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Comparison of the three most famous calligraphy books + Action!

by Judith Joosten 16 Jan 2017

It can help to use a book if you want to learn calligraphy or boost your skills. A book gives you a nice structure. I also use a lot of examples and practice material that I find on Pinterest, but I notice that the structure of a book takes me steps forward much faster. And you don't have to constantly search for a page of practice material.

I have chosen to offer (only) three very different books about hand lettering and calligraphy in the shop. These books still give me inspiration and have significantly improved my technique. The choice to only sell these three books in my shop was not an easy one, because there are simply too many interesting and beautifully designed books. In addition, I often find it difficult to buy a book online, because you can't just browse. I have uploaded some photos of the inside on the product pages. Do you still feel like you can leaf through the book? With this comparison I explain what benefit you get from which book.

My top 3 consists of 'Modern Calligraphy, 'Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy' & 'Letters'.
What's in a name: Actually, the titles of the books largely explain the content. A quick summary: Do you want to learn the basics and some additional techniques of modern calligraphy? (And isn't English a barrier for you?) Then the book 'Modern Calligraphy' will help you many steps further. This book is my personal favorite. If you want to learn more about Copperplate handwriting. Then go for 'Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy'. Do you want to learn modern calligraphy? Do you prefer to read a Dutch book? And do you like beautiful pictures? Then I recommend the book 'Letters' by Marjet. I will explain it further below.

Comparison Calligraphy books​

1. Modern Calligraphy by Mollie Thorpe
I bought this book mainly because of the 14 pages of different styles of handwriting. In the book 'Modern Calligraphy', writer Molly Thorpe shows 12 different writing styles of modern calligraphy. She has worked out two letters per page, of which 12 are capital letters and 12 are regular letters. Molly explains all the basics of AZ very well (such as attitude, etc.). I think the great thing is that it doesn't stop there. There is also a lot of room for additional skills. So the book goes beyond just the basics. 'Intermediates' will also find this a nice book.

In addition to theory, the book also offers inspiration and 20 pages of DIY projects. Molliy Thorpe is truly a pro and callsigraphs beautiful things! What's nice, Molly has also thought about details. As an example: DIY's about addressing envelopes also include a nice table with the various suitable personal 'titles'.


  • Detailed information about posture and basic principles.
  • Half a page per letter with different calligraphy styles.
  • Photos with good tips and explanations about the use of well-known and fine materials
  • Suitable for intermediates


  • in English
  • The letter examples per letter (and not per style).

Ps, on my Pinterest board 'Letters' I share this pin in which you will find an overview of the contents of the book.

2. Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy by Eleanor Winters
This was the first book I bought. According to all websites this was the best book to learn Copperplate calligraphy. That is simply the case. It is not without reason that the book is one of the best-selling calligraphy books. There are good 'drills' in the book so that you first learn the shapes, then slowly learn the easiest letters and then move on to the more difficult letters. After the history and basic materials, Eleanor moves very quickly to the actual writing. This makes you miss the principles of posture and how to properly hold a pen. These are essential elements if you want to become a pro.


  • Nice 'drills' to first practice the shapes of the letters. You will learn Copperplate handwriting step-by-step.
  • You will learn Copperplate handwriting very specifically


  • The book moves very quickly to the 'writing', which makes you miss the important principles of your attitude.
  • The book is completely in black and white.
  • Written in English

3. Letters from Market Slingerland
So nice, a Dutch book about calligraphy! It's great that calligraphy is becoming so popular in the Netherlands. Marjet's book is beautifully designed and it also explains step by step how to do calligraphy.


  • The book is mainly written for beginners.
  • A beautifully designed book!


  • Intermediates do not get much new information from the book


What did you think of the comparison? I'd love to hear your comments :). Or do you know another book? Hopefully this gave you a good idea of ​​the books!

Offers Calligraphy books!
Dutch books are subject to a fixed book price, so I cannot give you a discount on that. But this does not apply to the other two books. These books are now temporarily discounted for €21. Happy shopping!


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