When I first started lettering, I used a rollerball pen from the Dollar Store. You might be laughing at my inexperience, but honestly, it was a great way to start out. I spent hours learning how to write “faux” calligraphy, coloring in the downstrokes with my handy black pen. I can confidently say that I have outgrown this stage in my lettering career, and have since settled on a handful of go-to products. I am not an expert by any means, but for those of you starting out or curious about what I like to use, read on!
#1 – Kuretake Fudegokochi Brush Pens – The soft tip brush pen is my absolute favorite, and there are several reasons why I continue to go back to it. First, the ink is a pure black and flows very smoothly. If you are tracing over a sketch, the ink does not fade with a gentle erase. I will caution you on one thing, however; because it’s an inky pen, if you aren’t careful, it can smudge pretty easily. Be sure to let it dry completely before you erase any lines (I’ve made this mistake several times – I’m working on my patience).
#2 – Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens – These are classic brush pens that you see many hand letterers using, and for good reason! They have excellent control and the tip can withstand a good amount of pressure without losing its form. I especially love using these pens when I’m writing Serif and block letters. One of the reasons I tend to use the Kuretake pen more than Tombow is because I like how the Kuretake pen is a darker black and more inky (is there a technical term for that?).
#3 – Pigma Micron Pens – I love these monoline pens for many reasons. One, they seem to last forever. I’m finally tossing one that I got last year! The variety pack is also useful, especially for adding designs to your letters or drawing flowers and flourishes. I’m particularly fond of the 08, 05, and the 01 sized pens; this gives you a good variation in size if you’re just starting out.
#4- Rhodia Pads – While you can have the most wonderful pens in the world, it’s almost equally important to have good paper. (I learned this the hard way and ruined some perfectly nice pens along the way.) Rhodia pads are wonderful to use for practicing. They are super smooth and perfect for the Kuretake and Tombow pens. The pages are also serrated so you can rip them out (typically I don’t have a problem getting them out, but I have ripped some pages along the way). I use my Rhodia blank pad more than the graph one I own, but I think this is because I love the journal full of graph paper that my sister made me.
#5 Moleskine Cahier – Plain or Moleskine Artist Journal – If you are looking to post pictures of lettering pieces in a journal, I’d definitely recommend getting a blank Moleskine. They look beautiful in photographs, and the paper is smooth so the pens write very well on them. Currently I have a few Plain Cahier Moleskines that I need to finish using, but I’d like to get an Artist Journal next. The paper in Cahier Journals are thinner. I have not had an issue with ink bleeding through, but you can definitely see the lettering pieces on the other side. The Artist Journal is supposed to have thicker pages; much better for those sermon letterers out there!
There are several other products out there that I enjoy, but for now, I thought I’d just share my top five. Have you tried any of these out? What do you like to use? I’m always open to trying new pens and papers, and I’d love to hear what you use!
This post contains affiliate links. Read our full affiliate disclosure on our Contact page.