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Tips and Tricks for Drawing Letters and Numbers

Drawing letters and numbers is very much a freestyle-thing as long as you follow certain guidelines (so people can understand what they are seeing because there is no use in drawing a funky sign if people can’t read it!)

Three Basic Shapes

Looking at the alphabet there are three basic shapes:

  • The triangle for letters like V, A, M
  • The square for letters like E, F, X, D and L
  • The circle for letters like O, Q, G and C
  • Blends: N is part triangle and part square, while R is part circle and part square

With these in mind so you can start designing your letters by setting your own guidelines. How round should the circle be? How do you convey the triangle or square?


As you design your letters you want to have some guidelines to write them on, which is similar in function to lines in a notebook. Draw these in pencil and erase them when the letters are complete.

Setup at least three lines for:

  • The middle line should be the ‘base’ of the letters
  • The top should be the top of the capital letters and where the long parts of the lowercase letters like ‘b’ should rise to.
  • The bottom is for where the lower hanging parts of the letters like ‘g’ or ‘y’ should reach.

A fourth line might be where the lowercase letters like ‘e’ or ’n’ should not exceed their guidelines, for example.


Most artists use a square for each letter but you can play with oblongs and other shapes.


The beauty of drawing letters and numbers is that you can let your imagination run wild. As long as the message isn’t lost in the detail, there is almost no limit to what you can do.


Depending on the media, you can generally use any art materials, including  paint brushes, crayons, colored pencils, and markers to craft your letters and numbers. Have a look around the Color Swell website to see what you can use!