What does your calligraphy look like

Paper direct

Are you just starting to learn calligraphy and looking for the right paper for it? Today we will show you 5 papers with which you can get into calligraphy very well. Choosing the right paper is just as important for a beautiful result as choosing the right pen, ink or Indian ink. So that you enjoy practicing and you don't throw your pen in frustration, we tell you which papers are suitable and what you can use them for particularly well.

When writing or designing by hand, in addition to your own skills, the interplay is off

  • paper
  • Writing tools (pens, nibs, balsa wood, etc.) and
  • Writing materials (ink, Indian ink, gouache, watercolor paint)

decisive for the result.
In calligraphy in particular, it often happens that one and the same pen and ink or Indian ink works great on one piece of paper. If you swap the paper for another, it can suddenly happen that the pen no longer glides smoothly over the page or the writing bleeds out. At the end there are crooked letters. Nothing looks as right as it should. In the worst case scenario, you might think you just didn't get it right.

Especially at the beginning, you have to concentrate on a lot. We take one hurdle from you today. We give you five recommendations for papers with which you can easily make your first attempts at writing and practice.
We have extensively tested all papers for you ourselves. Also in calligraphy workshops such as B. Clara Riemer, Julia from @ohjuliecalligraphie or Frauke from @ausfraukesfeder use these papers.

Regardless of whether you are self-taught in the subject of calligraphy or whether you have already attended a workshop - we have a suitable paper for all exercise purposes that you can use well.


1. Paper for copying through calligraphic fonts and alphabets

Practice, practice, practice. There's no way around it. There are many fonts and variants. None of them coincide with your own handwriting. The writing tools are also not commonplace. In the beginning, calligraphy is a bit like learning to write again.

The hand is not yet used to handle the pen, the letter shapes are unfamiliar. It initially helps to copy the letters from the templates. Very thin copy paper such as the Clairmail from Clairefontaine is suitable for this.


With a weight of just 60 g / m², it is thin enough that you can still see your original through the paper. A light table or board is not necessary for this.


So you can easily copy the letter shapes and concentrate on your posture and the pen. In the meantime, you train your eye and hand for the correct letter shapes.

    If you have to practice a lot, you need a lot of paper. The price also speaks for the thin printing paper. For around 5.00 euros you can get 500 A4 sheets. If you prefer to work in A3, e.g. B. when practicing with the tension spring, you get Clairmail 60 g / m² in a larger format.


    2. Paper for calligraphy exercises and scripture studies

    Stoic repeating letters over and over is not complete fulfillment. It is also extremely important for the development of your writing skills to write words or short passages of text regularly and from the beginning. In doing so, you not only practice the letter shapes, but at the same time how the distances between the letters (= font width, spacing) should look like.

    Tip: In addition to the warm-up and letter exercises, always plan a fixed period of time for writing words and small texts for your practice phases.In addition to the correct forms, you will also practice the correct spacing between letters and words.

    It is perfectly normal for you to sometimes focus so much on the letters and spacing that you incorporate mistakes in the text. A letter or a whole word is quickly omitted and it starts all over again.

    For these exercises we also recommend a Clairefontaine printing paper: DCP Green.
    The paper is 100% recycled and therefore particularly sustainable.
    At 100 g / m², it is significantly thicker than the Clairmail. The surface is pleasantly smooth. This is particularly useful when writing coherently, as the nib slides easily over the paper.

    The paper got along well with both the tension spring and the pointed nib. We also tried a wide variety of inks and inks.

    • Homemade walnut ink with a Nikko-G nib and a Speedball C2 cord
    • Pelikan 4001 (brilliant black) with ribbon spring Speedball C2
    • Lefranc & Bourgeois China Indian ink with nib Nikko-G
    • Writing ink from Rohrer & Klingner (Morinda) with a Nikko-G nib

    Only the red writing ink from Rohrer & Klinger in combination with the Nikko-G nib was on the verge of bleeding. The black ink from the same series, on the other hand, worked flawlessly on the DCP Green with both the pointed nib and the tension spring.


    Tip: To protect the writing sheet (here DCP Green) from ink stains, you can cover it with a slightly larger, sturdy cardboard box.


    3. Calligraphy paper for exercise guides and special documents

    Even if you have already mastered the basics of a font and have written your first texts, calligraphy always means a lot to practice.

    For example, there are countless alphabet templates on the web.
    So why not put one of your best versions in your template folder? With it you practice and expand your knowledge.

