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Article: 6 Things You Should Know Before Learning Modern Calligraphy

6 Things You Should Know Before Learning Modern Calligraphy

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When it comes to art and design, learning will take more than just a school or college year. You will start with the basics, going deeper with details, philosophy, and practice. One sure thing is that some of those might need a formal education. But there are also some arts that you can learn through informal studies, such as modern calligraphy. 

Depending on your purpose or goal to learn how to a letter, you can say that the process of studying calligraphy will never be simple. When you want to learn modern calligraphy, you have to know at least the basics and the mindset. It is also worth mentioning that you need to understand these six things before you learn the fancy and unique lettering style. 


All Things To Know And Consider Before You Start The Practice 

1. The Fundamental Of The Lettering Style 

Since you are going to learn how to write modern calligraphy, it is a must to know what it is. Understanding the idea and the subject is part of the basics. In this case, the literal meaning of your lettering is beautiful writing. As the name says, you can interpret the calligraphy with two fundamental points. 

It is a writing style or design that you do slowly. You will also need to pause and lift the pen for every letter, thus creating a more detailed stroke and attention to detail. It also explains that modern calligraphy will have varying strokes, such as thick downstroke and thin upstroke. So, from those explanations, you can conclude that it is lettering made of strokes. 

As you learn about the meaning, you will know that calligraphy is not the same as cursive. Indeed, it looks similar. But the two are opposite. Cursive has the same ideas of using a curve, loop, etc. However, they mostly come with the same stroke weight. Thus, creating a faster lettering process. 

As said that the lettering style is made of strokes. Thus your basic modern calligraphy knowledge should be around that matter. You need to notice that every letter is made up of strokes. Thus, practicing and studying how one makes those letters over and over again will help you create consistency. 

With the rising popularity of handwriting techniques, you can easily find how to learn modern calligraphy on the internet. Some of them also come up with a lettering worksheet. Yes, it helps you learn and jump right to write the words. However, it only makes you copy what you find in the worksheet without the basics. 

In this case, the basic details you need in calligraphy should be the thin and thick strokes. Applying pressure and the use of angle (in gripping pen and handwriting angle) will help you gain the perfect appearance. The best way to put it is that a thin upstroke needs less or no pressure. Meanwhile, the thick downstroke requires more pressure. 

Created by _smitcalligraphy_

During the practice, you will find that every type of supply or pen has a different way to use. Before you get deeper into the supplies and pen selection, all you need to know is how to get comfortable creating these two lines. Thus, you can learn more about how to make every letter. It is because every letter is made of varying shapes. 

Basic shapes are what you need to learn during this step. Remember that calligraphy consists of thick and thin strokes. But it gets more serious if you consider every letter has unique shapes. They are made of oval strokes, compound curves, loops, and strokes. To put it simpler, your way to write A and H in modern calligraphy will be made of different shapes. 

How so? Remember that an A letter looks different from H. In the lowercase, the A letter will use an oval stroke and an under-turn stroke. Meanwhile, the lowercase H will use an ascending loop and a compound curve. The two examples define that every letter has a different composition. Thus, you need to learn and practice how to make it consistently. 

The basics of modern calligraphy are not only limited to those details. You will also need to consider the guideline. What is it? It is a lining that helps you learn and write your words in one consistent and neat layout. It will aid you in writing within the border. Thus the height, the kerning, the descender, or the ascender loop will stay the same. 

The use of guidelines is also the way you determine the calligraphy angle lines. Do you need an angled position? Yes, you do. In calligraphy, you will write the words in a slightly angled position. Thus, it will look more classy and expensive. But again, this aspect pretty much depends on your purpose in learning modern calligraphy.  

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2. The Ranges Of Styles And Possibilities 

As you learn the basics of calligraphy lettering, you can start to explore styling. In this type of handwriting design, you got at least three of the famous styles. However, since the world of lettering is an endless exploration, the possibilities and ideas might get broader shortly. So, don't limit yourself to learning certain styles. 

Since you have just started to learn calligraphy, you can start with the Faux style. It is one of the styles that does not require too many complicated techniques. In many cases, the style will imitate the use of thin and thick strokes from traditional calligraphy. The handwriting technique does not even require the learner to change the pen weight (pressure). 

At a glance, the modern faux calligraphy will look pretty decent and simple. It also requires a pretty straightforward supply to learn the style and strokes. Most of the time, people will use a thin pen to write and form the letter. Thus, creating a double line for the thick downstroke or parts. Later on, you will need to manually draw and fill the spaces. 

While it does require more attention to creating more than one downstroke, it is also easier to learn. You can find the exact position where the strokes are and how to form the letter. It also demands lesser requirements and laws. Thus, you can play around with your typeface. But again, modern calligraphy will look impressive with more practice.  

The next style is Brush lettering. The style still takes the same traditional calligraphy ideas with its thin upstroke and thick downstroke. As you learn modern calligraphy through faux, you will find the proper position of thick and thin lines. It also gives you time to learn about the letterform. So, you will get a better result in brush lettering. 

How so? Because the different media and supplies force you to work differently. In this style, you are going to use brush pens. The flexible felt tip will give different results since it applies well to pressure. You don't need to learn by manually adding thick stokers. The brush style will automatically look different depending on your pressure on the pen. 

Is it harder or easier? When you learn brush calligraphy, you need a basic understanding of the form. It will help you create clear and legible writing. The idea is pretty much-paying attention to your way to form letters and apply pressure in each stroke. So, it is more complicated and needs more practice compared to faux.

