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Mastering Calligraphy: Making Your Own Font

This post is part of a series called Mastering Calligraphy.
Mastering Calligraphy: How to Write in Gothic Script
Mastering Calligraphy: An Easy Introduction

In this last "Mastering Calligraphy" lesson, we're going to apply all that we've learned to create our own font. No more following the rules! It's all up to you! I'll walk you through the basic questions you need to answer before you start and then show you how to make an alphabet that feels cohesive.

Looking for a ready-made calligraphy font with a fancy alphabet to use in your projects? Look no further than Montheylin. It's ready to download and is included in your Envato Elements subscription:

Montheylin Modern Calligraphy Script Font Alphabet Download

Find even more awesome modern calligraphy script fonts from Envato Elements after the tutorial.

Are you ready to dive into this calligraphy writing tutorial? Let's get started by looking at the necessary supplies.

What You'll Need

How to do Calligraphy Letters Tutorial supplies

Before learning how to write calligraphy letters for your own alphabet, make sure you have these tools:

  • Pencil (optional)
  • Eraser (optional)
  • Black ink (preferably Speedball or Higgins waterproof ink)
  • Practice sheet
  • Pen holder (the black part of the pen above)
  • Flat tipped pen nib
  • Pointed pen nib

1. Choose Your Pen Tip

Before we even begin putting pen to paper, you need to decide what pen type you'd like to use.

Step 1

Test out a phrase using the pointed pen nib.

How to do Calligraphy Letters Tutorial make your own font-pointy tipped pen

Step 2

Test out a phrase using the flat-tipped pen nib.

How to do Calligraphy Letters Tutorial make your own font-flat tipped pen

Personally, I'm a big fan of flat-tipped nib lettering because it feels so much more stylish. So that's what I'm going to use from here on out. It's up to you which one you'd like to continue with from here on out.

2. Choose Serif or Sans Serif

Okay, now you have your pen tip, and you're ready to go! We have two more decisions to make before we start making the alphabet. One big dividing factor in fonts is serif vs. sans serif. Serifs are the fancy additions at the tops and bottoms of letters. For example, Times New Roman is a serif font, while Comic Sans is a sans serif font.

Choose whether you're going to make a serif or sans serif font.

How to do Calligraphy Letters Tutorial make your own font-serif or sans serif

3. Choose Connecting or Not Connecting

All right, we have the pen tip and the type of font decided. The last thing to decide is whether your letters will connect, as they do in cursive letters, or not connect.

Choose whether you're going to make connecting or not connecting letters.

How to do Calligraphy Letters Tutorial make your own font-connecting

4. Start on the Lowercase Alphabet

Now it's time to dive into making your own lowercase alphabet. I'm going to show you how determining what two letters will look like helps you write out the rest. I would recommend using a pencil first to figure out how you want your letters to look.

Step 1

Make your own lowercase letter "e". I've made several below to give you an idea of what sorts of variations there are to choose from.

How to do Calligraphy Letters Tutorial make your own font-lowercase e

Step 2

The lowercase letter "e" is very similar to the letters "c", "o", "g", and "d". Thus, once you have your "e" decided, you can make these other letters because the way you drew the curve of the "e" will match how you draw other curves in the alphabet. Whether the connecting line in the "e" is drawn as a straight line or a curve will determine the straight lines of the rest of the letters. Below I've put a few examples showing what letters like the "e" will look like.

How to Write Calligraphy Letters Tutorial make your own font-lowercase letters like e

Step 3

Make your own lowercase letter "h". I've made several below to give you an idea of what sorts of variations there are to choose from.

How to Write Calligraphy Letters Tutorial make your own font-lowercase h

Step 4

The lowercase letter "h" is very similar to the letters "b", "k", "i", and "t". Thus once you have your "h" decided, you can make these other letters because the way you drew the straight line of the "h" will be similar to how you draw the straight line of the others. 

Plus, the curve or linear nature of the hump of the "h" will determine how you make the humps and curves of other letters. Below I've put a few examples showing what letters like the "h" will look like.

How to Write Calligraphy Letters Tutorial make your own font-lowercase letters like h

5. Write Out the Full Lowercase Alphabet

Now that you have quite a few of the letters down, it's time to write out your whole lowercase alphabet! I've put two examples below. The first is more curlicue and the second much more like printed text you'd find in an old book.

How to Write Calligraphy Letters Tutorial make your own font-lowercase alphabet 1
How to Write Calligraphy Letters Tutorial make your own font-lowercaes alphabet 2

6. How Fancy?

We're moving on to creating uppercase letters for your alphabet now, and the big decision you have to make is how fancy do you want it to be?

Calligraphy Writing Tutorial make your own font-fancy uppercase letters

Do you want it to be simple? Perhaps just larger versions of the lowercase letters?

Calligraphy Writing Tutorial make your own font-fancier uppercase letters

Or will it have some extra flourishes?

