Pen and Ink Calligraphy: The Art of the Envelope | Bryn Chernoff | Skillshare

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Pen and Ink Calligraphy: The Art of the Envelope

teacher avatar Bryn Chernoff, Paperfinger Calligraphy and Hand-Lettering

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Your Project


    • 3.

      About Bryn & the Paperfinger Studio


    • 4.

      Quick Calligraphy Lesson


    • 5.

      Getting Started


    • 6.

      The Envelopes


    • 7.



    • 8.

      The List


    • 9.



    • 10.



    • 11.

      Finishing Up


    • 12.

      Client Work Considerations


    • 13.

      Share Your Work!


    • 14.

      More Creative Classes on Skillshare


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About This Class

No one can deny that if you're rifling through a stack of mail and you spot a beautiful envelope, you can't help but stop, pause, and feel welcomed in by the calligraphy.

Learn to create and capture that feeling! Join experienced instructor Bryn Chernoff for a one-hour class walking you through her detailed process for creating a beautifully addressed envelope.

This class covers an essential range of topics for beginning to intermediate calligraphers, including:

  • Choosing papers and what to look for
  • Mixing inks, matching colors, using gouache
  • Accomplishing a neat and centered layout
  • Spacing and style ideas
  • Setting up a mailing list and tricks of the trade
  • Working with clients and professional pointers

Envelopes can present a lot of different challenges, variables, and opportunities — and they are often at the core of a calligrapher's client work. Mastering how to create a stack is essential for both your own personal practice and branching into the world of professional calligraphy.

This visually rich class is a pleasure to watch and is packed with careful detail, useful trade tips, extensive demos, and exclusive resources that are essential to developing your calligraphy practice!


This class is recommended for those with a basic familiarity with calligraphy. If you're brand-new to calligraphy, be sure to check out all of Bryn's classes on Skillshare, including Calligraphy I: Writing in Classic Modern Script and Calligraphy II: Finding Your Personal Script Style!

Brand new to calligraphy? Be sure to explore Bryn's other classes on getting started with calligraphy and discovering your style.

Image courtesy of Bryn Chernoff, Paperfinger

Meet Your Teacher

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Bryn Chernoff

Paperfinger Calligraphy and Hand-Lettering


Bryn Chernoff started her calligraphy studio Paperfinger out of a true love for writing by hand. Paperfinger provides modern, hand-drawn calligraphy and illustration for everything from weddings and events to graphic design projects, keepsakes, commercial and custom work.

Her work has been featured in Town & Country, Real Simple, The New York Times, Refinery29, Cool Hunting, Martha Stewart Weddings, The Knot, Swiss Miss, 100 Layer Cake, and countless others.

Sharing her love for calligraphy, Bryn also leads a number of workshops and offers private instruction. To follow her work, explore her portfolio, online shop, and blog.

