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What is faux calligraphy?

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

When you hear the term faux three questions may pop in your mind:

  1. What is it?

  2. Why do you do it?

  3. How do you do it?

What it is

Faux calligraphy is a lettering style in which you imitate calligraphy with a tool not designed for calligraphy.

Why you would use it

Brush pens and pointed pens can only be used on certain textures. There will be certain surfaces such as chalkboards, glass, acrylic, etc, where a different style of pen will need to be used. These style of pens are not pressure sensitive meaning that if you want to write on these surfaces, you'll need to use faux calligraphy. An example of how you could use this for the festive season is by using it on baubles.

How you do it

The rule of thumb with calligraphy is that any movement downwards should be thicker than movements made upwards. Faux calligraphy however, is created using a pen that has a single thickness. Therefore, to create faux calligraphy, you need to imitate this by manually going back over the letters to add thickness to them.

When you add thickness to the letters, you'll want to make sure that it's consistent. It needs to be consistent in terms of thickness, but it also needs to be consistent in regards to which side of the letter you add the thickness to.

Creating faux calligraphy is a different experience to creating calligraphy with a brush pen or dip pen as it's not pressure sensitive. You create it by working out how wide you should make it after the initial letters have been placed. I'm sure that this becomes easier with time. I personally don't use faux calligraphy on a regular basis so it still takes me a fair bit of time to create something with it.

To break this down into steps:

  1. Create your letters/ words in one thickness

  2. Go back over them, adding lines to the places downstrokes movements would be

  3. Colour in the gap between the two to create the illusion of calligraphy

You can practice the faux calligraphy using my Crafting with Calligraphy workbook.


Want to learn how to create a bouncy modern calligraphy style? Pop your name and email below to get a FREE 10 page bounce calligraphy guide.


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