Want to create beautiful lettering for labels, cards, art, and more? Want your handwriting to look just like a font? Consider getting into calligraphy! We've taken the time to scour the internet and find the 10 best calligraphy kits. We're reviewing based on ink selection, nib choice, and nib holder quality. To a slightly lesser extent, we're reviewing on aesthetics as well.
The number one calligraphy kit on our list is the Mont Marte calligraphy set. It's a 33 piece calligraphy set that comes with everything a novice or expert calligrapher could want. To see what else we loved and how we chose it, read on to see our full top 10 list and our helpful buying guide!
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Table of Contents
Calligraphy kits are widely produced and it's not unknown for some manufactuers to cut corners on certain parts of the kit. So we're going to tell you everything you need to look for to make a smart calligraphy kit purchase. You'll be an expert before the ink dries.
Calligraphy pens each have a specific purpose, so it’s important to decide whether you’ll be making signs, writing letters, or creating colorful art. It can be tricky to write a thoughtful letter with just a brush pen, for example. Familiarize yourself with the uses of each pen.
Typically, fountain pens are used for letter writing, signing, and everyday use. They are also among the easiest to use. A fountain pen is perfect for beginners because you can control how much ink you use at once.
If you prefer fine lines and elegant curves, then a dip or fountain pen might be the pen for you. The downside to dip pens is that typically the nibs are cheaply made so it's not a matter of if but when you'll need to replace them.
Dip pens are one of the oldest pen types, second only to quill pens. They can take a variety of nibs to suit any preference or style. If you're a newbie it's good practice to purchase a kit with plenty of spare nibs because chances are you'll break a couple learning how to adjust your writing slant and pressure.
Brush pens offer the convenience of a pen with the soft tip of a brush. Brush pens teach pressure control, which is handy for any hand-created art like painting or drawing. Those of us who have issues with shading gradients would do well to practice with a brush pen.
A brush pen is also ideal for calligraphers with more picturesque visions in mind. Note that due to the bleed-through that brush pens are known for, it's a good idea to purchase more resilient calligraphy paper. A good choice is Chinese Xuan paper, which is readily available online and from calligraphy retailers.
Oblique dip pens are also more expensive. You can buy a plastic oblique pen, but you’ll want to buy a more durable wooden or metal pen as your skill level and interest progresses.
It is possible to write calligraphy with an everyday ball point or fountain pen. However, these pens aren’t designed to reflect the curves and flares of expert calligraphy. You may still use them to learn the basics and to find out if calligraphy is a worthwhile hobby for you.
There's no standard for how much ink comes in a kit, and the kind varies by pen type as well. A fountain pen will come with either cartridges or bottles of ink, whereas most modern brush pens will be non-reusable when empty.
Furthermore, calligraphy ink serves a variety of specialized purposes. For example, color ink is generally thicker, takes longer to dry, and is made with art in mind.
You’ll want to check reviews or test the ink to see how it looks once it’s dried. There are inks that have a glossy finish whereas others might have more muted shades. This will often vary by manufacturer. Also check if the dried ink is waterproof or not (if that's important for your application).
A well-made calligraphy set will have pens, nibs, ink, and a pen holder to help preserve the tip and prevent ink spills. Beginner kits will sometimes come with a calligraphy technique book as a bonus. A key item to look for is additional pen nibs.
Nibs are often inexpensive and their durability reflects this. There is no certain amount of time a nib will last as it varies widely, based on use, writing pressure, and manufacturer. Just remember to look for spare nibs in your kit to save you time in the long run.
Cheaper calligraphy kit cases will be made with plastic or cardboard. Not only will these cases break more easily, but they also don’t have the same timeless aesthetic of their wood counterparts.
Calligraphy is an art based on a set aesthetic, so if a certain level of appearance is important to you, check out wood cases. Keep in mind that a beautiful case won’t always indicate quality. You can always consult reviews if you’re unsure which brand produces pens and nibs as good as their ornate case.
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Calligraphy Pen Set
Extensive Calligraphy Kit That's Perfect for Beginners
Calligraphy Set for Beginners
Gain Access to a Multitude of Exciting Nib Choices
Wooden Pen Calligraphy Set
A Beautiful, Hand-Crafted, Vintage-Look Calligraphy Set
Wildflower Art Studio
Brush Lettering Calligraphy Kit
Learn Advanced Techniques With This Award-Winning Set
The Lettering Tribe
Calligraphy Set for Beginners
Create Slanted Letters Easily With This Oblique Pen Set
Arthur Newhall and Eugene Metcalf
Beginner Calligraphy Kit｜Paperback
Learn the Basics With This Book and Pen Set
Windsor and Newton
Calligraphy Set in Wooden Box
Elevate Your Craft With This Light Wood Calligraphy Set
Chinese Calligraphy Kit
Experience Asian Calligraphy With This Traditional Brush Kit
Calligraphy Pen Set｜MU-02
Add a Touch of Class With This Glass Dip Pen Calligraphy Set
Collector's Calligraphy Set｜3063
Use a Crowquill Pen to Add Finishing Touches
Mont Marte truly left no area uncovered with their beginner-friendly calligraphy kit. In addition to including the standard pen, nib, and ink items, this kit also comes with a guide to calligraphy and calligraphy paper.
Many calligraphers left five-star reviews due to the colorful ink options, quality of pens, and different nibs for unique writing styles.
