I’ve been teaching myself hand lettering and modern calligraphy for 7 months now and have really loved trying out all sorts of different styles, materials and mediums. And as much fun as I’ve had learning through trial and error and just getting stuck in, there have been a handful of books that I have found really useful along the way so I thought I would share them with you so those who are also learning lettering as well can give them a whirl because they really are great. Plus they’re made by some really talented hand letterers. designers, calligraphy enthusiasts and so on! I will put links on all the titles of the books to where you can purchase them online 🙂
Nib + Ink: The New Art of Modern Calligraphy – Chiaro Perano
This book is great for people wanting to learn the art of modern calligraphy using a nib pen. The book looks into types, different letter forms and the calligraphy basics. I found Nib + Ink really useful as it takes you through the most important pieces of equipment for modern calligraphy and also how to use them. What’s also great is that inside the book are practice pages so you can practice as you make your way through the book. I think this is a really nice touch but it will be really interesting to look back at it after a couple of months of practicing to see how far you’ve come from when you first started. The book itself is beautiful and there are some lovely pages with examples of different styles of writing and how they have been put into practice. The books sells for a really reasonable £9.09.
Creative Lettering and Beyond: Inspiring tips, techniques, and ideas for hand lettering your way to beautiful works of art – Gabri Joy Kirkendall, Laura Lavender, Julie Manwaring, Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn
This book is made by four different authors who all focus on different styles of lettering. This is brilliant as it means you get a look into lots of different styles be it chalk lettering, typography, illustrative lettering or calligraphy. There are loads of tips and tutorials from all the artists and easy to follow step-by-step projects. I really like this book as it really breaks it down and teaches you all of the lettering lingo in a non-daunting way. It looks into spacing, fonts, flourishes and so much more. This book is a bit more expensive at £20.99 but you definitely get your moneys worth.
Hand-Lettering Ledger (Journal) – Mary Kate McDevitt
This is another hands-on book that gets you involved in the learning process with lots of practice pages. I am a massive fan of books like this for the reason I said before, that you can look back at your learning journey, and also that it makes the learning side of hand lettering a lot more fun. I have always found learning new skills a lot easier by doing rather than just reading, listening, looking etc and this book is great for people like me. Mary Kate looks into her favourite tools, different styles and what style works best for different applications and also teaches you the names for different letter styles etc. The Hand Lettering Ledger is £13.99
This book is a bit different to the others as it isn’t actually about hand lettering or modern calligraphy at all. Your probably wondering why the hell it’s in this list then but bear with me… I think this book is really useful for anyone looking to create a following on social media or to gain a career from their hand lettering and modern calligraphy designs. It’s obviously useful for anyone who is wanting to do those things from other fields of work too but it can be applied to all interests. Aliza Licht is a global fashion communications executive, AKA fashion’s favorite ‘PR girl’ and Twitter phenomenon and she talks abut her story in getting to where she is today. This book is great for tips, inspiration and guidance for people starting their career who want to learn more about building their own brand and creating a presence on social media. The book is £11.19 or kindle version is slightly cheaper at £9.49.
Hand Lettering 101: An Introduction to the Art of Creative Lettering – Chaulfulloflove
Chalkfulloflove (Sarah) brings a lettering workshop to you in her Hand Lettering 101 book. And can I quickly add, what a pretty book it is! The book takes you over the basics of lettering and faux calligraphy, guides you through each letter of the alphabet, techniques to connect letters and much much more. By the end of the book it leads you to make 6 finished projects. The gold spiral of the book is fab as well as it keeps pages flat and actually makes practicing inside the book a lot easier! Hand Lettering 101 is £22.
If this post has been helpful then please give it a share and let me know what books you have found to be your lettering bible!