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In the area where we live, there are several small workshops/factories who produce interior design decor. Much of what they do revolves around the re-emergence (after many years) of lettering in wall art. As a work-a-day graphic designer, who often incorporates lettering with my own designs, I’ve found this long-term trend fascinating, especially as it often seems to embody a (super popular) desire for the hand-made in our modern lives — or in this case, the handwritten. So, I’ve wondered how to expand my understanding of handwritten writing and calligraphy to offer what so many are seeking in their homes and lives. And this book is a wonderful solution.

It is a truly beautiful book, large, soft-bound, and filled with colorful illustrations, borders and diagrams which help bring the process of hand lettering to life, including pages set aside for lettering practice, including diagonal grids to help learning to keep a consistent slant to one’s writing. The book is divided into three main sections: Getting Started, an in-depth introduction on tools, techniques, and more; Pointed-Pen Hands, on many of the most popular calligraphic approaches; and, Timeless Calligraphy Styles, which ranges across time showing how to re-create hand lettering from eras such as the Art Nouveau, Victorian, and Gothic styles.

The author is a master, well recognized for her work in all sorts of public and popular media, yet rooted in the classic works on the subject. The book is well-written with helpful descriptions, background, and pointers throughout. It has been an insightful guide for me and I think would be a wonderful help to anyone wanting to expand their lettering background, understanding and skills.