Write like you mean it. While we live today in the age of computer-generated fonts and text messages, Bill Gates was famously influenced by the art of calligraphy when he developed fonts for Microsoft Word. An age-old practice, the origins of Western calligraphy can be traced back to the second and third centuries AD. After printing became ubiquitous in the 15th century, the production of calligraphy manuscripts began to decline. Thanks to the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement, a modern calligraphy revival arrived at the end of the 19th century. Today, contemporary calligraphy styles have developed, and you can see modern styles everywhere. Position yourself amid the rich history of calligraphy and learn some styles yourself, with the best beginner calligraphy books on the market.
1. The Ultimate Guide to Modern Calligraphy & Hand Lettering for Beginners
A great choice for beginners with no experience, this book covers all you need to know to execute curlicue contemporary calligraphy. The book opens with how to hold a calligraphy pen, moves through mark-making drills to alphabet lettering exercises, and concludes with pages dedicated to copying full sayings and phrases. Learn the difference between “lettering” and “writing,” and gain access to a slew of extra lettering exercises, thanks to the working link included in the book.
2. Lettering and Modern Calligraphy: A Beginner’s Guide
A great choice for the intermediate letterer looking to brush up on their basics, this book teaches five different contemporary lettering styles and concludes with 15 calligraphy projects that help you synthesize all the information. Because the book goes right into alphabet drills, it’s recommended for those with a bit of previous calligraphy experience. Well constructed, designed, and written, this book proves a clear instructional guide and project manual.
3. A Guide to Classic Lettering
Design or art students looking for an ultra-thorough, trusted guide should go with this option. Featuring four major traditional alphabets that are explained and illustrated in detail, this proves a great guide to traditional calligraphy styles. The featured 12 step-by-step calligraphy projects begin with practice pieces for beginners and move to more elaborate and challenging designs. Including advice on what pens, inks, and papers to use, this book serves as a great crash course in traditional calligraphy.
4. Complete Calligraphy Kit
This complete calligraphy kit comes equipped with a 64-page instructional book, two rulers, two metallic pens, and an ink calligraphy pen with three nibs. The book teaches four traditional lettering styles, including the foundational and uncial hands. Each style is outlined step-by-step and includes a range of diagrams and photos for reference. Thanks to the fully stocked kit, all you need to do is add paper to get started lettering right away.
5. Calligraphy Workbook for Beginners
For those who want to learn traditional rather than contemporary lettering styles, choose this workbook. A great choice for beginners, this book teaches five popular fonts, including the italic, uncial, foundational, gothic, and casual pointed-pen styles. Outlining step-by-step instructions for each hand, this book includes over 300 photos for each style, so beginning letterers can see the strokes, how the pen is held, and how each letter takes form. In addition to outlining lettering steps, this book also contains information on what pens, papers, and inks to use. The book concludes with four projects, including an Irish blessing, a season’s greetings card, Celtic knot designs, and a watercolor card with verse.