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* What is calligraphy?
* Getting started with calligraphy
* A guide to calligraphy pens
* Other calligraphy equipment
* Calligraphy brands

What is calligraphy?

The term calligraphy comes from the Greek words that mean 'beautiful writing', and relates to the visual expression of words. It's a fun, creative hobby that provides a great sense of achievement. Plus, you don't have to be an artist to study calligraphy - making it a craft that everyone can enjoy!

Your beautiful writing can be applied to a wide range of personal projects, such as greetings cards, business cards, posters, invitations, gift tags, certificates, place cards and awards.

Here at the Online Pen Company we stock a wide range of calligraphy pens, nibs and gift sets, from specialist brands.

Getting started with calligraphy

You don't need much equipment to get you started on the art of beautiful writing. Although you can learn with any calligraphy pen, many people prefer to start with a calligraphy marker pen or a fountain pen with a calligraphy nib. Using a more familiar shaped pen is a good way to learn the letter shapes and build confidence. Then you can move on to using a balanced calligraphy fountain or dip pen.

A perfect way to start is to buy a fountain pen set with a variety of nibs, so you can have a go at a few different styles. Take a look at our guide to calligraphy pens below to find the best set for you.

A guide to calligraphy pens

What makes a pen a calligraphy pen is the broad edged nib. This type of nib allows you to achieve the thick and thin strokes that you see in calligraphy lettering. We stock a range of nib sizes and generally the wider the straight edge the bigger your lettering will be.

This nib guide from Manuscript helps to show the difference in nibs. There are many, many more nib sizes and styles, but these are some of the most common.

Fountain Pen Nib Guide

Fountain Pens
You can turn many normal fountain pens into calligraphy pens by changing the nib to a calligraphy nib, which means you get a wide choice of styles. We stock fountain pens with a choice of calligraphy nib sizes from Lamy and Manuscript, and a set from Sheaffer. They can be used with either ink cartridges or an ink converter.

Manuscript Classic Fountain Pen
Manuscript Classic fountain pen. From the specialist calligraphy brand, this pen comes with a medium nib and you can buy separate nib sections in many other sizes. There are also a range of sets featuring this pen.
- Click here to buy the Classic pen and nib sections
- Click here to buy Classic pen sets

Lamy Calligraphy Pens
Lamy fountain pens. We can fit a calligraphy nib to any of the silver nibbed Lamy pens. They're available in sizes 1.1mm, 1.5mm and 1.9mm. Just choose from the 3 calligraphy nibs available in the drop-down list before adding it to your cart.
- Click here to buy Lamy fountain pens

Sheaffer Calligraphy Set
Sheaffer fountain pen set. This set includes 3 nib sizes, many ink colours and fountain pens with ink level viewers.
- Click here to buy the Sheaffer calligraphy set

Calligraphy fountain pens
Calligraphy fountain pens are designed specifically to provide the perfect weight balance in the hand. They are usually longer than fountain pens and have a tapered end. They can be used with standard fountain pen ink cartridges or used with a converter for bottled ink. Calligraphy pens are designed for technical use so are only made by specialist brands. We stock Manuscript, Rotring and Lamy, each with a choice of different nib sizes. We also have a set by Sheaffer.

Manuscript Scribe Fountain Pen
Manuscript Scribe. Featuring the balanced calligraphy handle shape, and a ‘European style’ nib with rounded edges. This pen is available in 7 nib widths, and as a set. We also have a left handed version of the set.
- Click here to buy Scribe pens
- Click here to buy Scribe pen sets

Rotring Artpen
Rotring Artpen. From the experts in precision, we have the Artpen in 4 calligraphy nib widths. We also offer Artpen calligraphy sets.
- Click here to buy Artpens
- Click here to buy Artpen sets

Lamy Joy Pen
Lamy Joy. Although Lamy offer calligraphy nibs on most pens, they have also developed the Lamy Joy which is designed solely for calligraphy. It has the traditional tapered end for perfect balance. There is also a Lamy Joy Set in an attractive tin gift box.
- Click here to buy Lamy Joy Pens
- Click here to buy Lamy Joy sets

Sheaffer Calligraphy Set
Sheaffer calligraphy pen set. This set includes 3 pens, an ink converter, ink cartridges and an instruction booklet.
- Click here to buy this Sheaffer calligraphy set

Calligraphy dip pens
These are the traditional calligraphy pens that consist of a long tapered pen holder and a nib that slots in. Professional calligraphers will have dip pen handles and many nibs and change the nib according to the style of writing or drawing they are doing. Dip pens are used with bottled ink. We offer professional dip pen sets and decorative dip pen gift sets, both by Manuscript.

Dip pen sets
Professional dip pen sets. For the more experienced calligrapher, these dip pen sets provide the main nibs required for different calligraphy styles.
- Click here to buy dip pen sets

Gift sets
Gift sets. Many people like to give a more traditional style calligraphy gift and dip pens are perfect for this. We have dip pens with interesting finishes in sets with other accessories.
- Click here to buy gift sets

Calligraphy Marker Pens
These are a great way to get started with calligraphy. They are also excellent for larger, bolder writing, for example on posters. We have calligraphy markers from Manuscript in black and in metallic colours.

Calligraphy marker pens
- Click here to buy calligraphy marker pens

Calligraphy gifts
If you are buying calligraphy equipment as a gift it is often best to buy a set because they offer value for money, include a range of items and are impressively packaged. We offer many practical sets from those designed for younger beginners to fully comprehensive masterclass sets. We also offer decorative sets which include quill pens, wax seals and polished wooden presentation boxes.

Calligraphy sets
- Click here to buy practical calligraphy sets

Calligraphy gift sets
- Click here to buy decorative calligraphy sets

Other calligraphy equipment

Calligraphy Manual
We offer a calligraphy manual to get you started. This easy to follow booklet of instructions is printed in four languages (English, French, German and Spanish) and provides a complete guide to the basic calligraphy styles.

Calligraphy sets
- Click here to buy the calligraphy manual

Calligraphy paper
You don't need to spend a lot on paper when you're beginning calligraphy. You just need to make sure your paper is smooth to ensure the sharpest letters possible. We offer good quality Crown Mill paper and find the computer line range is very smooth as it is designed for printers. When you want to use your calligraphy for writing letters and cards, choose the Crown Mill Pure Cotton set which is incredibly smooth and recommended by professional calligraphers.

Crown Mill Computer Line paper
- Click here to buy Crown Mill Computer Line

Crown Mill Pure Cotton Set
- Click here to buy Crown Mill Pure Cotton Sets

Calligraphy Inks
Most beginner pens take cartridges, and when you move on to using a dip pen you can use bottled ink. You don’t need to buy specialist ink, fountain pen ink is suitable. We find black and brown inks are the most popular for calligraphy, but you can choose from over 60 colours in our Diamine range!

Diamine Ink
- Click here to buy Diamine Inks and Cartridges

Calligraphy brands

Manuscript Calligraphy
This UK based calligraphy company have a history going back as far as the 1800s! They supply a quality and affordable range of calligraphy nibs, pens and sets.

Lamy Calligraphy
Better known for their mainstream pens, Lamy also make calligraphy nibs. We can fit most of their standard nib fountain pens with a calligraphy nib in 1.1mm, 1.5mm or 1.9mm. Just choose the nib you require from the list before adding the pen to your cart.

Rotring Calligraphy
The technical writing experts Rotring have a range of Artpens with specialist nibs for calligraphy, sketching and lettering. You can buy the whole pens, the nib section, or a calligraphy set.

Sheaffer Calligraphy
Sheaffer calligraphy sets include a comprehensive range of pens and nibs. They are well packaged to make an impressive gift.

If you have any further queries about calligraphy then please give us a call on 01299 826744. Or you can email us at

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The Online Pen Company Pilotfish Trading Ltd
Unit 5 Barracks Road
Sandy Lane Industrial Estate Stourport-on-Severn
DY13 9QB
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