Calligraphy Books in Steve’s Collection

These books in my collection are listed here in no particular order at this time. I noted several books as RECOMMENDED for their particular excellence.

The Art and Craft of Hand Lettering

Annie Cicale
192pp 2004
Softcover. Full-color photos. Instructional.
One of the best-designed calligraphy books in my collection. Favorite book. Many project ideas. Works of many artists included.
Good for: … Gaining a solid foundation in basic letterforms … Ideas for applying your work (techniques) … Gallery inspiration … Owning a lovely book. RECOMMENDED.

Foundations of Calligraphy

Sheila Waters
126pp 2006, 2008
Spiral bound, hard cover. Instructional.
Covers the finer details of the foundational alphabets in fine detail. B&W. Includes many examples from old manuscripts.
Good for: … Gaining a solid foundation in basic letterforms … See many varied forms of the basic letterforms … Learning design and layout … Gallery inspiration. RECOMMENDED.

Dancin’ Pen

Carrie Imai
46pp 2012
Paperback. Plus CD. Spiral bound. Instructional.
Teaches one lettering style. Full-color photos and examples. Video has excellent production values.
Good for: … Learning the “Imai-talic” form of casual lettering … Learning through video.

The Speedball Textbook, 22nd edition

96pp 1991
Paperback. Alphabets. Saddle stitch (staple bound). Full color gallery of finished works.
Great collection of letterforms at hand and how to form them.
Good for: … Ready-at-hand resource for many letterforms … Easy-to-carry reference book … Project advice … Pen patterns. RECOMMENDED.

The Speedball Textbook, 20th edition

96 pp 1972
Paperback. Alphabets. Saddle stitch (staple bound). Full color gallery of finished works.
Great collection of letterforms at hand and how to form them.
Good for: … Ready-at-hand resource for many letterforms … Easy-to-carry reference book … Project advice … Pen patterns. RECOMMENDED.

Brush Lettering

Marilyn Reaves & Eliza Schulte
176pp 1994
Paperback. Western brush calligraphy. B&W.
Flat and pointed brush styles covered.
Good for: … Learning alphabets with flat and pointed brush as a beginner … Gallery inspiration. RECOMMENDED.

Scribe: Artist of the Written Word

John Stevens
264pp 2013
Hardcover with dust jacket. Instructional. Full color throughout.
Absolutely excellent examples of calligraphy throughout. Many instructional gems on training to be a better calligrapher.
Good for: … Learning how a great calligrapher thinks … Gaining many insights into becoming a better calligrapher … Learning of those design and craft elements that are of particular interest to serious calligraphers …  Jaw-dropping gallery inspiration.  RECOMMENDED.

Lettering Arts

Joanne Fink, Judy Kastin, Library of Applied Design
192pp 1993
Softcover with dust jacket. Anthology. Full color throughout.
Absolutely excellent examples of calligraphy throughout.
Good for: …  Jaw-dropping gallery inspiration.  RECOMMENDED.

Finding the Flow: A Calligraphic Journey

Gina Jonas
82pp 2006
Comb bound. B&W. Instructional. Self-published.
Exploring shapes and strokes. Experimental personal journey.
Good for: … Getting out of a rut … Loosen up your style … See your work and designs in a new light … Need exercises for better pen control.

Calligraphy: Modern Masters – Art, Inspiration, and Technique

David Harris
126pp 1991
Hardcover. B&W and color. Lavishly illustrated. Biographical.
Exploring shapes and strokes. Experimental personal journey.
Good for: … Getting out of a rut … Loosen up your style … See your work and designs in a new light … Need exercises for better pen control.

Calligraphy Today

Heather Child
128pp 1988
Hardcover. Retrospective. B&W and color throughout.
Examines the lives of 20 calligraphers who specialize in abstract calligraphic works, especially to express themselves. Understand their work through their eyes.
Good for: … Gallery inspiration of expressive calligraphic works. Gain understanding how abstract artists think about their work.

International Calligraphy Today

Thames and Hudson
192pp 1982
Hardcover. Retrospective. A few pages of color work.
Many examples of calligraphy.
Good for: … Gallery inspiration.

