13 of the best calligraphy books
Improve your penmanship with these brilliant calligraphy books. There's books for beginners and more advanced writers!
Welcome to the wonderful world of calligraphy! Calligraphy is an ancient art that has adapted into the modern era thanks to popular brands using it on stationery, wedding decor, and greeting cards. Modern calligraphy is one of the most mindful crafts, with videos of people hand lettering getting millions of views. The calming brushstrokes, satisfying cursive lettering and beautiful finished results have made it a great craft to watch and do yourself!
We have covered the basics of this craft in our ultimate beginners calligraphy guide but we thought it was about time we shared our favourite calligraphy books. These books are great because they all contain practice sheets as well as informative instructions. We've gathered a range of books, everything from modern calligraphy books to calligraphy books for beginners, so you can find the perfect one for you. If you're a newbie to calligraphy we'd also recommend checking out our calligraphy kits for beginners article which is full of kits that contain all the materials and tools you'll need. But now it's time to hit the books and find the best one for you.
- Best for beginners: The Ultimate Guide to Modern Calligraphy, Amazon £6.99
- Best value for money: The Lettering Workbook for Absolute Beginners, Amazon £5.99
- Best for modern calligraphy: Modern Calligraphy, Amazon £7.68
2022's best calligraphy books for beginners
1. The Ultimate Guide to Modern Calligraphy
If you're new to the world of calligraphy then this glossy book is for you. Written by expert hand letterer and graphic designer Kristin Bowman, this book covers the basics of calligraphy along with plenty of practice sheets. We love how the sheets show the example letter and allow you to practice directly in the book, much like a school textbook for little kids. You can also practice the strokes which make up the letters and practice writing in several different fonts. With thousands of rave reviews and available for a great price, we think this is one of the best calligraphy books for beginners.
2. Modern calligraphy by Lucy Edmunds
Lucy Edmunds is the founder of Quill London a famous calligraphy shop and wedding stationery brand. We love her beautiful Instagram so were super happy when we discovered her calligraphy book. Lucy is more than qualified to teach you the beginnings of calligraphy and her book matches her Instagram aesthetic perfectly. This pink and gold book teaches tips, tricks, and modern calligraphy letterforms which you can adapt to your own style. There are practice papers inside as well as detailed and informative text to teach you everything you need.
3. Nib & Ink New Modern Calligraphy book
Nib & Ink is a calligraphy book by the incredibly talented Chiara Perano. She founded Lamplighter London studio, one of the first modern calligraphy brands. Chiara takes you through letter by letter, showing you how to create flourishes, finishes and decorations. Not only does this book teach you how to do calligraphy but it also gives you some fun and practical project ideas. She shows you everything from how to use your calligraphy to make DIY chalkboards to using it to create wedding stationery.
4. The Calligraphy Ideas Book by Lyndsey Gribble
If you're already a dab hand at calligraphy then The Calligraphy Ideas Book is the inspiration you need. It features over 80 ways to use your calligraphy and take it to the next level. There's everything from different font styles to using calligraphy in conjunction with paint, laser cutting, hot foiling, and more. Plus it gives you some fun project suggestions like personalised calligraphy babubles!
5. Hand Lettering 101 by Chalkful of Love
Get the luxury calligraphy experience with Chalkful of Love's spiral-bound book. Not only is this book/workbook beautiful, but it's also educational too! You'll learn how to write the alphabet, numbers 0-9, how to add flourishes, and much more. There's plenty of plain pages to practice your calligraphy on, as well as some fun illustrations to copy. It's a beautiful calligraphy book for beginners and would make a lovely gift.
6. The Lettering Workbook for Absolute Beginners
Ricca's Garden is known for its gorgeous planners and notebooks. They've now branched out into the world of hand lettering! This affordable book teaches you all the basic calligraphy techniques along with traceable letters and space for you to practice. It also includes a 12-day lettering challenge so you can stay motivated and continue to improve. With tons of 5 stars reviews and positive feedback, it's definitely a calligraphy book we'd recommend.