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1. Welcome: Welcome to this calligraphy class, The Art of the Envelope. I'm here to walk you through step-by-step the process I take for an envelope addressing job. Envelopes are the bread and butter for most calligraphers. It's going to be a really helpful skill set if you're looking to expand your practice and to start offering work to clients. But no matter what you're doing with calligraphy, it's a really useful project. So, step-by-step we'll walk through the whole process, from getting the materials ready, your envelopes, the paper you choose, to the inks and names that you select on into the approach and style that you're going to use on your envelopes thinking about the whole project together, as well as how to present professional finished work to whomever is going to be the lucky recipient of these beautiful envelopes. I'll also go over a couple of key pointers for working with clients, to help keep it a smooth and efficient process for everybody. So, the key things that I hope you leave this course feeling are really confident and practice in your calligraphy just because you're going to be writing a bunch which is why it's a great project to take on at any point in your practice. I also hope you'll feel better about working with materials, judging papers, and choosing inks, as well as designing layout and style for an envelope or really for anything else. Lastly, I hope you'll feel competent offering this as a service if you want to be a professional calligrapher or if you want to just offer it to your friends and family or send off some beautiful letters to people you know. 2. Your Project: The specific project you're assigned with today is to address 20 envelopes minimum. That seems a good number to get a good stack going. Like I said, it's a really staple service. So it's really good to have under your belt and to have experience with. Secondly, it's a really good way to practice, and the more you practice, the better your writing will be, that's just a guarantee. Also, just to celebrate the pleasures of snail mail. It's a dying art, and no one can deny that if your rifling through a stack of crappy mail and stuff you're going to ignore, if you spot a beautiful envelope and the mix, you're going to stop, you pause, you'll feel this personal attention, and it will create this intrigue and anticipation of opening up to find out what's inside. Secondly, it's also just a or thirdly, fourthly, whichever it is, it's a good way to tackle a lot of the things that come up in a number of different calligraphy projects, because you got to think about paper, and ink, and overall layout, so that applies to everything. And lastly, it's great to just work on your consistency. You don't need every envelope to look identical, but you want some consistency to the look and feel across the board, and just writing, and writing, and writing and thinking about that as you go is a really good way to practice keeping a consistent look and feel to your work. So before you begin, you should consider whether you actually have something you want to mail. Because if you can apply this project to something real and useful, that's great and it's a good motivator. Otherwise, if you don't have a specific need to write envelopes, join me in making it up as we go along. I've got a fake list of names and addresses for us, and it'll just be a fun practice. I think you'll probably want to plan for about two hours to give yourself enough time start to finish, startup, et cetera, to go through the project. The materials you'll need, you'll see some links to recommended its supplies and some starter kit stuff. But fundamentally, you need envelopes, some ink, and a nab. You might want handy a printer, possibly a lightbox if you want to try that out, we'll talk about how to use it, and, obviously, you're at your computer. So that will come in handy as well. 3. About Bryn & the Paperfinger Studio: I'm Bryn Chernoff, the owner of Paperfinger studio. I started the studio in 2008, and it felt like a fantasy at the time to decide that I was a calligrapher and to call myself that. Thankfully, my business has grown over the years, and I provide clients with a wide range of services. There's a million options for how calligraphy is used and presented and I tried to do all of them. But it's really fun and I hope you'll find that you can use your calligraphy in a million different ways as well. My personal approach to calligraphy is a mix of things. It's really about using the traditional tools and instruments and applying some fundamental techniques to achieve a consistent beautiful luck but also I like to go a bit rogue and create my own styles. I'm guided fundamentally by what I like and what aesthetics resonate with me. You'll see as you browse calligraphy, as you explore your own work, there's a million different ways to do it. My own definition is really about the true meaning of calligraphy, which is just beautiful writing. I've taught workshops extensively over the years and some of you may know me from my other Skillshare courses as well, which are great for getting started with calligraphy, or if you're early on in your practice and you want to work on your technique and approach. I love teaching on Skillshare in particular because of the feedback and interaction that's possible with each of you. I think it's really, really helpful as you work at any point in your practice to get some feedback, to get pointers from other people. I've myself continue to turn to my calligrapher peers for advice if I'm stuck with a certain paper that's giving me trouble or if I'm seeking a particular kind of ink or if I'm working on a color that I'm struggling with. It's always helpful to reach out, get some input. My approach as a teacher is to guide you with these technical details and tips but really to embolden you to find your own style and your own way. That's what's wonderful about calligraphy and that's the approach I bring to my own work, is really just to find what speaks to me and I encourage you to do the same. 4. Quick Calligraphy Lesson: So, for those of you that