There are negative reviews due to nibs drying out a bit quicker than some calligraphers would like. And some found the instruction manual a little hard to follow, but it's worth noting that most kits don't come with manuals at all.
Many reviews loved the quality of the written letters. They like that you get a lot in just this one little kit, making it a great value.
The Trustela calligraphy set came on the market in 2019 and it's been maintaining high reviews ever since. It has an impressive amount of nib choices so you can experiment with different lettering techniques. It also gives a choice of gold, black, and brown dip pens. Another talking point is the bright inks included.
A small number of reviewers took issue with some of the nibs not fitting securely into the nib holder. They also felt some of the nibs were cheaply made.
However, other reviews point out the complimentary pen holder, the beautiful product design, and the three stunning pens, saying this set would make a great gift.
The Plotube set is one of the most beautiful kits on our list. The wooden pen is handcrafted. The deep blue container comes with a faux wood box for added aesthetic complete with a varied assortment of 11 nibs.
The kit is slimmer than most others on the list and is perfect for taking your calligraphy skills on the road.
This kit received a handful of negative reviews due to the nibs not quite fitting and the poor quality of ink. But those reviews are few and far between as most calligraphers loved the luxurious design and smooth writing.
Wildflower Art Studio's calligraphy kit includes a variety of brush pens with vibrant ink, a training book, and a 16-page sketchbook. This high-quality kit has been honored by Huffington Post, Etsy and others.
The true claim to fame for this kit is Wildflower Art Studio, an established and passionate calligraphy studio based out of Texas. Calligraphers raved about the options and quality of the brush pens, and the easy-to-follow instructions to help learn the basics.
Brush pens are typically considered more advanced than dip or fountain pens due to the delicate pressure required to be effective. This kit opens the door to a plethora of advanced techniques while also teaching beginning calligraphers everything they need.
Reviewers weren't pleased with the overall packaging of the kit as many found the shredded paper packing material gave it a cheap feel. However, the superior pen quality and in-depth training guide make this kit more than worth checking out.
Oblique pens can be intimidating but this finely-crafted calligraphy kit breaks down that stigma. This kit comes with a 40-page PDF manual to teach everything you need to know about oblique calligraphy.
The ornate wood stylus with a golden nib holder is a definite eye-catcher that appeals to a certain type of refined taste. Reviewers love the beautiful packaging that makes this kit the perfect gift. The stainless steel nibs allow for smooth, fluid writing.
Negative reviews state that some kits were missing nibs and ink on arrival. Some had trouble downloading the manual, however, customer service was very helpful. This sleek, comprehensive kit is cherished for its beginner-friendly setup and subtle aesthetics.
Reviewers loved the comfortable pen grip and in-depth calligraphy manual. The poor reviews stemmed from the overall cheap feel of the kit and its packaging. That being said, the reason this kit has been on the market for so long is that reviewers love the ease of use and complimentary guide paper.
This calligraphy kit comes with a lovely wooden nib holder, five varied nibs, and a collection of radiant inks. It also comes with a training leaflet and example alphabet.
Reviewers loved the wide range of inks and classic presentation. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention that poor reviews circulated around the quality of the stylus.
However, this kit stands out for its handy box, which can fit some extra supplies, and durable nibs. Buyers advise that the gold and silver require frequent shaking, as the particles will settle.
Artecho offers this set with a focus on recreating authentic Chinese arts. This is probably not suitable for beginners, as it doesn't come with a manual and uses an inkstone instead of cartridges or liquid ink.
This calligraphy kit is perfect for the calligrapher who values Chinese and Japanese calligraphy and who seeks a more traditional appeal. This kit also includes one Chinese seal, paperweights, and a porcelain bowl for added elegance.
Reviewers loved the authentic feel of the kit and well-made brushes. There are less than stellar reviews about the lack of an instruction manual. But these were widely overshadowed by the smooth writing capabilities and classy presentation.
The GC Quill MU-02 calligraphy set comes with both a captivating glass dip pen and a meticulously handcrafted wooden dip pen as well. This kit has beauty written all over it and is perfect for any calligrapher from beginners to advanced.
Reviewers marveled at the ornate design of the box and at the choice of ink and nib selection. A reviewer stated the yellow ink is quite light, but most calligraphers couldn't stop praising this kit for its high craftsmanship that allows fluid writing.
This Speedball calligraphy set is one of the few kits that comes with the rare crowquill pen, which is used to touch up and define calligraphy lines. It's the perfect pen for those with a keen eye for detail.
It also includes a dip pen with many nibs and the quality acrylic colors that Speedball is known to deliver. Reviewers gave five-star reviews for the design and extremely durable pen nibs. The bad reviews for this kit were due to the cheap build of the box.
People appreciated the styling, plentiful nib selections, and wood aesthetic. They say it contains everything you need (minus paper) and makes a great gift.
Looking for more ways to express yourself? Create some mixed-media art with our other helpful suggestions.
No. 1: Mont Marte｜Calligraphy Pen Set
No. 2: Trustela｜Calligraphy Set for Beginners
No. 3: Plotube｜Wooden Pen Calligraphy Set
No. 4: Wildflower Art Studio｜Brush Lettering Calligraphy Kit
No. 5: The Lettering Tribe｜Calligraphy Set for Beginners
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The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
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