5 Best Procreate Brush Sets for Lettering Artists
As a digital lettering artist, have you ever struggled with the preloaded brush options found in your favorite drawing apps?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Lettering artists just like you have taken the time to create numerous brush sets that help blur the line between traditional and digital mediums.
In this guide, we’ll go over 5 brush sets (both free and premium) and share with you how you can use them to elevate your lettering.
Highlights: Time saver, great value
Coming up with ideas for lettering compositions can be tricky. There are many considerations to make, and the process can be one of seemingly endless revisions. Also, without a solid compositional foundation, your lettering piece can end up feeling unpolished.
It’s this frustration that inspired lettering artists Ian Barnard and Stefan Kunz to collaborate and create the Grid Builder and Letter Builder brush sets. That’s right, brush sets don’t only have to be for drawing your strokes!
The Grid Builder comes with 35 unique grid shapes that can be mixed and matched to help you create a number of compositions. Each shape features guidelines, an x-height line, and easy-to-follow borders so you’ll never have to worry about the consistency of your lettering.
The next brush set is the Letter Builder. Similar to the Grid Builder, these brushes are designed to make lettering easier. You can use it to draw sans serif and serif letters, as well as numerals. Check out this tutorial , where Stefan demonstrates how to draw using the Letter Builder.
An advantage to these brush sets is that they were designed to be used together. In this tutorial , Stefan shows you how you can fit the grids together using the distort and warp functions in Procreate. By adjusting these grids, you’re still free to customize them in a way that aligns with your vision for your lettering.
Both brush sets being used together
If you give this bundle of brushes a try, you won’t be disappointed. The fact that both Ian and Stefan use their own products, even as seasoned lettering artists, speaks to the utility and quality of these sets.
Pro Tip: Try these brush sets to add ease and speed to your process. The small center line that you see at the bottom of the grid shapes is an anchor to help keep your composition centered.
Highlights: Realistic feel, range of licensing options, responsive & pressure-sensitive
Price: $12-60 depending on the license
Despite script lettering being a popular lettering style, it can be a difficult one to master. Having knowledge of calligraphy can aid in the understanding of how to letter in script because it’s the foundation of all letterforms.
Before the rise of digital drawing apps, brush pens and calligraphy pens were a common find in a lettering artists' toolkit. Thanks to digital drawing apps, learning skills like calligraphy have never been easier, and you don’t have to leave the sense of tradition and history behind.
In the Young Vegas brush set by lettering artist and designer Adrian Meadows , you won’t only find brushes with interesting (and nostalgic) names, you’ll also find a call back to brush pens. Adrian’s work features expressive scripts that are full of personality. His approach to his own work shines through in this set. There are 40 pressure-sensitive brushes designed to help you keep your upstrokes thin and downstrokes thick, just like using a brush pen. This guiding principle is at the heart of script lettering.
Brands like Tombow, Kuretake, and Crayola all make appearances as you draw out your letters, with each brush featuring its own unique qualities. Have you ever wanted to replicate the experience of lettering with a dying Tombow brush pen for example? Well, there’s a Dying Tommybow brush for you to try. The results are so exceptional for each brush that you’ll want to try them all just for fun.
Pro Tip: In Procreate, adjust your streamline function for better line control over the curves of your script lettering.
Highlights: Realistic feel, great value, includes references
Chalk is a beautiful medium for lettering. We see it used for weddings, murals, store signage, home decor, and more. Even in black and white, chalk can be used to create lettering with a mesmerizing level of complexity and depth.
Lettering artists like Lauren Hom , Olga Muzician , and others have played a large part in bringing chalk out of the classroom and onto the center stage. As with any tool, using chalk for lettering can have its challenges. It can grind down quickly, can be a bit messy, and can lead to pesky problems like chalk ghosting. However, challenges aside, it remains a highly sought-after tool.
It’s for that reason that we’ve highlighted a brush set that focuses on the detail and texture chalk affords artists (minus the headaches). In the Chalk Dust brush kit by Ian Barnard, you can expect to have all the qualities of chalk come to life on screen. This is because the 14 chalk brushes in this set were created using real chalk textures. As you can see below, it shows.
And if the beauty of the brushes wasn’t enough, the set also includes six blackboard backgrounds, three chalk alphabet references, a sheet of tips and tricks, and two bonus script brushes by none other than Stefan Kunz. At just $19, this kit is of excellent value because it not only enables you to create beautiful lettering, it guides you on making a complete piece.
Curious to know how your lettering might look using chalk? Try out this brush set and see how it feels. You might just do a double-take at the results!
Pro Tip: Use this brush set to mock up your next chalkboard lettering proposal.
Highlights: Beginner friendly, great value, includes multiple styles
If you’re just getting started with lettering, it can be hard to know where to begin. Once you do, navigating the process presents its own set of challenges. Between learning the basics of typography — including lettering styles and tools — it's very easy to feel overwhelmed during your lettering practice. But, as time goes on and you see your work improve, you try new and increasingly challenging styles.
Whether you’re a complete beginner looking for an introduction to lettering in Procreate, or you’re looking for guidance on how to tackle a new style, we’ve found a brush set that’s great for all lettering artists.
The Procreate Lettering Starter Pack by Ivana Marić includes 35 brushes, a 10 part practice workbook, 28 textures, and two separate color palettes. Ivana is the lettering artist behind LePunktNoir and is based in Germany.
As a skilled lettering artist, she’s created everything from book covers to logos for clients. She also shares her wealth of lettering knowledge and experience with other artists through her blog .
To top it off, this set includes instructional videos on how to install and use the materials. Once you import these brushes and resources into Procreate, you’ll never feel like you’re starting from zero again.
Pro Tip: Set aside time every week to use the practice sheets from this pack to keep your skills sharp.
Highlights: Realist feel, high-quality, great for all styles of art
This Paperlike-exclusive set contains 10 brushes for artists of all disciplines. Each brush features real-life textures like paper and acrylic paint, and we’re very proud of the realism in the results.
So how can texture help take your lettering to the next level? Using texture in both your lettering and throughout your composition can help keep your work from feeling flat. With the right approach, these brushes will have your lettering leap off the screen!
Consider using the Dusty Shader brush from this set to add a layer of texture and increase the depth. Simply adjust your brush size until you’ve found the right level of effect for your piece. Jimbo is a master at creating scroll-stopping lettering that features stellar illustrations and exceptional details, so he was a natural collaborator for this exciting release. The best part? It’s available for you to download for free. Check out the Better than Basics brush set today and let us know what you think.
Pro Tip: Adding texture to the background of your composition is a great way to add even more detail and depth to your lettering piece.
A Note on Default Brushes
As we mentioned previously, the brush sets we’ve featured were created by lettering artists just like you who understand and have faced the challenges of digital lettering. We believe that these brush sets can positively impact and improve your lettering process so it's worth it to check them out to see for yourself.
We hope this guide helps you as you navigate the world of digital lettering and that you use it to raise the (cross)bar on your lettering.
Much like these brush sets, Paperlike was created to help artists create better digital art that feels truer to traditional materials. Pick up a Paperlike today to take your art to the next level when working with your iPad.