This is the design world of Sam Lee. It displays some of my passion in design, type, and illustration


I have come to love sharing and teaching others what I have learned, so this page will act as a resource where people can see my thoughts on process, clients and professionalism. I will also share the tools that I use on a daily basis, and time to time add cool things that are free to download.


Pens, Pencils, and Other Tools used for Hand-Lettering Type

The question I get asked most often is what tools I used to letter my designs, so I’ve decided to dedicate an entire page to share everything I use. Please do keep in mind that the tools listed is what works for me best, so go out there, try everything, and find ones that suit you!

1Staedtler Mars Technico

My lead holder. It is a cross between a traditional pencil and a mechanical pencil. The great thing about it is that you can get it to the sharpness as you want like a traditional pencil, and is as convenient as a mechanical pencil when changing the lead.

I use it to sketch an preliminary drawings, as well as for the final sketch of my designs.






2Staedtler Lead Sharpner

Used to sharpen my lead holders. I love this because it gets my Mars Technico to the sharpness of my liking.



3Felt Pens

My favorite pens to use to ink my designs. I definitely do not use them to write, but use them specifically for outlining and filling in all of my sketches.

I use a 0.05 for outlining and a 08 for filling in.

There are lots of brands out there, but my favorite ones to use are MICRON, MILLENNIUM, and STAEDTLER.

I find that MICRONS are more ‘wet’ and ‘inky’ and darker than the others. MILLENNIUMS are cheaper and much more comfortable to hold. And STAEDTLERS are a great in-between.






4Brush Pens

Brush pens are great because they allow you to go back and forth between thick and thin strokes. This is good for script writing, or filling in large spaces with ink. I also use them to take great notes. They come in soft brushes and hard brushes; I would recommend hard brush tips for beginners because they are much easier to control. Personal favorites are from Kuretake.






6Nib Pen

The tool of the calligrapher. This tool is a lot of fun because there are thousands of nibs you can try out, as well as different styles such as Spencerian, Copperplate, or Round Hand. Nibs I use come from Leonardt, Brause, Hiro, and Tachikawa






5Flat Pen

I use two different flat pens, the PILOT PARALLEL and the ROTRING ART PEN. They come in different sizes, and the ones I use are 1.1, 1.5 and 3.8. I use them for gothic and script calligraphy, and mainly use them for making quick little sketches. I also use them for taking great notes.









Brushes are great because they leave a nice, natural texture and are used to present a messier style. Creating type or illustrations with brush and paint definitely has a different feel to it.