Spooky: Try These 31 Hand Lettering Styles

Zirkus Design | Spooky! 31 Different Halloween Hand Lettering Styles to Try


I actually hate being scared, so I’m glad all the gory Halloween decorations are coming down today. I can’t watch scary movies, and I even time my popcorn refills for intense the-bad-guy-is-about-to-get-the-girl scenes.. just.can’t.do.it.

So while I can’t get into the blood-guts-gore look, I do love the cutesy skulls and friendly pumpkin decorations. Because Halloween is such a versatile holiday, it really provides a fantastic excuse to get a little crazy with artistic endeavors like doodling and hand lettering.

A Skeleton of an Idea

Even if you haven’t lifted a finger toward the hand lettering craze, you’ve likely seen Bullet Journals (BuJo), hand lettering how-to books (like this one from The Pigeon Letters), and pins showing 50 ways to draw the letter Z.

Lettering is everywhere!

A few weeks ago, an idea to letter the word SPOOKY 31 different ways hatched in my artsy brain (31 ways –> October 31).

My scheduled brain said, ain’t nobody got time for that!

More important things like updating my website for mobile and celebrating my son’s eighth birthday took precedence (and not in that order – ha!).

All of a sudden, it was October 30th, I was nearly out of time. Because, really, no one wants to read about Halloween on November 3… amiright!?


Zirkus Design | Spooky! 31 Hand Lettering Styles to Try - Inverted

Thirty One SPOOKY Styles

With Halloween already here, it was go time – letter or do not letter. I busted out my tin can of pens and unleashed a fury of black ink. 

Script, block, inline, serif, trash, hipster, I let the spooky run wild and free… until about style number 17.

Wah wuh.

I still needed more than a dozen ways.

Uh oh.

Zirkus Design | Spooky! 31 Hand Lettering Styles to Try - Sketch


Where to Find Hand Lettering Inspiration

Because I am a lettering nerd, I keep a notebook of lettering styles I like (yes, like actual paper). I flipped through all of those, and I used plenty of styles I’ve previously saved. 

But, I realized I have a ton of brush/script lettering styles. I didn’t want to do too many iterations with the same look (and there are approximately 386,572 brush/script lettering styles), so I consulted one of the hand lettering giants, Dawn Nicole Designs.

Dawn Nicole Designs is a treasure trove for hand letterers of any skill level. Dawn offers hand lettering worksheets and tutorials as well as a super fun Happy Email Club. Find some of styles I used plus more in her DND Lettering Styles Series.

I’m not affiliated with Dawn – she is just awesome, and I am happy to introduce you to people who have helped me and resources I have loved and used personally.

Beyond that, I’m sure you already know that Pinterest gives you a zillion and one search results when poking around for hand lettering. You can see the inspiration for some of my SPOOKY ways and find lettering styles to suit YOUR next hand lettering project here.

After a few minutes getting Pin-spired, I was ready to make it to the big 3-1. Since math is not my strong point and my eyes were threatening mutiny, I think I may have gone over my goal.

Help me out – how many different styles did I end up with?


Zirkus Design | Spooky! 31 Different Halloween Hand Lettering Styles to Try

Share YOUR Hand Lettering!

No matter what stage of the lettering game you’re in (newbie, rookie, seasoned scribbler, total pro), I would love to see YOUR latest lettering project.

Stumped for ideas?

Take the lettering styles I’ve shown you in the photos above (or use other styles you find on your own), and letter one of these November-themed word 31 ways:

  • Autumn
  • Thanks
  • Fall
  • Grateful
  • Home
  • Pumpkin

Leave a link below to share your work or use hashtag ZirkusDesign on Instagram so I can see. Can’t wait!

Happy Lettering!




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