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5 Easy Steps to Lettering Composition


Creating beautiful and eye-catching lettering layouts doesn’t have to be just a dream. With the right process, you can create lettering compositions like a pro!

If you don’t know where to start or you find planning your lettering composition intimidating, don’t be. I’m here to break down the process into 5 easy steps you can follow along.

Step 1: Write Your Quote

In creating lettering layouts, start by writing your quote down on a piece of paper.

Always write the quote down and check for spelling and grammar errors to avoid making costly mistakes later on.

Writing your quote down also helps you visualize the length of each word and the possible layout shape you can assign to them later. 

Step 2: Select Words to Highlight

After writing down the quote, we assign a hierarchy by choosing the important words of your quote to emphasize in the design.

The hierarchy gives your layout contrasting elements which make your lettering composition look more special and interesting.

Emphasizing the important words can be done in several ways. You can change the size, color, or lettering style. And by emphasizing these words, they stand out more than the supporting words and capture the reader’s attention.

Step 3: Build the Layout 

After planning the hierarchy, the next step is to assign shapes and build your layout.

Pick a shape for each word and draw the shapes in the correct size. Remember to emphasize the important words by drawing the shapes bigger.

You can create a simple layout with rectangle blocks or you can try a more dynamic and interesting layout with complex shapes.

The Composition Ruler offers various shapes to choose from allowing you to create more unique lettering layouts.

After choosing which shapes to use, arrange them in a balanced manner, where the shapes are not too heavy on one side. You can draw a center guide to help keep the balance. 

Step 4: Draw the Layout Guide 

Once you have decided on your layout, it’s time to sketch your final lettering piece.

It is important to draw your layout guides before drawing your letters because having one misplaced element can greatly affect the outcome of your entire lettering composition.

Sketch your layout guides easily and accurately with the Composition Ruler. Watch this to learn how simple it is to create balanced lettering compositions with this amazing lettering tool!

Here are some helpful tips on sketching your layout shapes:

  • Keep your layout balanced by concentrating the visual weight to the center.

  • Draw your guides carefully. If your guides are crooked, your words will be too.

  • Adjust the size and spacing of your shapes correctly before drawing your words. It will save you a lot of time and trouble.

  • If you are working traditionally, pencil your guides lightly, it will be easier to erase them later.

Step 5: Start Lettering!

After carefully preparing your layout guides, it’s finally time to draw your letters.

Fill in the words following the layout shapes you’ve chosen. Don’t be afraid to try different lettering styles that will fit the layout shapes and will go well together.

You can balance your layout by adding embellishments or give your layout more personality by adding details to your letter designs.

The Challenge

Now that you have learned the 5 Easy Steps to Lettering Composition, here’s a challenge for you.

I have prepared a worksheet for you to practice creating beautiful lettering layouts. Click here to download the worksheet.

The challenge is to create a stunning composition of the quote, “His love will light the way,” by following the 5 steps I shared.

If you want to work on a different quote, feel free to do so.

When you finish your lettering composition, share a photo of your worksheet and your final lettering piece on Instagram. Don’t forget to tag me @nicong.co so I can have a look and give you my feedback!


1 comment


  • Nielouphar Abdurahiman

    Love the tutorial, Nico. Looking forward to more.


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