Calligraphy: Tools and Techniques for the Contemporary Practitioner by Gaye Godfrey-Nicholls – REVIEW

books, calligraphy

I am so glad my brother literally pushed this copy into my hands. I was keeping my eyes peeled for calligraphy books, but I hadn’t realised that this is really the same book as Mastering Calligraphy: The Complete Guide to Hand Lettering*, or I would claw-grip it myself. Anyway, I got this one on super bargain at my local Gramedia store, so thank you whoever placed this gem there, they’re in really good hands… or will be anyway. I’m still learning.

In essence, this book teaches you how to calligraph in 14 different hands, should you wish to learn them all. You can check out the contents on With every hand, you start with the stroke exercises, then the majuscules (and/or minuscules) in letter groups. Bridging chapters are spotlight on calligraphy practitioners around the world, which I find very inspiring. At the very beginning of the book and the hands chapter, there are the historical introductions to calligraphy. After that, the parts about design and digital calligraphy give you ideas about how to put you calligraphy to practice.

This is the book that defines the classification of calligraphy for me. As I keep saying, I didn’t know what broad-edge calligraphy was. The explanation on tools and how to do good practice in the first chapter make this book perfect for anyone wishing to learn calligraphy for the first time. The author has made clear and practical instructions on every stroke and the amount of practice you need. After learning several hands, it is recommended to review how to analyse a script. All in all, this book is a great starting point in learning calligraphy, and I will share my journey learning with this book in future posts!


*just with a different cover – mine is published in Asia by Page One Singapore.


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