Once the preserve of the classroom – evoking homework, detentions and spelling tests – chalkboards have migrated out of the school environment and are having a serious moment. They're now in our homes, favourite bars and the coolest of boutique hotels thanks to their ability to provide a changing canvas of ideas and organisation.
But, however you might try, recreating that calligraphy-style lettering you've pinned a thousand times on your Pinterest board just doesn't quite look right. Don't throw the chalk in yet – help is at hand. Alison Carmichael is a professional lettering artist, who's created lettering for everyone from Nike to McDonalds. We asked her to give us some top tips to create Instagram-worthy chalkboard lettering every time.
What tips would you give a beginner for creating chalkboard lettering at home?
Keep it simple to start with. You could plan a loose layout to follow as a template on your computer just to get the hierarchy of words, scale and letter weight in place and then print it out and trace the shapes, adding embellishment and a handcrafted look. With chalk, because it is pretty hard to control the thickness of line, it is best to design it so that the letters have a good amount of letter spacing.
Any tips for making sure you don't run out of space with your design?
There are a few ways you can do this. Firstly, you need to make sure you are designing on paper which is the same ratios to the wall/chalkboard you are drawing on. You could create a grid and translate it from paper to board like that. It is important to map the whole design out very lightly in chalk first so you can make sure you are happy with where everything is fitting in.