lettering And Design Basics by Chalkfulloflove

Target Skill Level: Beginner

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This book builds upon the skills you learn in Hand Lettering 101. It’s a beginner-level book that you can use independently from its predecessor, but you’ll get the most comprehensive experience from using these books together.

In it, you’ll find:

  • Instruction on a range of new color and design techniques.
  • The ability to combine the skills you learn through completing six different projects.
  • Tips and tricks to help you improve your skills.

With the inclusion of new fonts (and capital letters), you’ll have everything you need to take your skills to the next level.

One downside is that you’ll find upper and lowercase letters of the same font in two different areas of the book, which isn’t a big problem but might be confusing for some at first.

Overall, this book is affordable and chockful of great information, making it a terrific investment that will enhance your hand lettering library.

4. Hand Lettering For Everyone: A Creative Workbook by Christina Vanko

Target Skill Level – Beginner to Intermediate

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If you’re searching for worksheets and activity prompts for more practice, check out this book. 

Inside, you’ll find lots of examples of different lettering styles, but they won’t be laid out for you in complete alphabets. Instead, the book’s layout is meant to challenge you to play around with basic hand lettering elements so you can develop your own style.

You’ll also find:

  • History of lettering and trends.
  • Support to embrace the creative process.
  • Activity prompts to encourage creativity, such as recreating a book cover using hand lettering, making a type self-portrait, exploring shading, and more.  

Overall, if you want a “plug and play” style where you just copy others’ examples, this book isn’t for you. Nor is this book geared for true beginners. 

I think you need to have at least a solid understanding of (and some practice with) hand-lettering under your belt to appreciate all this book has to offer.

5. Pretty Simple Lettering: A Step-By-Step Hand Lettering And Modern Calligraphy Workbook For Beginners by Whitney Farnsworth

Target Skill Level – Beginner

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This comprehensive book offers solid, dependable instruction and practice to hand lettering newbies in a simple and easy-to-follow format. It has everything a beginner could want, yet it also has plenty to help improve anyone’s skills.

In it, you’ll find:

  • Tips, tricks, and ideas to study and learn a variety of styles.
  • A breakdown of 10 different alphabets (including lower case and capital letters!).
  • Explanation of different brushes and pens that are suitable for each lettering style.
  • Instruction on letter placement and spacing.
  • Worksheets in different font styles.

Overall, this book is a terrific guide that will complement anything else you already have in your library. Its affordable price makes it a good value and a must-have!

6. Hand-Lettering: An Interactive Guide To The Art Of Drawing Letters by Megan Wells

Target Skill Level – Beginner

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Some of the best hand lettering books teach you a lot of different fonts, while others teach you the basic forms and encourage you to let your creative side out so you can take what you’ve learned and create your personal style.

This hand lettering book strikes a middle-of-the-road approach by teaching five different fonts and showing ideas for ways to create your own style from the basic concepts. It even covers how to work with various methods, including acrylic, watercolor, and colored pencil lettering.

Inside, you’ll find:

  • Simple tutorials.
  • Practice pages where you can trace, color, or do your hand lettering.
  • Demonstrations on mixing different styles, combining text and illustrations, and adding decorative elements such as shading and embellishments.
  • Project prompts to learn how to add hand lettering to everyday items.

Overall, this hand lettering guide is a great value that offers a great balance of how-to’s, ideas, and practice pages. Its interactive style will capture your attention and keep you engaged until the last page.

7. Creative Lettering And Beyond: Inspiring Tips, Techniques, And Ideas by Gabri Joy Kirkendall and Jaclyn Escalera

Target Skill Level – Beginner

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Through an interactive format and straightforward step-by-step process, this book will teach the very basics from letter shape and forms to more advanced skills such as spacing, alignment, and script. Through the process, you’ll learn how to take simple words or phrases and transform them into beautiful pieces of hand-lettered art.

Inside, you’ll find: 

  • Instruction on a wide variety of hand lettering styles.
  • Many practice pages and prompts to encourage you to expand your skills by adding your own flair.
  • Guidance on how to use lettering for calendars, coffee mugs, and other projects and gift ideas.

Overall, this book is a one-stop-shop of all the basic info you need to begin lettering. You’ll find plenty of space to practice your technique in a very affordable and easy-to-follow book.

8. The Joy Of Lettering: A Creative Exploration Of Contemporary Hand Lettering by Gabri Joy Kirkendall and Jaclyn Escalera

Target Skill Level – Intermediate

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In this follow-up to Creative Lettering and Beyond, you’ll find tools, tips, and tricks for more advanced hand lettering artists. Explore a variety of styles while using a variety of writing tools.

