Friday’s A Guide to TPK Calligraphy Styles post discussed the TPK calligraphy styles Amy, Flourish Formal, and Kaitlin. Today, I’d like to tell you about the other two calligraphy styles in the Learn for a Latté series, Beth and Janet. I’ll also talk about Hand-Lettering for a Latté, which, while not technically a calligraphy style, is a fun hand-lettering inspiration resource!
First of all, I’d like to refresh your memory by showing you this comparison of TPK calligraphy styles again:
You’ll notice that none of the Hand-Lettering for a Latté styles are in that comparison; you can see the lettering styles included in HLfaL by clicking here. For now, let’s discuss Beth Style and Janet Style!
I mentioned in the first installment of this calligraphy styles guide that I had the good fortune — sheer dumb luck, really — to work several times over with an amazing wedding planner in Georgia (Melanie of Sweet Meadow) early in my career. Melanie has a lot of Southern class; she’s a lady through and through, and she tends to attract clients that reflect her own elegance and good manners. Her client, Beth, is no exception. Beth and her husband were hosting the reception dinner for their son’s wedding last summer; the dinner was going to be at a marina, so the theme was nautical and featured the family boat. Thus, the first thing I did was make a logo for all the invitation materials:
Once the logo was ready to go, we moved on to the fun stuff: developing a calligraphy style that would complement it. Beth wanted the event to be gender-neutral with a focus on the nautical aspect. After a few hours of playing around with a Brause Steno nib and straight holder, I came up with a style with minimal embellishments and a very slight slant. And thus, Beth Style calligraphy was born!
I used Beth Style on all of the materials for the event. All the while, I appreciated how the style embraced pointed pen calligraphy conventions without being super-feminine.
After I was finished with the items for Beth’s event, I thought, “Hmm … I’ll bet other people would like this style, too.” That musing, of course, resulted in a worksheet set.
When to Use It:
Beth Style is an excellent choice for events that don’t have a feminine feel. It’s a style that’s stately, but it retains a bit of personality with its occasional loops and the curled tails of letters like “y” and “g”. Because the calligraphy style isn’t overly flourished, you have the freedom to add embellishments without making your calligraphed item “over the top”.
Another perk of straight-forward letter formation is the ability to paint letters using Beth Style calligraphy. (The more complicated/curly a calligraphy style is, the harder it is to paint!) The Beth Style names below were painted using a small paintbrush and various watercolors.
As with any calligraphy style, you could use this on mail art, art to hang in your home, whatever. Just because I have only utilized it on event materials doesn’t mean you can’t use it for whatever your heart desires!
How to Learn It:
The Beth Style calligraphy worksheet was the third worksheet set to be released here on TPK; it made its debut a little over a year ago. While I still tout Amy Style as the best style for those who are brand-new to calligraphy, Beth Style is also an excellent beginner style. I say this for two reasons:
- Beth Style is best created with a straight pen (versus an oblique pen). This is a good thing, as beginners can find oblique pens difficult to use.
- This calligraphy style doesn’t have much of a slant, which is nice since severe slants are often hard to achieve for beginners.
If you think Beth Style is a good choice for you:
- You can download the free basic Beth Style calligraphy worksheet by clicking here.
- You can purchase the Premium Beth Style calligraphy worksheet set by clicking here.
Janet Style calligraphy was developed not for a wedding, but for holiday card envelope calligraphy! In truth, Boston-based Janet (who the style was developed for) and I had worked together on her wedding materials; but her wedding envelope calligraphy was done using Flourish Formal Style. By the time she contacted me for holiday cards, I was already on a quest to develop something more akin to traditional copperplate. Luckily, she was on board to let me use a new style on her envelopes!
I think Janet Style marked an evolution in my development as a calligrapher because previously I had only focused on developing very free-spirited calligraphy styles. The Janet, while modern, is reminiscent of copperplate. It’s a fun style to write in because it makes you feel very prim and proper to write using it; theoretically, if I were writing a letter to royalty, this is the style I would use on the envelope. The embellished Janet Style calligraphy below describes the style better than I can with typed words!
When to Use It:
Janet Style calligraphy has a lot of elegant flair to it, which of course makes it a fantastic choice for elegant events. For example, I recently used it on a fabric wedding invitation design …
And, of course, the envelope calligraphy for the invitations! (These were written using the watercolor calligraphy technique.)
This is also a fun calligraphy style to play with when making artwork intended for framing. You can see how beautifully the tropical botanicals complement the Janet Style “M” in the photo below!
While Janet Style calligraphy is awesome for events, it’s also nice to incorporate into everyday envelopes. Not that your recipient won’t be delighted with absolutely any calligraphy style, but the Janet is so sophisticated and neat! When you take creative license and add some illustrations or paint, you’ve got yourself a very eye-catching envelope! (You can find instructions on how to create the envelope below in Amazing Envelopes for a Latté.)
