Journal: Modern Calligraphy and Brush Lettering. So, what’s the difference?

POST 17 // LETTERING

So, what's the difference?

MODERN CALLIGRAPHY AND BRUSH LETTERING

by Lucy Mellor

29/09/2019

Journal: Modern Calligraphy and Brush Lettering. So, what's the difference? Mellor & Rose Lancashire

We are often asked the difference between Modern Calligraphy and Brush Lettering. It’s a question we’re usually asked before people book onto a workshop, see which one they prefer or visually see a specific use for; wedding stationery, wall art, bullet journals + planners etc. If this sounds familiar and something you’re thinking right now, then please read on and we’ll lay down a couple of the big differences between the two, hopefully making it all the more clear.

In this post, we’ll be comparing the two main styles (of course there are a couple more!) of Modern Calligraphy and Brush Lettering! The main differences and benefits of lovely lettering - we’ll be looking specifically at; the equipment we use, technique and the finished product.

1.

EQUIPMENT

Let’s start with the fundamentals of the two; the equipment we use. Firstly, with Modern Calligraphy; we use a metallic dip pen and a pot of ink. Old school. With Brush Lettering, we use well… a brush pen - typically a Tombow ABT Brush Pen - no dipping involved!

In our Modern Calligraphy workshops, we begin to acknowledge that we need to keep dipping as we’re quite rightly so used to a ballpoint or fountain pen with a continuous flow of ink - so when we’re lettering a couple of letters, we will inevitably run out of ink, so we dip and carry on. However, with Brush Lettering it’s rather the opposite. No dipping needed as the ink in the pen barrel, more like what we’re used to, so we can create large scale lettering all in one go!

The snap on the right was taken at our Beginners Modern Calligraphy workshop at Cedar Farm - here we've covered all the letters of the alphabet; the shapes and sizes both upper case + lower case. We're now onto the design layout elements of calligraphy, looking into ways of adding some pop to our hand lettered designs with banners etc. Top top - dip pens are fabulous for illustrations - something we're keen to emphasise in our workshops!

Journal: Modern Calligraphy and Brush Lettering. So, what's the difference? Mellor & Rose Lancashire

2.

TECHNIQUE

Both pens share similarities in their technique but completely different in how we hold the pen - there is a specific way to hold the barrel of the pen which makes getting those ultra thin and dense downstrokes all the more easier and also consistent each time we sit down to letter. We look closely at this in our Beginners and Introductory workshops:)

With both pens, the same application of applying alternating ‘pressure’ applies. With hand lettering, we’re looking to achieve a thick/thin letter stroke to give us that characteristics of lovely modern lettering. However, the way the pens work both from the way we hold and use the pen, the ‘nib’ or tip of the pen itself , the way the ink is delivered is quite different - but the lettering ‘style’ itself shares a lot of similarities! The key to all style of hand lettering… upstrokes are always a light stroke on the way up creating a lovely fine line and in contrast on the downstroke pressure is applied allowing a lovely rich broader flow of ink to flow through.

Journal: Modern Calligraphy and Brush Lettering. So, what's the difference? Mellor & Rose Lancashire

Give Brush Lettering a go, all you need is a pen - CASS ART has A LOT of colour options!

3.

OUTCOME

Both styles of lettering share the thick and thin stroke characteristic - but we can achieve pretty varied things with both pens!

Typically, with a dip pen the scale of lettering is smaller than that with a brush pen - designs and letters and much more delicate, perhaps why it is so popular on wedding stationery! With Brush Lettering, designs can go pretty big - large wall art in a whole variety of colours - simplistic to change up the colours whenever you feel like it.

As evenings are closing in early and we're heading into the Winter months, Christmas is peering its head around the corner. We have our Christmas Calligraphy workshops coming up in November + December both in Modern Calligraphy and Brush Lettering if you fancy trying you hand at calligraphy!

Journal: Modern Calligraphy and Brush Lettering. So, what's the difference? Mellor & Rose Lancashire

We recommend starting with the dip pen Modern Calligraphy workshop before the Brush Lettering simply because of the equipment we use. It’s a harder technique of the two and a fantastic way of understanding the pressure strokes - actually seeing the tines open and close back up with the varying pressure helps to understand how to get the right angle of the pen!

CALLIGRAPHY

by Polly Mellor & Beverley Mellor

WORDS

by Lucy Mellor

If you fancy trying your hand at hand lettering + joining us on a workshop, please drop us a message!

SEE WHERE WE'RE HEADING NEXT

Journal: What’s Chalk Lettering?

POST 17 // CHALK LETTERING

What's Chalk Lettering?

