Back to Basics

After becoming interested in calligraphy and hand lettering, I started googling things like “what is brush lettering”, “very very basic beginner calligraphy” and “how to get started with hand lettering”. I was a bit overwhelmed with all of the results! There were YouTube tutorials, social media results, and some instructional books that had fonts that looked like they were from the middle ages. Little did I know that getting started would be a whole lot easier if I had the right tools!

I mentioned in my last post here that I loved the Tombow Fudenosuke Hard Tip but that’s only one of many pens that I tried. Here are some of my favorites and the pros and cons. You’ll probably see a lot about these when researching hand lettering so I figured I would break them down! The whole concept of modern calligraphy and hand lettering is thick strokes down, thin strokes up so you want something that can give you variation but isn’t too difficult to control.

Tombow Fudenosuke Hard Tip – highly recommended for beginners. I still use this one for almost all of my projects!

The Tombow Fudenosuke Hard Tip (or Tombow Fude Hard Tip) is still my favorite and go to! It is great for beginners because the brush tip isn’t too flexible (hints the name “hard” tip!) so you can get a little variation between thick and thin lines but it’s not as flexible as some of the others to the point where it is hard to control. I found that when some of the pens were too flexible, it was hard to keep from having shaky lines and no one wants those!



Another one that I picked up in my pursuit to find the perfect pen was the Pentel Fude Touch Pen. This one writes smoothly and if you end up liking it, you can get a multicolored pack which is so great because there aren’t a lot of multicolored brush pens with this small of tips (which means you can write smaller more easily, as opposed to writing larger words like you would with a brush pen with a larger tip). This one is slightly more difficult to control than the Tombow Fude Hard Tip but still easy enough to control for a beginner who is learning to hand letter!

The Kuretake Fude Brush Pen writes like a dream but takes a little but more practice to work up to!

This next pen I am embarrassed to say I lost before I got a chance to use it right away! I unwrapped it right before we were having company so I stashed it away and didn’t find it until a month later but I am so glad that I did! The Kuretake Fude Brush Pen one has such a smooth ink flow that you won’t end up with any dry streaks but I will say it’s a little harder to control than the previous two. It wouldn’t take long to work your way up to this pen and really enjoy it, but it might be a little frustrating to get a nice pretty variation on your strokes if you start out with this one!



The Pilot Fude Brush Pen has a great ink flow but for me, hasn’t been the easiest to use!

If you are a calligraphy or lettering master, the Pilot Fude Brush Pen may be the one for you, but I haven’t found it to be the easiest to use. It has a great ink flow but it’s flexible tip makes it harder to control when you’re doing thin strokes and this also means it’s more difficult to do flourishes. I don’t want to knock it completely, since I’m sure some folks prefer it, but for me it wasn’t the most user-friendly pen I tried out.


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