Recommended Lettering Supplies
A quick note on buying these supplies…
For your convenience, where possible clicking on the listed supplies would take you to an online store like Amazon where you can buy them. As Amazon doesn’t always provide free international shipping, I’ve also included links to Blitsy when possible, which is a store that does.
Some of these links are affiliate links, which means I make a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) if you purchase from something — you get your new supplies, I get to keep this blog running; win-win! All the products I link have either been tested by me personally or I’ve extensively researched them before putting them on here!
BRUSH tip PENS
Tombow Fudenosuke (Hard & Soft Tip)
My go-to small pen is always a Tombow Fude Hard tip. It’s crazy firm, which makes fine upstrokes that much easier to achieve. Definitely my pick for beginners, especially those who have shaky hands! The soft tip is also fun to play with once you’ve got a decent grip on lettering!
Zebra Fudebiyori Pen Extra Fine*
Also known as the Zebra Disposable Brush Pen, this pen can be found in Daiso! It’s my alternative when I can’t find my Tombow Hard (my messy table eats pens), enough said!
* Some brush pens like this one come in a variety of sizes. 極細 is extra fine, 細 fine, 中 medium, and 大 large.
Small colourful pens are hard to find. That’s why the Pentel Fude Touch SIgn is so precious! Perfect for small lettering (in your planner, maybe?). It’s pretty similar to the Tombow Fude Soft Tip in flex.
Just make sure to get the ones with the glittery barrel — that’s the brush pen!
Is the brush pen you’re curious about not on this list?
Are you looking for new brush pens beyond the beginner level?
Check out the Ultimate Review!
It compares over 32 brush pens, organised by type, sizes and colour availability, and price point
Recommended PAPERS FOR LETTERING
Rhodia Paper Pads
Rhodia comes up tons when you’re on the hunt for lettering paper and for good reason! It’s really, really smooth which helps your brush pens live longer and comes nicely packaged too! Comes in blank, lined, grid and dotted.
Strathmore 300 Series Tracing Paper
If you don’t have easy access to good paper, tracing paper is a good way to preserve your brush pens! Just stick it over your worksheets and start writing! They’re also a great help when designing on pen and paper!
HP Laserjet Premium 32lb Paper
Looseleaf options are always kinder on the wallet. Like this HP paper that tons of letterers and calligraphers swear by!
One of my alternatives to HP paper is Japanese chain store Muji’s loose leaf paper. In general, Japanese paper tends to be very smooth and brush- and dip-pen friendly! Comes in the usual configurations of blank, lined, and grid.
Kokuyo Campus Loose Leaf Paper
Another Japanese alternative you can just stick in a binder, Campus paper. It’s very pocket-friendly and you might even find it in Daiso sometimes! Also comes in blank, lined and grid.
PaperOne Digital 100gsm Paper
We don’t get HP 32lb in Singapore, but PaperOne’s 100gsm is the smoothest readily available printer paper I’ve been able to find!
Watercolor Supplies FOR LETTERING
Sakura Koi Water Brush #2
If the flexibility of a real paintbrush scares the crap out of you, try a water brush first! The bristles generally all stick together more than the bristles of a regular paintbrush, making it easier to manipulate! The Sakura Koi #2 is the smallest I’ve managed to find and is my personal favourite travel brush.
Silver Black Velvet #1 Rigger Brush
For lettering with a paintbrush with real bristles, I always go for a fine rigger brush. They’re also known as script or liner brushes! While they are a lot more flexible than your usual brush pen, I find the longer bristles allows easier transitions from thick to thin than if I used a regular round brush!
Ecoline Brush Pen & Liquid Watercolor
No list would be complete without Ecoline! Mostly popular for their little bottles of liquid watercolour goodness that you can use to create amazing watercolour gradients in your lettering, Ecoline also has a bunch of brush pens in matching colours. Dip the pen into a different colour ink before you write for an instant gradient effect!
Arches Cold Press Watercolour Block
If you are using a lot of water in your painting, definitely get the right paper for it! Cold press or rough watercolour paper, while terrible for brush pens, is perfect. I use Arches for final works, and Strathmore 300 series, Fabriano Artistico and Canson for more casual practice.
Metallic Pens, Paint & Ink
There’s nothing more fun than throwing a bit of shiny into the mix for your work! There are quite a few options — more for paint/ink than pens — these are the top 3.
Dr Ph Martin’s Iridescent Calligraphy Colors
For pure metallic knock-your-socks-off power, this ink definitely is the best. Dr Ph Martin’s Iridescent Calligraphy Colors is an acrylic ink that comes in a whole spectrum of metallic shades. My personal favourite is Copper Plate Gold and Nickel, but the whole collection is stunning!
POINTED PEN CALLIGRAPHY SUPPLIES
Moblique 2-in-1 Holder
Choosing between an oblique and straight holder when you’re starting out with pointed pen is always such a headache! But with the creation of 2-in-1 holders, you can try both out!
I love the Moblique by Luis Creations because it’s so aesthetic and affordable. It also comes with a nib compartment and you can interchange the colours to create a combination you love!
There are other holders, of course, but I think the Moblique is one of the best for beginners out there in terms of price, design and accessiblity!
Zebra G Nib
Like with brush pens, most people find it easier to start out with a stiffer nib — that’s the G nibs like the Zebra G, Nikko G and Tachikawa G.
Other beginner favourites are the Brause 361 Steno Blue Pumpkin and the Lenoardt 40 Blue Pumpkin.
I like G nibs, but also regularly use a Brause EF66, a Hunt Imperial 101 and a Blanzzy 2552.
Kuretake Zig Sumi Ink
The options for ink are pretty endless, but my recommendation is good ol’ sumi ink. I use this bottle by Kuretake, as well as the cheap bottles of sumi I can find in my neighbourhood Daiso!
Another beginner favourite is the Higgins Eternal ink. You can also try your hand at mixing your own walnut ink!
As you improve, you might want to venture in designing more complicated pieces of lettering. Light pads are really useful for that because it helps you trace and adjust your design easily! This A4 light pad is perfect because it’s small and runs off a USB, so you can just stuff it in a backpack with the cable and a portable battery, and you can work anywhere you want!
Phone cameras are pretty good these days, but I have to admit I’m a sucker for using a real camera instead!
Most of my photos for the blog are shot with my Fujifilm X-T10 with a 27mm lens.