While blogs, social media, and even daily life contain so many ideas to spark creativity, sometimes you just want to hold some inspiration in your own two hands. Here are some of the books we've found to be great tools in learning and experimenting with different lettering styles.


By Alex Fowkes

Drawing Type: An Introduction to Illustrating Letterforms

Drawing Type features real-world projects and sketchbooks of well-known type designers, including interviews about their processes. Alex Fowkes is an amazing designer, so it comes as no surprise that his book is very well done. Not to mention, HLCO team member Christopher Vinca is featured in this book, making it even more awesome. 

Princeton Architectural Press

Typography Sketchbooks

This book is filled with beautiful examples of sketches, process images, and some finished images in a variety of styles. It's a large book that's good for inspiration or even to look pretty on the coffee table.

By Louise Fili

Elegantissima: The Design and Typography of Louise Fili

Louise Fili has been an inspiration for designers around the world since the 1980s when she raised the bar on book cover design. She is known for her lavish and elegant typography. 

By Steven Heller, Louise Fili

Scripts: Elegant Lettering from Design's Golden Age

This book is a great way to get ideas for different styles of scripts. You can do the same by looking through Pinterest, but it is nice to just sit and turn off the computer sometimes.

By Dan X. Solo

The Solotype Catalog of 4,147 Display Typefaces

This is the book that I use the most because of my style. I get a lot of ideas from the many typefaces; I only wish it showed the entire alphabet of each.

By Dan X. Solo

Swash Letter Alphabets: 100 Complete Fonts

This is one of a series of complete alphabets that Dan Solo put out. These are very helpful to me as I can see every letter in the alphabet and see the relationship of each character.

By Dan X. Solo

Script and Cursive Alphabets: 100 Complete Fonts

Another complete alphabet book by Dan Solo. He has several others as well that would be worth checking out.

By David Consuegra

Classic Typefaces: American Type and Type Designers

I picked up this book when traveling. It contains full alphabets, as well as the history behind them which is very interesting. It also has a nice glossary at the end if you are just beginning to learn terminology. 


Hand to Type: Scripts, Hand-Lettering and Calligraphy

A solid, quality book. It contains a great history of typography and a lot of lovely samples to look through. Visually stunning and a great source of inspiration for designers and type enthusiasts.

By Mike Rohde

The Sketchnote Handbook: The Illustrated Guide to Visual Note Taking

I was first introduced to the Sketchnote DVD and it really helped me. Not only did I start remembering my notes better from drawing them out, it started a pattern of constantly laying out letters in my head that grew my typography skills quickly.