Graphic Lettering

Rediscover handlettering with the alcohol-based ABT PRO markers.

Learn all about the world of graphic lettering! Moira aka @hellohoney_nbg shows you, with a step-by-step tutorial, how easy it is to letter with the ABT PRO markers.



ABT PRO Lettering

If you want to learn more about ABT PRO Lettering, you can find the different techniques and inspiration on our ABT PRO Lettering page.

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Preparation: Transfer template

Before we begin, Moira will show you how to transfer sketches to Bristol paper. The best pencil to use for this is a soft grade B pencil. Don't know how to transfer sketches correctly?  No problem, we have summarized it for you in this article:

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Step 1: Color "You, Me

After you've transferred the sketch to the Bristol paper, you're ready to start coloring.


Tip from Moira: Open the pens, arrange them in the correct order, and place them loosely in the caps. This way you'll have all the colors at hand, which will make switching between colors go more smoothly.

Work your way through one letter at a time, starting at the top of the "Y" with shade 881. Be careful to fill in the first layer of color all the way to the edge. It is best to use lightly feathered strokes for this.

When you reach the center of the "Y", change the color. Using shade 873, work your way up from the bottom and let the colors overlap slightly in the middle. Then takecolor 881 again and paint over it once more for a smoother color gradient from dark to light.

Tip from Moira: Keep a safe distance from the outline of the letter so you don't run the risk of your artwork bleeding, i.e., the ink seeping across the contours.

There are two important tips when blending alcohol-based colors:

1. You should blend the colors together when they are still wet, as this is when the effect is best.

2. Patience: the effect of blending alcohol-based markers takes a moment to be apparent, and in most cases just a few strokes are enough.

If you want to increase the contrast in one of the colors, you can add another layer of paint to your image.

Step 2: Blended Brush Lettering

To achieve a nice blended brush lettering style, it's best to draw the line in one go. To do this, rotate the image at a slight angle. Once the strokes are complete, add "and the" between the two lines.


Want to learn more about Brush Lettering? Then visit our Handlettering page and get free practice sheets to get started with Brush Lettering

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Remember: you need less pressure for spreads and more pressure for smears.

You only need color 373 in this step, and you can also create a blending effect with just one color by applying another layer to the bottom of the letter with the same shade. This will increase the saturation of the hue and make the color appear slightly darker. Learn more about the monochrome effect here.

Remember to keep a safe distance from the edge while applying the next layer of color.

Step 3: Color "Sea

Next, color the individual letters of the word "Sea". You will need the colors 282, 373 and 403. Mentally divide the letter into three sections and start coloring the upper part with the color 282. When this part is finished, switch to 373 and blend the two colors. Finally, take color 403 and 373 and blend in both directions. Repeat this procedure for each letter.


Tip from Moira: For the letter "E", make sure that you do not blend in the crossbar. This is possible, but very complicated, because the area for blending is very small.

Then add a colored shadow using shade 401. To do this, simply paint the blocks on the sides of the letter. Add a second layer of color to the bottom of the letter to make the shade a hue darker and the shadow effect larger.

Step 4: Contours/Outlines

To set the perfect outlines, Moira again reveals a few of her tips. She uses the Fudenosuke Brush Pen and for very fine corrections the MONO drawing pen Fineliner. If the color hasn't dried yet, put a piece of paper on top of your painting to protect it from smudging.


For the outlines, you should avoid stopping and restarting if possible. Try to work your way from edge to edge with just one stroke.  Rotate the paper so you can work better and take your time with the outlines. For small corrections of the outlines, it is advisable to touch up later with the MONO drawing pen. Remember: less is more.

Tip from Moira: If you want to give the image more depth, you can also use a pencil to create additional shadows.

Think about how the light hits your image and paint in the shadows discreetly with pencil hatching. This will enhance the 3D effect of the image a bit more, as the color will be a bit darker there.

Step 5: Soap bubbles

Finally, you will need color number 401 for the bubbles. First trace the outer circles and then color in a semicircle to create a highlighted effect.


Try it out for yourself right now and share your lettering artwork with the Tombow family at #abtprolettering.

About the author

Moira Schweiger

- Hello Honey

My name is Moira, I am 37 years old and my passion is letters - ever since my communication design studies. After graduating in 2007, I worked as an art director in various advertising agencies. In 2010 I founded moira styles and since then I've been working with my own clients as well as agencies on various communication and design projects.
Since then I have also been involved in handlettering or "drawing fonts", which was completely unknown in Germany at the time. Since spring 2017, I have been organizing workshops all over Germany on the topics of hand- and brushlettering.

You can find an insight into my love of letters on Instagram