I’m sharing all my favourite books for getting started with calligraphy and hand lettering. The links to each book are below!
Whether you’re just starting out or need ideas for more complex projects, these books are my go-to’s. I even carried one around in a tiny backpack for 6 months while travelling! (Find out which one, below).
First Things First…
The links below may be affiliate links where appropriate. This means that your purchase through these links may result in a few cents in payment to me, to support creating further resources like this one! That being said, I will never suggest supplies that I do not personally use and fully recommend.
- Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe
- Mastering Hand Lettering by Mye De Leon
- The Big Awesome Book of Hand & Chalk Lettering by Dina Rodrigues
- The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering by Val McKeehan
- Extraordinary Hand Lettering by Doris Wai
- My Calligraphy Workbooks
Prefer watching over reading? Feel free to skip right to the video and see these in real-time! 👇🏻
My #1 Book Recommendation: Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe
This is the very first calligraphy book I ever had. I love it because it touches on the basics of calligraphy, including brush pens AND pointed pens, which can be pretty challenging. I also love how the author includes examples of all different letter styles for the entire alphabet, which can be hard to find. It’s a great reference book to have and also includes some fun projects as well.
My #2 Book Recommendation: Mastering Hand Lettering by Mye De Leon
This book is for hand lettering (not calligraphy), and the author Mye, has actually been on my Youtube show before (twice!) – you can watch that here.
In this book, she walks you through all of the basics of each letter, which I’ve found a lot of other books to skip over. She also goes over a lot of cool ways to stylize your work, too.
My #3 Book Recommendation: The Big Awesome Book of Hand & Chalk Lettering by Dina Rodrigues
Similar to Mye’s book, this one goes through a lot of stylizing as well, and it’s got a ton of fun projects in the second half. This book also does a great job of going over basic stylizing techniques (i.e. drop shadows), which is something I get asked about all of the time!
My #4 Book Recommendation: The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering by Val McKeehan
This book is really great for different chalk techniques specifically, but also includes banners, borders and embellishments. The author Val has also been on the show, you can see her interview here. I’ve used this book to help me with ideas on filling up small spaces here and there when I’m working with a chalkboard. The covers of this book are also chalkboards and you can work right in the book if you want to!
And finally, my #5 Book Recommendation: Extraordinary Hand Lettering by Doris Wai
This book is by my friend Doris (who’s also been on the show), who is the queen of lettering on unconventional surfaces (glass, windows, murals, etc.)
This book is full of tips on what tools to use for what surfaces. It also has a bunch of fun projects in it as well. This is always my go to when I’m say, looking for what tool to use to write on a suitcase 🧳🤷🏻♀️.
And that’s a wrap!
In case you didn’t know, (shameless 🔌) I sell my own workbooks that are specific to brush calligraphy. You can find my calligraphy workbooks on the happyevercrafter.com/workbooks.