Book Review: Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe

It's time for a book review! In this series, I'll be reviewing books that I hope will be helpful to you on your lettering and calligraphy journey. All opinions are mine, and I hope that you love these books as much as I do! I will only review books that I have found to be useful, helpful and informative.

If you've taken one of my Intro to Modern Calligraphy workshops, you know that I always recommend Molly Suber Thorpe's Modern Calligraphy book. I love this book because it was the first calligraphy and lettering book that I purchased. I think it will always be my favorite!

Let's jump in!

Thorpe, Molly Suber. Modern Calligraphy. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2011. Print.

Who is the author?

Molly Suber Thorpe is the designer and calligrapher of Plurabelle Studios. Find her on Instagram here and on Facebook here, and her website is here. I have followed her now for years and honestly I have no idea where I first heard of her, but I love her work! I'm a true fangirl.

How is the book organized?

She has two great introduction sections that really walk you through the ins and outs of calligraphy. The first section, Supplies and Set Up, has lots of tips for getting started. The second section, Learning to Write: Letters, then Words, then Sentences really gives the beginning calligrapher a good foundation of how to structure your practicing. There is also a great expanded alphabet section for different forms of letters to try. This section is very helpful! I have bookmarked these pages in my own copy and reference them often!

The next two sections, Intermediate Tools & Techniques, and Pushing the Envelope: Postal Art, begin to teach some more advanced techniques such as writing with light inks on darker papers and unique layouts.

The rest of the book is divided into projects. She goes through many wedding themed calligraphy projects such as placecards, envelope liners, and save the date cards. Each project is photographed well, has easy to follow directions and is graded easy, intermediate or advanced. I really like how she gives a budget for each project so you know how expensive it might be! (Because if you're like me, you sometimes jump into something without realizing you'll need $50 worth of art supplies. This helps to keep that from happening!)

Look at that watercolor lettering! With a nib!

My favorite part!

There is an incredible resource section! I also like the sections on beginning to write with different formats (ie. circular, non-linear.) These exercises are great when you are beginning to push yourself with other types of lettering and styles.

What I'd change

I would have liked to see more "regular" projects rather than so many wedding projects. Some of the projects can be tweaked so that they can be used for everyday, but most are wedding themed. But this is a GREAT set of projects if you are getting married soon, know someone getting married soon or would like to start making wedding projects for others as a side business.

Recommended - Nib rating - 4 out of 4 nibs!

You can order your own copy from Paper & Ink Arts here! Or on Amazon here!

Happiest reading!

Full Disclosure: The above Amazon link is an affiliate link. This means that at no cost to you, upon purchase, I will receive a small percentage of the purchase price. Of course if you can buy local, do so, but if you plan to purchase from Amazon, please consider using my link. Thank you!

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