Books to Learn Hand Lettering & Modern Calligraphy
Wow! Welcome to my very first blog post! This blog will bring equal parts information, equal parts fun, and equal parts humor. I have about a million and one post ideas written down and it hard to figure out where to start. I mean, I can barely choose what kind of juice to have in the morning, how am I supposed to choose how to start my blog? So, I thought back to how I started my hand lettering journey and decided to begin there.
Every year my mom asks me to send her 3 or 4 goals or resolutions for the New Year. These have ranged from “become a meme” to “buy a blue-tongued skink” to this years: “learn hand lettering”. I think this is the only case in recorded history where a New Year’s resolution has lasted past the third week of January. A few days after the new year, I went on a mission with my friend: to find a book to teach me hand lettering.
Since then, I have accumulated a small collection of books all about hand lettering that I think are awesome:
4 Must Read Books to Learn Hand Lettering
The Art of Brush Lettering by Kelly Klapstein
This is the very first book I bought that day in January. When I was browsing the bookstore I wanted to make sure that the book I chose had worksheets that I could practice on. Not only does this book have worksheets but they are perforated so that you can tear them out and work on a flat surface. Practicing on a table is so much easier than practicing in a book. This book has stroke-by-stroke instructions for forming each letter as well as ways to spice up your lettering. There are two different sets of worksheets: one for large pens and one for small. I recommend starting small with the Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens. The tips are small and firm which makes perfect for beginners because they are easy to control.
The Ultimate Brush Lettering Guide by Peggy Dean
This book is really great for beginners because it starts with the very basics. It takes you from basic letter formation to faux calligraphy to drills to brush lettering. It has ten different ways to write each letter as well as practice pages, quotes to trace, and project ideas.
Lettering in the Whimsical Woodlands by Peggy Dean
This book was SO fun to work through. It has worksheets for three different whimsical alphabets! My favorite part is definitely the step by step instructions for different forest animals and flowers. I love a good animal!! I’m not the best at drawing but this book makes it SO easy to connect lines in a way that resemble a fox or a squirrel. Definitely, an awesome way to add something a little more interesting to your lettering pieces!
Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe
This is a fantastic place to start if you want to learn traditional pointed pen calligraphy. It goes through all the basics of modern calligraphy: nibs, holders, inks, etc.. It has 24 different examples for each letter in the alphabet, and introduction to different types of mediums such as watercolor & gouache ink, instructions for digitizing your work, and loads of project ideas. This book really focuses on project ideas so I highly recommend purchasing it if you are planning on selling your calligraphy services!
In addition to these books I’ve found that online worksheets are equally as valuable:
- This post from the Postman’s Knock gives in-depth information about flourishing and includes a free worksheet!
- This worksheet from Etsy is perfect if you want to learn traditional Copperplate calligraphy!
I recommend using Heavyweight Laserjet Paper to print out these worksheets. It’s very smooth and high quality which will prolong the life of your markers or nibs!
Related: Best Hand Lettering Supplies For Beginners
Hope you enjoyed my first post!!! If you want to learn more about me and what this blog will be, check out my about me and if you don’t care to see a picture of me with my cat at least check out my Etsy shop.