When you think about fashion and hairstyles, you know what you like. You have a style and you tend to stick with it, maybe trying out something new from time to time.

The same is probably true for your calligraphy and hand lettering style. You know what you like and you want to focus on doing your best in a particular style. Maybe you’ll play around with different pens or some flourishing, but you have your own noteworthy way to create your art.

But what if you’re just getting started and you don’t know what style to lean toward? Here are some ideas to get you started so you can find your calligraphy style.

What’s Your Calligraphy Style?

Identifying the category, or the overall “feel” that resonates with you, is important because it’s the direction you’re going to want to go when you start learning. Some styles will take longer to master than others, and your style will likely shift as you learn more about calligraphy and hand lettering.

The best part, however, is being able to take what you know and develop your very own unique style! Here are some things to consider when you’re deciding what type of calligraphy you want to learn.

Do you like traditional calligraphy, with elegant letters and a scripted look?

@sarahscript

Do you favor more modern lettering, with your own take on the letters?

@loveleighloops

Is delicate more your style, with thin, wispy lines?

@authenticfrani

Do you like big, bold letters and deep downstrokes?

@allwritebyme

Are you casual, with similar letters not necessarily matching exactly?

@marlamakesstuff

Do you like to be edgy, with bold letters and swoops?

@themdwrites

Are you looking for a fun style, where you can invent some of your own styling?

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I mean, honestly.

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@poppyandmintdesign

Think about the look you want to achieve and write down some adjectives that describe your ideal style.

Hand Lettering & Calligraphy Strokes

Within each style you can also decide what your strokes will look like. This aligns with your style category, but there are also many variations within each style.

In the first image of this series, you’ll see monoline. Throughout the shape, the line is a consistent weight. You can also use different variations of thick and thin lines. Notice the contrast between the lines in the second through fourth strokes below.

hand lettering strokes

Of course, there are so many other things to consider when determining your own calligraphy style, including embellishments, color, letter forms, and more.

Finding Your Own Calligraphy Style

You find start finding your own style by looking at your natural handwriting to help reveal natural tendencies and letter forms. But it also helps to look outward at inspiration beyond yourself. If you didn’t know what possibilities there were for hairstyles, you may not have found your perfect fit! Same goes with calligraphy. While we walk through this process in our course Style Study Bootcamp with tips on how to make sure you’re not copying someone else’s style, some general steps include:

  • Look at your own pieces you love and see what stands out
  • Find inspiration from magazines, packaging, Pinterest, etc. and pinpoint what you’re naturally drawn to
  • Match your style vision to a lettering type that’s most closely your desired style
  • Look at your everyday handwriting and notice what makes it unique or different from someone else’s
  • Create your own unique alphabet and style guide based on your preferences

Are you new to calligraphy and hand lettering or are you looking to expand your art into a new style? To find out what type of calligraphy you should learn first (or next), take our quiz! We’ll follow up with some tips and tricks as well as links to resources you can use to get started–with everything from faux calligraphy to iPad lettering and everything in between.