Calligraphy: a reading list

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I am not an artist by any means and my handwriting isn’t even close to perfect, in fact at times it’s barely legible. So I was a little nervous when I attended a calligraphy workshop taught by Lisa from Post Calligraphy. I was afraid that everyone else in the class would pick it up faster than me, or that I’d tear through the paper with my nib or spill ink everywhere. But once the workshop got started and I got a few practice letters under my belt, I started to feel more relaxed.

By the time we moved on from pencil and started using the actual nibs and ink, I was enjoying myself. My lettering was far from perfect and many others at the table were producing calligraphy that already looked professional, but I didn’t care. I kept on with my letters, practicing them over and over again. Before I knew it I was writing words and producing lettering that didn’t completely embarrass me. I went home with a new respect for calligraphy as an art form along with the desire to learn more about it and practice, practice, practice.


If you’re interested in learning calligraphy, there are tons of resources out there to help you along. That’s why I started out by taking a class. I wanted someone to walk me through calligraphy at its most basic level and to get me to the point that I had enough confidence to continue. The workshop I attended did just that, and I’ve since watched a few videos online and found some great free printouts to help with calligraphy practice. Check out The Beginner’s Guide to Modern Calligraphy by The Postman’s Knock to get a feel for the type of information that’s out there.

I highly recommend attending a calligraphy workshop if you’re lucky enough to find one near you. It’s really helpful to have someone there who can tell you if you’re holding the pen properly and correct the amount of pressure you’re using. But if you’re like me and also want to have some reference books on hand in case you get stuck or just need some inspiration to keep going, these are some of the calligraphy books that have come highly recommended to me.

Calligraphy Alphabets Made Easy
by Margaret Shepherd

Learn Calligraphy: The Complete Book of Lettering and Design
by Margaret Shepherd

Modern Calligraphy: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Script Calligraphy
by  Molly Suber Thorpe

Belle Calligraphy Kit: Materials and Instruction for Modern Script
by Maybelle Imasa-Stukuls

Mastering Calligraphy: The Complete Guide To Hand Lettering
by Gaye Godfrey-Nicholls


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