Traditional Calligraphy Books Roundup

Jan 20, 2023
Calligraphy Books

In this post, we've compiled an overview of some of our favourite books on traditional calligraphy, from beginners' guides to more advanced resources.

So, start scrolling if you're ready to learn more about traditional calligraphy and discover the best books to get started. Most of these are physical books, so you'll need to order a copy from your favourite bookstore. We've included links to Amazon if you prefer to order from there.


Calligraphy: A Complete Guide
by Julien Chazal

This lavishly illustrated book includes all the information you need to get started in calligraphy and techniques for the more advanced artist, including using colour, carving lettering in wood and stone, and creating abstract and ornamental calligraphy designs. The 40 alphabets included are drawn from throughout the rich history of Western calligraphy, from elaborate Gothic lettering to the clean lines of modern alphabets. An essential reference for calligraphers of all levels.


Learn Calligraphy: The Complete Book of Lettering and Design
by Margaret Shepherd

In this age of computer fonts and instantaneous communication, your handwriting style is becoming increasingly unique and personal. With this book, calligrapher Margaret Shepherd shows that calligraphy is an elegant art form that anyone can create rather than just a craft that can be learned.

It is not uncommon to see calligraphy on wedding invitations, diplomas, and business signs, as it lends an air of sophistication to any project. Whether the calligraphic style is Roman, Gothic, Celtic, Bookhand, or Italic, the result is always one of class and refinement. Through a comprehensive technical manual that is entirely hand-lettered, Margaret Shepherd makes this traditional art form accessible to all.


The Calligrapher's Bible: 100 Complete Alphabets and How to Draw Them
by David Harris

This comprehensive guide is a must-have for anyone looking to master the craft of hand lettering. With 100 complete alphabets, including a full A-to-Z, lessons on proper pen strokes, and advice on avoiding common mistakes, this self-teaching calligraphy kit can help beginners and expert calligraphers.

It offers a range of letter styles, from classic Roman to modern and elegant contemporary styles, so you can find something to suit your unique style. Whether you want to improve your handwriting, enjoy calligraphy as a hobby, or create stunning hand-lettered artwork, this guide has everything you need to get started.


Calligraphy Workbook for Beginners
by Maureen Peters

Are you just getting started with calligraphy? This simple instruction manual for beginners is the perfect place to start! It provides step-by-step instructions for five standard fonts or writing styles: Italic, Uncial, Foundational, Gothic, and Casual Pointed Pen.

David Harris breaks down each letter, numeral, and punctuation mark and includes more than 300 photographs for each style to help beginners understand the strokes, how to hold the pen correctly, and how to make the characters come to life. All the supplies you need—from pens, papers, and inks to the skills required—are discussed in detail, allowing beginners to easily acquire a range of hands—from the oldest, most traditional to the most contemporary—quickly and with confidence.


Copperplate Calligraphy from A to Z: A Step-by-Step Workbook for Mastering Elegant, Pointed-Pen Lettering
by Sarah Richardson

This user-friendly, full-colour guide breaks down every skill, step, and stroke into easy-to-learn techniques, providing beginners with a strong foundation in drawing beautiful letters and adding flourishes and embellishments to their individual projects.

This guide includes step-by-step instructions, colour photos, practice pages, expert tips and tricks, DIY projects, and plenty of inspiration and ideas.


We hope you enjoyed this wrap-up of some of our favourite lettering books. If you find any that you love, tag us on Instagram and let us know.

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