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Modern Calligraphy: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Script Calligraphy Paperback – September 24, 2013
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“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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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. Projects range from calligraphed wrapping paper to stationery to digitizing one's calligraphy in order to create a custom stamp.
Molly Suber Thorpe's expertise shows in her work, and her writing style is casual and easy to understand. I feel like I have improved already - it has given me the confidence to attempt calligraphing in Greek - and Modern Calligraphy is both a great instructional tool and a helpful resource. I couldn't be more pleased.
I wanted to learn how to write more modern calligraphy that you see in some of the popular wedding fonts like "bombshell" and "jacques and jilles" without it being a huge history of typography and serifs, etc. This book, with its example pictures and overall layout is very aesthetically pleasing, and it definitely has pages and pages of fonts to practice too that are all very beautiful and subtly different. It also is fairly short, so you can actually read through the whole thing without too much investment of time, which helps since you'll be excited to try out all her different scripts. I would highly recommend this book if you are looking to dabble/learn just enough to write very professional, modern "wedding" fonts with minimal extraneous info.
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!!