7 Best Lettering and Typography Courses Online

Looking to improve your lettering skills? Below, we have compiled a list of the 7 best lettering courses that are available online. This list includes both free and paid lettering tutorials that will teach you everything you need to know to create beautiful illustrations – whether your goal is to be a highly-skilled creative professional, or just to use lettering in as another ‘ribbon to your bow’.

But first, let’s answer an important question – what are lettering and typography?

“Lettering” is essentially an umbrella term that talks about anything that involves drawing or writing letters, either digitally or by hand. Calligraphy is considered to be a type of lettering. It is the art of writing letters and traditionally, it is marked by a variation of width for the upstrokes and downstrokes of each letter.

Typography is also considered under the lettering umbrella. Typography discusses a repeated system of letters. It is concerned about how the letters appear together in a system and the style and appearance of printed material – often from a computer (i.e. computer fonts) or previously from typewriters.

Words matter and letters are prevalent in all facets of design. Words are the best means of communication – they tell stories and convey long and complicated ideas. As a result, it is beneficial for both illustrators and other creative professionals to learn about illustration.

To be able to letter properly, you don’t need years of training or experience. Instead, you can gather all the skills you need to create beautiful letters through online classes. In this article, I’ve gathered the best online lettering classes. They are suitable for a wide range of levels, budgets, and time frames. So, whether you’re someone looking to make a full-time career as an illustrator, or a small business owner who is wanting to cut costs and create their own illustrations, we guarantee that there will be a lettering class for you.

 

1. Introduction to Typography (Coursera)

  • Level: Beginner
  • Completion time: Approx. 8h
  • Cost: Enroll for free
  • Certification: Yes
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 115,209
  • Course rating: 4.8/5 (out of 4,600 ratings)

Typography is rich in rules, conventions and terminology. To the untrained eye, it can appear overwhelming and complicated, but once it is understood it is an exciting space for invention and expression.

Offered by the California Institute of the Arts (CATS), which has an international reputation as the leading college of visual arts in the United States, this course is one of the best out there for lettering. Instructed by Anther Kiley, you will cover a huge amount. You will review the terminology and measuring system used to describe type, exploring how typefaces tell stories and understanding the historic evolution, how to conduct a peer-reviewed typesetting exercise and how to design a full-scale typographic poster.

By the end of this glass, you should be able to improve your lettering sills and get tangible career benefits from this course!

 

2. Lettering for Designers: One Drop Cap Letterform at a Time (Skillshare)

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Completion time: 1h 41m
  • Cost: 14-day free trial
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 35,931
  • Course rating: N/A

Jessica Hische, a letterer and illustrator, knows that the foundation of all lettering is to understand how to create just one beautiful letter. In this popular Skillshare lettering class, you will learn how to create all the letters in the alphabet by starting with the simplest possible project: making a single letter!

Throughout this short course, you’ll learn how to sketch your ideas to create a solid foundation for your design. You’ll go over how to digitize your work in illustrator, how to identify what makes a letter look organic and replicate it in your own work, and how to critique your work to get those solid finishing touchings. After finishing this class, you’ll have a full set of tools to create perfect letters that look amazing!

 

3. Lettering 01 (Thefutur)

  • Level: Beginner
  • Completion time: 3h
  • Cost: $149
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: N/A
  • Course rating: 4.2/5

If you’re looking to explore the history of lettering and develop your skills in lettering at the same time, then this classes should be your top choice!

Instructed by Nils Lindstrom, who has been an instructor of typography for 30 years, you will begin by understanding the fundamental forms and principles of typography. After, you will learn how to use different tools and strategies that will allow you to manipulate the weight and structure of types by hand. You will also work on how to draw curves and other aesthetic features. This course also offers plenty of downloadable resources, practical assignments and lifetime updates!

 

4. Calligraphy for Beginners (Skillshare)

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Completion time: 1h 42m
  • Cost: 14-day free trial
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 13,356
  • Course rating: N/A

As the name suggests, Calligraphy for beginners is a lettering tutorial for anyone who wants to start studying calligraphy. In this class, you will learn the fundamental techniques of calligraphy to help you create beautiful letters.

Taught by Jackson Alves, a letterer and calligrapher, you will learn an alphabet based on a humanist script from the 15th century. From this script, you will scribe your favorite word or quote to get practice using this technique. By the end of this class, you should be able to use your calligraphy skills for personal projects, branding, graphic design, advertising and much more!

 

5. Learning Calligraphy (LinkedIn Learning)

  • Level: Beginner
  • Completion time: Approx 2.5h
  • Cost: $32.99
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 284,026
  • Course rating: N/A

Taught by Ina Saltz, an art director, writer, photographer and professor at The City College of New York, this course provides you with a springboard to the study of any calligraphic hand – whether you’re an aspiring type designer, lettering artist or just someone who wants to write beautifully!

In this course, you will begin by learning what materials you need to prepare your writing surface. Next, you will practice and progress through learning how to write small letters (minuscules), capital letters (majuscules), numbers and punctuation. To enhance your skills one step further, you will also learn how to write with different nib sizes, how to add flourishes and how to use color!

 

6. Hand Lettering: Learn Three Styles from A-Z (Udemy)

  • Level: All levels
  • Completion time: 2h 9m
  • Cost: $19.99
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 283
  • Course rating: 4.6/5 (34 ratings)

‘Hand Lettering: Learn Three Styles from A-Z’ is the highest rated lettering course on Udemy. Created by Brainy Pixel Productions, this course  is suited for anyone who likes to draw – whether that’s a complete beginners or someone who has lots of familiarity with drawing.

In this fun and super simple lettering course you will learn how to draw an entire alphabet in three styles: a graffiti letter style, an alphabet bubble style and a block letter style. You will also learn how to add cool special effects to the words you create, ensuring that each letter really stands out from the crowd.

 

7. Illustrated Lettering: Drawing Intricate Floral Forms (Skillshare)

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Completion time: 1h 8m
  • Cost: 14-day free trial
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 10,503
  • Course rating: N/A

Gemma O’Brien is an Australian artist who specializes in lettering, illustration and typography. She has a passion for lettering and wants to teach you how to create the dramatic romance of flowers.

In this Skillshare class, you will go over everything you need to know to begin lettering flowers. You will cover how to select flowers for inspiration, typeface guidance, collaging and composition techniques and how to add intricate detail with marker pens. By the end of the course, you should be able to create intricate, illustrated letterform using Gemmas unique creative methods.

 

Conclusion

So, there you have it… the 7 best lettering classes online.

There are a huge variety of lettering tutorials available. Some of them are quick and cost effective. Others are more expensive and take more time but they cover lettering in more depth.

All of the above lettering courses are excellent. They are the best of the best. Each is taught by an experienced and dedicated teacher and they all have satisfied and happy customers.

So, which course you decide to take depends on you experience, funds and spare time. Have you ever even picked up pen and attempted to draw? Or have you got years of experience with drawing but just want to nail your lettering skills? Do you have a huge amount of money to spend on your skill development? Do you have a lot of spare time, or are you just looking for a quick, but effective, skill top up?

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