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My calligraphy book collection

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

For those that are unaware, I self-taught myself calligraphy using books, YouTube videos and just picking stuff up from within the community. Books were my starting point for learning modern calligraphy. I didn't really know anything about the different types of calligraphy, but when I went shopping I was drawn to a modern calligraphy book and here we are today.

As a stationery addict it's very tempting to want to buy a ton of calligraphy related books but books aren't cheap so I ensure that they actually serve a purpose and that I'm actually likely to use them. That's why I "only" have 4 in my collection. The books covered in this blog post each have something different to offer. I'm going to break down what's covered in each of these books, my review of them and who I'd recommend them to.

Book number one

First up is my very first insight into modern calligraphy. This book is simply titled "Modern calligraphy" by Lucy Edmonds and the strapline is "a step-by-step guide to mastering the art of creativity". I was drawn to the bouncy modern style shown on the front. I liked the fact that it was clearly aimed at beginners.

This book covers:

  • Calligraphy tools, with a particular focus on dip pens, though it does also cover brush calligraphy

  • How to hold your pen

  • A few strokes

  • The alphabet

  • Slightly touches upon style

  • Tips for practising

  • Faux calligraphy

  • A few project ideas

My review

I'm very drawn to colour and all of the pages are monochrome. I personally find myself more drawn to pick up a book if it's eye catching and very visually pleasing. It's also quite text heavy, I think there's a lot of helpful tips and insights for beginners but when it's so text heavy and there's a lack of colour I think it's easy to want to skim over the content rather than absorb it. If you like the style of the calligraphy on the front, then you'll enjoy the exercises.

Who would I recommend this book to?

I'd recommend this book to upcoming brides that want to do their own wedding calligraphy because it has more a formal, wedding-esque feel and the projects in the back includes envelopes and menus.

Modern Calligraphy by Lucy Edmonds available here -

Book number two

Moving onto the second book in my list and that is "Lettering with purpose" by Brittany Luiz. The tagline on the front is "creative techniques and prompts for making meaningful, inspirational and hand lettered art". I was drawn to this book as it had more of a focus on brush calligraphy and adding style to your letters. The style was definitely funner and freer. I loved that there was a mix of things in the book including doodle ideas which I've usually been hopeless with.

This book covers:

  • About calligraphy tools with more of a focus on brush calligraphy

  • A few fun alphabet styles

  • How to digitise your calligraphy

  • Simple doodles such as florals and banners

  • Some unique lettering styles such as plaid and galaxy

  • Flourishing basics

  • Composition tips

  • Some project ideas

  • Finally a whole bunch of prompts to help you to create

My review

This book is fantastic. It really does cover everything I think a beginner needs. It then actually takes you a bit beyond that point by introducing style ideas, composition tips and doodles that you can incorporate.

Who would I recommend this book to?

Those just starting out who like the fun style of calligraphy shown in the book that want the fundamentals and a bit more.

Lettering with purpose by Brittany Luiz available from -

Book number three

Next up is the "Little Book of calming calligraphy" by Kirsten Burke who is a very prominent calligrapher in the UK. This is the same calligrapher that started the UK's first modern lettering magazine. The strapline for this is "15 minutes of mindful calligraphy a day to help keep your worries at bay". I was drawn to this book because of it's unique portable size and I also loved the concept of the book and thought it'd be a great way for me to practice.

This book covers:

  • A brief look at calligraphy tools

  • How to position your page

  • Warm up exercises

  • Quote practice

  • Practice but they're designs in the shape of an object such as flowers or umbrellas

  • Some hints and tips


I think this is an amazing book that really provides value for money. I love that above each exercise it states an estimated time to complete and that on some exercises it offers stretching challenges. I also love the drawings that have been turned into flourishing practice, I think it's just a really unique book all round. I'm also someone that gets stuck about what to write when I want some calligraphy practice so this removes that problem for me. It's also a great way to unwind in the evenings.

Who would I recommend this book to?

Those that have already got to grips with the basics of calligraphy and just want an excuse to practise or relax with calligraphy.

Calming calligraphy by Kirsten Burke available from -

Book number four

Onto the final book of this video and it's "A year in calligraphy", another book by Kirsten Burke. The strapline for this book is "an inspirational monthly journal and workbook to develop your creative calligraphy throughout the seasons". It was the colourful cover that caught my eye but I was feeling a little restless in my calligraphy journey and wanted something new to do.

This book covers:

  • A quick recap of the basics

  • A project idea per month

  • Skills you need each month to create the topic such as composition, blending and writing on curved surfaces

  • It also includes some blank templates in the back such as gift tags that you can pull out of the book

  • A journal log at the end of the each month


I've really been enjoying this book this year, I love the month by month format as it gives you something fun to look forward to each month. I like that it does go into detail about the relevant skill. The only thing I don't really make use of is the journal at the back. The only limitation of this book is that you may have to get some additional resources to complete some projects but I expect that a lot of people that use this book have a lot of supplies already, it'll just be on the project that you buy extra resources if you want to participate in that particular project. Overall, I really like this book. The structure definitely works for me. I think if it had been a book with 12 project ideas but without the monthly structure I wouldn't have got as involved. I like that feeling of having to participate in the month that the projects fall on.

Who would I recommend this book to?

I'd recommend this book to intermediate calligraphers that want some fun ideas to put their calligraphy to use.

A year in calligraphy by Kirsten Burke available from -


Get started with modern calligraphy with brush pens and my workbook collection. If you're in the early stages of learning modern calligraphy, you may also want to join one of my upcoming calligraphy workshops.

*Please note* as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.


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