You had to have the big salad final layout

Lettering Layouts class

When I started taking Skillshare classes over the summer, I quickly fell in love with Teela Cunningham‘s classes. She has a knack for breaking down cool and trendy techniques into steps that make sense.

I’ve seen great hand-lettered layouts for awhile now, like with those chalkboard lettering walls, art prints, or tees. But I never understood how they were made — they seemed to appear by magic. Teela’s class Lettering Layouts: Create Beautiful Messages provides a ton of clarity on how to get started with these designs.

After choosing my phrase, “You had to have the big salad!” (from Seinfeld, of course), I designated the hierarchy:

  • level 1: big salad
  • level 2: you
  • level 3: had to have the

Then I started sketching possible layouts using Teela’s inspiration elements PDF that she includes with class enrollment. I appreciate the resources she puts together because when there are seemingly infinite options it can be hard to just choose something and get started. But she makes it clear and easy to just start drawing.

Lettering Layouts class - first steps

You had to have the big salad lettering 1

You had to have the big salad 2

You had to have the big salad 3

My final layout:You had to have the big salad final layout

I liked a lot of my sketches and it was actually hard to choose a favorite to implement. I wanted to incorporate some other little veggie illustrations, so I went with a complex layout. It got pretty busy, and is more of a food illustration than a lettering layout. But the whole experience was so informative and fun, that I know I’ll be able to do more projects with this technique.

My introductory Skillshare subscription rate has expired, but I’m tempted to renew my subscription just to watch this class again and again! Teela also shares some inspiring layouts and ways to get started with this technique on her awesome blog.


Tools & supplies

  • pencil
  • a variety of PITT artist pens
  • Canson Drawing pad