Brisbane’s ink envy now a thing of the past

Published:  November 26, 2015
Amy Crow

For designers, typographic lovers and calligraphers in Brisbane ink envy has been a real thing over Melbourne’s Hand Lettering Club. It has been a sad time until last week I was tagged in an Instagram post that informed me that Brisbane does in fact have a lettering club. My introvert self reared it’s ugly head about the fear of new situations but I committed, damnit, I went.



Helen Kelly runs the Brisbane Hand Lettering Club which is a bi-monthly social meet up for creatives, designers and hobbyists. The meet up is all about sharing lettering experiences but also learning about others in the creative community. Kelly wanted to be a part of a social hand lettering group and was miffed by the apparent lack of, she told desktop, ”I got off my seat and formed my own community.” Excellent.


Brisbane Hand Lettering Club is a completely not for profit organisation and the State Library of Queensland (SLQ) has kindly supported this community project from its birth in August.

Kelly has the goal to see every major city and some small towns in Australia to have their own lettering community get-togethers. ”I’m happy that anyone who loves lettering of any style can come along and meet other like-minded souls and get practicing and experimenting.”

She has said that since starting out it has been fun and easy to manage even with having a family and working as a graphic designer, but now that word is getting out, enquiries have started flooding in and require replies and social media is now a big part of the job. “Come the weekends, I’m bordering on nocturnal!” she jokes.

BHL_BalloonChallengeEvery meet up is slightly different; Kelly likes to mix things up and every meet up has a creative typographic treat and we were gifted with, balloons. Now, not only are balloons hard to hold down, but due to their texture it makes it incredibly hard to be a perfectionist with your letters. It was interesting to play around with scale, experiment with different colours and textures and to have a laugh when it went pear shaped when it was blown up.

Creative Brisbanites can get excited and prepared for the return of Brisbane Hand Lettering Club in early 2016 with an exciting calendar of events, all to be held at the SLQ.


Brisbane Hand Lettering Club

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