The beginning of hand-lettering journey, I started by tracing fonts to familiarize myself with typography. I started with the Learn Lettering course with Seanwes and did some other one’s as well.
In Learn Lettering, Sean McCabe suggested to trace fonts, and suggested some basic ones as well. I set out into the woods (you can do it from home) and started with Baskerville, Geogrotesque and Museo Slab.
If you are looking for fonts that have a hand-lettering style, that’s a different conversation but you can find those here.
You can download the PDF’s here:
(Humanist Sans-serif) Geogrotesque PDF Tracing Template – Hand-lettering fonts for beginner’s to trace
How to get started with tracing, copying and reproducing fonts from memory
As suggested I started by tracing the fonts from tracing paper, then moved to just looking at the font and copying it, then I did it from memory after a couple times through on the first two. Once I finished doing it from memory I went back and made notes for corrections so I remember where I got off the path. A couple times through on these and you might be ready for some more!
Restated in bullet points:
- Step One: Trace the fonts from tracing paper
- Step Two: Move to just looking at the font and copying it
- Step Three: Try to reproduce the font from memory
- Step Four: Look back and make corrections
- Rinse and repeat with a new font (come back to the other one later)
The point of these templates is just to let you get started on the tracing quickly, you can choose your own fonts and lay them out in a way where you can trace them, and absorb their letter forms.
Next step templates:
The whole point of this is to start internalizing what good fonts do, so that you can evolve from there. Get a good script font and a couple other notably good fonts. Here are PDF templates for some very good fonts that you can work with.
(Display / Slab Serif) Matchbook PDF Tracing Template – Hand-lettering fonts for beginner’s to trace
Maybe start with a couple of these that you like and trace/copy/produce them from memory and correct several times before moving on to the next one. It’s more important to become intimate with a couple fonts than to move on and barely get to know 5 or 10.