From brochures and billboards to T-shirts and textbooks, we are constantly surrounded by letters every day and everywhere. Lettering can be dramatic, beautiful, loud or refined. Through typography, lettering designers not only convey messages and tell stories, but they can also bring forth emotion and attitude.

Let’s face it: you do judge a book by its cover. And why wouldn’t you? That’s the first impression you get, and it’s an impression which is often made by a lettering designer. The same goes for all forms of media, both printed and digital: the first glance is integral. Think about it: the lettering on a book or an album cover will often evoke its mood and theme, and that’s what draws in the reader or listener.

Best lettering designers
Illustration by OrangeCrush

Similarly, the lettering in a logo shares a brand’s perspective. Look at shoe brands, for example: the bold, sporty, straightforward lettering on the Puma logo is drastically different from the sophisticated, curling script on the Christian Louboutin logo. These are two very different types of shoes; the lettering says it all.

Lettering makes an impression. It enlivens a poster, spices up a pad of paper or brings a pop of personality to an intangible space like a website or app.

Regardless of medium, a great lettering designer is important because they’ll elevate your brand and help you stand out. We’re not talking about snoozy typography like your grandma’s Times New Roman. The focus here is engaging, creative lettering that goes beyond the realm of typical typefaces. Now, let’s meet the amazing freelance designers who do it best.

The 10 best freelance lettering designers to hire in 2021

  1. 1
    • Product label
    • Product packaging
    • Logo design
    • Other packaging or label
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Book cover
    • Web page design
    • Other design
    • Other art or illustration
    • Banner ad
    • Other business or advertising
    • Brochure
    • 3D
    • Stationery
    • Other clothing or merchandise
    • Icon or button
    • Email
    • Card or invitation
  2. 2
    • Logo design
    • Product label
    • T-shirt
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Product packaging
    • Other design
    • Illustration or graphics
  3. 3
    • Book cover
    • Web page design
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Product label
    • Other book or magazine
    • Magazine cover
    • Logo design
  4. 4
    • Logo design
    • Web page design
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Logo & business card
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Business card
  5. 5
    • Logo & hosted website
    • Web page design
    • Logo design
    • Other web or app design
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other business or advertising
    • Product packaging
    • Business card
    • Stationery
    • Poster
    • App design
    • Landing page design
    • Email
    • Icon or button
    • Other design
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Product label
    • Facebook cover
    • Brochure
    • Social media page
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Signage
    • Brand guide
    • Book cover
    • T-shirt
    • Other book or magazine
    • Menu
    • Logo & business card
    • 3D
    • PowerPoint template
    • Other packaging or label
    • Merchandise
    • Infographic
    • Flash banner
    • Card or invitation
    • Banner ad
  6. 6
    • Logo design
    • Logo & business card
    • Logo & brand guide
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Logo & brand identity pack
  7. 7
    • Logo design
    • Logo & business card
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Product label
    • Brochure
    • T-shirt
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Stationery
    • Other web or app design
    • Business card
    • WordPress theme design
    • Product packaging
    • Other design
    • Other business or advertising
    • Other art or illustration
    • Logo & brand guide
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Icon or button
    • Cup or mug
    • Clothing or apparel
    • Card or invitation
  8. 8
    • Logo design
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • T-shirt
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Logo & brand guide
    • Sticker
    • Logo & business card
    • Business card
    • Stationery
    • Poster
    • Merchandise
  9. 9
    • Logo design
    • Logo & brand guide
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Brand guide
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Other design
    • T-shirt
    • Product packaging
    • Other packaging or label
    • Logo & business card
    • Business card
    • Product label
    • Banner ad
    • WordPress theme design
    • Stationery
    • Signage
    • Prezi design
    • Poster
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other business or advertising
    • Infographic
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Book cover
  10. 10
    • Logo design
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Logo & social media pack
    • T-shirt
    • Other web or app design
    • Other design
    • Logo & business card
    • Character or mascot

How did we choose these as the top lettering designers?

We know lettering design is important to get right because it involves great precision, finesse and attention to detail. Here’s what we looked for when selecting the designers on this list:

1. Design quality

When a designer joins 99designs, an expert from our team goes through their portfolio and considers the conceptual thought, technical execution and knowledge of design principles evident in their work. If their application is accepted, they then assign the designer one of three levels:

  • Top Level
  • Mid Level
  • Entry Level

These levels are displayed on designer portfolios, so you can easily see if you’re working with someone with lots of experience and design chops, or someone that is up-and-coming.

2. Lettering design experience

custom typography design by professional lettering designer Mky
Lettering design by Mky

Graphic design spans many areas, and each designer will have their strengths in particular facets of the design world. In addition to looking at overall quality, we specifically vetted each designer on this list to make sure they had experience with and specialized in lettering design.

3. Professionalism

Of course you want someone with outstanding design skills, but you also want a lettering designer who communicates with you throughout the process, delivers on time and is generally good to work with. So we took past customer experiences into account to make sure all of our recommended lettering designers are professionals in service as well as design.

What to think about when hiring a lettering designer

Lettering design is a nuanced art which draws on vast experience and creativity. With so many possibilities when it comes to lettering design, it can be tricky to focus on the most important qualities. Regardless of the project at hand, here are 3 things to consider when selecting your lettering designer:

Point of view

In many cases, lettering is what sells your brand. You’ll want a designer who not only has a clear point of view, but can also put themselves in your shoes and understand your perspective. Remember: whether it’s big or small, printed or digital, all forms of lettering will result in making a statement.

Mastery of style

A killer lettering designer has mastered all forms of word-based graphic design, whether it’s type design, calligraphy or hand lettering. This versatility will lend itself well to making sure your project is one of a kind and meticulously executed.

Flexibility in aesthetic

Lettering design in shape of ice cream cone
Lettering design by reza ernanda

When hiring a lettering designer to create eye-catching art, you shouldn’t just have to go ahead and settle on a serif, a sans serif or a script. You can—and should—have it all. Find someone flexible who can offer up different aesthetics and approaches. Whether you want a modern style, lean towards the traditional or just can’t decide, a flexible designer will design with a strategy which caters to your unique needs.

When a designer catches your eye, browse their work and keep these three characteristics in mind. The right designer will be the one who can make a game-changing statement for your brand.

Are you ready to hire an incredible freelance lettering designer?

Letters surround us wherever we go, and lettering is what brings out the personality in our words, designs and messages. Lettering helps us convey meaning and tell captivating stories. A great lettering designer takes your brand to the next level, helping your brand stand out from the rest. It’s true: we’re going to judge a book by its cover, so go ahead: make it flawless.

Want more lettering designer choices?
If these 10 designers aren’t what you’re looking for, don’t sweat it. Search to find your ideal match.