Learn Procreate for Hand Lettering: Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


Getting Started with Procreate for Hand Lettering

Mastering Basic Tools in Procreate for Hand Lettering

Developing Hand Lettering Techniques in Procreate

Creating Composition and Design in Procreate for Hand Lettering

Finalizing and Exporting Your Hand Lettering Artwork

Ready to dive into the world of digital hand lettering? Look no further! This step-by-step guide will teach you everything you need to know about using Procreate for hand lettering. Whether you're a complete beginner or a seasoned artist looking to expand your skills, this guide has got you covered. Let's get started!

Getting Started with Procreate for Hand Lettering

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of Procreate for hand lettering, it's important to get familiar with the essentials. In this section, we'll discuss choosing the right devices and accessories, installing Procreate on your device, and understanding the Procreate interface.

Choosing the Right Devices and Accessories

When it comes to using Procreate for hand lettering, the device you choose can make a world of difference. Ideally, you'll want to work with an iPad, as Procreate is designed specifically for this platform. An iPad Pro with Apple Pencil is a great combination, but any iPad model that's compatible with a stylus will work just fine.

As for the stylus, the Apple Pencil is the most popular choice among artists, thanks to its pressure sensitivity and tilt functionality. However, there are alternative options, like the Logitech Crayon or Adonit Pixel, which also offer a smooth drawing experience. Whatever your budget, there's a stylus out there to suit your needs!

Installing Procreate on Your Device

Once you've got your iPad and stylus sorted, it's time to install Procreate. Simply head to the App Store, search for "Procreate," and purchase the app. Although it's not free, the investment is well worth it for the range of tools and features it offers.

After installing Procreate, open the app and spend some time exploring its interface. You'll notice a gallery where you can create and organize your projects, as well as a wealth of brushes, colors, and other tools to help you create stunning hand-lettered artwork.

Understanding the Procreate Interface

Now that Procreate is installed, let's familiarize ourselves with its interface. The toolbar at the top of the screen contains essential tools like brushes, erasers, and the smudge tool. You'll also find a color picker, layers panel, and the all-important undo and redo buttons. Remember, practice makes perfect—so spend some time playing around with these tools to get a feel for how they work.

On the right side of the screen, you'll find the slider for brush size and opacity. By sliding your finger up or down, you can easily adjust these settings to create the perfect stroke. And there you have it: you're all set to start exploring the world of Procreate for hand lettering!

Mastering Basic Tools in Procreate for Hand Lettering

Now that you're familiar with the Procreate interface, let's explore some of the basic tools that will help you create stunning hand-lettered artwork. We'll cover brushes, layers, and color selection—three essential components of Procreate for hand lettering. So grab your stylus and let's get started!

Exploring Brushes and Customizing Your Own

Procreate offers a wide variety of brushes to choose from, each with its own unique characteristics. When it comes to hand lettering, calligraphy brushes are a popular choice, as they provide a smooth writing experience and mimic the look of traditional calligraphy pens. To access these brushes, tap on the brush icon in the toolbar and explore the different categories available.

But wait, there's more! You can also create your own custom brushes in Procreate. Tap on the "+" symbol in the brushes panel, and start tweaking settings like shape, grain, and dynamics to make your brush truly unique. Don't be afraid to experiment—finding the perfect brush for your hand lettering style is an exciting part of the creative process.

Working with Layers for Easy Editing

Layers are a game-changer when it comes to digital art, and Procreate for hand lettering is no exception. By using layers, you can separate different elements of your design, making it easier to edit, rearrange, or modify your work. To create a new layer, tap on the layers panel in the toolbar, and then tap the "+" symbol.

Pro tip: use separate layers for your guidelines, lettering, and decorative elements. This way, you can easily adjust or remove any part of your design without affecting the rest of your artwork. Trust us—you'll thank yourself later!

Selecting Colors and Creating Palettes

Ah, colors—the lifeblood of any design. In Procreate for hand lettering, you have access to an almost infinite number of colors. To choose a color, tap on the color picker in the toolbar, and use the color wheel or sliders to find the perfect hue. You can also use the eyedropper tool to sample colors from existing artwork or images.

Want to save your favorite colors for later use? No problem! Create custom color palettes by tapping on the "Palettes" tab in the color picker. Here, you can add, remove, or rearrange colors to your heart's content. This is especially handy if you're working on a project with a specific color scheme or just want to keep your go-to colors organized.

