Hi! I’m Ning. If you’ve been following me, you might have come across some, or hopefully all, of my lettering pieces over the past two months.

Long story short, I kicked off my lettering journey in April with almost zero knowledge of design and lettering—just a pure love for typography. I assigned myself daily lyrics lettering in May and daily LGBTQIA+ character name lettering last month.

Here's what I've learned after two months:

  • Lettering is More Than Letters: It's the whole graphic design process. You need to convey the message through colors, composition, contrast, and the personality of each letter and element. So, I had to learn those design basics and principles on top of lettering. Especially composition—it matters more than I initially thought; it often makes or breaks the whole design.
  • Details Matter: Every little detail counts. It’s not just what you see but also what you unconsciously perceive. It's all about filling up and balancing out the negative space between letters.
  • Type Design Sets the Vibe: The typography designs you choose impacts the entire feel. Testing out various styles and combinations is crucial for finding the right vibe for each piece.
  • Idea Selection is Key: Coming up with ideas is great, but what's more important is choosing one that **fits your time, resources, and brief**. Using tools and techniques that match your schedule and planned effort is key.
  • Trust Your Instincts: You can have a design in mind before starting, but you should trust your gut to try different designs during the process.
  • Templates Are Your Friends: Have some templates stocked in your mind and toolbox. You can't wing it and start from scratch every time; humans (both designers and audiences) understand messages through familiar belief systems, whether they realize them or not.
  • Courses Help: Taking courses helps you understand theory and techniques, making it easier to come up with more good ideas. I’d be doing the same lettering techniques for two months if I hadn’t expanded my knowledge.
  • Perfection is Impossible: You won't create a masterpiece every time. Instead of beating yourself up, evaluate and take note of areas for improvement so you can understand how great work comes about.
  • Less Doom Scrolling: The side effect of focusing on lettering daily is that my doom scrolling is significantly reduced.

However, there are also downsides to trying to post new lettering every day:

  • Daily Lettering Disrupted My Life Rhythm: The daily grind of lettering has taken a toll on my routine. Spending at least 4 hours daily on ideas, conceptualizing, experimenting, executing, and writing about lettering consumed my time and mental capacity. I had no room for anything else.
  • Health Took a Hit: Disrupted routines meant neglecting my health. I went from working out every day to barely moving from my couch. I gained weight and broke my sleep pattern, but most of all, I'm having a hard time with pull-ups!
  • Getting it done daily is possible; making it great daily is not: Time constraints forced me to stop experimenting and finalizing too early. I saw more flaws than finesse and had to turn a blind eye just to post on time.
  • No Time for Other Writing: I couldn't write about anything else because lettering occupied my mind all the time. When I wasn’t doing lettering, I was taking courses about it!
  • Procreate Layer Limits are Annoying: Often had to call it a day early because duplicating files for a few more steps was frustrating.
  • Storage Limits are Even More Annoying: Lettering resources and files are really large; I had to delete stuff from my iPad every day. I'm dying to get a new iPad when I have enough budget! 

Moving forward…

I plan to switch to a weekly lettering schedule to allow for more quality work and personal care. This should give me more freedom to create great work while also having time to read, write, and take care of myself and others.

I’m also going to revisit my speed-run courses from the past two months and make detailed notes. This will help me build frameworks for better and faster designs.

Despite the challenges, I value the knowledge gained and look forward to continuing my lettering journey at a more sustainable pace. But honestly, I don’t think I can make a career out of this—it's still definitely worth knowing just in case.

If you're interested in a commission, though, you can still contact me :)

💬 Comment About My Work or 🖌️ Get Your Own Lettering