by Dawn Nicole

designedbydawnnicole.com · Jul 15, 2016

How to Do Bounce Lettering

How to Do Bounce Lettering

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How to Do Bounce Lettering

First things first. What is Bounce Lettering? Bounce lettering is great way to add style and character to your hand lettering.

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist. -Picasso

That quote is pretty much sums up bounce lettering. To show you what I mean by that, let’s look at some basic typography terminology.

In the above image, I’ve drawn the word “happy” elementary-school style, so I can define a few terms for you.

  • Ascender Height: The line ascenders hit. An ascender is a vertical stroke found on lowercase letters that extends above the letter’s x-height. Examples include b, d, f, h, k, and l. Sometime the ascender extends about the cap height.
  • Cap Height: The height of capital letters from the baseline to the top of the letter.
  • X-Height: The height of the body of a lowercase letter.
  • Baseline: The invisible line where all characters sit.
  • Descender Line: A line below the baseline where the bottom of descenders hit. A descender is a vertical stroke found on lowercase letters that extend below the baseline. Examples include g, j, p, q, and y.

In elementary school, when we were all learning to write, we were told to stay within the confines of those lines (just like I did with the word “happy”).

Now that we understand these basics, the concept of bounce lettering is really simple.

We’re going to break the rules and have fun drawing our letters outside the lines! Here’s an example:

In the top version of “Bounce Lettering” I stayed in the lines. This is a more traditional style of lettering. While it’s still pretty there’s not a lot of variation, right?

In the bottom version, I’ve extended my lettering outside the confines of the cap height, x-height, and baseline. Can you see how that adds a ton of style and character? The possibilities are endless and there are so many ways to vary Bounce Lettering!

That’s it, you guys, that’s all there is to basic bounce lettering. And like I always say, the key to lettering is simple: practice makes progress. So, I’ve created a simple worksheet for you to practice both Traditional and Bounce Lettering styles. By doing this worksheet, you will get a better feel for the differences between each style, using your own lettering.

Want to learn lettering in much greater detail?

Join my free art lettering class here.


Happy practicing!

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