Ask DN: Hand lettering with Apple Pencil for iPad?

almost 8 years ago from , Product Designer

Hey guys,

Has anyone used their Apple Pencil to do hand lettering / calligraphy work on? If so what apps do you recommend and how has the experience been for you?



  • Mirza SadovicMirza Sadovic, almost 8 years ago (edited almost 8 years ago )

    First of all, I am by no means a professional calligrapher, but I dabble. I also don't own the iPad Pro, but had a long-ish session with it at the Apple Store, trying out exactly that – calligraphy capabilities.

    In terms of its precision and speed, the pencil is truly remarkable. I've worked with different Wacom tablets, a plethora of styli on various iPads, as well as a Samsung tablet and the Surface. The Surface 2 Pro had a pretty good experience, so much I considered getting it for illustration/wireframing purposes. Samsung's depended on the app, but was mostly laggy, although precise.

    For the iPad Pro + Pencil experience, I loved it. Paper App had some issues with the demo station where the input point of the pen was displaced by 1-2mm, which was kind of annoying – but also definitely a bug. Other apps like Sketch, notes, Zen Brush performed quite well.

    I assume that as pro apps make their way onto the iPad, we can count on some great calligraphy/lettering apps. Truly, the only reason I don't own the iPad Pro + Pencil is the price point, as I don't earn my money via calligraphy, sadly.

    If you do, I strongly suggest you try it out yourself if possible, and also bring hand-lettered sketches to trace so you can test out if you can take a photo, load it in and trace it via the app of your choice.

    1 point
  • Karin NewportKarin Newport, over 7 years ago

    I have been using my Apple Pencil for about 3 months now and I absolutely love it! In fact, I only started hand lettering and calligraphy when I got the Apple Pencil, and I have been practicing 2-3 hours every day because I love it so much. I'm mainly using an app called 'Procreate' because I have been able to customise the brushes exactly the way I like them.

    0 points
    • Aaron S, over 7 years ago

      Thanks for the reply! What settings do you have for your brushes, I can't seem to find the right brush settings for hand lettering. If you could share it with me, that would be amazing! Thank you :D

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      • Karin NewportKarin Newport, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

        It's a combination of brush settings, but also Apple Pencil settings. If you go to my website (ipadlettering.com) you'll see there's a 'Freebies' section where you can download my favourite brushes. You'll get a zip file that contains instructions how I have set up the Apple Pencil pressure curve to suit my style :) Let me know how it goes!

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