    Or maybe you would like to put a special text on paper that you would like to calligraphy.

    Our recommendation for these first special pieces of writing is our calligraphy paper.


    Our calligraphy paper is a natural white fine paper with a grammage of 110 g / m². The surface is smooth, but has a very natural character and a nice handle. The slightly broken white tone looks elegant and creates a pleasant contrast to the ink.

    You will also find extensive, sometimes very elaborately prepared calligraphy guides in digital form, such as the introduction to pointed nib calligraphy # 10day calligraphy by Clara Riemer.


    The templates for the pointed nib that you see in this article come from Clara's pen. In it, she explains step by step how to best approach the subject of pointed feather calligraphy.

    Tip: It is particularly interesting if you keep some of your first, inexperienced attempts at writing together with your successful versions. So you have a comparison and see your development. A real reward for your perseverance.

    Print out the guide twice: once on the DCP Green to copy through and for your first attempts at writing.
    You can print a second version on the calligraphy paper, which will make you feel more confident while writing. You can then file this variant in your reference work.



    4. Calligraphy on construction paper


    Similar to the calligraphy paper, you can use the Luma sketch paper. The surface is also matte, but a bit more grainy. The grammage of the paper is 90 g / m², which is why you can easily trace through the sheets or use a grid template underneath.

    The Luma sketch paper is acid-free, pH-neutral and resistant to aging.
    For just under 8.00 euros you can get 80 sheets of DIN A4 or 40 sheets of DIN A3.

    The hue is also off-white, but compared to calligraphy paper, it has a stronger tendency to be creamy. We like the warm color very much. Even after long periods of work, the eyes hardly tire. The walnut ink looks particularly beautiful on it.


    5. Tracing paper for making cards and envelopes with calligraphy

    Practice or not - at some point there will come a point where you finally want to use what you have learned to design, right?

    You can of course easily use tracing paper to trace and copy templates. It is therefore great for basic exercises. The surface is very smooth. As a result, the paper forgives almost every change of direction when writing. Virtually all writing tools and writing materials work very well on it.

    We recommend the paper for a very special use in your first layout and design projects with cards and envelopes.

    Do you know the problem that there are so many letters left at the end of the paper that should be in this line?

    The solution is relatively simple: tracing paper!
    You can use it to simulate the arrangement of your font and design elements very well.


    Write individual words or sections of lines on the tracing paper. Cut everything to size and place the strips of paper on the card or envelope. This way you practice your text and also get a feeling for whether the area is sufficient for your font size. You can see how font variations harmonize with each other.

    This is the perfect template for the implementation! This is very helpful, especially if you haven't got that much practice.

    Finally, our recommendation as to which cards and envelopes you can use well.

    Tip: Do not use a format that is too small or too narrow. It is much more difficult to adapt the font size and proportions to a small format than to a larger or more flat one.
    We are therefore happy to recommend the popular DIN B6 greeting card format

    Folded cards B6 doubled across
    (available in cream white, vanilla and gray)


    Envelopes in DIN B6 format
    (e.g. the Blush series or the envelopes with the colored silk lining)

    If you want to design inner lining yourself, we have a nice DIY project for Envelope Liner for you here in the blog. You can also find a suitable template for download there.


    When selecting the papers that are suitable for getting started with calligraphy, we have deliberately omitted some papers here. It was important to us to provide you with high-quality, functional papers. We have presented you with five papers where both quality and price match what you are using them for.
    Of course, we have a lot of other papers in our range, including very high-quality fine papers such as genuine handmade paper. They are of course also great for calligraphy.

    However, some of them require a more experienced handling of the pen, otherwise it is no fun to work with. Others have a higher price tag compared to the papers presented today. But you shouldn't sit shyly in front of your paper and constantly fear that you might blunder on it. That would be, if it happened, not only a shame about the paper, but above all shame about your motivation to use the material in the first place.

    We have dedicated our own post to the topic of calligraphy paper for advanced writers. Either way, the following applies: Get on your papers, get started and practice, practice, practice!

    IMPORTANT: Every nib reacts differently with every paper and ink. Your own skills with the appropriate writing tool also play an important role. Handling nibs requires some practice in and of itself.
    Some inks flow off the pen faster than others.
    With some nibs, even a little pressure is enough to get a lot of ink onto the paper.

    Due to the multitude of factors from ink, pen and your own skills, it is still possible that the writing fluid may bleed undesirably on one of the papers mentioned.

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