If you're interested in lettering and calligraphy, here are a few suggestions on how you can learn more:

1) Explore the Web. An excellent resource with lots of other links is Cynthia Garinther's Calligraphy Compilation, at It's pretty hard to find anything in the calligraphy and lettering field that Cynthia hasn't already found and listed; I don't bother to keep many bookmarks of my own, since I can usually find what I want there. Please note, too, that my own blog,, is updated several times a month with new work and links to sites I like.

A young reader, Melanie, just pointed me to a resource,, which has lots of links to other resources, mostly on Asian brush calligraphy. Once you start exploring calligraphy on the web, you'll find hundreds of resources like that. Good job, Melanie!

2) Join a guild. You can find listings of lots of guilds on Cynscribe (see above), or you can go to the Association for the Calligraphic Arts, and check out their list of member guilds to see if there's one near you. You'd probably prefer to join a guild in your town, but it's worthwhile to consider joining a guild some distance from you, as many of them have newsletters and other publications, and sponsor workshops with reduced rates for members.

3) Join a calligraphy mailing list. I belong to Cyberscribes, a worldwide group of several hundred persons interested in calligraphy. This list generates about 15 - 20 messages a day, typically. Further information can be found at Teri Martin's site,

4) Browse books and magazines with outstanding examples of Lettering Arts work. The leading magazine in the field is Letter Arts Review, published by John Neal Bookseller, which is probably the largest mail-order source for calligraphic books and supplies. I have probably a hundred or more calligraphy books, so it's hard to know where to start recommending books. One outstandingly beautiful collection of contemporary work is Lettering Arts, by Joanne Fink and Judy Kastin, published by PBC International, Inc. A less expensive choice would be the Speedball Textbook, from Hunt Manufacturing. If you're interested in calligraphic interpretations of scriptures, I highly recommend 3:16 - Bible Texts Illuminated, by Donald Knuth (A-R Editions, Inc.); the book is illustrated by a collection of outstanding work from the most prominent of our contemporary calligraphic artists. Or go to and search for Timothy Botts.

5) Take lessons from a good calligrapher. A guild near you can probably recommend someone.

6) Buy a good textbook and start teaching yourself. Caution: this is a hard way to go unless you do some of the other suggestions above as well. When you are a beginner, you don't have a very discerning eye to distinguish good lettering from bad, and there are a lot of bad texts out there. If you use a bad text, and you also aren't able to distinguish how your work differs from the models in the text, you're really in trouble. But many of us started this way, nevertheless. In my opinion, the best two recent books are Sheila Waters' Foundations of Calligraphy and Annie Cicale's The Art and Craft of Hand Lettering. And the traditional formal lettering textbook for broad pen forms is Edward Johnston's Writing & Illuminating & Lettering. That last one is sort of old-fashioned, having been written at the turn of the19th/20th century, and it's really more of an intermediate/ advanced text, but almost every English calligrapher has studied it. A new book on calligraphy around the world, in many languages, is Christopher Calderhead's The World Encyclopedia of Calligraphy. If you're interested in traditional American lettering, you might want to study flexible pen styles such as Copperplate or Spencerian. Look for Mastering Copperplate, A Step-by-Step Manual for Calligraphers, by Eleanor Winters. Or just go to John Neal's site and browse his catalog.

For a fun beginner's book, check out Karen Charatan's ABC Zig Calligraphy, a promotional book for Zig felt-tipped calligraphic markers. home