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7. Modern Calligraphy Workshop calligraphy book
Imogen Owen runs her own letterpress company and sells elegant cards, stationery, and writing sets. She's extremely talented and her new book Modern Calligraphy Workshop is highly rated. It's full of fun interactive projects, as well as expert knowledge and practice pages. This book really has it all as it covers modern calligraphy, calligraphy on chalkboards, brush lettering with paint, and many more unique styles of calligraphy. If you buy this book head over to Imogen's website as she sells tools, supplies, and kits too.
8. Modern Brush Lettering by Becki Clark
We love Becki Clark here at Gathered. We've commissioned her to make candles, resin coasters, and even macrame feather keychains but now she's brought out her first brush lettering book! Becki covers every aspect of brush letting including the tools you'll need, letterform advice, and plenty of tips and tricks. There are also 20 craft projects so you can use your new skills to make something beautiful.
9. Little book of calming calligraphy
Calligraphy is known for its relaxing and meditative abilities. Kirsten Burke has taken the best of calligraphy and combined it with mindful activities to bring you the Little book of Calming Calligraphy. There's plenty of short and long exercises which revolve around tracing letters and copying designs. The book is also full of tips, tricks, and advice regarding both calligraphy and mindfulness. We'd recommend this book to those of you just wanting to have fun and take a slow journey into the world of calligraphy.
10. Hand Lettering and Modern Calligraphy for Kids
Get the kids involved with Modern Kid Press' hand lettering book. This colourful workbook is super affordable and takes you through calligraphy step by step. There's information and practice sheets teaching the basic strokes which make up letters. It then takes you through lower and upper case letters and then onto various fonts. There's also lots of fun party projects which teach you how to make banners, placemats, cake toppers, and more. We'd recommend this book for kids 10+ and think it's a steal for £4.99.
11. A Beginner's Guide to Lettering and Modern Calligraphy
Detailed instructions, 15 projects, upper and lower case lettering tutorials – A Beginners Guide to Lettering and Modern Calligraphy is a book that has it all. There's plenty of space to practice your skills as well as some cute phrases to copy like 'more coffee please'. Suitable for young teens and adults, it's a very basic book so is ideal for complete beginners.
12. Blackletter calligraphy set for beginners
If you're looking for a more traditional style of calligraphy then this is the book for you. BlackLetter's Calligraphy for Beginners teaches you how to recreate classic gothic calligraphy including the most famous style ‘Textura Quadrata’. You can trace and copy famous gothic styles (Fraktur, Rotunda, and Schwabacher) and learn to master the ancient style of calligraphy. This book hasn't got as detailed instructions as the others so we'd recommend it for more advanced writers wanting to try out this style.
13. The Calligrapher's Bible
Want to know everything possible about the history of calligraphy? David Harris has created the ultimate bible for all things hand lettering, calligraphy, and font styles. This chunky book contains over 100 styles and comes in ring-bound format, making it easy for you to practice writing. As well as the font styles and practice pages, this book goes into detail about tools, materials and basic techniques. It's the complete package and is ideal for beginners and more advanced writers (as they can learn new font styles!).
We hope you've found a calligraphy book for you. If you're after more calligraphy-related projects check out our Christmas calligraphy upcycled crate and calligraphy chocolate wrapper template. We also show you how to add calligraphy quotes to photographs with brush lettering!
Phoebe has worked for Gathered, and our sister magazine Mollie Makes, for 3 years. She manages our Arts & Crafts section and specialises in social media and content strategy. She has a background in all things marketing, a flair for Pinterest and a knack for finding the next big craft trend. Previously she worked as Digital Campaign Executive for Fat Media. You may recognise her name from Mollie Makes Social Media magazine, where she shared her expertise and top tips on becoming social media savvy.