are brand new to calligraphy, I'm going to do a really quick intro on how to use a nib and some basic warmup exercises, but I strongly encourage you to take particularly the Calligraphy One course that I have on Skillshare, plus the second and third if you want to keep your practice up. If you just need a refresher, this is a good quick intro and there's some worksheets that I've linked to that I'll be referring to now. So, you've got your nib. I'm using the Nikko G for this demo right now, and I'll be practicing with some sumi ink. So, to begin, you've got your nib placed firmly in the pen holder. You want to make sure it's not going to wobble or slip out. It can come out pretty easily. To dip it into the ink, you want to go well up towards the handle, but without actually touching the handle. Otherwise, you're going to get a messy hand. There's a reservoir which is a small circle hole at the top here. That's key to holding the ink onto the nib, so you want to make sure you've at least dipped that far. I like to tap/hold it up to the edge to let a little excess ink runoff. The first worksheet is all about the nib and pen angle, and what I do when I think about a nib is picturing it like the tip of a finger. Whereas with a regular pen, you can write straight up and down and you can write directly on the point. With a calligraphy nib, you want to think about writing on the pad of the fingertip. That's where you're going to get the most flow, the easiest movement on the page. If you get too far up on the point, it's going to be hard to let that ink flow. So, keep that in mind as you go. Begin by drawing some straight lines up and down, going in a downstroke direction. So, I'm just going to do a few with you. What you want to start playing with, you can see I'm at a 45-degree angle, is adjusting your pressure. So, the nib works magically. Because if you barely apply any pressure, you get a nice fine hairline. But if you really apply pressure, the nib will split like this and will release more ink so you get a nice thick line. That's what makes it so distinctive. It's only when you're applying that pressure down or you're going to achieve the split that gives you a thick line. So, your downstrokes are the key for your thick lines. So, just do row after row of shapes like this. The second sheet is a continuation, but it's going to help you with shapes, curves, and a bit more of the building blocks that are going to help you form letters. So, practice this to your heart's content, and you should be ready to go. 5. Getting Started: Okay. So, we're going to dive right into the project and for my version of it, I'm using a fake list of names and addresses that are provided to you to use as well. That way when I photograph and share my work, I don't have to hide or conceal parts of the addresses because some people don't want that stuff public so you do need to keep that in mind if you're working on something for real people. Otherwise, feel free to use my list as a way to practice. There's a couple of things if you are doing this for somebody else that you're going to want to check in with them about. Are they going to provide you with the envelopes? How many people are on the list? So you make sure you have enough of the materials and find out if they have any preferences in terms of color or style or anything just to get a feel for what their expectations or hopes are before you launch into making any decisions about it. Otherwise, we'll just proceed and I'll be making decisions as I go. 6. The Envelopes: Okay. So envelopes. If you're securing your own materials and they're not being provided for you, you'll want to go out and buy some envelopes. First things first, you want to make sure you have about 20 percent extra of envelopes. You need some to test on, you need some for bloopers and errors, maybe typos, spelling, mistakes, you catch later et cetera. Just having plenty of extra you'll feel much more relaxed during the whole process as well. If you're looking for spots to buy paper envelopes, I recommend paper source as an easy one that's pretty easy to find near you, and they have a wide range of colors and sizes and their paper tends to be great for working with inks and I find it pretty easy to work with overall. I also recommend paper presentation so I've linked to both of those shops. They've got a ton of different options and you should be able to find something good for your project there. Otherwise, if you're looking for maybe some higher end options, you want to spend a little more or you need something that has a little bit of a finer feel, you might like the Arturo line, all of these I've linked to so you can find them online if not in a local store near you. The media Vallas you might encounter cranes envelopes often for invitations, they are commonly used for letterpress printing, so those might be some you encounter. Other high end stationers that you could check out include Mrs. Strong, Dempsey and Carrolls, Smythson, Thornwillow they all make some beautiful stationery products, and you can find tissue lined envelopes beautiful options. If you're browsing a store and you want to consider a few options or factors that are going to play into your project, you can think about obviously the color of your envelope, that's going to impact a few steps along the way, you might want to think about the shape up to a standard sort of five by seven inch size, you'll have regular postage rates but when you get into any square shapes or any larger form and envelopes, you will have to use more postage some people need to consider that before you make a final decision. Other things are the texture, you want to look out for really to the textured cartonny papers, they're going to be a little bit harder to work with you might find yourself skipping a bit on the page, you might find that your ink is bleeding. Some to some texture can be really nice and sometimes preferable, but then too much and you have some challenges with your writing. If you can, you can obtain a couple of samples of each, try them out see which one you like best and then go back to buy the full set. Otherwise sheen, any