Hello! It seems you would like to learn calligraphy. That’s awesome, you are going to love the ability to never use a store bought card again and create handmade gifts for your loved ones, or to write your crush a sweet note, ooooor when you are fully practiced, start your own business/store (shameless promotion :P). On this site I have tried to put together a step-by-step beginner’s tutorial that can get anyone started from not writing to learning calligraphy in just a couple steps so stick with me.
If you already have your own tools and want to learn what calligraphy scripts you can learn with it I have a post for that here: A Simple Guide to Calligraphy Tools and Their Respective Calligraphy Scripts
Table of Contents
Narrow Down Your Style of Calligraphy
It’s exciting that you are thinking of picking up a new hobby (the best one) but we first need to narrow what kind of calligraphy you are interested in learning first. For there have been many types of scripts in calligraphy over the ages. I will break it down into 3 basic and unofficial categories but really there are so many different alphabets for each of the listed scripts. Below I have listed them with an incorrect name in quotations that I probably called each of the scripts before I knew the correct name (which is in brackets in the title). I hope that the pictures will give you a little idea of what is out there and then help you to find the script you are looking for!
5 Types of Calligraphy/Lettering to Learn:
“Basic” (aka Monoline, Lettering and Handwriting)
For those who want to start slow and dip their toe in the water that is calligraphy, monoline calligraphy is where I would start first. It doesn’t require any fancy tools or paper like the other styles of calligraphy. Just you, a piece of paper a pencil and getting right into practicing. Learning this first helps you learn the building blocks of calligraphy like letter structure to then transition into another style like pointed pen or brush calligraphy. If you would like to learn letter construction or 3D lettering check out the hand lettering post below.
- Recommended Tools for Monoline Calligraphy = Pen or Pencil
- Learn Monoline Calligraphy
- Learn Faux Calligraphy
- Master Class Monoline & Faux Calligraphy Practice Sheets
- Learn Hand Lettering
- Master Class 3D Hand Lettering Practice Sheets
- Improve your Handwriting (Cursive, Proper and Formal)
“Loopy Calligraphy” (aka Modern Calligraphy)
I see modern calligraphy as the best beginner pointed pen script to learn, as consistency, spacing and formatting isn’t as important. Therefore a beginner can rather focus on learning the letter forms themselves and how to properly use pressure to get the desired stroke shape. It is pretty popular among the Instagram community and has a sort of whimsical style to it that is unique to the writer. Though there are established scripts with the pointed pen I suggest getting used to the pen first.
- Recommended Tools for Modern Calligraphy (Pointed/Dip Pen)
- Learn Modern Calligraphy (Pointed/Dip Pen)
- Master Class Modern Calligraphy Practice Sheets
However you can also do modern calligraphy with a brush pen or crayola marker:
- Recommended Tools for Modern Calligraphy (Brush)
- Learn Modern Calligraphy (Brush)
- Master Class Modern Brush Calligraphy Practice Sheets
“Olde English Calligraphy” (aka Blackletter Calligraphy)
These are blackletter scripts that I started with and therefore are my personal favourite. The pictures are to give you a basic idea of what is possible with broad edge tools. This script would be, in my humble opinion, the second easiest to learn but has a very high skill possibility and a LOT of different styles to pick from. The line variation is low compared to the pointed pen, as there is no difference in line thickness when you apply more pressure. It depends on the angle of your pen nib and the direction you move it in.
- Recommended Tools for Blackletter Calligraphy
- Master Blackletter Practice Sheets
- Learn Blackletter Calligraphy
“Hardcore / Heavy Metal” – (aka Calligraffiti)
If you like more of a modern or hardcore style of blackletter calligraphy let me be the first to introduce you to Calligraffiti. It combines calligraphy and graffiti into a style that looks uniquely awesome. Check out the letter comparison of 4 styles of calligraffiti.
“Fancy Calligraphy” (aka Spencerian/Copperplate)
These are the classic dip pen/pointed pen scripts. Similar to the modern calligraphy that I first listed, but much more strict on size, spacing, consistency and formatting. I suggest taking either of these scripts on as a second or third task as they are a whole other beast to tackle. You have to learn the basics through some of the other scripts first then attack this one. When I was first gifted an oblique holder, it was like going back to square one in my learning. It is still doable though if you dedicate some serious time to practicing (as with all of these scripts) you will get there.
- Recommended Tools for Copperplate Calligraphy
- Learn Copperplate Calligraphy Blogpost
- Master Class Copperplate Practice Sheets
- Full Copperplate Calligraphy Video Course
Modern Versus Copperplate Breakdown
If you still aren’t sure about whether to pick modern or copperplate calligraphy, here is a video showing the differences between them and below is a letter breakdown between the different pointed pen scripts.
That’s all folks!
Thanks for reading until the end! I hope you found a type of calligraphy to learn in this post. If you did tell me which one! If not, bookmark this page and come back later, I will be adding to this page as I go. Maybe you will find something then. Got a script or style not mentioned in this post? Leave a comment and let me know!