Then discover what else is inside, including:

  • How to use alternative media and materials, such as watercolor, wood, and gouache.
  • Simple lessons on creative techniques.
  • Project prompts to put your skills to the test.
  • Suggestions for adding interest and character to your lettering

Overall, this book is an affordable and all-inclusive resource that belongs on every hand lettering artist’s shelf.

9. Hand Lettering For Relaxation: An Inspirational Workbook For Creating Beautiful Lettered Art by Amy Latta

Target Skill Level – Beginner to Intermediate

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This book strikes a friendly, down-to-earth tone in a beginner’s guide that includes 46 workshop-style lessons to help you gain proficiency and confidence to draw beautiful designs. 

The lessons are detailed without being overwhelming and include tips and skills that beginners need, and more advanced letterers will appreciate taking their skills to the next level.

Inside, you’ll find:

  • Lessons on how to do monograms, blending colors, watercolor backgrounds, and overlapping texts.
  • Thick, high-quality pages with binding that lays flat for easy practice.
  • Instruction on creating beautiful embellishments and doodles such as vines, banners, swirls, ribbons, roses, feathers, leaf patterns, and more.

Overall, this book is an excellent value and worth every single penny.

In addition to all the highlights I’ve already mentioned, there are also tips on how to digitize your designs, which will come in handy if you want to print them on items such as t-shirts or other items you might want to sell.

Whether you want to use your new hand lettering skills for your bullet journal, your planner, or take it to the next level, this book has everything you need to get where you want to be.

10. Happy Hand Lettering: An Inspirational Guide For Creating Beautiful Words Of Life By Maghon Taylor

Target Skill Level – Beginner

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This book aims to inspire and encourage anyone who wants to get better at hand lettering. The use of a warm tone conveys the message that you don’t have to have great handwriting to have happy hand lettering. 

The goal is to aim for joy instead of perfection as you gain confidence and delight in your newfound skills and realize it’s ok to make mistakes, try again, and enjoy the journey.

Inside, you’ll find:

  • Helpful tips and techniques perfect for beginners and also beneficial for those with a little more experience. 
  • Practice pages of different traceable alphabet styles (including lowercase and capital letters).
  • Traceable motivational quotes to both inspire you and put your skills to the test.
  • Thick, high-quality pages.
  • Lots of practical ideas to create a variety of items such as homemade gifts and home decor.

Overall, I love the no-pressure, all encouragement approach this book takes to hand lettering. It absolutely perfect for anyone who needs a little support to get over the hump and get started or a push to expand their technique. 

With something for everyone and an affordable price, it’s one of the best hand lettering books on the market.

11. The Hand Lettering Workbook by Amanda Kammarada

Target Skill Level – Beginner to Advanced

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Many beginners want easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions as they learn this new skill and work to build their confidence. If that’s you, this book supplies it in spades. 

You’ll find detailed instructions delivered in a way that successfully guides beginners while still providing helpful tips to experienced hand letterers. The first part of the book covers various hand lettering styles before moving into a section that explores advanced techniques.

Inside, you’ll find:

  • Seven different font styles (both uppercase and lowercase are included).
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to connect letters.
  • Lots of practice pages to help you master your new skills.
  • Learn advanced techniques such as adding embellishments, making words and phrases, and developing your own style.
  • Great craft and project ideas to expand your skills.

12. Super Simple Hand Lettering: 20 Traceable Alphabets, Easy Projects, Practice Sheets & More! By Kiley Bennett

Target Skill Level – Beginner

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Kudos to the author for striking a terrific beginner-friendy tone with a great introduction to hand lettering as well as numerous tips, tools, and techniques. The interactive approach focuses on getting pen to paper to begin practicing as you learn more skills along the way.

Inside, you’ll find:

  • Twenty different font alphabets you can trace (both uppercase and lowercase letters included).
  • Practice exercises to build your lettering skills.
  • Space to practice lettering and develop your own style.
  • Five projects to put your new skills to use.
  • High-quality, thick paper that doesn’t allow ink to bleed through.
  • A color gallery section for inspiration.

Overall, this book gives you a lot of bang for your buck. Its laid-back, encouraging tone is perfect for anyone who has felt apprehension or frustration around hand lettering. I highly recommend adding this one to your library!

13. Lettering And Modern Calligraphy: A Beginner’s Guide by Paper Peony Press

Target Skill Level – Beginner

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This book is terrific for beginners! Learn uppercase and lowercase letters in different fonts through simple, easy-to-follow, detailed instructions. Every lesson includes practice pages so you can practice what you’ve learned.

Inside, you’ll find:

  • Five beautiful font styles (uppercase and lowercase included).
  • Fifteen sections that each teach a different skill or technique.
  • Sweet encouraging notes at the bottom of every page.