kind of coding, if it's super shiny encoded maybe it the ink doesn't here, they're all unpredictable factors and no matter how many jobs I've done, I always need to test it out and I get a little nervous if I haven't built in some time for that. 7. Ink: Alright. We're on to the ink. So, like I said everything is about testing it on the paper. So, we're going to start with some different scenarios, different envelopes, different papers, and see how they impede on what decisions we need to make accordingly. So, first off, the most common issue I encounter is bleeding and you'll see how that looks. If I take these envelopes and let's say I have this ink in mind to work with, I'm going to take a test one. Test the speed. Sometimes it's not immediately apparent, but if you watch, it's already has started bleeding. So, we're seeing kind of that feathering here. My inclination might be to choose a different ink and try something else out. There's some tips and techniques you can try for making your inc work on a particular paper, and applying a gum arabic in by adding a couple drops to your ink, you can test that out. I don't find that as the best solution most of the time because it thickens the ink to the point where it's harder to write, but it's worth a shot if you are really in dire straits and you definitely want to use that particular ink. That just might mean I have to leave a little more time for the writing process because it'll go a bit slower. For colored inks, I find that this acrylic line by Daler Rowney to be really reliable. You can also add a little water to these sometimes if you have a little water dropper, or you can just drop a couple little splashes in. It tends to smooth it out a little bit for easier writing. This is basically the process. It's a bit of trial and error, I am just testing it out. The next thing to be cautious of is smudging. So, in advance, I've written out this ink test on these black envelopes in gold, because I know that the golden ink i use can smudge depending on the paper. So, I've let it dry overnight. Normally, I'd feel pretty good about it, but you do want to do a test run here. So, it passed that test. But I know it can be an issue, so it's really a good idea to do a test in advance, leave it for a day, and not that every recipient is going to try to smudge the envelope, but you want to make sure it survive the wear and tear of the post. One other consideration is if you're using a metallic ink and you need to go back and erase pencil lines, sometimes the eraser itself can be problematic. So, I'm going to test out what it's like to erase on top. I'm going to erase on top of my gold and see how it comes out. Well, this is awesome ink because it's surviving just fine, and I have links to this particular metallic ink because I think it's the best there is. So, all of those went fine but it's certainly something to look out for. So, we've talked about how ink can bleed, we've talked about how it can smudge, and we've talked about how metallics can be particularly tricky, but one option always is to consider a pen in case you're really in a jam or you're trying to create that special look either from a monoline pen. So, monoline meaning that all the lines are the same width, whereas with a pointed nib you get that contrast. A pen is almost always going to work because calligraphy ink is the tricky part in terms of cooperating with paper. You could also use a brush pen and this is ink here, so I'm going to want to test it as well because there's no guarantee that it won't bleed or feather on the page. So, this responded well to this paper. I have'nt ever encountered issues, and I'll send the link to this particular tool. But, I think you'll find that overall brush pens and regular monoline pens are probably going to work on almost any paper. Let's think about color of course, because that's going to weigh in to your decision from the very beginning. I primarily use sumi ink as my black on almost everything, and there's rare papers and envelopes that I encounter that don't take that well. So, as a starting point, I'd recommend sumi ink that I've linked to, for basically all your projects that involve black. It's archival, it's not fully waterproof but I've had no issues with projects getting where they need to go. But if you're trying to achieve a certain color of course, then you need to venture out. I've recommended the acrylic Delar Rowney line, because I like the way the ink behaves, I find it easy to write with, and they have a wide range of colors in their line, and basically if you're going to mix anything just mix within the same line and they'll blend really well. You can't pick like this acrylic and this one and expect them to mix and be usable, but if you stick within one, you can do a blend. Blending is similar like if you're painting, I'm going to try to make some sort of plummy color. Often clients will request a very specific color that you need to match. Perhaps they'll provide a Pantone swatch, or they're going to send you a print out of something like their invitation or a finished piece, and you'll need to try to match that swatch. So, that just take some trial and error. Some people like to apply it to the nib using a paint brush, and I'm going to test it out here. Okay. So, I've tested out an ink color, this is something I might use as a swatch or a sample to share in my client. Otherwise, you could always use your dinky dip container thing to mix your colors directly in here, and that way you don't have to apply with a brush which is how I like to proceed. Also, the other option I mentioned for mixing colors that's popular and also gives you a wide range of options, is using gouache. So, I'll show you quickly. It's basically like using any regular paint, it's an acrylic as well. I'll demo how I use it into the cup like this. I am going to try to do a grayish blue here, and it's a matter of adding water to achieve a good consistency for writing, which always the consistency thing for me is just a matter of trial and error. Of course, if you're doing a big batch of work and you know you're going to need to keep one consistent