Medieval Calligraphy: Its History and Technique

Marc Drogin
197pp 1980
Hardcover with dust jacket. Instructional and in-depth history.
Many fine alphabets. Examples from manuscripts. B&W.
Good for: … Learn medieval letterforms … Learn lettering history. RECOMMENDED.

A Passion for the Pen: The Art of Georgina Artigas

Brenda Casey Zoby
64pp 2006
Softcover. Retrospective of one very talented calligrapher. Full color.
Many pointed pen works, and her flat pen work borrows from illuminated mss.
Good for: … Inspiration from one person’s body of work, especially pointed pen enthusiasts and historical-inspired certificate makers … Respect for Georgina’s skill.

Painting For Calligraphers

Marie Angel
128pp 1984
Hardcover with dust jacket. Instructional. Full color.
Many examples of Marie’s fine, small animal paintings.
Good for: … If you want to paint miniatures, this is a terrific companion guide on how to lay in the colors. She tells you what kinds of design elements to think of for plants, animals, color, pigments, and more.

Script in the Copperplate Style

Dr. Joseph M. Vitolo
Downloaded from website at Instructional.
Every letter covered in detail. A few pages include spot color.
Good for: … Painstaking, detailed instruction for the execution of every letter in the Copperplate script … Free!

New Calligraphic Ornaments & Flourishes

Arthur Baker
78pp 1981
Paperback. Dover Publication. B&W.
Full of examples, though very few I found useful.
Good for: … When you want broad-edge pen ideas for calligraphic ornaments, such as at the top or bottom of sections, or borders.

The Italic Way to Beautiful Handwriting: Cursive and Calligraphic

Fred Eager
109+pp 1967, 1974
Paperback. Instructional. Staple bound. Workbook. B&W.
My intro to Italic calligraphy at the beginning.
Good for: … One who can learn through a systematic, workbook process … Learning the Italic style.

Learning Copperplate/Spencerian Script

Larry Menser
54pp 1980
Softcover. Instructional. Workbook. B&W.
Good for: … Compared to Script in the Copperplate Style, it’s pretty limited in its instruction.

Chancery Cursive Stroke by Stroke

Arthur Baker
63pp 1982
Softcover. Staple bound. Instructional.
Includes line drawings of the hand and pen to show his pen manipulations in the forming of each letter. One letter per page. Very nice hand.
Good for: … Learning how to make this handsome version of italic script. … Want to see good example of pen manipulation.

Arthur Baker’s Historic Calligraphic Alphabets

Arthur Baker
Softcover. Instructional. A rich array of alphabets. B&W.
Need much pen manipulations to create these.
Good for: … Having a resource of styles handy.

Creative Lettering: Techniques & Tips by Top Artists

Jenny Doh
Softcover. Instructional. Full color.
Mostly monoline pen lettering styles with a casual and funky flair.
Good for: … Those who want a variety of casual lettering styles and graphic techniques.

Calligraphy Made Easy

Margaret Shepherd
Softcover. B&W.
I estimate there are 150 styles in this book. Something for everyone. Pen nib ladders and pen angle shown for each. Novelty alphabets throughout. I would use very few for serious work.
Good for: … Having a resource of styles handy, especially quirky or novelty styles.

Calligraphy by Arthur Baker

Arthur Baker
Softcover. B&W Dover publication.
Many experimental styles.
Good for: … Having a resource of broad-edges styles to gain inspiration for rough, custom scripts.

The Art of Color Calligraphy

Mary Noble & Adrian Waddington
Hardback. Full color. Dust jacket. Techniques.
Lavishly illustrated volume with carefully photographed steps for a variety of color techniques. Chapters on alphabets, backgrounds, borders and images, gilding, and a gallery masks this a rich guide for the application of color. “A Complete Sourcebook of Color Calligraphy Techniques.”
Good for: … Interested in trying gilding … Color and lettering … Color backgrounds … Color borders.  RECOMMENDED.

The Mystic Art of Written Forms: An Illustrated Handbook For Lettering

Friedrich Neugebauer
142pp 1979
Hardback, with dust jacket. Mostly B&W; a few pages in color. Instructional. 
Many comments on letterforms and their construction with plenty of illustrations.
Good for: … Beginners … Gallery Inspiration.

