Over the last couple of weeks I have been learning how to bounce! By this I mean how to ‘bounce’ my letters. So before I tell you about my adventures in bounceland I’ll tell you what that means.
Bounce lettering is kinda what it says on the tin – it literally looks bouncy, like the letters in your word have jumped on to a trampoline and just jumped around a bit. Okay… a bit of a vague description… this picture will explain it better 🙂
There you go, I hope that helped clear things up 🙂
So a couple of weeks ago the lovely ladies of Loveleigh Loops (Jillian and Jordan) contacted me to ask if I could be a test student for their new bounce lettering course, in exchange for some feedback (technically everything was smooth as silk – unlike my novice brush lettering but I’ll get to that later). I jumped at the chance (or should I say bounced) as I had seen bounce lettering on Instagram and think it looks awesome.
Image from Loveleigh Loops Instagram
I went on to the Loveleigh Loops teachables website where they list their courses and enrolled on to the Bounce Lettering one (this usually costs $39US) taking note that they also offer Brush Lettering, Faux Calligraphy (that ones free btw), and will be doing a Live Flourishes workshop on Saturday afternoon (Dec 2nd at 2pm EST).
They have PDFs of the guidelines in 3 different sizes – just print out a load because they’ll always come in handy for lettering practice. Don’t forget that paper makes a big difference though – cheap printer paper could very likely result in bleeding ink and less attractive results but it’ll be okay for a bit of fun practice before you move on to the good paper. They also have a PDF of the bounce lettering worksheets – you could get away without printing these if you really wanted – just follow along the videos or if you have two devices (e.g. an iPad and a laptop) you could just load it up on your screen.
There is a section where they recommend supplies, noting that you can use pretty much any kind of pen – fine tipped pens, brush pens, waterbrush pens etc. So if you don’t have a particular type of pen, you can still just get started! Saying that, I have just bought a Tombow Fudenosuke and I really love it – it feels like an absolute dream to write with. However the first attempt I did was using a fine tipped pen and I used a faux calligraphy style. This worked just fine and I was really happy with the results.
There are a few videos where they talk you through each type of stroke and several different ways to bounce each letter (all minuscules i.e. lower case letters). The video quality is great and its really easy to follow (I’m quite slow so I paused regularly and repeated bits). After this you’ll end up with a nice load of practice letters and can then start on some awesome words.
Thoughtfully, Jillian and Jordan have also provided a list of suggested words – easier words to bounce, and slightly trickier ones – so you can start gentle and then do the harder words when you’re more confident. Or if, like me, you like to just dive right into the hard stuff before you have the skill to do so, you can start with the tricky word ‘umbrella’ and end up with a really werid ‘m’… hmmm… You can see in the picture above that I also had a go at a few other words and they turned out okay 😀
They showed me a better way to write Lauren in a little message to me which is lovely and I’m definitely going to practice it that way!
The Bounce Lettering Tool
As well as the guidelines, worksheets and never ending access to the videos the course also includes a free downloadable ‘tool’ which comes in an excel spreadsheet. Jillian and Jordan have given each letter a ‘bounciness’ score so when you type in your words onto the spreadsheet it’ll give you a score of how well each of the letters will bounce! Awesome!!
A note about brush lettering
I hinted up there somewhere about my novice brush lettering being a bit… well… not so good. I have a colourful set of brush dual ended brush pens (thin tip on one side and thick on the other) and I just dived right into the deep end and started trying to bounce letters with these pens despite the fact that I’ve never really done brush lettering before. It’s fine to do this (I would say that because I did do it). It is fun and it’s a good way to just practice but before you do this be aware of a few things because I got quite disheartened at first:
- Brush lettering isn’t necessarily as easy as it looks – it takes practice to get the hang of the thin upstrokes and thick downstrokes and at first you’ll probably get a few strokes wrong…
- Using cheap pens on cheap paper = you won’t get the same finish as the things you see on Instagram or Pinterest, so don’t expect to blast something out that insta-worthy, cheap pens and cheap paper is good for practice but you won’t necessarily get a beautiful finish…
- Bounce lettering isn’t easy until you know what you’re doing, try drawing words in pencil first and then you can stop and think about how each letter joins up. Then go over it in pen.
Here are a couple things you can do to make it easier for yourself and more beautiful:
- Pay attention to the recommended pens. If you don’t have any, order something online now and use what you’ve got in the meantime, until it arrives. I have bought a Tombow Fudenosuke (as I said above) and I love it – having a decent brush pen makes soooo much difference. I also have my eye on a set of Artline Stix after seeing them in action on a few videos online.
- Paper – cheap paper is fine to begin with but when you’ve had your ‘starting’ practice and you’re ready for nice paper I recommend getting a Rhodia dotpad. The paper is decent and the dots are helpful (they’re also very reasonably priced). I also like to draw guidelines in them for the bouncing and use the dots to measure the guidelines (if you see my doodle posts you’ll see I use my A5 dotpad for doodles).
- Just enjoy it! It’s fun and the more you do it, just better you’ll get 😀