color, it can be nice to mix all your ink in a larger container, a little cup of some kind, and then distribute using a dropper, smaller servings of that into here as you work so that you don't have to keep remixing your ink as you go. That would be the smart thing to do. Sometimes I just think ahead and do that, sometimes I don't. It's just a matter of continuing to mix ink as the project goes on. There's no perfect ink, there's no perfect material, and what's been interesting to me is that all the professional calligraphers I know, we each have our favorites. I can't understand why anyone would want to use a different gold than I use for example, but, it's kind of about what feels good to you, what you find your writing comes easily with. I encourage you to just try out a bunch of materials and inks, get a little collection, each project will sort of require you to buy some new materials. If I have a project requiring a periwinkle, I might try some of the acrylic and mix there. I might get a gouache, test them out and see which one's going to work best for me for that project. I think it's a good sign that I like this ink, so I just feel like writing and forgetting that I'm supposed to be talking too. So, that's how you want to feel, just, it should come and flow easily, the color should match whatever your ideal is for the project, and it should respond well to the paper it's on. Then, as always, just give it time to dry like I said for any test. Hold it up in natural light, make sure you're really seeing the true color, hold it up next to the thing you're trying to match it to, send a photo to your client, send a physical copy. Whatever you do, if there's any big time gap between when you've mixed your ink and when you're doing your project, make a note of what you did so you don't have to remember. Ideally, make sure you have a swatch yourself, and you don't want to send away your only sample, and then you should be good to go. Make sure you have plenty, you don't want to run out of ink mid project, it's a nightmare. But, it's very unlikely unless you're addressing like more than several 100 envelopes, that you'll need more than one bottle, and that's ink. 8. The List: Okay, of course, you need the list like I said, if you don't have a real project in mind and you just want to do the demo list I have, you can use the download of the spreadsheet and it's got all 20 names and addresses that I'll be doing as well. But if you've got a list and your clients provided for you, I have a template that you could give them to format their list into. This is also like everything I'm telling you, it's my personal preference about my process, so I'm just advising you, this is how I do it maybe you want to follow suit, but I like to get my list in Excel, where each item that could be its own separate line is in its own column, so city, and state, and you'll see in the template. I do that because then I can use Mail Merge in Word to format the list however I want because if they group it altogether then I've go to go through manually and set it up. So Mail Merge itself, if you want extra info on how to mail merge, I've linked to a tutorial, where you'll see that basically what I do, I take my list, make sure that they've told me exactly how they want things written, don't leave anything up for grabs, so if they say they want Mr. and Mrs. placed in there, make sure they've written them in, you're not trying to guess, or if they have sort of nicknames or weird abbreviations that aren't clear, make sure they've spelled it out and you'll be writing it just that way. You can always do simple things like correcting "St" to be spelled out to street, or "Apt" to apartment, or things like that that are obvious, but anything that's vague, make sure they tell you. So, I'm showing you now my demo list in Excel and I want to take it into Word. I've got a template that I use for placing out envelopes in Word. I'm going to click to Mail Merge that Demo List, and now I've got it placed into Word. This will make it easy for me to follow as I'm writing, I'll make sure I keep my format the same, and depending on the style and approach, you may actually lay out the sizing and spacing in Word to use as your guide as you go. 9. Style: All right. So, I'm going to actually get started with my true project that I'm doing along with you. For mine, I've selected these gray envelopes and I'm going to choose a white ink to go on them. Now's the time for me to start figuring out style. So, we're going to walk through a couple ideas for styles and some techniques that you can try out. First off, I've got to mix my white ink. This is my favorite. So, this white, which is the one I recommend, you have to add water. I've already tested this on my envelopes so I know it works well. This way it works on basically everything. One consideration, because I'm using a darker envelope, is that you want to make sure that whatever ink you're using it's opaque enough that it's really going to show and contrast crisply. So, make sure to test that out. This one, also just got to feel out how much water to add. Okay this looks good, nice and thin. So, there's a couple things that you might be thinking about in your layout and your process overall. A darker envelope is not going to be transparent. So, you might have seen in other classes or other example I've done, you can sometimes see through and then trace some lines, or with a darker envelope you're going to either need to go line free, or you're going to have to pencil them in advance and erase afterwards. That's another thing you're going to want to test with your ink, is if you line it with pencil placing down and erase after, like we did with the gold, you want to make sure that it's going to survive the erasing. So, while I've broken the class into these distinct steps where it's envelopes, and then ink, et cetera. There's a lot of back and forth so just don't stay too rigid in your process to make sure that you've got a good plan. So, I've tested my white, I know it works great on this paper. I've tested it with pencil as well I know it works great and doesn't smudge even after