View Full Version : Calligraphy books?

04-03-2007, 06:46 AM
i am great at learning threw books. They just need to explain in detail how to do it, not show pretty pictures of finished projects. I would like to get 2-3 books of the best teaching books you have ever read. Including brush calligraphy and Copperplate. I would also like a great projects book too, the more interesting projects per book , the better. i am very limited on funds , so any used books stores where i can get them is also very helpful.

I really do hope a few of you out there can help me.

Currently i have heard that these books are good, i have not purchased them yet, i will wait to see who has and likes/dislikes, if you have.

Ames Compendium of Practical & Ornamental Penmanship by Daniel T. Ames 1883 reprint 1978

The Practical Encyclopedia of Calligraphy by Jan Mehigen 2006

Simple Stroke Calligraphy by Marci Donley 2006

Step-by-Step Calligraphy: A complete guide with Creative Projects by Susan Hufton 1995

The Book of Kells Painting Book by Aidan Meehan 1999

Mastering Cooperplate Calligraphy: Step-by-Step Manual by Eleanor Winters 1989
I really thank you for your time in this matter.

Rose Queen
04-03-2007, 09:38 AM
Have you tried checking these books out of your local library, or, if they don't have them, obtaining them via inter-library loan? That way, you could see what you're getting before you take the plunge. Also, check out the used book sites, like http://www.abebooks.com/; art books like this often wind up in the used book market for very reasonable prices.

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04-03-2007, 07:01 PM
I always either "pick" threw the book, find high reviews on it, or purchase used. I don't use the library for getting books, the selection is inferior, we are small and i never thought of trying to find a book outside the state. i am just not used to using the library that way. threw out the years i have purchased about 200 books that i didn't like, but then i donate them, someone has to help the library's selection!! =)

i think now that i have to go out to a book store and peruse them myself, but i don't know enough about calligraphy to judge what is a good book or not. the current one i just found out , well apparently all the samples are not authentic, just the author's way of writing. i really want standardized before i try being artistic. I want Roman to be real roman, if at all possible.

04-06-2007, 07:23 AM
Hi, Cheryl! :wave:

I can maybe help you decide about some of these...

Aidan Meehan's "Book of Kells Painting Book" is out of print. I've got it (big shocker there :rolleyes: ) and it's not one of his better ones. If you're interested in learning about/how to do Celtic illumination, Aidan Meehan's "Illuminated Letters" is more useful (isbn13 9780500276853). For illuminated text/manuscripts in general you might want to look at "The Bible of Illuminated Letters" by Margaret Morgan (isbn13 9780764158209). If you're wanting to learn about the Book of Kells specifically, I highly highly recommend *Bernard* Meehan's "Book of Kells" (isbn13 9780500277904). Excellent study of the methods & materials used. As well as exploring some of the symbolism/ideas tangled into the artwork. It isn't a project book, though...

The Ames book is also out of print...

I 2nd the suggestion to see if the library can get the ones you want to look at in for you. Interlibrary loan is a *wonderful* thing...


04-06-2007, 09:21 AM
Wow thanks!!!
all i need now are regular calligraphy, copperplate and a project book.

thanks , you cleared up two things for me!!

One more thing: i cant find a way to look them up by ISBN , BUT i found like 4 Bernard books, which one is it exactly? the trinity college one?

04-07-2007, 07:43 PM
I think I have Aiden's painting book, will have to look, also have a couple of his other books.

The Toronto Calligraphy guild had him in to teach a 2 day and a one day workshop a few years ago, I was disappointed with him as a teacher, plus he had somehow mislaid or lost his handouts. His work is wonderful, but he's not the greatest teacher IMO.

http://mypage.direct.ca/a/ameehan/ you can order books through his web site.

Susan Hufton's book is now available at Northlight, which I have also.


04-08-2007, 07:08 AM
One more thing: i cant find a way to look them up by ISBN , BUT i found like 4 Bernard books, which one is it exactly? the trinity college one?

Yep. Here's a link (http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?inkey=62-9780500277904-0) to it at Powells.com.