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The plus point of learning modern calligraphy brush style is you don't need to manually draw and fill every thick line. As long as you can add consistent pressure, the final result will look amazing. The brush movement in this calligraphy is also crucial since the longer you stay, the more water or ink will be applied. In other words, constant movement is the key.   

The bounce lettering style will be your more advanced lettering idea. It is not necessarily harder, but it has more freedom in its writing technique. The main takeaway from the style is the playful and whimsical touch in the brush lettering style. It mostly appears from the freeform design despite having the same fundamental calligraphy method.  

It does have thick and thin strokes. However, the form letter is more unique and freer. The stylistic approach makes it one of the most trending modern calligraphy on the internet. Not only that, but it also comes with a great length of possibilities. As an example, the arched word composition makes the lettering look more modern and far from the strict technique. 

The implementation of the bounce design is beyond the traditional style. If you want to learn modern calligraphy in the form of bounce style, you have every piece of freedom to experiment. You can extend a certain portion of the letter, thus creating a unique touch. As an example, a longer lower guideline or fancy loop. 

The key point when you want to learn this style is freeform. Unlike the faux and brush that implement straight lines and consistent looks, the bounce calligraphy might look varying. Thus, creating the sense or look bouncy. One thing that is for sure is that the restraint for you to learn is not limited. But again, you need the basics to eventually nail the style. 

Created by calligraphybyrkhatri


3. Get The Best And Right Supplies 

After you watch tons of videos or learn about the modern calligraphy basics and styles, it is time to make it real. So, prepare your tools. In this case, do you need cheap items? The idea is right to an extent. As you learn the basics and want to start, you can practice and use any kind of supplies. 

You are not limited to using thin tools, such as a pencil, marker, pen, or anything. One thing that you have to note is that you will learn a lot with a range of tools. Thus, starting with the simpler one will help you get the grounding ideas about calligraphy. As you learn to get more serious, the right supplies are needed. 

The key is that every item is built and has a different impression. The brush is not equal to the pen, and so does the ink, paper, and nibs. If you do it wrong, your time to learn modern calligraphy will only feel frustrating. In this case, you can start with a pencil, brush pen, pen holder, nib, ink, and paper. The brand does not matter. Your focus should be comfort.  

Any type of paper is enough for calligraphy. You can also use the high-quality one to extend your pen or brush durability. Pens come in varying sizes and tip flexibility. The bigger and flexible the tip is, the more suitable it is for larger writing. If you are trying to learn the form, use pencils. It helps a lot since you can erase it or use it along with a ruler to make guidelines.  

As you get the tools, try to learn about the proper grip. If you learn modern calligraphy with a brush pen, be comfortable with a 45-degree angle from the paper. It is also worth loosening up the pen grip. Thus you do not get tired easily. Don't forget to hold the pen a little bit further from the tip. The primary point is to find a grip that feels comfortable for you. 

Created by calligraphic_world2021


4. Connect With Communities 

Learning from the communities is what you need to put in your mindset. The idea is that the calligraphy world is pretty vast and tight. In other words, the style and ideas you can find on the internet might come from the same person over and over again. It means that the trendy and famous lettering ideas have quite a limited community. 

It does not mean you have a restriction to learn calligraphy. You got the chance to expand and learn from a certain person. As an example, you love one of the creator's ideas on modern calligraphy design. Try to contact and be genuine to learn from them. Having your idol as your mentor helps you engage in the realm. It is also better to have other like-minded people on your side. 

Created by wideeyespaperco


5. Use References And Online To Your Advantage 

Instagram or any other online site with calligraphy in it is not something you should be worried about. Most of the time, what you see is merely the best out of the best. Many examples and artists make failure projects too. Thus, you can learn from them and make it your positive support. How to do it? 

As mentioned in the previous point, you can follow or contact artists that inspire you. Taking screenshots and saving their lettering ideas might also help you gain more inspiration. Engaging in the internet and accounts might also help you get more connections and ideas. Don't forget to get more references. But remember to not copy without giving them credit. 

During your time learning modern calligraphy, you will need to find an abundance of ideas and references. Your best way to learn is to copy them and absorb their information. To avoid copyright and copying accusations, you need to figure out what you find good or loved from the lettering ideas. Recreate it and credit the original artist as you post your work. 

Your online presence and posting sometimes can push you to be better. During this modern society, progress is appreciated by people. You can show them your first modern calligraphy from your study. As you learn more, the improvement will show. And if you can post them and not be afraid of people's opinions, it might come with encouragement to learn more.  

Created by ribeiro_neg


6. It Takes Time And Tons Of Practice 

Do you think everyone is perfect on their first try? No, even talented people will need time to learn something. Nevertheless, the lettering and calligraphy world with a lot to learn during the process. It explains that every practice will shape up your expertise. And, unsurprisingly, the beginning of the study can be very frustrating and discouraging. 

Practice is the key to modern calligraphy. It is especially true since it relies on muscle memory. Thus, you will face the mundane drills of creating the perfect letter form, strokes, and brushes. One thing that you need to appreciate is that lettering and calligraphy are some of many specialized skills. And you need a lot of time to nail it. 

The point is that practice is the key, no matter your skill level and determination is. Try to dedicate your time to learning modern calligraphy to the fullest. Practicing every day, using a lot of references, help from your favorite artists, and getting guidance, can help you advance faster. How long do the duration to learn calligraphy? Months, years, decades, it takes as much as I want.  

Created by ribeiro_neg



As much as modern writing has risen in popularity, you can say that the studying process will take a lot of time to learn. It covers a lot of information and basic details to learn, including the type, style, handwriting fundamentals, and many more. It is also a lettering design that has no boundaries. Thus, you have to open up with trends and the community to learn more in the future.  

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