More Than Lettering by @mollyjacques


I feel like at MJW I’m constantly getting emails asking “How do I make my lettering stand out?”.

It’s a really good question and I think it’s being asked more often for an even better purpose. It’s been a question rolling around the Illustration world for decades. It’s been the question I’ve asked myself every single day during art school (and even now).

Instead of looking at modern calligraphy and lettering as its own thing (which, don’t get me wrong, it totally is), let’s compare it more to illustration. Lettering is illustrating words, no?


groovy @mollyjacques


More often than not, when we think of ways to make our lettering stand out, we assume we just need to have a distinct take on letterform drawing, that if we can just master that one-of-a-kind lowercase k, we’ll have our ticket to unique city and everyone will recognize our work. But that’s so limiting, isn’t it?


I think when we start looking at lettering more as Illustration, we start picking apart more than just the letters. It’s now about color choices, composition, textures, technique, purpose, and meaning. It’s about context, concept, feeling, stylization, history…


@MollyJacques Chalkboard #Lettering


When you start looking at lettering as more than just words, you start gaining a better understanding of how to make yours stand out, using all the concepts I mentioned before, to your advantage. …You begin to understand how to better give your lettering purpose, more than just the words that are written out.

Moreover, when we start approaching lettering in this way, the industry becomes more sustainable. Respectable. Playful. Mysterious.

Until next time, friends.



*Chalk lettering book featured next to Molly’s chalk lettering: “The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering” by Valerie McKeehan*