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Alphabet Examples

how to write calligraphy alphabets

Uncial


 

Foundational


 

Blackletter


 

Italic


Follow the pages on practise exercises and writing basic calligraphy letters before attempting these alphabets.

Ancient manuscripts are a good place to look for different styles down the ages and there are some good books on the subject (right). Once you have gained the confidence to write the letters of an alphabet with relative ease try altering the shape of some of the strokes and see what happens to the letter. Bear in mind that on the whole your calligraphy needs to be readable.

The eye tends to read the top 1/3 of letters in a line of writing and this is emphasised in Italic. Try it for yourself - cover the bottom 2/3 of a line of writing, whether printed text in a book or your own handwriting, and try reading it. You may not make out all of the letters but you will be able to guess at what is missing, enough to make the text legible. Now cover the top part of the line and try reading it again. Almost illegible isn't it?

The image of the Italic alphabet is courtesy of The Grammar Terrorist. All other alphabets are my own versions and are not strictly accurate. For example, the Roundhand alphabet is usually written upright with no slope to the letters.



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