erasing. This white ink is like the best thing ever. So, I'm ready to go. I'm going to try out some styles and because it's just for me, I don't have to answer to anybody, but if you've got a client in mind, you might want to do a couple of demos, send them some snapshots or mail them the hard copy so they can see and choose for themselves. Don't give them samples of anything that you don't want to write over and over again. That's definitely important to remember. Whatever you offer people, love what that is, because they'll choose it and you'll have to do it. So, make sure you like it as well. So, classic envelope that you can picture like your grandmother writing or whomever is a nice beautiful writing, and it's going to be centered, and the lines are going to be perfectly straight. So, whether you want to do that or not it's really good to know how to pull that off, because it's a classic look that some people are going to want and can look beautiful. So, for starters, I know I need straight lines. If I was choosing a white envelope that was somewhat transparent, I would be using a light box with a handy guide sheet. I took this mat out because it makes drawing lines easier. I'm going to show you. I also have rolling ruler, which is really handy because this can be a little slow and tedious. This is where podcasts come in handy. If you want to choose a nice quality, our pencil and I'll- I usually ask the store, which ones erase most easily. You could use any kind of ruler to make sure you've got consistent spacing. You certainly don't want them to be uneven or the leading to be different between the lines. So, I've set myself up to write nice, neat lines. The next thing I need to do if I'm going to center them is figure out the placement. So, as I walked you through my steps with Mail Merge, one technique, if you're going to do centered on envelopes is to center it in your Word Doc so you know exactly what it's going to look like. So, I've printed out the list now that it's centered and it's actually size to about the scale I'm going to be writing. Often, that's around 26 to 28 point if I'm doing envelopes. Doesn't matter what the font is that's irrelevant because I'm doing my own style, but this is just going to give me the spacing I need and it's a really handy guide. Basically, when you're centering it's about the first line if you nail the position of the first line, you can refer to these examples to figure out where the next one goes. I'll demonstrate that. So, I'm going to position my envelope on this page to match where his first name, the first line of the envelope will be centered. So, I know I basically need to start about here and I need to keep this in mind that I'm ending about here. This is where I get really picky and particular because you can't- If you are properly delivering centered work, it has to be perfect. There's plenty of styles that don't need to be precise, but I'd say if you're going to really do it centered it's worth being picky otherwise it's just going to look bad. I'm going to make sure I start far enough over. Okay, I fell good about that placement, it looks nice. Then what follows is you could, basically, use the same technique where you're looking up and you're placing your envelope, but you can also start thinking about where did these lines start and end in relation to the line above it. So, I know the four and the three come before the M. So, I'm going to make sure to leave enough room and start in that spot accordingly. Then my zero is matching up with the M and I continue that as I go to make sure I'm not losing my position. So, I'm even pausing, how am I doing? The A is coming right after the S. Calligraphy is forgiving since I can draw out the spacing. So, I might extend that E a little bit to make sure the balance looks good. I'm concerned at this point that I've gone a little too far over. So, going to make sure not to do what I just did. Now, it looks like I'm off balance and you can tell because now, my D is extended past avenue. It's not necessarily centered. Some people, this will be really, really easy. For some people, this will be really tough. If anything, this is where the extra envelopes come in handy. I also think it's a matter of warming up. So, you're going to get a feel for the sizing and spacing of the particular script you're writing and of the envelope you're working on, the size and dimensions, and it's always slow in the beginning, and as you start grooving forward into more and more of the stack, you're going to feel much more at ease. It's going to flow better. Your writing will just keep improving and your spacing is going to play itself out. So, the fact that I keep wanting to write multiple versions of this first one, this is pretty normal for me. After a little while, that will basically work as my warm-up and I'll be ready to roll through. So, if I want a neat and straight looking envelope, but I don't want to center it, there's a couple options. It could be a line from the left or it could be staggered, which is also a classic look, and it makes it a little bit easier if you don't want to deal with centering or you want to just achieve a cool look. So, both are an option. As you're writing, you got to start thinking about scale and as you decide on your style, of course, if you write really large, you're not going to fit that much on one line. So, that's going to depend on your list. It's going to depend on the size of your envelope. That's why as you work on a style and as you decide what your approach will be, you want to do a few different samples from the list. So, don't just choose one example because then you might build it all around one name, perhaps to short name, and then you'll have to adjust for every other name after. So, keep in mind like, will this style, will this layout work for the longest address on the list? Will it work for the shortest? I'm going to walk you through a couple other layouts just to consider and of course, there's no set list. I mean, you could come up with a million different ideas, but I wanted to just give you a couple possibilities. You could go with something more