Overall, this book is impressive solely based on its contents. One drawback is that the pages are thin, so the ink will likely bleed through. 

However, when you factor in the low price, it’s a no-brainer for anyone beginning to learn hand lettering. Reduce stress and learn an art form you’ll love doing for years with this book!

14. Lettering For Beginners: A Creative Lettering How To Guide With Alphabet Guides, Projects And Practice Pages by Lettering Design Co.

Target Skill Level – Beginner

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The only way to get better at hand-lettering is to practice, and that’s exactly what you’ll get here! If you’re searching for extra worksheet practice, this book is for you.

It’s more of a workbook than an instructional book that focuses on three fonts: serif, sans serif, and script. With tons of included worksheets for practice, you’ll quickly master these three fonts so that you can confidently expand on that foundation.

Inside, you’ll find:

  • LOTS of practice pages to help you master your skills!
  • High-quality, thick paper for practicing without worry of ink bleeding through.

Overall, this book is geared toward beginners who have basic lettering knowledge and want lots of practice to hone their skills. True beginners who want detailed instructions won’t find that on these pages.

15. Lettering For Absolute Beginners Workbook: Complete Faux Calligraphy How-To Guide With Simple Projects by Danielle Stringer

Target Skill Level – Beginner

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This book provides both instruction and space for practice in an interactive workbook that follows a carefully designed progression to help you learn how to hand-letter and create beautiful works of art. 

Inside, you’ll find:

  • Instructions on how to draw letters and turn them into words or verses.
  • Pages of traceable phrases.
  • Five different alphabet styles (uppercase and lowercase included).
  • Five unique at-home projects to complete, including wood signs, gift bags, and ceramic plates!

Overall, I include this book in my list of the best hand lettering books because it contains a simple approach that makes learning hand lettering approachable and fun. 

There are also instructions to help guide you through the process of taking your skills from paper to other materials so you can hand letter anything.

FAQs When Choosing The Best Hand Lettering Books

With such a large selection of fantastic options, choosing just one or two may be challenging. Here are some questions that readers ask frequently. Their answers may help you as you narrow down your list of the best hand lettering books to add to your cart.

What is the best way to learn hand lettering?

In terms of receiving instruction, the best way to learn hand lettering will depend on how you learn the best. I recommend watching YouTube tutorials or online video courses on Skillshare if you learn auditorially. 

Alternatively, if you learn best visually, books and websites can be extremely helpful.

But no matter what method works better for you to learn instructional tips, nothing beats putting pen to paper and practicing. In fact, hand lettering is much MORE about practicing strokes and technique than it is about receiving tons of instruction. 

That’s why I love utilizing the best hand lettering books out there! They usually are the best of both worlds: instruction AND practice.

How can I learn to letter?

You’ll likely need just a little bit of instruction, so you know the basic strokes and letterforms. After that, I recommend tons of hand letter alphabet practice

Drawing the same letters repeatedly will help build muscle memory, build confidence, and allow you to explore your creativity to create your own style. When it comes to hand lettering, it’s really only through practice that you get better.

Why do you need hand-lettering books?

Although hand lettering may seem simple, there are subtle complexities that you may not realize without the tools to point them out to you.

The best hand lettering books act as combined teacher, cheerleader, and coach to give you the information you need as well as the space to practice so that you build and improve your skills!

Where can I buy hand lettering books?

My favorite place to buy books is Amazon because I love reading all the reviews before pushing the button on a purchase. That’s why I’ve included all Amazon links for all the best hand lettering books on this list (which is all of them)! Plus, the selection there is unmatched.

If you prefer to buy local, you can find many of these options in your local bookstore!

Can hand lettering be self-taught?

Yes! Ultimately, that’s how you’re going to learn hand lettering. You may receive a little instruction, but your greatest “teacher” will be the practice you put into learning how to hand letter.

Learning the basic strokes and letterforms will only take you so far. In order to become proficient at hand lettering, you’ll want to develop your own lettering style, which will be entirely self-taught.

How long does it take to master hand lettering?

This one is tough to answer because it depends entirely on how much time you spend practicing. If you only practice once a week, it could take months or even years to become great at hand lettering.

On the other hand, if you practice for a few minutes each day, it might only take you weeks or a couple of months to become a hand lettering master.

Final Thoughts On The Best Hand Lettering Books For You

I hope this list of hand-lettered books gave you some options that you can’t wait to bring home and dive into!

If you aren’t sure where to start, just look for a book or two that fits your budget, covers both instruction and practice, and strikes a tone that connects you to the material. Then, once you get into the material, it won’t matter as much because the process of hand lettering will have (and keep) you coming back for more!

After you get more comfortable with drawing your letters, try creating these hand-lettered quotes for some fun extra practice.

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