Calligraphy Writing Tutorial make your own font-fanciest uppercase letters

Or will it be full of curlicues?

7. Start on the Uppercase Letters

Step 1

Now that you know how fancy your letters will be, it's time to start! Just like with the lowercase letters, we're going to begin with the letter "C" because how you make that letter determines the shape of many more. Below I've put a few examples of ways to make a unique capital letter "C".

Calligraphy Writing Tutorial make your own font-uppercase c

Step 2

The uppercase letter "C" is very similar to the letters "A", "G", "E", and "O". Thus, once you have your "C" decided, you can make these other letters because the way you drew the curve of the "C" will match how you draw other curves in the alphabet. Then the ends of your "C" will determine the ends of your other letters. Below I've put a few examples showing what letters like the "C" will look like.

Calligraphy Writing Tutorial make your own font-uppercase letters like c

Step 3

Make your own uppercase letter "L". I've made several below to give you an idea of what sorts of variations there are to choose from.

Calligraphy Writing Tutorial make your own font-uppercase l

Step 4

The uppercase letter "L" is very similar to the letters "D", "F", "H", and "P". Thus, once you have your "L" decided, you can make these other letters because the way you drew the straight line of the "L" (such as the angle) will be similar to how you draw the straight line of the others. Plus, the ends of the "L" will determine how you make the ends of other letters. Below I've put a few examples showing what letters like the "L" will look like.

Calligraphy Writing Tutorial make your own font-uppercase letters like l

8. Write Out the Full Uppercase Alphabet

Now that you have quite a few of the letters down, it's time to write out your whole uppercase alphabet! I've put two examples below. The first is more curlicue, and the second much more like printed text you'd find in an old book.

Calligraphy Fancy Alphabet Tutorial make your own font-uppercase alphabet 2
Calligraphy Fancy Alphabet Tutorial make your own font-uppercase alphabet 1

9. Putting It All Together

Now that you have a whole alphabet of your own creation, let's put it all together! Write out something meaningful to you, perhaps a poem or an inspirational quote. I wrote mine using two different fonts, just for fun.

Calligraphy Fancy Alphabet Tutorial make your own font-putting it together

Pretty Calligraphy Fonts From Envato Elements

Creating your own pointed pen or straight calligraphy fonts is a bit of a process. If you need a pretty calligraphy font download for your project instead, check out these options from Envato Elements.

1. Tsuchiya Modern Calligraphy Font (OTF, TTF)

Tsuchiya Calligraphy Fancy Alphabet Font Download

Calligraphy as an art form has roots dating back to the Han dynasty, and Tsuchiya updates it for 2021. The stylish glyphs include uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and symbols. It's a cool download if you're looking for pretty calligraphy fonts.

2. Tessla: Lovely Script Font (OTF, TTF)

Tessla Calligraphy Script Font Alphabet Download

Tessla is here for fans of calligraphy fonts with flair. Its modern style can be seen in numbers, symbols, and of course uppercase and lowercase letters. There are also some wonderful ligatures in this download. If you like pretty calligraphy fonts with a fancy alphabet, use Tessla.

3. Badegan Calligraphy (OTF, TTF, WOFF, WOFF2, EOT, SVG)

Badegan Modern Calligraphy Script Font Alphabet Download

Here's another pretty calligraphy font that blends traditional and modern design. Badegan features a handmade style that looks great for a variety of uses. This modern calligraphy script font alphabet features more than 370 glyphs, including alternative characters. It also has web font files for online use.

4. Montheylin Calligraphy Font (OTF, TTF, WOFF)

Montheylin Modern Calligraphy Script Font Alphabet Download

Montheylin is a featured modern calligraphy script font alphabet for a reason. It features beautiful lines in each letter and stunning ligatures. The elegant lettering is available in TrueType and web font types. It's also one of the many versatile pretty calligraphy fonts on Envato Elements. Use Montheylin's handwritten style for wedding invitations, book covers, flyers, and more.

5. Designest Calligraphy (OTF, TTF, WOFF, WOFF2)

Designest Pointed Pen Calligraphy Font Download

If you like the look of straight calligraphy fonts, you'll love Designest. It's a professionally designed calligraphy font download that's accessible. The script features alternate glyphs and support for most Western languages. This pointed pen calligraphy font with a fancy alphabet is nice for branding, social media, and other projects.

You've Just Made Your Own Font!

Learning how to do calligraphy letters was much easier than you thought, right? Creating your own calligraphy script font alphabet means that you can match your lettering to the content.

If you're writing a wedding invitation, you'll want a fancy, curlicue alphabet. If you're writing invitations to a monster theme party, then an angular, serif font is the best choice. Once you create one alphabet of your own, it's easy to go through the steps again and make another!

Looking to find more resources about calligraphy fonts? Look no further than these articles from Envato Tuts+.

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