Have you recently gotten into the idea of calligraphy? If so, having the right book to guide you along the way can surely improve your budding skills and interest in the trade.
With how many books on modern calligraphy out on the market today, however, finding the one that will work best for your level of skill is not always the easiest task. Thankfully, we have found three top-rated modern calligraphy books that can teach you more about the skill, pens, paper, and more.
To go even further, we came up with a buying guide about these types of books so that you have a greater understanding about it all. By the end, you will certainly have an easier time choosing which modern calligraphy books will best benefit your needs and skill level.
Modern Calligraphy Books – What You Should Know
If you want to learn about modern calligraphy, you can’t just go for any of the modern calligraphy books on the market. Rather, you should focus on your level of skill. Some modern calligraphy books are more experienced than others, while other modern calligraphy books provide only the basics that a beginner will enjoy, but an intermediate artist may find too simple.
Our buying guide below will help you understand modern calligraphy books and how to find the right one you need.
Beginner or Not?
Many modern calligraphy books advertise directly to those with little or no experience. If you already have a grasp on the foundation of calligraphy, then these books will more than likely do little for you. However, for beginners, these are exceptional learning tools.
If you are looking for modern calligraphy books for beginners, be sure that it has enough room for you to actually practice. In addition, it should have some instructions as well as advice to help you improve your skills.
Another good thing about modern calligraphy books are the projects typically found in them. Practice projects allow you to take everything you just learned and explore it in various manners.
For instance, are you looking to send out personalized wedding invitations or thank you notes? Quality modern calligraphy books will provide you with that practice space so you can have an understanding of how to properly use your newfound lettering skills.
Another important aspect about modern calligraphy books you should keep in mind is the quality of the paper. A book can look appealing and offer numerous of examples and practice room, but if the paper quality is not there, then you may have a difficult time actually using the book.
Since you will be using various pens or markers, you want paper in modern calligraphy books that do not typically bleed through. This way, you can still see the work on the other side of the page. If your paper happens to bleed through, consider using a different type of pen to see if that makes any kind of improvement.
When it comes to modern calligraphy books, some may offer to teach you all about a single style. For some people, one style is enough, especially if they are just starting out.
However, other modern calligraphy books opt to focus on a handful of different lettering styles. This may be better in the long run as it can broaden your understanding about the various amount of calligraphy lettering styles available.
A bonus of finding books that dive into more than one style is the chance for you to develop a preference. You may find that you work better with one type of lettering over another, or a certain lettering style is best for thank you notes rather than other kind of projects.
Nevertheless, single-styled modern calligraphy books can still provide a unique perspective over a single style to help you become rather adept in it.
Pens and Other Supplies
Not all books on modern calligraphy approach the supplies needed. If you already have an understanding about supplies, then perhaps you don’t need a book to restate what you already know.
Even still, there are a good amount of books that address everything down to the nibs to the ink and best paper to use with what type of pen. For true beginners, this type of information in modern calligraphy books is essential to kicking your learning off on a strong start.
Top Modern Calligraphy Books
Lettering and Modern Calligraphy: A Beginner’s Guide: Learn Hand Lettering and Brush Lettering
by Paper Peony Press
A good way to dive into the world of calligraphy is by focusing on the basics. This book, among many modern calligraphy books, does just that. Aimed at newcomers, the book provides you with five different alphabet styles to learn. It is just enough to get you going without being overwhelming.
While you go through and learn the five alphabet styles, the book focuses on both uppercase and lowercase lettering. In addition, the book, which has more than 100 pages, provides lettering guides and gives you space to practice connections. Not only that, but you will also learn about composition as well as design.
After you go through the book, learning the ropes step by step, you will reach the project section. There are 15 total lettering projects at the end. It allows you to not only continue practice, but also to take what you have learned throughout the book and put it to good use.
One thing you may want to take care of is the fact that the paper does feel rather thin. So, be sure to check your pens to see if they are bleeding through. Also, since the work is so basic, this will more than likely do little for those who have experience with calligraphy. Rather, the book is ideal for those who have never even attempted this type of lettering before.
- Provides a good amount of space to practice letters
- Straightforward enough to teach beginners the basics
- Offers several styles to practice with different types of pens
- 15 lettering projects at the end to practice what you have learned
- Could benefit from more thorough written instructions
- Paper is too thin and causes ink to bleed through
- Learn to letter and create beautiful designs with this beginner's guide and workbook!...
- At the end of this book, there are also 15 beautiful lettering projects to help you...
- Paper Peony Press
- Publisher: Paper Peony Press
- Paperback: 112 pages
Hand Lettering 101: An Introduction to the Art of Creative Lettering
If you are interested in learning a specific style of lettering, then this book may be the right choice for you. Although you will not gain an understanding of several styles found in other modern calligraphy books, this book in particular does a good job at exploring one in particular in detail.
As per the author’s words, this style is seen more as faux-calligraphy than anything. Even so, you will still learn the basics. Likewise in modern calligraphy books that advertise for beginners, this book focuses on teaching you the alphabet, both uppercase and lowercase. In addition, you will learn the strokes to write the numbers 0-9.
Beyond understanding the strokes, this book offers up some tips on how you mix and match different fonts. You will also discover interesting techniques about connecting letters. On top of all of that, you will receive instructions on how to complete nine different hand-letter projects. This offers you a true chance to explore what you are learning.
Even though this does not offer many different styles, it is still easy enough to use. Spiral-bound, the book is reliable and lays flat. By doing so, you can practice without worry. The paper is also thick enough to prevent bleeding.
- Uses high-quality pages that won’t damage pens
- Instructions are easy enough to follow along
- Features blank practice sheets throughout
- Book is bound well and sturdy
- Only explores one style of letter writing
- Book could benefit with having an editor
- Blue Star Premier
- Publisher: Blue Star Press
- Edition no. 0 (06/21/2016)
- Hardcover: 126 pages
Modern Calligraphy: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Script Calligraphy
by Molly Suber Thorpe
Out of all the modern calligraphy books on the market, this one by author Molly Suber Thorpe takes creativity and learning to another level. With over 190 pages, the book goes beyond teaching simple calligraphy. Rather, the author takes you on a journey to master a unique, modern style.
When you begin the book, you will discover all about the tools of the trade. The author provides excellent information about pens and the nibs, the ink, and the type of paper you should use. By learning all this, you can help gain a better understanding about the world of calligraphy before actually practicing any type of lettering.
Concerning the lettering, however, the author provides step-by-step instructions on forming letters, words, and sentences. There are even parts of the books that focus on single letters, but writing them in different styles. This can help broaden your experience with various lettering types so you are not limited in any fashion.
There are templates offered as well as numerous of references and practice projects to get you going. The 20 projects are grouped off also into weddings, personal stationery, and entertainment. This way, you can fully explore what you have learned in a variety of ways.
Though the book acts as an inspirational, instructional guide, it may not be best for those of you who have never attempted calligraphy before. Beginners can still benefit from this, but perhaps after learning the basics first.
- Showcases a unique DIY section
- Optimal amount of references and examples
- Provides variations in lettering styles
- Gives good tips about nibs and ink as well as lettering
- Can be too difficult for absolute beginners
- May have trouble keeping the book open flat
- Modern Calligraphy
- Molly Suber Thorpe
- Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
- Edition no. 82513 (09/24/2013)
- Paperback: 192 pages