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What The Book!

World renowned calligraphers and lettering artists from across the globe have shared their artform, i.e., calligraphy through book publications. From our own personal experience of learning calligraphy, recommendations from our tutors and extensively researching the internet, we have created a small library of books on calligraphy, lettering and gilding. These can be a great starting point for learning how communication in the written form has developed over time and also to learn the different script styles that are popularly used around the world.


In this blog post, we provide our top recommendations for calligraphy books by categorising them based on their contents.

Category 1: Calligraphy: An overall discussion

This category includes books that look at calligraphy from an eagle eye view. These cover the broad range of scripts that were developed over the years from broad-edge to pointed pen styles.

  • The Art and Craft Hand Lettering by Annie Cicale
  • The Art of Calligraphy by David Harris*
  • Foundations of Calligraphy by Sheila Waters
  • The Calligrapher’s Bible by David Harris

*This book is extremely resourceful and thorough in its discussion on the different types of broad-edge scripts from rustic capitals to roman letters with historic references.

Category 2: Foundational Hand and Italics

Foundational hand and italics are broad-edge scripts that form the basic style of calligraphy and helps understand the letterforms from a design perspective. The below books cover an in- depth discussion on these script styles in particular.

  • Writing & Illuminating & Lettering by Edward Johnston
  • Pen Lettering by Ann Camp
  • Little Manual of Calligraphy by Charles Pearce
  • Italic Calligraphy and Handwriting by Lloyd Reynolds
Category 3: Copperplate Calligraphy

Copperplate calligraphy is a type of pointed pen calligraphy. The book recommendations below include those that exclusively discuss this script style in detail.

  • Script in copperplate style with Dr. Joseph M. Vitolo
  • A simple copperplate manual by Rachel Yallop
  • Copperplate Script – A Yin & Yang Approach by Paul Antonio*

*The book by Mr. Paul Antonio takes a very unique and interesting approach to learning copperplate calligraphy by means of geometrics.

Category 4: Spencerian

Spencerian is a pointed pen script that defines American penmanship. The below books by Master penman Mr. Michael Sull on Spencerian are the best resources for learning this script:

  • Learning to Write Spencerian Script
  • Spencerian Script and Ornamental Penmanship,
  • American Cursive Handwriting

That’s it from us now! More recommendations will find their way home in the future.

In the meantime, we wish you a very happy and prosperous Navratri and Diwali!!

Kind Attention: Please let us know in the comments below if you found this blog post useful! If you have any recommendations for us on future blog posts, drop your ideas in the comment box as well.

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