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Practice Makes Progress

book practice like a pro Jul 30, 2021

Most people, when they’re just starting out with lettering compare themselves to others, but unfortunately, even with a little bit of practice, you’re not going to get close to your lettering heroes.

Lettering practice is like physical exercise, it takes months, even years to see evidence of improvement, but if you keep at it, you will improve.

“…adopt the practice makes progress approach”—Mark Hawthorne

One of the great things about the Typism books is that now we have enough of them to see a shift in the quality of the lettering community overall, and we also have a way to measure the progress of some of our favourite lettering artists.

When we first produced the Typism books, many people were concerned that lettering was just a “fad” and that we would eventually run out of great work to include. After producing our seventh book, we are pleased to see that the opposite has happened. There are more great examples of lettering to share than ever before and the quality of work in the Typism books goes from strength to strength, as does the work of people who continue to practice their craft.

Lettering practice can be boring, and so people tend not to share their practice sessions publicly. This is why your lettering heroes on Instagram appear to never make mistakes and always share their best work. As you sit in your studio and look at your failed experiments, it’s easy to become disheartened when all you see from other people is their best efforts.

If you need help committing to your practice routine, we have a free guide to help you practice lettering like a pro.

Showcase One: Alán Guzmán

Mexican lettering artist and co-founder of Lettres MX, Alán Guzman has appeared in the Typism books multiple times. He is a master of many styles but has really come into his own in recent times with his flair for script lettering. 

Showcase Two: Björn Berglund

Björn Berglund is a Swedish designer and lettering artist and applies a style that he calls Effective Beauty to all of his work. He primarily designs branding identities for his clients, but his lettering is often for a personal quote.

Showcase Three: Ian Barnard

Ian Barnard is a British lettering artist with some high profile lettering clients, but in recent years he has also become known for his terrific instructional videos on YouTube, specifically around how to use Procreate and the iPad for lettering. Ian has gone from strength to strength as a high profile lettering artist.

Showcase Four: Jackson Alves

Jackson Alves is an award-winning letterer, calligrapher and teacher based in Brazil. He has appeared in the Typism books multiple times and is best known for his calligraphy and mural work, but the work he often showcases in the books is 3D lettering.

Showcase Five: Kate Pullen

Kate Pullen is a Melbourne lettering artist who has spoken at the Typism conference in 2017 and is well known as one quarter of the all-girl lettering group, The Letterettes. All four Letterettes have appeared in the Typism Books over time, but Kate was first and has made an appearance three times. 

Showcase Six: Marco Lopez

Mexican lettering artist Marco Lpz has appeared in the Typism books many times and has a wide range of styles. He is just as comfortable on the iPad as he is painting on the wall and can switch from dark and moody, to bright and colourful.

Showcase Seven: Mateusz Witczak

Mateusz Witczak is a self-taught lettering artist currently living in Warsaw, Poland. He specialises in lettering with high level of detail and as the years have progressed, he has become the master of flourishing lock-ups.

Showcase Eight: Nikita Prokhorov

New York designer Nikita Prokhorov is known for his ambigrams, and has even designed the ambigram cover for Typism book seven, but as far back as book 1, Nikita has been a part of the Typism family. His first submission for the book, Nice Tittles is a typographic joke which still has people giggling. He has appeared in the Typism books many times, including book 7 on the cover, as well as speaking on stage at Typism in 2019.

Showcase Nine: Ryan Hamrick

Texan designer Ryan Hamrick is the king of flourishing and has appeared in the Typism book three times. You can see his flourishes getting bolder and cleaner over time, as he really works to perfect and own this style. He’s one of those lucky lettering artists who was able to transfer their style across to the iPad with no loss of quality. He has also spoken at a Typism conference.

So that's it for the examples from the Typism books. Think about yourself. How great would it be a year from now to look back on your progress and improvement?

Instead of comparing yourself to others, by committing yourself to improving your skills, and understanding that practice makes progress, you will have measurable proof that you have improved over time and all your hard work has paid off.

What ways can you measure your improvement to prove to yourself that practice makes progress?

Download your free practice lettering like a pro roadmap and start to measure your progress against yourself.

Grab all six Typism books for one low price

Grab digital copies of all six Typism books for just USD$67.

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