Milly – Blink Lettering

Hi! I’m Milly, the person behind Blink Lettering. I started learning calligraphy over 5 years ago, and in the past two years, I have taught over 1000 students the basics of brush lettering. 

Milly Blink Lettering

5 brush lettering pens for beginners

Brush lettering is becoming ever-increasingly popular. Especially during these strange times, where we all have a little bit more time on our hands and we are craving something fun and creative. You’ve probably fallen down a rabbit hole on Instagram, watching beautiful lettering and calligraphy videos over and over again, or you’ve been admiring gorgeous hand-lettered prints on Etsy. However, getting started with brush lettering can be quite daunting, especially with the number of pens out there! This blog takes you through my top 5 brush pens that are perfffffect for beginners.


Before we dive into the best pens, I want to chat to you first about the nib. I am a big believer that small nibbed brush pens are SO much easier to use than larger nibs. This is for a number of reasons: 

  1. The nibs are easier to control as there isn’t as much flex.
  2. The smaller nibs tend to be more durable and don’t fray as easily.
  3. We are used to writing with smaller pens, like a biro, so it makes sense that smaller brush pens are easier to letter with too!


1)  Pentel Brush Sign Pens


These are my FAVOURITE pens! It was the first brush lettering pen I ever bought, and it’s still going strong. (I do have a lot more colours now though) This is the pen I use in my workshops and recommend to all of my online students too. All of my workbooks are created specifically for this pen. The tip is so durable, it doesn’t even fray when you use it on textured watercolour paper! They also come in a variety of beautiful colours, including a brand new set that Pentel released this year.


2)  Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens


These are very similar to the Pentel Brush Pens. What’s great about these pens though, is the variety of nib stiffness available. You can get a hard tip and a soft tip version, which is great for a variety of lettering. The hard tip is especially good for beginners, as the stiffness of the nib makes it so much easier to create those thin upstrokes. You can find the Tombow Fudenosuke in the Tombow Beginner Lettering Set. 


3)  Zebra Mildliner Brush Pens


The Zebra Mildliners come in a beautiful variety of pastel colours. The nib of these pens are a little bigger than the Tombow and Pentel pens, however, they are still great for beginners. The nib is quite stiff, making it easy to control. There is also a bullet tip at the other end, this isn’t flexible, but it’s good for adding detail. You basically get two pens in one!


4)  Crayola Supertips


Who remembers using Crayolas when you were a kid? Well, these can actually be used for brush lettering! The nib isn’t as flexible as the other pens I’ve mentioned, but the tapered nibs means that you can still create the thick and thin lines seen in brush lettering. They are also super cheap, so perfect if you don’t want to spend too much money.


5) Rhodia DotPad


Ok, so this isn’t a pen. When it comes to brush lettering, the paper is equally as important as the pen. Rhodia pads are great for brush pens as they are made from vellum paper, which is super smooth. This means brush pens are less likely fray. The DotPad has a dot grid on it, making it ideal for creating consistent letters.


So now you’ve discovered the best tools to get started with brush lettering, you are probably wondering where you even start with learning. Twice a year I run the Better Brush Drills challenge which is totally free! You’ll learn alongside a community of students and get access to a private Facebook group. The next challenge starts on the 1st of August. I also have a variety of workbooks that take you through the lowercase and uppercase letters, plus connecting words.

You can find beginner workbooks on my website that will kickstart your calligraphy journey. I also share lots of free, useful content on my YouTube channel. As well as having a love for teaching calligraphy and lettering, I also design and make cards, prints and gifts that you can find in my Etsy shop.

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