Modern calligraphy solutions for modern businesses
There are many "calligraphy" pens available to buy, but you want to look out for flexible tipped pens rather than fixed width pens. Whether you choose the large tip or a small tip is just a matter of personal preference and the look of end result.
Large tip pens
KARIN BRUSHMARKER PRO
Very soft brush tip markers filled with water based ink.The tips are made of durable nylon fibres that give them their flexible tip. They have beautiful saturated colours as well as metallics and neons.
ABT TOMBOW DUAL BRUSH PEN
ABT Dual Brush Pens have two tips - a versatile and flexible soft brush-shaped tip for fine, medium and bold strokes and a fine tip for more precise lines, borders, graphics and stencils.
Available in 107 water-based colours plus bender.
ECOLINE BRUSH PEN
Ecoline Brush Pens are filled with Ecoline Liquid Watercolour Ink and are currently available in 57 colours plus one colourless blender. The inks are transparent dye based and not lightfast.
CRAYOLA BROADLINE WASHABLE MARKERS
These Crayola pens are not technically brush pens, but with a bit of practice they can be used to emulate the look of a large brush pen. The ink is washable and the upside is that they are cheap as chips!
Small tip pens
TOMBOW FUDENOSUKE SMALL TIP BRUSH PENS
The Fudenosuke brush pen is one of the best on the market. There are two tips to choose from - soft and hard. The hard tip is slightly easier for beginners to use and the soft one gives better contrast between the thick and thin strokes. But get one of each and make your own mind up.
PENTEL BRUSH TOUCH PEN
These pens are my personal favourites for small brush pens. They have a soft flexible fibre tip which gives good thick and thin calligraphy strokes. They come in a range of great colours in non permanent water-based ink.
ZEBRA FUDE BRUSH
Another great pen. These come in either thick, medium and extra fine nibs. Similar to the Pentel Touch above, but the thick is much thicker.
ZEBRA BRUSH PEN
Zebra also do coloured small tip brush pens. These are just great for experimenting with colour lettering. Acid free archival quality ink that won't fade.
brushes & paints
Calligraphy doesn't always have to done with a pen. Modern calligraphy also uses paintbrushes. This is my personal favourite way of writing as it offers you so many options regarding colours, textures, widths of stroke and so on.
Listed below are some of my choices for brushes and also which paints are fun to use.
KUM Memory Point Round are superb paintbrushes. They hold their point well and come in a good range of sizes. For fine work or small calligraphy use a 0 or 1 size. I also like to have a 2 and a 4 for larger calligraphy. In fact their points are so neat that you can use larger brushes for even quite detailed work.
Winsor & Newton
Winsor & Newton Cotman 111 Round. Again these brushes are great workhorse paintbrushes for calligraphy. Also holding their point well. The Synthetic bristles are good for acrylics, gouache and watercolour. I like to use a 2 or possibly a 1 and again also like a larger brush size 4 or 6.
Finetec paints are a metallic/glitter watercolour paint that can be used either with a brush or dip pen depending on the consistency when mixed with water. They have many vibrant shades and lots of amazing gold tones that look stunning on black paper.
KOH-I-NOOR Anilinky watercolours
These budget friendly watercolours are super pigmented and even though they are limited in the number of colours in the tin, they are really good for mixing and creating new colours. Perfect for brush calligraphy.
ECOLINE LIQUID WATERCOLOUR
This premixed watercolour is super transparent and comes in some amazing shades. Very liquid and good for brush calligraphy. Easily blended to make new shades.
When doing calligraphy with brush pens you need the smoothest paper you can find. Too rough a texture and the paper will fray the tip of your pen and make it look a bit fuzzy. The paper can be plain, with lines, squares or even dots, the choice is yours. Listed below are some of my go to paper pads which are relatively inexpensive and have a really smooth texture.
If you are printing my workbook or the guidelines to use them to write directly onto, choose a printer paper that is at least 120gsm. HP do nice heavy papers, but are by no means the only ones available. Test your pens on the paper to see if they bleed - if they do walk away!
Rhodia paper is one of the best. The pads come in plenty of 'A' sizes and have either plain, dots, squares or lines. They are super smooth and great for practice.
MARKER or LAYOUT PAPER
Marker paper or Layout paper is thin enough to see through to what's underneath, but isn't as translucent as tracing paper or velum. Plus it is designed to be used with marker pens so it shouldn't bleed through.
Tracing paper is perfect for practicing your basic strokes, words and layouts. Translucent, smooth and bleed proof its a really useful tool. You don't have to buy Goldline as there are many manufacturers of tracing paper all of which are just fine.
There are many brands of printer paper that you can use. Just make sure that it is at least 130gsm and is labeled coated or smooth and you will be just fine.