I though Brian (Merry Scribe) would wander through to suggest a few, but since he hasn't shown up yet-- I know he suggests "The Calligrapher's Bible" by David Harris (isbn13 9780764156151).


04-14-2007, 10:22 PM
Sue Hufton's book is great. I also really like Calligraphy School by Gaynor Goffe - the exemplars are well done and there is good info on proper set-up, etc.


04-15-2007, 12:32 PM
Tess, i should of mentioned,I have The Calligrapher's Bible" by David Harris. It's the first book i purchased, i forgot who referred me to it. I think i had it preordered a while before i received it. I read somewhere something about the alphabets not being correct, so i want a similar book like it to compare with for my curiosity on what they meant. It is probably nothing that i would be able to notice.

When i went to the book stores i found Margret Shepard's books. I bought one Learning Calligraphy, then ordered another one from Amazon. Learning Calligraphy rocks!!! She has more; i am trying to find out about them now. I HATE not being able to look at a large selection, Margret Shepard has a large amount of books and i only found 2 at the stores and i found like 3-4 books total :/ One was a kit i had already purchased and the other was the one from David Harris. Finding a huge selection threw Amazon has made me spoiled, but i really would rather have it in my hands and look threw it that way. I am researching before i buy any more.

I didn't find any of the books on my list, and i got that from reviews of books that were in a calligraphy store catalog , i figured that would be a good way to start, it looks like that was a dead end too. As i said before the library has nothing in my town and i hate picking from their computer search lists of other library's selections. It has hardly enough information to pick out a book from. Amazon is much better. I might try stopping at a larger library in CT, but it wont happen for a while.

Rain, thanks for the 2 names, going to look them up now!!

05-02-2007, 10:28 AM
Sue Hufton's book is great. I also really like Calligraphy School by Gaynor Goffe - the exemplars are well done and there is good info on proper set-up, etc.

Me too, both are great, Calligraphy School is one of the better books IMO if you can only afford one.

Merry Scribe
05-04-2007, 12:04 PM
Sorry fokes I have been buisy and haven't had much time to pop in much. But I do have a few suggestions on calligraphy books. My favorite is of course the Calligrapher's Bible but my second book if you are just starting out in calligraphy wound be "Letterubg /calligraphy Workbook" by The Diagram Group this is an outstanding book for a beginer. It takes you from start to finish. And teaches you a few hands uncial being one of the hand. Another book I would suggest is "Calligraphy Alphabets Made Easy" by Margaret Shapherd. This one shows you about 365 different hand for right handers and left handers. Through my research the original hands were mostly done by left handers because left handers use the creative side of their brain. Sorry right handers but it is true. I am a right hander myself but I have tought myself how to look at a character and see how it is formed. in my tutorial I teach this so if you are interested go to my tutorial. In a few days I am hoping to start teaching Uncial because that seems to be everyones favorite.

By the by there is one more book I found and really haven't had time to really get into it but it looks like a good one and that is "The Art of Color Calligraphy" by Mary Noble and Adrian Waddington.

Cherlin there something about calligraphy it is a very individualized art form yes there are some hands that have very selective strokes but you can not say that the way one calligrapher does a hand is wrong and another calligraphers hand of the same hand is correct. Each calligraphy developes their own way of scribing a hand so one is not more correct than another.

It would be like saying that one painter is more correct than another when they are painting the same subject matter each has their own stlyle and perspective of the subject matter. Well the same thing applies to calligraphers.

Blessed Be


05-08-2007, 12:27 PM
Thanks Merry, just added lettering and calligraphy book to my to buy list.

i have the others listed but a few days ago i just received two more that are fantastic, one in particular. (has a long title going to paste it)

The Practical Encyclopedia of Calligraphy: Everything you need to know about materials, techniques and equipment, plus over 50 beautiful step-by-step lettering ..

it is pretty incredible. it covers just about everything i have seen so far, AND a huge selection of projects.

From what i have seen now i agree, you just cant pick one or two books, they are so different and cover so many forms of calligraphy. i have about 10 books now and while i love to see new books i think i probably have found the best their is out there.

thanks for everyones' help, really been appreciated.