organic. We'll stick with that first name just to play with it, but I'm just going to go with something a little more whimsical. If you go a little more freestyle, it's more forgiving because you don't have to have the most perfect centering. I'm still going try for centering. So, having my list to reference is helpful as a guideline. But with such a fluid organic style, I can really adjust as I go. As long as I can make a huge A, and then a tiny e, and stylistically, I think it works. It's going to lay out just fine. Other considerations, you could do it on a slant, and that could be done really neatly with guidelines. This one, I'm going to play with just a little bit of a different style. If you're curious about developing styles and choosing which styles to go with or how to come up with them, my Calligraphy Two class for Skillshare goes into finding your own style. Okay. So, we've moved things around. We've done them on a slant. We've done them neat and tidy. We've done a little bit more playful or organic. You can also think about doing things really oversized, really small. Those are all fun ways to play around. These playful caps and then a script for the addressing. Make sure that your design and layout are not going to conflict with the space needed for any kind of postage. So, another thing to play with stylistically as you use a flourish, you'll see most of my work, I'm pretty minimal with flourishing, but it's something to consider. If you are into it, you can really go for it, so that it can add a lot to the envelope and it helps frame. I want to show you one approach to flourishing, which for me on envelopes is sometimes I'll just find one spot where I want to add it, and that's what I like, and the rest of the scripts falls into place. But this flourish can add a nice little frame or decorative element. So, what I often do is write the name and then choose my spot where I'm going to add my flourish. So, I'm thinking about the crossbar on the T. It's helpful to actually do the flourish in the air, above the page before you go for it. You can also flip your page around if that makes it any easier. You can do whatever you want in order to achieve the look you want. So, I have in mind going across, up, and around, and it helps to just take a deep breath, and go in one fluid motion pretty quickly. Make sure I have enough ink. It's flowing well and there. Then, I proceed to write the rest of the address. But now, it's got a special look to it. 10. Setup: So, you figured out what envelopes you're using, what ink you're using and you've decided on your basic style and layout design of the envelope. So now it's really time to begin the work, and part of that will be just setting yourself up. So you have everything you need, everything's in position, you're comfortable at your desk, you've given yourself plenty of room, you're feeling ready, you've got maybe some music on, podcasts, whatever you're into, getting into your quiet meditative state, and the other thing about setting up is really getting yourself everything you could possibly need to achieve the result you want. So, like I said, if you're doing center, you're doing anything with straight lines and you're using a light-colored envelope that will have any transparency, a light box can be the best thing ever. So, I'll show you how I use a light box which I use very frequently and I've recommended my favorite one, although there's plenty and you can usually find them at art supply stores. So, I turn it on and there's two ways I use it. So, either I have a lot of these transparent guides and you can even use it with the white printout just from your printer but the transparent ones are really nice. You can get them in lots of different sizes, so depending on the project and the spacing you want, place it down and then for a white envelope demo, I'll put this right on top and you can see the lines show through really nicely. So, the main thing is, if you're going to use any guide, you want to make sure you're going to have them straight lined up on your envelope. The guide's no use if it's going to be crooked. So, I like to just line up the bottom edge of my envelope with the edge of the guide. So, nice and easy, very relaxing to work with guides. There, and you turn off and you've got a nice finished piece, looks perfect and that's the backstory to how you get those done. The other thing you can do with a light box is to actually print out your list like I mentioned, format it the way you want to write it and then instead of having the guide sheet underneath, you get the actual list underneath and here I can actually trace the spacing of the whole name and address. Same issue comes up, you need to figure out how am I going to make sure that I'm writing this centered and straight on my envelope? So, there's different techniques. Right now I'm using the crease here of the envelope to line up with the top of the page. Other times, I'll take a ruler and place it here, make sure I'm lined up straight with the edge of the paper. You'll just have to make sure you've got it placed on there properly, you could print out your word doc with a line on the side if that helped you. It'll just be a little bit of fiddling and that's why this is all the setup to get going. Once you're going, you're fine, but you want to make sure you've got everything you need to do the best job. So, here, I'm not even paying attention to the font, but I am paying attention to the spacing. So, you'll often see calligraphers might charge more for opaque papers and that's because it means that you can't use a light box, you'll have to take the extra time potentially to pencil your lines on, and I'm sort of whipping through this just to demo for you how the light box works. I'm not going to toil too much over the actual design, but there I got a really nice centered envelope. I feel really good about how it came out and it's so much faster to work this way. So, those are some little bit of cheats, although there's nothing cheaty about it, but they're going to help you do good work. Otherwise, just get everything in place, get comfortable and dive right into your