Ilana Griffo

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You're reading an interview with an alumni from the Better Lettering Course. I'm sharing several of these stories on the blog to encourage and inspire anyone who has a desire to learn hand-lettering but who might be intimidated or fearful of diving in. Click here to read them all or, if you're a BLC alumn, submit your story here to be featured!

What made you want to start learning hand-lettering?

As a graphic designer, typography has been a passion of mine as long as I can remember. I used to write, and rewrite my class notes until they were as close to perfect as possible. I learned so much about the art of type as a design student, and I interned at a letterpress studio to learn more about the origin of type. I wanted to learn more about hand lettering because I knew it would bring a unique and personalized touch to the work I was doing with my design clients.

What were some of your thoughts as you started out?

I took the class as a creative outlet. While it related directly to the work I do daily, it was a step away from the computer, a new challenge. I was excited to have some direction, and someone to inspire and motivate me.

Lettering by Ilana Griffo on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Ilana Griffo on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Ilana Griffo on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Ilana Griffo on Hand Lettering for Beginners

How did the Better Lettering Course help you grow in your hand-lettering skills?

Without the structure and challenges, I would have become overwhelmed and probably given up pretty quickly. It was nice to set a goal, and challenge myself to try something different. The freedom also let me develop my own style, that felt true to my brand.  

Lettering by Ilana Griffo on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Ilana Griffo on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Ilana Griffo on Hand Lettering for Beginners

Lettering by Ilana Griffo on Hand Lettering for Beginners

What surprised you most as you learned and practiced hand-lettering skills?

I love that each person’s lettering style is a reflection of themselves. That’s what makes it so unique - your personal touch. It’s been a great tool in adding to my client work.


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Ilana is a designer and illustrator in Upstate New York where she lives with her bike enthusiast husband, and their playful pup, Dizzy. She’s the force behind the product line, Sugar & Type, and a self proclaimed chocolate-aholic. www.sugarandtype.com / www.ilanagriffo.com / instagram.com/sugarandtype