Modern calligraphy: where to start

My friend Chelsea asked me recently how to go about starting calligraphy. This is a fairly big question, because there are so many different styles of calligraphy, from old-style scripts, to Arabic and Eastern brush scripts and many others besides.

The cool, quirky fonts and scripts you see on boho, vintage or shabby chic wedding invitations mostly take root from a type of calligraphy called Copperplate – which is my preferred style, and what a lot of modern-day calligraphers have started using as their staple.

The video below is a very brief (one-handed!) introduction to the basic ranges of calligraphy pens that I used when I started out, and how to use them.

I get most of my nibs from my local art shop (because paying P&P seems pointless on a 90p nib), but tend to have what I can’t find locally.

Fountain pens in this video:
Pilot Namiki Falcon (the expensive one)
Noodlers Ahab (the cheaper but more unpredictable one)

Noodler’s Bad Black Moccasin

Felt pens:
Pentel Touch Sign Pens

This blog post: Beginners Guide to Modern Calligraphy by Julia Bausenhardt is a great intro to all the bits you’ll need.

Purveyers of all things beautiful, and the lettering guide in the video: Meticulous Ink

Where I get my fountain pen stuff: Purepens – they’re super helpful, and replaced my questionable nib feed immediately, with a free nib.

These books: Calligraphy Bible by Maryanne Grebenstein, and Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe:

calligraphybible  suberthorpe

My first few attempts at dip-nib calligraphy:


Modern calligraphy: where to start