Modern Calligraphy for beginners

Modern Calligraphy

Despite being the arty type in my day to day working life, I very rarely get to do anything creative these days just for myself. I'd really like that to change this year, and would love to get a few little projects on the go once I finish up on this BBC job in July. After some crafty bridesmaids duties for my besties wedding last year, I fell in love with that currently oh so popular calligraphy style font - and despite using variations of it lovingly on Photoshop and Illustrator, I'd been dying to learn how to execute this timeless craft by hand. So I bought myself and Heather a voucher for the Brahmin Lettering Co workshop and we went along to a class the day I stepped off the plane from NYC back in February.

Brahmin Lettering Co Workshop
Glasgow Calligraphy
Calligraphy Class

The Brahmin Lettering Co is a modern design and calligraphy studio based in Glasgow. Founder and owner Caitlin is self taught, saying beautiful lettering is in her blood as she grew up in the shadow of her Mothers elegant handwriting (where even a simple shopping list could put a professional calligrapher to shame!) Caitlin specialises in bespoke wedding stationary and custom prints, but has also started running her calligraphy workshops in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

I think there were around 20 people in our class, which cost £45 per person (I thiiiink, it was so long since I booked!) and the workshop lasts for 2 hours. Our Glasgow workshop was at Many Studios, based near the infamous Barralands in the east end. Caitlin has a really fun and informal style of teaching, and took her time helping every single person on a one to one basis.

Brahmin Lettering Co
Calligraphy practice
Calligraphy Workshop

Caitlin provided everyone with all the tools and materials they would need for the class, which you are then able to take away with you afterwards to continue your practice at home. The class started with an introduction to all the tools and how to use them, so once we had assembled our calligraphy pen with the chosen nib, we had a play around with the ink - just starting off with simple strokes to understand the ink flow, the position of your hand, and how much pressure to apply. We then moved onto alphabet practice sheets, working our way through each letter and by the very end of the class putting together a small sentence. Caitlin also showed us an example of how to turn normal handwriting into calligraphy (without using the pen and nib) including using a small brush and watercolour, and also how you can use the paint to create an ombre look with your writing. It was absolutely gorgeous!

Wedding Calligraphy

Caitlin was such a patient teacher, with a wicked sense of humour and a genuine passion for what she does. Modern calligraphy does tend to look 'effortless' - but don't be fooled or get frustrated if you give it a go, it's actually quite tricky and you just need to practice practice practice. Once you have mastered the basics, you're totally able to add your own personal stamp or twist into each letter or little doodled accent too! Although I haven't had the time to have a try of it again since the class, I've got all my materials at home and I'm really looking forward to giving it a go again. Caitlin also sent out a follow up email after the workshop to link us to the best places to buy supplies and download more printable worksheets, which means I'll be able to start exactly where I left off. So whether you're a bride looking for the know how to hand write your wedding invitations, or just looking for a new creative hobby in general, I completely recommend signing up for Caitlin's class. You can fall in love with her work in the meantime on instagram (click here)

What are your thoughts on traditional and modern calligraphy? Do you think you'd like to give it a go?


  1. This looks incredible...really fancy it myself!

  2. Can't believe I haven't said it yet but I'm loving your new header (although it's not that new anymore).

    The class looks like a lot of fun. It's my sister's birthday next month and I think this is something she would definitely like to do.

    Jaye x
    The Life of JP