The Encyclopedia of Calligraphy Techniques

Janet Mehigan & Mary Noble
Hardback. Dust jacket. Techniques. Full color.
Beautifully illustrated volume with gorgeous and inspirational artwork in the gallery. Chapters cover tools and materials, basic penmanship, alphabets, and illumination. The gallery has some of the most stunning work among all my other books.
Good for: … Learning about illuminated letters … Learn a variety of ways of gilding … Basic alphabets … Jaw-dropping gallery inspiration.  RECOMMENDED.

The Calligrapher’s Handbook

Quill Publishing
64 pp
Hardback. Dust jacket. B&W and some color.
A nice overview of the art of calligraphy. Principles. Lots of text to explain the different aspects of calligraphy.
Good for: … Like the Speedball Textbook, but more explanatory text … For newcomers.

Nature Illuminated: Flora and Fauna from the Court of the Emperor Rudolf II

Lee Hendrix and Thea Vignau-Eilberg
Hardback. Full color. Historical.
From the J. Paul Getty museum, Los Angeles. Utterly rich and fascinating array of calligraphy adorns this book’s collection of nature paintings. You’ll see unique calligraphy styles here that are found nowhere else.
Good for: … Historical interest in unusual hands.

The Psalms of David

James S. Free mantle
Hardback with dust cover. Full color. Religious/Christianity.
The artist lavishly illustrated all 150 psalms from the Bible for his wife.
Good for: … Inspiration for text and layout … Religious contemplation.

The Year of our Lord 2008 Printery House Desk Calendar

Jean Formo
[No folios]
Softcover. Comb binding. Religious/Christian. Calendar.
A colorful verse illustrates every week of this weekly calendar.
Good for: … Gallery inspiration for simple styles.

Little Marks Earn Big Bucks

Abraham Lincoln
78pp 1984
Softcover. B&W. Business.
Pointers on charging, certificates, business cards, invitations, menus, birth certificates, work agreements, posters, and tips on supplies. “A practical guide to earn extra cash using calligraphy.”
Good for: … General advice on making a wide variety of projects you’d expect to provide as a business, but little on actual pricing.

Calligraphy: Lettering and Design

Eugene Metcalf
64pp 1986
Softcover. B&W and color.
A Walter Foster Publication. Overview. Project examples. Many ways of applying calligraphy.
Good for: … A supplement to the Speedball Textbook if you are doing a wide variety of practical work like logos, postcards, posters, etc.


Timothy R. Botts
No folios. about 120pp 1986
Hardcover with dust cover and plastic cover. Full color. Religious/Christian.
Sixty calligraphic renderings of Bible passages, with notes by Botts. He endeavors to design his work to reflect the meaning or feeling behind the verses.
Good for: … Gallery inspiration … Christian contemplation.

Wind Songs

Timothy R. Botts
No folios. About 120pp 1989
Hardcover with dust cover and plastic cover. Full color. Religious/Christian.
Sixty calligraphic interpretations of hymns and spiritual songs, with notes by the artist.
Good for: … Gallery inspiration … Christian contemplation.  RECOMMENDED.

Portraits of the Word

Timothy R. Botts
152pp 2001
Hardcover. Full color. Religious/Christian.
75 calligraphic interpretations of Bible verses, with prayers and notes about the calligraphy by the artist.
Good for: … Gallery inspiration … Christian contemplation.

The Book of Psalms

Timothy R. Botts
152pp 1997
Hardcover with paper dust jacket. Full color. Religious/Christian.
All 150 psalms from the Bible are included, accommodated by select expressive calligraphy works on almost every other page.
Good for: … Gallery inspiration … Christian contemplation.


Timothy R. Botts
No folios. approx 150pp 1994
Hardcover. Full color. Religious/Christian.
75 proverbs from the Bible in expressive calligraphy on every other page.
Good for: … Gallery inspiration … Christian contemplation.

