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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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Top customer reviews
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 enjoyed the beginning portion of the book focusing on materials recommended as when one just starts out with calligraphy it can be daunting trying to figure out which pens, nibs, and paper to purchase. I feel the beginning portion was a little rushed and didn't really go in depth as to various nibs to get and their differences or what ink is best suitable for diff papers. I basically had to use other sources on the internet (blogs) to find more in depth explainations and recommendations. I feel this book just lightly summarizes and breezes through techniques and materials - basically beginner things.
There is a significant portion of the book dedicated to different scripts of upper and lower case letters of the alphabet. I was very interested in this area as a I wanted to practice different scripts to see which I would prefer. When utilizing these pages I found it very difficult to maintain the same script throughout an entire word since you had to constantly turn to a different page for each letter. When I would practice writing a word, as the author recommends, I found that my word would have a mod podge of different script letters. I just didn't like the look. It would have been easier to have an entire page dedicated to an entire alphabet in one script or font. I am going to have to get this book bound in a binding comb to easily turn pages and have them stay open.
The last part of the book, and a significant portion to add, is DIY and utilizing unique techniques. I appreciate the inclusion of this but didn't know it would be explained this in depth. I feel a lot were very advanced for a beginner and I mainly wanted to focus on what I needed to do modern calligraphy, how to do it and and drills to practice getting better.
Ultimately this is a good book to have but I don't recommend this as your first reference book. It is more for someone already into the groove of calligraphy and are already practicing their drills and their upward/downward technique and just want inspiration in various scripts and DIY.