Simple Digital Lettering Tips and FAQs!

Hello friends! If you are looking to use your iPad more, I have some helpful hints for digital lettering in today’s post!

Start with my Lettering on iPad post, where I share a few step by step tutorials that you can letter along with.

What is digital lettering?

You all know I am a big fan of brush lettering with my pens, so back when Apple released their Apple Pencil I was intrigued. I stopped by our local Apple store and played with the pencil a bit and was hooked!

Digital lettering is basically lettering on an iPad or a tablet using an Apple Pencil or a compatible stylus. You use the digital pencil to hand letter on the iPad. Basically, your iPad becomes your sketchbook and your Apple pen (which comes with a pressure-sensitive tip) becomes your brush pen. The options for color, page sizes, brushes available are endless really!

Did you know? Most of the FREE Printables you see on my blog have been created on the iPad.

Depending on the app you use, you can create either a vector file or a jpg file.

apple pencil
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What do you use for digital lettering?

All you basically need a digital tablet and some kind of digital writing device.

make the next good choice

What I’m using here: Apple iPad Pro 2018 11-inch | Paper feel Screen Protector | Case that Supports Pencil Charging | Apple Pencil (2nd Generation)


Which size iPad should I buy for lettering?

I started digital lettering a few years back, practicing on my husband’s iPad Pro. He has the larger 12.9 inch screen and it is basically like a 9 by 12 sketchbook. Large screen area that is very nice to hand letter on. BUT I personally find the large ipad bulkier and could get heavy depending on the case you use.

In early 2020 I splurged and got an iPad for myself, but bought the smaller screen size one. One, it was cheaper, and two it’s easier to carry around. It took a bit of time for me to adjust to the smaller screen size because I had to make my lettering strokes thinner. But I’ve now come to love this size and enjoy lettering on it! I would highly recommend it for lettering.

ipad lettering sizes

(left) iPad Pro (2nd Gen) 2017 12.9 inches with Apple Pencil | (right) Apple iPad Pro 2018 11-inch with Apple Pencil (2nd Generation)


Do dupe Apple Pencils work for lettering?

I was disappointed that the first generation Apple Pencil I had been using was not compatible with my new iPad Pro. I only learned that after I had bought the new iPad. By then I had already splurged on a paper feel screen protector and a heavy-duty case. And it was March 2020 when Covid happened. So buying a new Apple Pencil just wasn’t on my list of priorities.

After googling why the pencil wasn’t working with my new iPad a few times, the internet gave me an ad for this stylus. Don’t you just love how that happens? But since it was inexpensive, I just gambled and bought it.

Pros- The pen works (I was skeptical when I bought it), it is easy to pair, holds charge nicely, and comes with a USB C charger included (I had been needing an extra one!). It is great for doodling and does work for brush lettering. It is different than the Apple Pencil and is not as sensitive to pressure. I could brush letter with it just fine- but it needed me to press down the pen tip a bit harder and softer at times. But for the price, it ain’t bad. And it comes in a few pretty colors other than black and white.

Cons- It does not have palm rejection. This isn’t a big deal if this is your first stylus. But I was used to resting my palm on the screen, so it took a few tries to get used to that.

I used that dupe pencil all through quarantine but got the new second generation Apple Pencil during the holiday sales.


How to practice Digital lettering

Start with my previous post LETTERING ON IPAD: HOW TO PRACTICE USING FREE WORKSHEETS

lettering on ipad free worksheets

More reader FAQs answered:

digital lettering faqs

Please share a tutorial for lettering on iPad for beginners

I cover the very basics of how to use my lettering worksheets on a iPad to practice. Start your digital lettering practice here: https://www.smilingcolors.com/lettering-on-ipad/

What app do you use?

On my iPad, I use the Procreate app for my hand lettering. This is not a free app, but you just purchase the app and that’s it. I use the brushes that come included with the app itself for my digital lettering

Do you use a screen protector or do you recommend using one?

I’ve always had a screen protector because I have kids. This time I got this special screen protector that makes it feel like you are writing on paper. It’s super cool and makes me so happy 🌸🍃

Do you use the screen that makes it feel like paper?

This iPad was a total splurge gift for me last year and yes I got the paper feel screen protector. I didn’t know if I would like it, but I love it! Have used it for almost a year and would highly recommend it. Plus it comes as a two-pack, so well worth the money.

I have wanting to get myself an iPad but I’m have trouble to choose which iPad Which one do you recommend? 😍

You will need either an iPad Pro or any of the newer iPads to use the Apple Pencil. I’ve used both the 12.9 inch and 11-inch sizes and honestly, both sizes are great for digital lettering. If you can budget the larger size, it is great to work on. I personally like the smaller size because it’s lighter and easier to carry around. The 12.9 inch iPad is a bit heavier and bulky.

Is Procreate beginner friendly? Where can I find easy tutorials for this? I tried youtube but couldn’t find anything nice.

I’ve found the Procreate app super easy to use and very intuitive. It might be because I have a lot of Adobe Photoshop experience. But, I have a beginner tutorial on my blog that you can check out and hopefully helps you a bit. https://www.smilingcolors.com/lettering-on-ipad/

What brushes do you use on Procreate?

I use a basic brush included in Procreate already. Find it under Brush Library > Calligraphy > Brush Pen. There are tons of more brush pen styles available commercially that you can purchase and install separately. But I’ve found that the Procreate Brush Pen option itself is very similar to my Tombow Dual Brush Pen experience. brush pen digital


I can’t seem to get the downstrokes thick as they should … I think I may be too afraid to press hard?

With the Apple Pencil, you can press down pretty hard and not damage the tips. Also, try changing the thickness of the brush pen option maybe?

One of the main reasons I Bought an iPad was to start iPad lettering but it’s an ocean full of stuff and I do not know where to begin 🙁

Just start doodling and practicing your alphabets. Digital Lettering will definitely feel awkward at first, but a few days in you’ll be addicted! It’s mess free and SO convenient!

Do you do classes?

Classes might be coming soon!


Smitha Katti creativespace e1577349763159

Hi I’m Smitha! I live in Minnesota with my husband and two daughters. You’ll always find me painting florals in my sketchbook. And I love the sheer joy of making something with just my hands! But my bigger love is capturing it all on camera Read more.

Thanks for stopping by today! If you learnt something from this tutorial, do share this post with a friend or on social media! Tag me @smithakatti #smithakatti I’d love to see what you create!

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