Quote, unquote – add beautiful quotes to your journal pages

journal pages

Annie Weir talks us through how she adds inspirational quotes to her journals.

I love adding quotes to my journal and do so often because I think it’s a great way to incorporate hand lettering into your everyday creativity. I feel that hand-lettered quotes add interest to my journal pages, some of which would purely be filled with my handwriting otherwise, and serve as a memory of how I was feeling and what was on my mind during the day that I chose to letter that particular quote.

You can find inspiration for quotes in so many different places, and I find I never have to look far to be inspired. I might choose to letter something a friend or family member has said to me or something I read in a book or a magazine that resonates with me. It could be the lyrics of a song or one of my own thoughts. Plus there is always the Internet, which hosts many websites dedicated to listing and displaying large numbers of motivational quotes.

I find sketching my layout ideas on a scrap piece of paper can be helpful in the initial stages of my design as it gives me an idea of where I’d like each word or letter to appear on the paper. I can then sketch out guidelines on the actual journal page I’ll be lettering on to assist with spacing and lettering size.

When choosing which pens to use I’m always conscious of the paper I will be drawing on. Different papers handle different inks in different ways and so, in order to avoid unwanted bleeding or feathering on the paper, I would always recommend completing a pen test before delving into your actual piece of artwork. I create a pen test page in every new journal I use – this is simply a page where you can test any of your pens to discover how the paper reacts to each one.


  • Moleskin medium dot grid journal
  • Uniball Uni Pin Fine Liner Drawing Pen 0.2
  • HB Pencil
  • eraser
  • ruler
  • Jakar Circle Stencil


1 Laying down guidelines

In order to get the spacing of your design correct, it’s a good idea to begin by measuring and sketching some gridlines in pencil. If you are using a dot grid or regular grid journal you can save time by counting the grid spaces to assist with your layout.


2 Sketching the words in pencil

Using a pencil to sketch out the words allows you to correct any mistakes and check that your layout is spaced correctly and to your liking. I always ensure I’m 100% happy with my sketch before finalising the design with pen.


3 Finalising in ink

Once you are completely happy with your pencil sketch you can complete your lettering with pen. This can be nerve racking as the pen is permanent so I’d recommend taking your time and remembering to apply the pen to the paper with confidence (this should deter shaky penmanship).


Annie’s top tip

In addition to choosing a compatible pen and paper I try not to apply too much ink when I’m drawing as this can also lead to bleeding or worsened ghosting through the journal pages. I always try to draw each line once (rather than drawing over lines again and again), and when I’m blocking in I’m conscious not to re-apply ink to the same area of the page more than once, as adding to much ink to the paper can lead to the paper wrinkling


Download the templates here.

Annie Weir’s journal quote pages

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