How to Learn It:
The Janet Style worksheet set is one of my favorite worksheet sets. I’m proud of it because it’s got some nice illustrations and beautiful, walnut ink-calligraphed titles! Aesthetic attributes aside, the content of the worksheet set benefited from user feedback of past worksheets. This feedback gave me the intellectual tools to create a useful, intuitive worksheet set.
I do have to say: all of the Learn Calligraphy for a Latté sets are formulated with beginners in mind. But — Janet Style has a little bit more of a learning curve if you’re not used to dip pen calligraphy quite yet. If you can keep that in mind as you are working through the set, you’ll be golden as a first-time beginner. However, it might be best for a lot of first-time learners to start with the Amy Style … that way, you can work your way up to using a dip pen (I prefer to create Janet Style with an oblique pen) and writing with a slant.
If you are learning Janet Style for the purpose of writing out envelope addresses (whether for an event or just mail art), you might consider pairing the Janet worksheet with Amazing Envelopes for a Latté (Janet Style). I made this add-on because Janet Style calligraphy requires a lot of measuring: ideally, you want to write out guidelines to help you keep your calligraphy on a straight line as well as make sure your lowercase and uppercase letters are all even. The add-on includes envelope spacing templates to help you in this endeavor, as well as an explanation on how to center your addresses. If you are in the mood to make a pretty envelope for someone, Amazing Envelopes also has several mail art project suggestions.
- You can download the free basic Janet Style calligraphy worksheet by clicking here.
- You can purchase the Premium Janet Style calligraphy worksheet set by clicking here.
- You can purchase Amazing Envelopes for a Latté (Janet Style) by clicking here.
Hand-Lettering for a Latté is different than all the calligraphy worksheet sets — it doesn’t focus on calligraphy at all! That said, I developed it because I really enjoy create pieces that juxtapose hand-lettering with pointed pen calligraphy. The worksheet wasn’t inspired by any one or any event in particular; but I did receive several emails before I created it requesting a blog post over hand-lettering. I knew there was no way I could cram all the basics and exemplars into a post, so I made a worksheet!
All of the styles included in the worksheet are lettering styles that I enjoy using; my favorite (and, naturally, the most time-consuming) is Flytrap, used to write “Kate” on the envelope below! I developed the style after seeing vintage lettering similar to it in Decorative Alphabets and Initials. (By the way, if you want to delve deeper into lettering, that’s a great book — all the alphabets contained within are royalty-free!)
When to Use It:
Hand-lettering can be used in so many different ways, but I’ll list a few of my favorites! First of all, you guessed it: it’s awesome for mail art. The envelope below utilizes a slightly modified Sans Serif with a shadowing technique.
If you want to make a memorable gift tag or place card, look no further than the Roman style in HLfaL!
When the urge strikes to represent your family with a coat of arms à la Game of Thrones, hand-lettering has got you covered. Roman style lettering looks great in this crest, created for New Mexico-based Rodger Mayeda and his wife, Dianne.
How to Learn It:
The Hand-Lettering for a Latté worksheet is different from the calligraphy worksheets in that I don’t intend you to strictly commit all the styles and their nuances to memory. While the worksheet does provide you with some practice space, I compiled the set with the intention of you having exemplars to reference when the urge strikes you to enrich a project with hand-lettering. I find hand-lettering to be different than calligraphy because you can take breaks to figure out what the next letter you’re going to write looks like. Conversely, when you are writing using calligraphy, it’s difficult to stop in the middle of a word, reference how to make your next letter, and seamlessly start up again.
Hand-Lettering doesn’t require a dip pen (though you can, of course, hand-letter with a dip pen), so it’s very user-friendly for anyone. It also differs from the other worksheets in that there is no free/basic version. I had toyed with making one, but I couldn’t choose which style to make an exemplar of. Roman? Flytrap? Sans Serif? In the end, I thought, eh … I’ll stick to making free exemplars of the calligraphy worksheets and consider this set an exception. Effectively, you can purchase the Premium Hand-Lettering Worksheet set by clicking here.
I would like to end this two post series by saying that you should never feel like you have to stay true to the original letter formations of any of the Learn Calligraphy for a Latté styles. Once you get the basics down, I want you to give yourself the freedom to experiment! If you come up with an idea — like adding extra flourish to your calligraphy, not connecting a letter that normally does connect to other letters, changing slant, etc., go with it! Feel free to modify anything.
Thanks again — really, thank you — for reading the TPK blog. The kindness and impress creativity of the people this blog attracts continues to amaze me, and I have no idea how I got so lucky!