One of my favorite things about being a designer is the variety of areas and skills that you can dive into.
For me specifically, brush lettering is one design skill that I have been wanting to learn. When I found out that Amelia and Natasha from We’re Into It taught workshops on brush lettering, I signed up for the first available session!
About We’re Into It
We’re Into It is made up of Amelia and Natasha, a Boston-based duo that provides design and lettering services. I chatted briefly with Natasha before the workshop and she mentioned how lettering was something that they would do in college. A few years after they finished school, the team decided to formalize their passion for lettering and started We’re Into It. From there, they have built up their portfolio with items such as cards, prints, signage, accessories, and even have an Etsy shop. It is always inspirational to hear stories of how people pursue something that they love, and their dedication shows in their work and willingness to share what they’ve learned with others.
Back to School
Amelia and Natasha hold classes/workshops at different locations in Boston. My class was about twenty students gathered in a room at Commonwealth Market & Restaurant in Cambridge. Upon walking in, each of us were greeted with prepared materials, including practice sheets, name cards, a placemat in case things got messy, and a handful of different pens that would allow us to experiment with brush pen sizes and colors. Just seeing the different papers and pens really made me excited to get started!
The pair began with a brief intro about themselves and then facilitated introductions amongst all attendees so that we were not all complete strangers for the duration of the three-hour class. It was refreshing to see that people in the class were from different backgrounds and skill levels, but equally passionate to learn.
We immediately learned a few basic things that were extremely helpful: keeping the upstrokes thin, downstrokes thick, and optimizing how you hold your brush pen all affect the quality of your lettering. The sheets began with basic strokes, progressed to some of the easier letters, went on to the more challenging letters, and finally to a few full words and phrases. Starting from scratch with a different way of putting together strokes and letters reminded me of working on my cursive in elementary school and getting better with each attempt!
I stuck with the Tombow Dual Brush Pen for the most of the class and tried to get used to writing at larger sizes and pushing down hard enough on my downstrokes to create contrast with my upstrokes. However, my favorite pen was the Kuretake Fudebiyori Metallic pen that writes in a lustrous silver. Using the Fudebiyori to write on a bright, colorful piece of paper made my lettering look better than it actually was!
One of my favorite things about design is that you can see and feel yourself improving relatively quickly. My stuff was pretty rough to start with, but I certainly felt that I had progressed by the end of the workshop. It was inspiring to see everyone around me improving a lot throughout the session as well!
Final Words and Where to Learn More
The workshop was a great way to get started on brush lettering. It was a laid-back, no-pressure way of learning a new skill that I have been wanting to dive into for some time. Amelia and Natasha were encouraging, easy-going, and were happy to help and give demonstrations.