Bound for Glory

Timothy R. Botts, with reflections by Patricia Raybon
128pp 2011
Hardcover. Full color. Religious/Christian.
Here, the author applies his expressive calligraphy to the African American spirituals. The song lyrics are included, Bible verses, and brief meditation by Patricia. Although I personally don’t think it’s his best work, this carefully-designed fifth volume by Botts gives me an appreciation for his large body of work. He has found his calling and has consistently applied his skills to his aim: to glorify God and His words.
Good for: … Gallery inspiration … Christian contemplation. …

The Art of the Saint John’s Bible

Susan Sink
Softcover. Full color illustrations among the text. Religious/Christian.
Billed as “A reader’s Guide to Pentateuch, Psalms, Gospels, and Acts.” Explains the significance of the art as it relates to the text, and gives us some history of illuminated Bibles, and insights into the artists of the Saint John’s Bible.
Good for: … Viewing some of the art from the book at a lower price … For those who would meditate on Bible truths through artist inspiration (but I prefer the Bible text myself).

Illuminating the Word: The Making of The Saint John’s Bible

Christopher Calderhead
216pp 2005
Hardback. Dust cover. Full color illustrations. Religious/Christian.
Many aspects of this project are thoroughly covered here. (I marked this as “Religious/Christian” because of the content of the Saint John’s Bible, not the content of this work.)
Good for: … Learning about the people and practices behind the making of the calligraphic works of this book … Viewing the artwork created for the Bible.  RECOMMENDED.

Calligraphy Today

Heather Child
112pp 1963
Hardback. Dust cover. Retrospective. B&W.
Many examples of calligraphy from the early 1960’s.
Good for: .. Gallery inspiration, though not as good when you’ve already seen as wide a variety as I have.

Digital Calligraphy

George Thomson
Softcover. Instructional. Color illustrations.
How to use the computer to create lettering designs.
Good for: … Those who want to know how to use the computer in the creation or manipulation of calligraphic artwork.

The Universal Penman

Engraves by George Bickham
Softcover. B&W. Historical.
Lavishly illustrated examples of exquisite pointed pen calligraphy.
Good for: … Gallery inspiration, especially pointed pen … See examples of a variety of script styles … Have ornaments and flourishes on hand for reference.  RECOMMENDED.

Calligraphic Styles

Tom Gourdie
106pp 1979
Paperback. B&W. Instruction.
Standard alphabet construction. Small gallery in back. Hand-lettered throughout.
Good for: … Seeing a fine example of a book written entirely in Italic handwriting.

The Art of Calligraphy: A practical guide

Marie Angel
120pp 1970
Paperback. B&W. Instructional.
Good for: … Not sure; too general, and other books excel.

Italic Handwriting

Tom Gourdie
96pp 1955
Softcover. B&W. Instructional.
Good for: … Learning the Italic handwriting (connected letters) style of writing. If your handwriting is terrible, you’d do us all a favor by following this book!

Writing & Illuminating & Lettering

Edward Johnson
439pp 1977
Softcover. B&W. Glossy pages of photographic plates. Spot  color used sparingly. Instructional/Historical.
Written by the man who is single-handedly responsible for the revival of calligraphy in our day.
Good for: … Reading Edward’s own historic handbook of calligraphy, and reading the most authoritative work for his time.

The Hunt/Speedball Calligraphy Workbook: An Italic workbook

101pp 1978
Softcover. B&W. Instructional. Hand-lettered throughout.
Good for: … Learning to write Italic cursive handwriting in a workbook format.

Calligraphy Masterclass

Edited by Peter Halliday
127pp 1990
Hardback. Full-color illustrations.
15 international calligraphers demonstrate their work processes, following a design to the end, explaining the challenges and solutions they encountered along the way.
Good for: … Reading about the thought processes of experienced designers as they progressed through a work.

Spiritual Calligraphy

Steve Hustling
36pp 2013
Softcover. Full color. Religious/Christian.
A devotional featuring one devotional and calligraphic treatment per chapter in the Gospel of Mark, 16 total works. Features photos of calligraphy tools and notes to inform the non-calligrapher. Colophon pages describe how each work was created, including tools, media, and hand used.
Good for: … Gallery inspiration … Christian contemplation.


About Steve Husting

Steve Husting is a mild webmaster by day and fearless writer by night. He is deaf, loves making calligraphy, hiking, terrific movies, and making the Bible's message clear to his readers. His devotionals are regularly published in Daily Devotionals for the Deaf, and his latest apps are sold in the iTunes App Store. His self-published Christian and calligraphy books are on
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