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Modern Calligraphy: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Script Calligraphy Paperback – September 24, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 152 customer reviews

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  • Modern Calligraphy: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Script Calligraphy
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Molly has reinvented the art of calligraphy! There is nothing more exciting than receiving an envelope in the mail that was calligraphed by Molly. Her playful and charming script makes such a statement and her envelopes instantly become treasures (not trash)!” ―Cheree Berry, Cheree Berry Paper and former Kate Spade designer

“Molly Suber Thorpe is a marvel: her work is creative, fun, full of energy, and marked with personal style.” ―Ashley Maddox of Where I'd Stay blog

About the Author

MOLLY SUBER THORPE is the award-winning designer and calligrapher behind Plurabelle Calligraphy. She is known for her original, contemporary lettering styles and unique, nontraditional letterforms, combined with modern layouts and bold color palettes. Molly's calligraphy has appeared in such publications as Martha Stewart Weddings, Country Living Magazine, C Magazine, The Guardian, and I Heart Stationery, as well as on hundreds of blogs and in dozens of weddings. Molly lives in Los Angeles.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 8/25/13 edition (September 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250016320
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250016324
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.5 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Royal on January 29, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have done calligraphy for friends in the past, and I also do a lot of hand lettering and chalkboard art and was looking for a book to help me improve. I dug through a lot of reviews before finding this book, and I can't be more pleased with it!

In skill, I am somewhere in the Intermediate area, but this has beginning tips as well as pointers on working with watercolor and gouache. Molly Suber Thorpe gives helpful pointers on nibs, nib holders, ink, and paper(which is worse - having paper that your nib skips on, or the sound of your nib skipping on paper?) for those just starting out, and then segues into writing - "letters first, then words, then sentences." There are some wonderful reference pages with upper- and lower-case letters of the alphabet, followed by a page with numbers and punctuation. Some reviewers complained that the pages are ordered by letter of the alphabet, but I prefer to look at individual letters rather than alphabets. (A note on the printing - the background of the letter pages has a grid pattern, and in my book the page with Ss and Ts has the background grid visible over the letters. I found it slightly distracting but not detrimental; I'll add a photo showing what I mean.)

The book explains spacing, working with rulers or with a light box to achieve a straight line, as well as digitizing one's calligraphy. Writing with watercolor and gouache are covered(as well as ink and watercolor washes in general) in the Intermediate Technique section. The section on addressing envelopes also has a handy etiquette chart!

The final section of the book is devoted to DIY calligraphy projects, and while I may not directly do these projects, the information is sure to be useful for similar projects in the future.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Loved this book. Offers great samples on lettering for every occasion. Has a few great tips and samples to guide you. I used it to help guide me with lettering for napkin bands for a client. I wrote 150 name cards on fabric and felt accomplished thanks to having this book handy.
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This book is fantastic. The best BEST parts about this book are (1) the pages and pages of letters in 6+ styles, so you can get inspired and creative with your lettering, (2) realistic and useful DIY projects, (3) pictures of gorgeous calligraphy that are both traditional and new.

While it is not a true step by step beginner calligraphy book (there are not numbered directional arrows for each letter), seeing all of the different permutations of how letters can be drawn has given me great ideas and has taught me more than what a traditional calligraphy book has (e.g., Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy).

A great buy!!
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I was extremely disappointed in this book. I expected more from it after looking through it on the "Look inside me" tab on Amazon. In the book, the letters are gorgeous and the author has created such beautiful letter art, but the organization was not what you expect in a calligraphy book. All of the letters for all of the designs were together. I.e. All of the "A"s were listed for every font, then all of the "B"s... then all of the "a"s were listed, all of the "b"s listed...etc. It's just a block of the same letter in different lettering, which for someone who likes consistency in a font while writing, I don't like to have to flip pages to find different letters of the same lettering type.

The beginning of the book was helpful for learning more about pens and ink, but I didn't find the content of the book helpful other than as an idea source. The author has beautiful work, but it's not easily replicated and the book does not do much to assist you in replicating her work. It is not a good book for those who need a lot of instruction in lettering. Also, the designs in this book are meant for a very very very fine tipped pen. Even fine pre-loaded pens are not ideal for the lettering in this book as all of the letters are very delicate.
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I pre-ordered the book thinking it will provide me with basic step-by-step stroke of the writers calligraphy style. However, I was surprised when it was not really about that but a number of techniques to help guide you to get started. As well, many DIY projects for those who are master of the craft. I was a little disappointed.
However, after reading her book, I found lots of golden nuggets and feel in love with the DIY aspect of the book rather than modern calligraphy itself. Overall, I would still recommend this book, but not necessarily for calligraphy, but for those who love DIY projects as much as I do.
It's great to see her break down the DIY projects based on cost, time, materials, etc. It gave me a real understanding what I can tackle, learn, and take on another day. Still a fun book to have for those raining days when you're having too much time on your hand and not enough sunshine to get you out the door.
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Format: Paperback
Modern Calligraphy provides a fresh perspective on this ancient art. Molly Suber Thorpe has sourced fascinating new innovations in script, and in this book, she breaks down the process into simple steps. I am fascinated by calligraphy, and this book does justice to this exquisite art. I bought this book to make thank you cards, but there are plenty of instructions for making wedding invitations and other sorts of stationary. Whether you are a beginner or experienced, this book offers many inspiring templates, resources, and DIY projects.

For those interested in the history of calligraphy, I have to encourage you to check out Sacred Calligraphy of the East!
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