Types of Calligraphy Pens: Explained (Part 2)

Updated: Dec 2, 2019


Welcome back to our deep dive into the types of calligraphy pens and tools! If you missed Part 1, you can check it out here.

This week, we're going to look at some less-traditional tools, that have become very popular among calligraphers and hand lettering artists today. These are so much fun to learn to use, and make some really stunning lettering!

The Pilot Parallel Pen

The pilot pen is a great budget calligraphy pen! Parallel Pens have a broad edge nib, and you can use them with ink cartridges or dipping wells (whichever you prefer). You can even blend ink colors! They come in 4 different size nibs, and are very affordable.

The Felt Tip Brush Pen

These are some of the most popular tools among hand letterers and modern-style calligraphers. They come in all sizes, from the Tombow Fudenosuke pens (which I give my students in Brush Lettering Class), to Tombow Dual Brush Pens. These pens are great for modern and brush calligraphy, and are extremely versatile. The learning curve is made a bit easier because they act like felt tip pens or markers, and are therefore a bit more familiar in the hand.

The Brush Pen

The true brush pen is much more like lettering with a paint brush than the felt-tip brush pens. The technique differs from felt-tip brush pen lettering as well, so be careful when choosing between these two types of tools! Brush pens come in a variety of styles, and some are even fillable (like mine pictured here).

The Ruling Pen

The ruling pen was originally designed for architects and engineers, but has been re-purposed by calligraphers for years. This tool produces beautifully artistic and messy lettering, and is especially great for ink splatters! So much fun to use, this is one of my favorite tools to play with when I'm feeling adventurous!

The Scroll Nib

This specialty nib functions as a broad edge nib, but is designed to create two separate lines and therefore an open-shaded broad edge script. It's absolutely gorgeous on the page, but can be pretty difficult to use. It's also a great self-critiquing tool....you'll notice right away if your angle is incorrect, because this nib depends on precision scribing! If you love broad edge lettering and want to mix things up a bit, this is a fun tool to check out.


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