learn lettering

Mix It Up: Combining Different Hand Lettering STyles

Mixing different hand lettered styles (or fonts as I usually call them, even though techincally not really?) is one of the things I love most about hand lettering.

It can also be one of the most confusing when you have no idea what you’re doing, but fret no more, because I’m laying out not only my personal fave combos, but also all my tips + tricks for mixing those letters like a total pro every time…

First things first – knowing the basic differences between different types of letters.

The three most common (and easiest to master) are serifsans serif, and script.

Serif letters end in serifs, or little feet. Think: Times New Roman.

Sans serif letters have no serifs. The font you’re reading this blog post in is sans serif. You’re own handwriting (unless you extraaa fancy) is also sans serif.

Script is, well, script. Cursive. The stuff you might’ve been inundated with in grade school (#CatholicSchoolProblems).

Got it? Good. Now let’s get on to the juicy stuff…

Mixing different style letters successfully comes down to three things:

1. Opposites attract.

When you’re mixing letters, you want styles that are clearly 110% obviously different from one another. The picture below is a great example of this.

Pick styles that are too similar, and instead of a funky + fun mix you get hot mess express. If it’s too hard to distinguish the different styles, it’ll look like you just messed up.

2. Less is more.

A good rule of thumb is sticking to 2-3 styles per piece so that those beautiful letters you just drew are (1) still legible and (2) not overwhelming to the eye.

3. Choose wisely.

Some letters just DO NOT look good together, and often it just takes some experimenting to figure out which combos you don’t particularly like.

Sometimes you might be going for a particular vibe – like classic or modern or funky. Other times you might want to mix it up and throw unexpected styles together. Either way, keep in mind the overall look you’re trying to achieve and how the combination you pick reflects that.

Try the combos I picked below (and Pin for later so you can always come back to it) and see which ones strike your fancy! Then play around and see what other combinations you can think of on your own! Happy lettering 🙂

What do you think? What’s your favorite combination?!