Developing Hand Lettering Techniques in Procreate

With the basic tools under your belt, it's time to dive into the world of hand lettering techniques. In this section, we'll cover practicing basic strokes and letterforms, connecting letters to create words, and adding flourishes and decorative elements to make your hand lettering truly stand out.

Developing Hand Lettering Techniques in Procreate

Great job mastering the basic tools! Now that you have a solid foundation, let's build on that knowledge and develop your hand lettering techniques. This section will guide you through practicing basic strokes and letterforms, connecting letters to create words, and adding flourishes and decorative elements to make your hand lettering truly unique. So, let's take your Procreate for hand lettering skills to the next level!

Practicing Basic Strokes and Letterforms

Before you start creating stunning lettering designs, it's essential to practice the basic strokes and letterforms. These building blocks will help you develop consistency and control, which are vital for successful hand lettering. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Start with the basics: Focus on simple strokes like downstrokes, upstrokes, and curves. These will help you gain familiarity with your chosen brush and train your hand to apply the right amount of pressure.
  • Practice letterforms: Once you're comfortable with the basic strokes, move on to practicing individual letterforms. Break down each letter into simple strokes, and practice them repeatedly until you're satisfied with the result.
  • Be patient: Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is your hand lettering expertise. Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep at it and watch your skills grow over time.

Connecting Letters and Creating Words

Now that you've practiced your basic strokes and letterforms, it's time to connect those letters and start forming words. This step will help you develop a natural flow and rhythm in your hand lettering. Here are some pointers for connecting letters in Procreate for hand lettering:

  • Find the right connection points: Identify the points where two letters should connect, typically at the end of one letter and the beginning of the next. This might take some trial and error, but it's essential for a seamless connection.
  • Adjust your brush size: When connecting letters, you might need to adjust your brush size to maintain consistency in stroke width. Don't be afraid to experiment and find the size that works best for your style.
  • Practice, practice, practice: Just like with basic strokes and letterforms, practice is key. The more you practice connecting letters, the more natural and fluid your hand lettering will become.

Adding Flourishes and Decorative Elements

Once you've mastered the art of connecting letters and forming words, it's time to add some flair to your hand lettering. Flourishes and decorative elements can elevate your designs and showcase your unique style. Here are some ideas to get you started with embellishments in Procreate for hand lettering:

  • Explore different flourishes: Flourishes can take many forms, such as loops, swirls, or curls. Try out different styles and see what resonates with your personal aesthetic.
  • Use layers for experimentation: Remember those handy layers we talked about earlier? Use them to your advantage when trying out new flourishes or decorative elements. This way, you can easily adjust or delete them without affecting your main lettering.
  • Less is more: While flourishes can add a touch of elegance to your hand lettering, it's important not to go overboard. Aim for a balanced design that highlights your lettering without overwhelming it.

With these techniques in your toolkit, you're well on your way to becoming a Procreate for hand lettering pro! In the next section, we'll dive into creating composition and design to bring your hand lettering to life.

Creating Composition and Design in Procreate for Hand Lettering

Now that you've developed your hand lettering techniques, it's time to focus on composition and design. In this section, we'll explore planning your layout, understanding typography and font pairing, and designing backgrounds to enhance your hand lettering visuals. So, let's dive into the world of composition and design in Procreate for hand lettering!

Planning Your Layout and Composition

Having a well-planned layout can make or break your hand lettering designs. It's crucial to provide structure and balance to your artwork so that it's easy on the eyes and conveys your message effectively. Here are a few tips to help you plan your layout:

  • Begin with a sketch: Take a moment to sketch out your ideas on paper or directly in Procreate. This will help you visualize the composition and make adjustments before committing to the final design.
  • Use guides and grids: Procreate offers handy guides and grids to assist you in aligning your lettering. Make use of these tools to ensure your composition is balanced and well-structured.
  • Consider hierarchy: Think about which elements of your design should stand out the most. Use size, color, and contrast to emphasize key words or phrases in your hand lettering artwork.