work. 11. Finishing Up: Okay. At this point I hope you're feeling really satisfied, you got the whole job done, stacks done, everything's drying. As you're working, do make sure you've set yourself up so that the drawing is neat and out of your way, you don't want to be bumping into it while you work, and also it really helps to stack and let them dry in order. So that when you're done, it's really important to take one pass through, if you can have somebody else do it even better, just to make sure that you didn't misspell anything that you've got all the details right. Of course, it's fundamental to your job as a calligrapher, to spell things accurately as they are on the list. So I've let my things dry, and it depends on how long it takes, I give metallic for example longer. This way I would say, usually within 5-10 minutes it's totally dry. You can often check an ink, by just examining it closely, is it shiny or does it look like it's sort of moving in any spots, and then, carefully you can tap some of the thicker spots and see if there's any bit of gumminess don't touch it. But right now this feels really dry. So at this point in my process it's time for me to erase, and I use these white erasers. They tend to leave very little residue, I'm going to carefully brush those away, and it's so nice to see how it looks, when it's all clean and it's done. 12. Client Work Considerations: I want to leave you with a couple of things to think about if you are working with clients, or you want to start offering this as a professional service. So, a couple of things to look out for, getting the list from clients is often the slowest part of the process and so it's a very laborious and sometimes emotionally fraught part of the process for them, particularly on weddings. But even when I do big fashion events or corporate things, they're lists are sometimes coming in the day I am really doing the job. It can be a sort of a touch-and-go timing thing. So just make sure that you're in touch with your clients about their lists that they know what your turnaround is going to be, and that you communicate clearly about what you're waiting on and what that will do to impact the schedule. The other thing to do is if you can get everything squared away in advance of receiving the list, like make sure they've approved style samples, make sure you know which materials you have that you're going to be supplied with everything you need. You've got it all ready to go so that the minute the list does come, you're not going to have to have any further delays since it can be a bit of a bottleneck. A couple other things to think about, it's very common to have around a two-week turn-around for envelope addressing jobs,. You'll see that as a common time frame from most calligraphers, but it's really up to you and it's about communicating that clearly. So when they contact you, you can let them know how you like to schedule your projects, and if they have a set deadline in mind for when they want everything back in hand, make sure you've worked backwards from there to say when you absolutely need everything in hand by as well so that everybody's on the same page. Lastly, it's totally normal to accept a deposit for about half the job in advance or whatever amount less than half or up to half that makes sense, and then you invoice the balance at the end based on what actually took place. Pricing is usually per envelope. Some calligraphers do it per line. I do it per envelope. I think that's pretty common. So you can always give an estimate but oftentimes the exact number isn't going to be known until they've truly finished the list and the project is underway, in which case you'll just take an estimate deposit and then balance what actually happened or what the true count was. Overall, just communicate as much as possible with your clients or whomever you're working with, especially your friends too, just to make sure that everybody knows where everyone's at, what everyone is expecting from each other, and if you're all hesitant about the style you're going, whether do they really like the color, I feel much better when I verify that with the client and then I proceed feeling confident. If you're working on a job and you're feeling nervous the whole way through that maybe something's off, it's so worth it to pause and make sure that everybody's happy in the end, and it's a great service to offer so hopefully all these tips will add up to you feeling confident in offering it to your clients. 13. Share Your Work!: Okay, so you've reached the end of the course and the end of your project, and now it's time to share your work with all of us here in the community. You've gotten some photos, we'd love to see them, and we also want to hear from you about what the experience was like. Do you feel like you were on a great groove and you could have written 100 more or by the end of the 20th you were ready to stop? We want to know what was the experience, what were the worst hurdles, what was the best part. So, whatever your experience was, I can't wait to see the finished work and hear about it. What I'll be looking at and what you can consider a great and complete project is a cohesive feel and look to all your envelopes. So, if you spread them all out, it would feel like, Oh, here's a nice, consistent style that if your client leaf through each one, they'd be just as excited about one or the other and that you present them professionally, that everything's placed just as you designed. So, if you centered, it's really effective centering throughout or if you did an organic playful feel, that's true throughout all of them. Also, just taking great, clean images of your work, that's going to feel like a good accomplish project ending. Overall, I just hope it was a fun and enjoyable experience. It's really calming, it's really enjoyable when I sit down in the studio to a day of envelopes. I can really relax, get into a groove and it's enjoyable to watch the writing happen. So, I hope that that was your experience and I look forward to hearing about it. So, thanks for being in this class. 14. More Creative Classes on Skillshare: