• A Guide to TPK Calligraphy Styles: Amy, Flourish Formal, Kaitlin

    Ever wondered the story behind the TPK Learn for a Latté calligraphy styles? More importantly, have you found yourself in the, “Which one is best for me?” dilemma? This blog post will clear up your questions! This is the first part of a two-part post, and in it, I’ll cover Amy Style, Flourish Formal Style,…

    A Guide to TPK Calligraphy Styles: Amy, Flourish Formal, Kaitlin | The Postman's Knock

    First-time visitors to this website often email me asking for a side-by-side comparison of the printable Learn Calligraphy for a Latté styles. Amazingly, I never have created an official comparison … until today. This post should benefit past, present, and future worksheet users; and help you to decide which calligraphy styles fit you — and your project — best. I was initially going to include all the LCfaL styles in this post, but when it began to turn into a veritable novel, I decided to split it into two parts. So, look for the second half (Janet, Beth, Hand-Lettering) in the next blog post!

    Coffee Calligraphed Envelope | The Postman's Knock{This address was written using Kaitlin Style calligraphy.}

    Before I dive into to comparing the calligraphy styles, I want to briefly explain how the Learn Calligraphy for a Latté worksheets came about. Basically, when I, myself, was learning calligraphy a couple of years ago, I felt lost. I tried purchasing books, but they all were sort of archaic and boring (with the notable exception of Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe). All the blogs I looked at were geared towards people who were more skilled and knowledgeable than me, which was frustrating and kind of discouraging. I mean, like, I really had no idea how to even tell nibs apart … who knew the names were etched in the base?! When someone would say, “I’m using my Brause EF66 nib,” I was going, “Bruce who?” (If you’re in this boat right now, The Lowdown on Calligraphy Nibs post will get you up to speed.)

    Nikko G Nibs | The Postman's Knock

    So, how did I learn? It was a lot of trial-and-error. Basically, I would practice emulating styles that I saw on Instagram, Etsy, and Pinterest with so-so success. I also asked Rodger Mayeda — who is modest about his calligraphy skills, but very talented — a lot of basic questions, which he consistently answered with patience and grace. In 2013, things really picked up: I did calligraphy for a couple of celebrity weddings, collaborated several times over with a Georgia wedding planner on client materials, and did logo and paper goods commissions for clients who found me through Google. That was around the time I started blogging about calligraphy, and I found that there were many creative people who wanted to learn, but were facing the same frustrations that I had experienced.

    Persian-Inspired Gold Foil Invitation Suite | The Postman's Knock{One of my first big calligraphy and design projects, created for a gorgeous Georgia couple. I wish you could see it in person; gold foil is beautiful.}

    In 2014, I decided to release my first printable Learn Calligraphy for a Latté worksheet: Flourish Formal Style. In the worksheet, I basically created exactly what I wish would have been available to me as a learner, both in terms of information and practice opportunity. The worksheet was many months in the making, but I wanted to offer it for a low price because I thought all people in all countries should have an accessible, high-quality alternative to expensive calligraphy workshops. Now, there are five different LCfaL styles to choose from plus Hand-Lettering for a Latté, which focuses on print styles. Here are the calligraphy styles for visual comparison:

    A Guide to TPK Calligraphy Styles: Amy, Flourish Formal, Kaitlin | The Postman's Knock

    Now that you’ve seen them all laid out, I’d like to offer an explanation of three of the styles: Amy, Kaitlin, and Flourish Formal. I will touch on Janet, Beth, and Hand-Lettering on Tuesday. The explanations include the back story of each style’s development, which I don’t think I’ve ever really touched on in the TPK blog before! I’ll also give suggestions as far as what context to use each style in, and links to both the free and premium downloadable worksheet sets.

    Amy Style Calligraphy

    An early version of Amy Style calligraphy was created for Philadelphia bride Amy’s wedding envelope and escort card calligraphy. Amy wanted calligraphy that was elegant, but approachable … something that wasn’t too serious, but also not “cutesy”. “Amy Style calligraphy” ended up being perfect because it genuinely reflected the vibe of Amy’s wedding. When it was first created, Amy Style calligraphy was more bouncy with lots of loops, as shown in the photo below from Amy’s wedding (photo credit: Shannon Collins Photography).

    Amy Style Calligraphy Escort Cards | The Postman's Knock

    As my preferences and technique evolved, I decided to make the style a bit more neat and uniform, as shown in this screenshot from the Amy Style Video Course. The letters are still nice and round, but the style is neater.

    Amy Style Calligraphy Video Course | The Postman's Knock

    When to Use It:

    Amy Style calligraphy is good in a wedding context, especially if you want to set the tone for an event that is formal but not all-conventions-strictly-observed fancy. The style is nice because it’s tidy and legible, but still has a lot of personality. I also just like it in a casual context; for example, it adds character to the festive envelope below. The loopy calligraphy contrasts well with the sans serif lettering of the address as well as the Mexican-inspired design motif.

    Mexican-Motif Envelope Art | The Postman's Knock

    You can also use it for “whenever” envelopes.

    Amy Style Calligraphy Envelope | The Postman's Knock

    Of course, don’t feel like you have to keep yourself relegated to envelopes for any of the calligraphy styles explained in this post. You can use them to make artwork, miscellaneous paper goods such as greeting cards or notes, labels for baked goods … whatever! My last goal is to limit you; let your creativity go wild!

    How to Learn It:

    Amy Style calligraphy is unique as far as LCfaL sets go. First of all, it is currently the only set that you can supplement with a video course. I aspire to change this soon by adding more video courses (next up: Kaitlin Style) — but for now, that’s the way the cookie crumbles. It also doesn’t have any slant to speak of and can easily be written with a straight pen (vs. an oblique pen, which is what I like to use for slanted styles, e.g. Kaitlin, Janet). This makes it a great intro style for any beginner, right-handed or left-handed; it’s always a relief when you don’t have to worry about slant.

    Introducing the Amy Style Learn Calligraphy for a Latté Set + Video Course | The Postman's Knock

    • You can download the free basic Amy Style calligraphy worksheet by clicking here.
    • You can purchase the Premium Amy Style calligraphy worksheet set by clicking here.
    • You can enroll in the Amy Style video course by clicking here; make sure you have a copy of the calligraphy worksheet set first, though!

    Kaitlin Style Calligraphy

    This style was also initially developed for a bride; her name is — you guessed it — Kaitlin. In 2012, Kaitlin got in touch with me and requested a fresh, spontaneous, artistic-but-not-too-messy style. (After her wedding, Kaitlin went on to found The School of Styling, which beautifully reflects that aesthetic!) Kaitlin was one of my first invitation suite clients, and she had such commendable patience with me as I fumbled my way through figuring out how to get her invitations foil stamped.

    Foil-Stamped Wedding Invitations

    Illustrated Wedding Map | The Postman's Knock

    After Kaitlin’s material were finished, several other brides wanted this calligraphy style for their materials.

    Handwritten Wedding Invitations | The Postman's Knock

    I was always glad to comply because the Kaitlin is a fun, low-maintenance style. You don’t have to worry about drawing guidelines, which is a huge plus. It takes a lot of pressure off of you as the calligrapher because you don’t have to worry about crooked words.

    Watercolor Wedding Map | The Postman's Knock

    When to Use It:

    I use this calligraphy style all. the. time. I love that you don’t have to draw guidelines to make sure all your letters are uniform (in fact, the point is to not be uniform!). It’s great for weddings with an artistic, slightly bohemian, and modern feel. That said, this calligraphy style can be used for anything and everything; I love using it for mail art …

    Watercolor Calligraphy Tutorial | The Postman's Knock

    Brush pen calligraphy …Writing Calligraphy with Brush Pens | The Postman's Knock

    And writing titles for blog post photos!

    DIY Envelope Stencil for Perfect Spacing | The Postman's Knock

    How to Learn It:

    The Kaitlin Style worksheet set is the #1 seller on TPK (granted, the Amy Style set has only been around for a month … so, who knows, maybe it will catch up!).  I believe that’s because the whimsical, carefree look of the style has a wide appeal; and I think other people are just as averse to drawing guidelines as I am.

    The New Kaitlin Style Calligraphy Worksheet is Here! | The Postman's Knock

    While I am currently in the beginning stages of making a video course for this style, for now there are two resources for learning it:

    • You can download the free basic Kaitlin Style calligraphy worksheet by clicking here.
    • You can purchase the Premium Kaitlin Style calligraphy worksheet set by clicking here.

    There’s also a variations worksheet that you can purchase once you have mastered the Kaitlin in order to switch things up!

    Flourish Formal Calligraphy

    Flourish Formal Style was the very first style of calligraphy I developed back in 2012. It wasn’t created for anyone in particular; I just wanted a sort of flourishy style so I could stick some mock-up envelopes on Etsy. When I was just getting the hang of modern calligraphy, I deferred to this style a lot because it made me feel proud to create something with so much flair. When I look at the photo below, I realize that I don’t use Flourish Formal enough … it has a sort of sweet gracefulness. It’s a round style with lots of loops and flourishes, which are fun to write whether you’re a beginner or an experienced calligrapher.

    Flourish Formal Style Envelope with White Ink | The Postman's Knock

    As I mentioned earlier in this blog post, the Flourish Formal premium worksheet set was the first I ever created. Because it’s the original, it doesn’t have some of the features that other sets have; for example, extensive word practice, ample tracing opportunity, and, on an aesthetic note, hand-calligraphed titles. That said, I still see a lot of users — excuse my colloquialism, but — killin’ it on Instagram with Flourish Formal style. And why not? It’s a fun style to write in!

    Flourish Formal Style Calligraphy Worksheet | The Postman's Knock
    {As is the case with all LCfaL styles, Flourish Formal can be written using “cheating calligraphy“!}

    When to Use It:

    This style is pretty cool in that it’s versatile. You can make it playful by adding decorative elements such as arrows for casual mail art, or you can keep it serious and use it for formal events like dinner parties or weddings. As I was going through photos to show you, I realized that I have mostly used this style for weddings; the purple envelopes below were my very first commissioned calligraphy job!

    Flourish Formal Style Envelopes | The Postman's Knock

    This place card was created for a very elegant Atlanta event. I used Finetec gold, which I think is just drool-worthy.

    Flourish Formal Style Placecard Written with Gold Ink

    And this was the first wedding map I ever did. Notice how well the hand-lettered text complements the Flourish Formal calligraphy!

    Black and White Illustrated Wedding Map | The Postman's Knock

    I have also used Flourish Formal style to write out calligraphy for framing/display; for example, on Mother’s Day 2013, my brothers and I gifted my mom an 11″x14″ framed Flourish Formal piece featuring the classic line from Robert Munsch’s book Love You Forever. I wish I had a photo to show you! But you get the idea: you can make nice pieces like that to give to your loved ones.

    How to Learn It:

    Yesterday, Hernán and I purchased two vintage Schwin bikes (there’s a point to this, I promise). Quite literally, they don’t have all the bells and whistles of new bicycles, but they are effective and thoroughly delightful. That is the attitude to approach this worksheet with! Remember, it was the first worksheet ever created — I didn’t have the benefit of the great user feedback that I have now when I was making it.

    Flourish Formal Style Calligraphy Worksheet | The Postman's Knock

    Though the 17-page premium Flourish Formal worksheet set doesn’t include the comparatively fancy features of more recent worksheets, it still contains the good ol’ learning tools you need: a stroke reference sheet, letter formation practice, and stroke practice/an explanation of strokes.

    • You can download the free basic Flourish Formal Style calligraphy worksheet, pictured above, by clicking here.
    • You can purchase the Premium Flourish Formal calligraphy worksheet set by clicking here.

    Other Helpful Information About The Worksheets

    If ever you are confused about the Learn Calligraphy for a Latté worksheets, the answer to your question may lie in the FAQ. However, I’d like to touch on some common queries here as well!

    Selling Calligraphy

    I don’t mind one bit if you learn a style and offer calligraphy services (e.g. envelope addressing) on Etsy or your eCommerce site with what you learned. You can also use the LCfaL styles to make materials for your business, like logos or business cards. Essentially, you can do whatever you want with the skills you picked up from the worksheet(s) you used, but please do not re-distribute the worksheets themselves.

    Introducing the Amy Style Learn Calligraphy for a Latté Set + Video Course | The Postman's Knock

    Sharing Worksheets

    I know that some people think I’m out of my mind for selling these worksheets for so cheap, and I have the emails to prove it. To be honest, though, part of the reason I sell the LCfaL worksheets for $5.00 is the fact that I think that price helps to deter under-the-table sharing. Now, whether I am correct in that conjecture or not, I don’t know — but I do notice that people will buy a couple of copies of the same downloadable worksheet with a little note like, “This is for my coworker,” or “I bought another copy to send to my sister!” Those notes make me feel so good — because what they are really saying is, “I respect the time you put into making this.”

    Introducing the Amy Style Learn Calligraphy for a Latté Set + Video Course | The Postman's Knock


    I try to be clear in the product descriptions of each worksheet set that the LCfaL series are all downloadable files intended for printing at home. Once every couple of weeks or so, though, I receive an email asking whether a worksheet order has been shipped yet. I know it would be nice to be able to buy a tangible, printed version of the worksheets, but there are a few reasons I don’t offer them:

    • I love that anyone, anywhere can get instant gratification from purchasing the worksheets. Every morning I wake up, and I see photos on Instagram that were posted while I was sleeping — photos of learners in Australia, Germany, Japan, and a whole slew of other countries practicing with worksheets they have printed out. That is the coolest feeling, to see the worksheets everywhere!
    • Selling a digital product keeps the cost down. If I were facilitating the printing, I would need to charge at least $25.00 per worksheet to compensate for professional printing, postage, and my time. Which brings me to the next perk of selling PDFs …
    • I really like the fact that if you own a PDF copy of the worksheet, you can print it off as many times as you need to. I know that learning is not a one-size-fits-all thing. If you are having trouble with a certain section, you can print and practice that particular section an unlimited amount of times until you’ve got it “down”. My fear with selling physical copies is you simply wouldn’t have enough opportunity for practice.

    Introducing the Amy Style Learn Calligraphy for a Latté Set + Video Course | The Postman's Knock

    Finally, as far as the paper to print these babies on, I use Georgia Pacific 20# from my local Kroger store and find that to be sufficient. That said, there are a lot of 20# (<– standard weight) papers that make ink bleed like crazy. If you’re having that problem, try printing on 32# laserjet paper. That should do the trick!

    I’d like to wrap up this post by saying that I’m really happy you’re letting me help you learn calligraphy. The TPK blog is kind of like a perpetual show-and-tell for me; I have a blast maintaining this website, and it consistently connects me to the coolest people. Thanks for being here, and of course always feel free to contribute comments, questions, or suggestions!


    Lindsey's Signature | The Postman's Knock