Pocket Guide to Calligraphy

  • Description
  • Contents
  • About the Authors

Pocket Guide to Calligraphy by Joy Daniels & Nicola Dunn is a pocket-sized, easy-to-use book that is perfect if you are looking to get started learning calligraphy.

Pocket Guide to Calligraphy will help you get to know the basics and practice techniques for traditional calligraphy in four classic alphabets - Foundational Hand, Italic Hand, Uncial Hand and one form of Gothic Hand. These four alphabets provide great basic skills that will help you take your first steps in the world of lettering. The book also has great advice on which pens and papers are available, pen angles, pen nibs, key terminology, stroke directions, letter spacing and more to achieve classic letter design all in a portable book.

64 page paperback

155 x 215 mm


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  • Introduction
  • Brief history of calligraphy
  • Getting started
    • Paper
    • Pen angle
    • Nib widths
    • Example guide lines
    • Spacing
  • Foundational Hand
    • Foundational Hand - Key strokes and shapes
    • Foundational - Capitals
    • Foundational hand - Lowercase
  • Italic Hand
    • Italic Hand - Key strokes and shapes
    • Italic Hand - Capitals
    • Italic Hand - Lowercase
  • Uncial Hand
    • Uncial Hand - Key strokes and shapes
    • Uncial Hand - Capitals
    • Uncial Hand - Lowercase
  • A Gothic Hand
    • A Gothic Hand - Key strokes and shapes
    • A Gothic Hand - Capitals
    • A Gothic Hand - Lowercase
  • Shopping list
  • About the authors
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About Joy Daniels

Joy’s first introduction to calligraphy was during a weekend course at the Bluecoat Chambers in Liverpool, UK in 1979. She thought it was the best thing ever, and has been completely hooked on pen lettering ever since!

Initially, Joy was mostly self-taught with a bit of help here and there. Her interest in lettering got her a job as a poster writer at a silkscreen printers in Northampton, UK during the 1980s, when price tickets, posters and banners were hand written or hand painted. Joy then officially became self-employed, painting and writing letters for several companies. At the same time she studied part time, gaining a qualification in Signwork and as an Adult Education tutor at City & Guilds in London. As computers steadily took over the production of posters, Joy continued to use her talents commercially on a smaller scale, creating personalized hand-lettered designs for official documents and events, along with other calligraphic commissions.

Today, in between commercial and commissioned work, Joy likes to further her study of calligraphy by attending other tutors’ workshops whenever possible, and travelling around the country teaching hand lettering for regional calligraphy groups. She also runs a weekly class in Northampton, UK (now in its fourteenth year), combining calligraphy with hand-made cards, little books, boxes and special keepsakes to encourage students to create beautiful things with their lettering. It gives Joy great pleasure to bring out creativity in others, especially people who think they’re not artistic’, and she always encourages her fellow calligraphers to share ideas and to give and receive encouragement. Joy enjoys learning and teaching and always will!

About Nicola Dunn

The alphabet always fascinated Nicola as a child, but it was 20 years before she realized it was called calligraphy, and that it was something you could study. While she worked full time during the day at design studios for magazines, Nicola pursued her fascination for lettering at night and attended evening classes for over 10 years. When she moved away and had to change jobs, Nicola jumped at the opportunity to take an NVQ in Training and Development, which enabled her to teach her passion. One calligraphy class quickly became four, and she soon she was teaching calligraphy at beginner and intermediate levels, and at the craft courses within the Design Core unit for City and Guild.

As she taught, Nicola also joined and began attending workshops run by The Society of Scribes & Illuminators (SSI) in London; she also set up a regional calligraphy group in Northamptonshire, UK, where eminent calligraphers were regularly invited to share their expertise and range of styles. Inspired by the work of the talented calligraphers around her, Nicola was encouraged to enrol in the three-year Advance Training Scheme run by the SSI. After years of encouraging others to explore their creativity, this was a chance for her to examine her own and, with excellent critique along the way, perfect her lettering style.

Since moving back to London 12 years ago, Nicola now uses her skills commercially from creating personalized designs and stationery for large-scale events to bespoke hand-lettered keepsakes for individual clients. She is also a member of a regional calligraphy group based in London, where she regularly organizes workshops and courses with a range of tutors. For Nicola, the learning process for calligraphy continues and she expects will never stop the joy of picking up a pen and doodling for fun, over the many years of working on her craft, is still undiminished.


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Pocket Guide to Calligraphy Product Code: 9781782218159
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