Calligraphy is more than a writing style. It is a visual art form. Dating back thousands of years, calligraphy still exists today and is frequently used for such practical purposes as writing wedding and event invitations, font design and typography, hand-written letters, religious art, graphic design, and memorial documents. If you are new to this beautiful, expressive creative style, remember that there are three essential components to beautiful calligraphy – pen, ink, and paper. Before you dip your pen in ink, be sure you are using the right type of paper. Read our recommendations below on the best notebook paper for exceptional calligraphy.
For The Novice
In general, when it comes to refined, clean calligraphy, smooth paper will work best and will limit the dreaded appearance of feathering, or the unpleasantness of snagging or scratching. Especially if you are new to calligraphy, a smoother paper will be best while you practice and refine your technique. While practicing, choose a thin, smooth layout paper and place a guide sheet underneath for assistance.
For The Expert
When you have perfected your technique, you are ready to graduate to heavier papers. Consider Bristol Board, which is a fine, smooth, uncoated pasteboard.
Choose a paper with low absorbency. If your paper is too absorbent, it may be likely to bleed, feather, or result in show-through. If you will be addressing many invitations, or drafting long letters, thicker, more fibrous paper is more likely to gum up your nib as well, which is another reason to choose a smoother paper.
We also recommend acid-free, or low-pH papers. Papers that are not acid-free are likely to yellow over time, and eventually deteriorate. If you are creating a work of art, or a memorable piece of correspondence, such as a wedding invitation, you will want to choose a paper that will last as long as possible. Learn more about the benefits of acid-free paper here.
- Rough, uncoated drawing paper
- Watercolor paper
- Printer/copy paper
- Craft papers
- Recycled paper
- Rhodia Dot Pad. The guiding dots will help you perfect your loops and straight lines.
- Clairefontaine Lined Notebooks. The high quality Clairefontaine paper provides an ideal, smooth surface.