Calligrapher | Book Artist

Resources & Links: Calligraphy

Individual Calligraphers

Favorite master calligraphers:
  • Denis Brown -- an enormously talented Irish calligrapher and visual artist.
  • An introduction to Michael Clark's work shows some of his commercial lettering. He has edited several issues of the magazine Scripsit; each issue features the work of several excellent lettering artists. Order them from John Neal, Bookseller (see Resources).
  • Glen Epstein teaches at the University of Iowa, and has many decades of experience as a calligrapher.
  • Thomas Ingmire -- master calligrapher and teacher usually living in San Francisco.
  • Martin Jackson -- Canadian calligrapher and teacher.
  • Michael Kecseg -- pointed pen genius.
  • Brody Neuenschwander -- master calligrapher who has applied his art to many different situations.
  • Izzy Pludwinski lives and works in Jerusalem. A gallery of his work -- Hebrew and English -- is presented, as well as information about his correspondence course in basic Hebrew lettering geared toward "Latin" calligraphers.
Even more excellent calligraphers:

Ornamental Penmanship

Favorite ornamental penpersons:
The web sites for ornamental penmanship resources online:
  • Dr. Joe Vitolo's web site,, provides all kinds of information about Ornamental Penmanship including lessons, informatino about pen nibs, histories of master penmen, videos of ornamental penmanship techniques, and much more.


... of a calligraphic nature

Organizations & Guilds

... from international to local
US Guilds, by State

Educational Opportunities

... on location or by correspondence
  • The Calligraphy Centre is the home of Camp Cheerio, a wonderful calligraphy retreat offered twice a year in the mountains of North Carolina. Also featured here are the excellent work of John Stevens and Joyce Teta.
  • Reggie Ezell teaches year-long master classes around the country. A his website you can see the current classes as well as a list of people who are organizing future master classes around the country.
  • Thomas Ingmire offers correspondence courses in Traditional Versals and Modern Versals.
  • Izzy Pludwinski offers a correspondence course in Hebrew for Western calligraphers.

Study Aids & Recommendations

Recommended Reading List
Practice Helps
  • 111 Pangrams, sentences which employ all 26 letters of the alphabet. Good for practice. (Includes PDF format to download and print out.)
  • Alphabetical Lists, also good for practice. (PDF format -- download Adobe Reader here to read this file)
Lettering guidelines
Tools & materials I like (a very short list):
  • Practice paper — Kodak bright white 24# paper, available at Office Depot. For pointed pen work, I really like Character High Wove, a British stationery paper in A4 size which John Neal used to carry, but I don't see it in their store anymore. I also use Character paper for finished poinated pen work.
  • Paper for finished artwork — I like Fabriano HP watercolor paper and Arches HP watercolor paper for broadsides. For books, which require a lighter-weight paper which will fold well, I like Arches Text Wove, a printing paper which can take a lot of water and work.
  • Felt-tip calligraphy nibs — ZIG calligraphy markers are the only way to go. They hold up, are fade-proof, and they can be carved to smaller size if necessary. The markers are double-tipped, so you get a large and a small felt-tip marker with each barrel. Good for practice and casual lettering.
  • Fountain pen — The Manuscript brand is inexpensive and dependable. The extra-fine calligraphy nib is just the right size for lettering which is the size of normal handwriting, but the fine nib is good, too. Paper & Ink Arts carries a set of 6 nibs, barrel & converter for $12.95. Scroll down the page to find it. Ink flow is dependable, and the metal is not too soft to produce a fairly fine line. Not for fine artwork, as the ink is most likely not fadeproof. You might want to get extra barrels so you don't have to change the nibs out.
  • Broad-edge dip pens for finished work — I like Mitchell Roundhand nibs. I have a fairly light touch, and calligraphers with a heavier touch tend to like Tape or even Brause nibs. Use a reservoir (sold separately) only for the larger sizes of Mitchel nibs. The Tape and Brause nibs have reservoirs built onto the top of each nib. Of the 10 sizes that Mitchell makes, I use #2, #3.5, #4 the most. Don't forget to buy a pen barrel! Details and pictures of the nibs are available at this page of the John Neal Bookseller web site