Understanding Typography and Font Pairing

Typography plays a significant role in hand lettering designs. It's not just about the individual letters, but how they work together to create a cohesive and visually appealing design. Let's look at some ways to improve your typography and font pairing skills in Procreate for hand lettering:

  • Study typefaces: Familiarize yourself with different typefaces and their characteristics. This will help you make informed decisions when choosing fonts for your hand lettering designs.
  • Pair fonts wisely: When combining different fonts in your designs, aim for a harmonious balance. Look for fonts that complement each other without competing for attention. A good rule of thumb is to pair a serif font with a sans-serif font for contrast.
  • Keep it simple: Less is more when it comes to typography. Stick to two or three fonts at most, and avoid using too many different typefaces in a single design.

Designing Backgrounds and Enhancing Visuals

A well-designed background can elevate your hand lettering designs and make them stand out. Whether you're aiming for a minimalistic look or a bold, eye-catching design, there are countless ways to enhance your visuals in Procreate for hand lettering. Here are some ideas for designing backgrounds:

  • Play with color: Choose a background color that complements your lettering and sets the mood for your design. Don't be afraid to experiment with gradients or textured backgrounds — just make sure your lettering remains legible.
  • Add illustrations or patterns: Incorporate illustrations or patterns to add depth and interest to your background. Remember to keep it subtle, so it doesn't overshadow your hand lettering.
  • Use masks and clipping masks: Procreate offers powerful masking tools that allow you to create unique background effects. Experiment with masks and clipping masks to add texture or patterns to your lettering without affecting the background.

With a strong understanding of composition and design, your Procreate for hand lettering projects will truly shine. In the next and final section, we'll discuss finalizing and exporting your hand lettering artwork, so you can share your creations with the world!

Finalizing and Exporting Your Hand Lettering Artwork

Great job! You've made it to the final step of your Procreate for hand lettering journey. It's time to put the finishing touches on your artwork, export it in the right format, and share your creations with the world. Let's dive in and wrap up your hand lettering masterpiece.

Proofing and Fine-Tuning Your Design

Before you export and share your hand lettering artwork, it's essential to proofread and fine-tune your design. Here's how to ensure your creation is polished and ready for the spotlight:

  • Check for errors: Take a close look at your design to spot any spelling mistakes or inconsistencies in your lettering. It's easy to overlook small errors, so give your artwork a thorough review.
  • Adjust spacing and alignment: Make sure your letters and words are evenly spaced and aligned. Use Procreate's guides and grids to help you achieve a balanced composition.
  • Refine your visuals: Double-check your background, colors, and decorative elements. Ensure everything complements your hand lettering and enhances your overall design.

Choosing the Right Export Formats

Once your hand lettering artwork is polished to perfection, it's time to export it in the appropriate format. Procreate offers various export options, so let's go over which ones work best for different purposes:

  • JPEG or PNG: These formats are ideal for sharing your artwork on social media or websites. JPEG is a compressed format, while PNG offers better quality but larger file sizes. Choose the one that suits your needs best.
  • PSD: If you plan to further edit your design in Adobe Photoshop, export your artwork as a PSD file. This format keeps your layers intact, allowing for seamless editing in Photoshop.
  • PDF: For print-ready artwork, exporting as a PDF is your best bet. This format preserves the quality of your design and is widely accepted by professional printers.

Sharing Your Hand Lettering Creations Online

Now that your hand lettering artwork is finalized and exported, it's time to share it with the world! Here are some tips to effectively showcase your Procreate for hand lettering skills online:

  • Post on social media: Share your artwork on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Make sure to use relevant hashtags, such as #handlettering and #procreate, to reach a wider audience.
  • Join online communities: Connect with other hand lettering enthusiasts by participating in online forums, groups, or challenges. It's a great way to receive feedback, learn from others, and grow as an artist.
  • Create a portfolio: Showcase your best hand lettering designs on a personal website or portfolio platform, like Behance or Dribbble. This allows potential clients or collaborators to easily view your work and get in touch with you.

Congratulations! You've successfully navigated the world of Procreate for hand lettering and are ready to share your fantastic creations with others. Keep practicing and exploring new techniques — the sky's the limit for your hand lettering journey!

If you're excited about learning hand lettering using Procreate and want to dive deeper, don't miss the workshop titled 'Procreate Basics: Making Digital Art' by Sameera Maruvada. This workshop will guide you through the essential tools and techniques to create stunning digital artwork using Procreate, giving you the perfect foundation to master hand lettering on the platform.