8 In Calligraphy/ Lifestyle

Books & Paper for Modern Calligraphy


There are a number of books and guides on Modern Calligraphy, but this is the book that I would personally recommend. Not necessarily because I consider it to be the most comprehensive book, but because it does still cover a lot of questions you might have while being chock full of resources!


So this book does actually have a page of calligraphy drills. I think it’s easy to try each stroke a few times and move on to the letters, but I encourage you to come back to do a full page of each drill.  It actually really helps with learning how to control your dip pen and ink!



I think the reason why this book is better than some of the others I’ve seen is it gives you tons of variation examples for each alphabet. This book literally dedicates half a page for each letter of the alphabet! Usually you only get a couple variations (if at all) so you sort of get stuck on that variation. What this book does is it allows you to explore creative ways of writing each letter and ways of connecting them. Which means you get to develop your own personal style! The rest of the book has d.i.y. projects you can do with calligraphy that can serve as inspiration.




As for paper, a lot of people doing calligraphy like to use the Rhodia paper because it doesn’t bleed through. I like to use the lined version to practice my drills. Here I’ve done a full page of the same drills and marked up the parts are out of shape.

Your Turn ♥ What kind of calligraphy style are you interested in learning?

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  • This looks like a really great book! I am obsessed with calligraphy and hand lettering of all sorts. I remember my mom used to be really good at it and had all kinds of tools and practise books, and I was always so enthralled with it as a child! Thanks for sharing!

    • Kim

      Ooh, you’re so lucky you share interests with your mom! My mom does sewing as a hobby, but sewing doesn’t seem to be my cup of tea ;)
      I only recently got into calligraphy, but I’ve made several scattered attempts throughout my life. These days it’s been rapidly snowballing and I can’t seem to stop obsessing over it!

  • I so badly want this book! I really wanna start a design, mainly typography and lettering book collection but I’m not entirely sure where to start haha! xx


    • Kim

      If you’re interested in getting a solid foundation in typography and letters, then this Modern Calligraphy book shouldn’t be at the top of your list. Instead, I would borrow this one from the library, and use your money towards books that cover solid typography and lettering principals first.

      I’m not a design major (I did digital art & animation), but a couple years back I was really interested in typography and went to the bookstore to dig through some of the books. I ended up getting A Type Primer by John Kane which is fantastic. I also wanted to get Ellen Lupton’s book but I haven’t got my hands on that one yet ;) As for a foundations book on calligraphy, I will be posting about one soon!

      • Thank you so much!!! I just started a design degree this year and it’s my first year so I’ve been trying to learn more about typography and graphic design in general outside of those classes :) I have been doing so much research and j hear that Ellen Luptons book is so good!

        Kathy xx

        • Kim

          Ahhh you must be so excited!! Yes I’ve heard good things about Ellen Lupton’s book so you should definitely check it out. One thing I would recommend would be keeping all your work (drafts,notes and all) in one place like a file folder or a box. If it’s digital then Keep them all in one place and keep backups. It will come in handy someday when you’re putting together a portfolio or want to refer back to a project when you do something similar later down the road ;)

  • You have so much patience, Kim! Rhodia notebooks are really nice. I’ve always wanted one, but was just too scared to ruin it with my handwriting. Guess it’s perfect for calligraphy!

    • Kim

      Thanks Alyse! You should try the smaller ones. The smaller ones are cheaper and less intimidating ;) Plus they’re really cute!