When I’m working on any sort of calligraphy project, I always keep a calligraphy exemplar at hand. Exemplars are good to have around just in case you forget how to make a particular letter in the calligraphy style that you’re using! In today’s tutorial, I’ll teach you how to make a calligraphy exemplar with the help of a printable shortcut.
Why Make a Calligraphy Exemplar?
In my experience, even if you came up with your own calligraphy style, it’s easy to forget what certain letters look like. If you make an exemplar, then you will always have a reference. Keep the calligraphy exemplar close as you undertake any calligraphy project, and you’ll know exactly what each letter should look like!
Of course, making a calligraphy exemplar also provides you with good practice — and it can challenge you to come up with a new alphabet!
How to Make a Calligraphy Exemplar
When I first started planning out this blog post, I intended to give detailed instructions on how to draw out an exemplar from scratch. This involves a ruler, a pencil, and — my personal deterrent — a ton of math. After writing out a draft paragraph with measurements, I realized that it would be much easier for both of us if I just made a printable for you in Photoshop! So, before you do anything, print out the free Calligraphy Exemplar Template.
Next, put the template under a piece of 32# laserjet paper. Place both pieces of paper on a light box, and you’ll notice that the template shines right up through the top sheet of paper!
Now, start to write the uppercase letters of your exemplar on the top line. Try to center the letters over the dots on the exemplar.
Now, continue to write all the lowercase letters of the alphabet. You may want to write special characters after “z”, such as “&” and “?”.
Upon writing the last special character, you’ll be rewarded with a complete calligraphy exemplar that will serve you well for years to come!
Things to Note
First of all, you don’t necessarily need a light box to tackle this tutorial. Check out the Do You Need a Light Box? post for alternative suggestions! Second, you can use this tutorial for practically any calligraphy or hand-lettering style. I’d use the exemplar template with slant lines for calligraphy, and the exemplar template without slant lines for hand-lettering.
If you’re stumped on which calligraphy style to use to make your calligraphy exemplar, you’re always welcome to use one of the TPK Learn Calligraphy worksheet styles. If you’d like to come up with your own style, try using the Creative Calligraphy Challenge worksheet. You may write a letter that you love, and then you can base an entire calligraphy style around that one letter!
It’s also worth mentioning that you can write directly on one of the calligraphy exemplar templates if you want to. It won’t be as aesthetically pleasing, but that doesn’t affect your exemplar’s functionality!
I hope that this post helps you to make your own calligraphy exemplar! If you have a light box, the project should only take a few minutes. Remember, you can find the free printable exemplar templates by clicking here. If you have any questions or observations, I always welcome comments! I also love to see the results of your work on Instagram; you can tag me at @thepostmansknock. Thanks so much for reading TPK, and have a fantastic weekend!