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Lettering can easily be described as the art of drawing letters. A great deal is put into hand lettering to make a design look flawless. However, the principle is simple: it’s a specialized blend of letter forms designed for a single use and intent rather than making use of previously created letters as components, just like typography. Typically, lettering is hand-drawn using pencils, pens or brushes. However, some artists start their design directly via Adobe Illustrator. There’s a difference between calligraphy and hand lettering. The former depends on penmanship; it’s fundamentally writing letters. The latter depends on draftsmanship; it’s basically drawing letters. There’s a difference.

Hand lettering projects are used in various ways. Some use it for crafting or scrapbooking while others use it for designing logos. If you’re in need of a great letterer, graphic designer or illustrator, the online world is brimming with them. The downside though is you need to weed out which artist can fit your needs. To help you with this, here is a list of top ten hand lettering artist you should know. Each artist on the list can provide you with high-quality, unique and amazing end products. To check samples of their work, just visit their official websites.

Mary Kate McDevitt

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A letterer and illustrator, McDevitt lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Some of her prominent clients include AT&T, Penguin Books, Nike, United States Postal Service, Sesame Street, and Target. She also worked with Chronicle Books, Nintendo, and Wall Street Journal, as well as Smart Ones, Fast Company and O Magazine. McDevitt had a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. 

Kyle Steed

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The self-proclaimed “Professional Creator of Things,” Steed is working as a hand letterer and illustrator. Located in Dallas, Texas, his works have been featured all over the world. Most notable features include BuzzFeed, VSCO Journal Feature, Global Yodel, Quipsologies, Fastco Design, The Photographic Journal, Creative Minds, and Creative Spaces. The font Funktion was his creation.

Tom Lane

Tom Lane

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Also known as Ginger Monkey, Lane is a freelance letterer, illustrator and designer. His impressive client includes Coco-Cola, Nike Air Jordan, Bloomsbury, Sony Ericson, BMW, Mercedes Benz, and Heston Blumenthal. Lane currently lives in Bristol, UK.

Sean McCabe

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Freelance hand lettering artist, type designer and store owner Sean McCabe lives and breathes hand lettering and typography. He sells his own creation through his online store and produces podcasts about the ins and outs of lettering and typography – their creative and business sides. He also offers tutorials and will soon release his book, The Overlap Technique. McCabe lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Jon Contino

Jon Contino

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Multi-awarded freelance illustrator Jon Contino is also the Co-Founder and Creative Director of CXXVI Clothing Company. His portfolio features outstanding work for brands like Nike (VCXC), IBM (Cognitive Cooking), and Flip Skateboards (Signature Series). Contino’s style principle is using unique hand lettering and typography designs with a minimalist approach. He currently lives in New York, NY.

Ged Palmer

Ged Palmer

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A proud member of the International Society and Typographic Designers, Palmer is a British designer with specialization in custom lettering living. His previous clients include Philips, The Folio Society, and The Rickety Press. He provides branding, calligraphy, custom lettering, graphic design, hand-lettered logotypes, sign painting and murals services.

Darren Booth

Darren Booth

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Darren Booth is a multi-awarded letterer and illustrator. He offers design services to a number of high-profile clients. Some of them are McDonald’s, Coco-Cola, Penguin Books, Pinterest, Universal Music, and Disney. His works were also featured in New York Times, Target, ESPN, and Sony. Booth currently resides in Canada.

Linzie Hunter

Linzie Hunter

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Linzie Hunter is a multi-talented freelance digital letterer and illustrator. She was already a graduate from Glasgow University before she took up illustration in Chelsea College of Art and Design. Her extraordinary design makes her the go-to letterer and illustrator of many distinguished brands. Some of her clients include Hallmark, Marks and Spencer, Random House Publishing, Bloomsbury, Harper Collins, Washington Post, New York Observer, Gillette, and Saatchi & Saatchi. Hunter, a Scot, now resides in South London.

Jill de Haan

Jill Dehaan

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With a penchant for all things vintage-y, de Haan is a letterer, illustrator, painter, crafter and needle-worker. She previously worked as a graphic designer for Salt Lake Community College, American Crafts, and Struck. She often creates hand-lettered cards and makes t-shirt designs. Some of her lettered works are published in Washingtonian Magazine and Rue Magazine. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Ryan Hamrick

RYan Hamrick

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Multi-faceted and newly relocated to Austin, Texas, Hamrick is a letterer, illustrator, designer, writer and an occasional speaker. His impressive client list includes Samsung, Blackberry, Capital One, Evernote, Sutter Home, Foodspotting, and CreativeMornings.com. Aside from designing and crafting letters, he also accepts speaking engagements and workshops about hand lettering and calligraphy.

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Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos. Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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