Using Fonts as Inspiration for a Custom Calligraphy Style | Skillshare Projects

Kathy Leonard

Calligraphy, Invitation Design, Watercolor



Using Fonts as Inspiration for a Custom Calligraphy Style

Using Fonts as Inspiration for a Custom Calligraphy Style

1. Class Description:

Over the past few months, I've had a few clients ask me to create a custom calligraphy "font" to use on their envelopes. Because I mainly work with two different styles of calligraphy, I had to get creative and figure out the best way to meet the clients' expectations!

If you've mastered the basics of calligraphy and are moving into creating your own style, this is the class for you. In this class, we will find several fonts that we love, examine them to figure out what we love about them, and incorporate those pieces into our own unique style. Will you loop your lowercase Ts, or stick with the straight line? Will your descenders be long and loopy, or short and to-the-point? At the end of the class, you'll be able to take what you've learned and apply it to client work. Your clients will be amazed when you tell them you can create a custom style for them!

It's important to know that we are not going to copy any fonts in this class; we're using fonts as inspiration! So, with that said, let's get started! :)

2. Supplies Needed (will include links to a few supplies)

  • Calligraphy pen holder
  • Calligraphy nib
  • Ink
  • Good practice paper
  • Different color pen
  • Envelope
  • Computer

3. Class Project: Develop a new style and apply it to an envelope

For your project you will create your own custom calligraphy style using fonts as your inspiration!

To do this you will do the following:

  • Choose a phrase that has ascenders, descenders, and capital letters and calligraph it in your normal style.
  • Collect 5 fonts that you admire and type your phrase using each font - these don't necessarily have to be calligraphy-style fonts!
  • Circle what you like in each of your fonts. Is it the spacing, the letter height, the flourishes, the letter forms, etc. that you like?
  • Practice these things until you feel comfortable with them
  • Mix and match what you like in each font and use those pieces to write out your phrase.
  • Do this again and again until you develop a style you love!

Your final piece will be your phrase written twice (or more!): once in your original style, and then again with your new style. You will also apply your new style to a calligraphed envelope.

I would love to see all of the items listed above, whether it's a screenshot on the computer or a photo of your paper!

Here are a few great resources for fonts:

Share Your Project

Share the progress of your new style as you go! I would love to see everything, from your font choices to the final written phrase and envelope. This includes your practice sheets! The more you share, the more we can all see your process from beginning to end. Your classmates and I can give better feedback if you have shared more of your progress!

4. Video Lesson Outline

Click here to view my outline

5. Introduction Video

Click here to view my introduction video

6. Final Published Class

In progress...


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