Wednesday , July 28 2021

How to learn calligraphy (for beginners)

Calligraphy design

In our fast moving world, it is easy to overlook the amount of effort and time needed to achieve true mastery of a skill. We millennials are obsessed with immediate gratification. We often give up too early and, in doing so, we develop poor habits, relationships and abilities. In our mind persistence is confused with stubbornness and repetition is confused with a sign of stupidity.

Good calligraphy requires a lot of repetitions and the only way to deal with it is with an abundance of will. Calligraphy, even if limited to a limited degree, is a good skill that teaches the beauty of improving yourself with repetition.

This narrative provides a beginner's How-To to begin with calligraphy.

This is only the essential and the bone hacks discovered around some of the obstacles around the millenary art form. Of course, it's an advantage if you understand the typography and have spent time setting the type, but it's not necessary to get started.

Calligraphy ink stains

Forget ink.

Especially for beginners, ink, classic pens and spikes create another level of complexity that makes the task absolutely unbearable. In addition to learning to write, you need to learn how to control the flow of ink, drainage, spills, etc. Even the ink is not a paper agnostic. You must find the right card and also keep your hands away from the writing area. The natural moisture and the sweat of the fingers create invisible spots on the paper, which prevent the consistent transfer of ink to the paper. All these things, combined with you not knowing how to form a single letter, will make you feel scary and you'll probably fire before you even started.


To avoid all of the above, you must start with much more forgiving tools. Use a regular printer paper and one of those "fountain" pens for calligraphy, felt-tip pens or markers, depending on the type of calligraphy you want to try. Most of the calligraphy markers out there are pretty good. You can not go wrong with any of these ZIG, Sakura Pigma, Faber-Castell, Pilot. If you still want that feeling of ink, but in a very controlled way you can try Pilot Parallel Pens. In general it is possible to explore has excellent explanations and examples of how the feathers behave.

Calligraphy lettering

Simple script

Start with a calligraphic flat marker and try writing "foundation" and then slowly move on to classic Gothic styles or Roman Italic treatments. I say it only because it is easier than a pen. With which, you not only have to control the direction, but also ask yourself about pressure and inclination. With the flat pen, you do not have to worry about the pressure factor, because it's solid and consistent for the most part and the only thing you need to know about the inclination is that you do not have to tilt it or rotate it at all! Which, by the way, will probably be the first thing you will fight with.


There are a lot of fantastic articles and videos on how to draw letters from a specific script. My only one
an advice here is to start with something so simple. Again, the simplest script possible with the least possible movement of the pen. You can check and watch Joanne Fink's video tutorial on the foundation hand – lowercase letters, uppercase letters.

Calligraphy lettering

The size matters.

One thing you should consider is also the size of the letters you are drawing. My suggestion here is to start over. The tips of the smaller 2-3mm pens will keep you closer to your natural handwriting movements. One thing to consider is muscle memory. If you believe you are always unsuitable for handwriting, you can try to focus on writing slowly and deliberately. If that does not work, try a thinker sized pen. The thicker pen will force you to write bigger letters, which will keep you away from the habits of handwriting and will bring you closer to drawing. If you have drawing experience, your hand will probably be used to longer strokes or brush strokes, which means you can start with thicker, flat tips.

No Cancel, I'm sorry.

Once messed up something is not CMD + Z. When you mess up, just do not stop finishing the word or phrase and start over, and again, and again and again. Especially in the beginning, you will have to write something at least 100 times to make it look decent. Set your goal to write something beautiful in 100 attempts. So, do not be frustrated if it's not perfect within the first 10 times. Repeat and refine, repeat and perfect.

Start with a word.

One simple word, like your name or someone's name. So in the end, you'll have something rewarding and finished looking. It's also quite short, so rewriting it is not so bad. Do not worry about writing sentences or just letters, it's just boring and not quite satisfying.
After being comfortable with a name, you can try another name and go from there.
Here is a good guide on how to write every letter that begins with Aa –

Use the guidelines.

This is quite self explanatory. The bare minimum is probably to follow the guidelines for your height x. Above all, at the beginning, it will be difficult for you to understand exactly what is wrong with your writing. You can also find printable sheets with guides on them for a specific measure of pens. Make sure you have the guides for the pen size.

Other resources

A few words to summarize

Ultimately, calligraphy will allow you to better understand how the type works and when and why it seems balanced and surprising. It will be very easy to understand otherwise abstract typographic principles, balancing of letters and design of the type. In addition, as a designer, you can expand your understanding of otherwise obvious things like kerning, tracking, and spacing in general.
In addition to all the specific skills of design, you will inevitably improve patience, attention and attention. You will feel much more prepared and resilient at the first disappointments and missteps the next time you face a huge challenge.

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