POSCA PENS AT THE READY

by Lucy Mellor

24/09/2019

Chalk Lettering workshop with Mellor & Rose

Hand lettering is essentially drawing artistic letters - either in a calligraphy style or any of the huge range of hand lettering styles. These are generally created firstly through sketching out letter shapes, particularly when we’re starting out - then when we’re happy with the letters we start inking or chalking them in.

Hand lettering and chalk lettering is a fabulous ‘display’ style of lettering which has so many varieties. You can create ‘one off’ pieces like quotations, signage with illustrations such as lovely leaves and foliage for weddings. Plus, designing good looking menus for parties and embellishments along with inspirational words for the home. Sizing and scale is something as we become more experienced - we can switch up to larger letters as well as how to manipulate your lettering - working on how to layout and plan your chalkboard design.

Chalk Lettering workshop with Mellor & Rose Lancashire

Introductory Chalk Lettering workshop

Our Mellor & Rose Chalk Lettering workshops begin by learning how to form the three basic letterforms; calligraphy script, a cool straight upper alphabet contrast style (sans serif) and serif style with a fantastic drop shadow effect. In our 2 and a half hour Introductory workshop, we firstly learn from lettering templates on A3 sheets of paper before moving onto a chalkboard - to get started using chalk and then onto chalk pens which have a semi permanent effect.

Learning hand lettering is amazingly versatile and simply put, great fun to do! Like modern calligraphy, chalk lettering is a ‘slow’ art form and very therapeutic as it gives us permission to slow down and focus. During our workshops, the art of mindful and lovely calligraphy energises us whilst also creating some pretty cool looking chalk boards!

Chalk Lettering workshop with Mellor & Rose

CALLIGRAPHY

by Polly Mellor & Beverley Mellor

WORDS

by Lucy Mellor

If you fancy trying your hand at Chalk Lettering + joining us on a workshop, please drop us a message!

We currently host workshops in Lytham, Southport, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Ormskirk, Clitheroe & Fleetwood

SEE WHERE WE'RE HEADING NEXT

Journal: Back to ‘School’ Mindful Calligraphy

POST 15 // MINDFUL CALLIGRAPHY

Back to 'school' mindful calligraphy

BOOKS, REVISION & WELLBEING

by Lucy Mellor

04/09/2019

Back to 'School' Mindful Calligraphy for School, College or University students with Mellor and Rose // Mellor & Rose Lancashire

With summer officially over, the sun seekers reluctantly retire to hiding - everyone returns to their daily study lives. We know because all the shops keep pointing it out every way we turn - yes, because we need more pens to add to our third pencil case! A new year, could be a easy transition or one with big changes - new people, important exams etc. Sometimes, we can get hung up on every detail of our lives

If you're starting a new year at College or driving down to your University and unpacking for your first year - change is be on the horizon - we may need something to take our mind off things with a spot of mindful calligraphy. Things start swirling around - taking up our capacity, we need to take a step back and get a fresh perspective. Taking in a nice delicious deep breathe and find a comfy place - perhaps putting on your favourite artist in the background - sitting down with your phone far away, picking up a pen and some paper then letting your creativity flow! We sometimes bottle it up and don’t allow ourselves to have those creative moments because we’re too busy revising or scrolling. This is where the practise of mindfulness and mindful calligraphy may come into some use!

What is mindfulness all about?

After 4 years of University in 2 different cities - having a hobby was kind of essential - mine at the time was sports; playing or organising it for others. Hockey and Golf were my main sports of choice as I’d played them from an early age at school which took hockey very seriously... so, ultimately it’s hard to ever get away from it! Having another activity other than solely studying was a brilliant outlet - the idea of mindfulness was at it’s very beginning when I was at University with mediation and yoga very much at the forefront of mind and body wellbeing - mindful calligraphy is now joining the wellbeing party. For a bit more info on the practise of mindfulness and the reasons for introducing into your daily life; mindfulness is the practise of self-appreciation, slowing down and being in the now. We don't have to cross our legs and seek inner peace looking for something we can’t seem to find - we can practise mindfulness whenever and wherever - it’s brilliant. 

Back to 'School' Mindful Calligraphy for School, College or University students with Mellor and Rose // Mellor & Rose Lancashire

Calligraphy and mindfulness work in fluid harmony - one compliments the other effortlessly. For example, mindfulness practises slowing down your mind and body - to appreciate the now. With calligraphy, the basic act of sitting down lettering, gives you permission to purposefully slow down - we have to take the pace off in calligraphy otherwise the pen will most likely scratch the paper and the stroke will ‘break’. The slower the better when we’re getting started with calligraphy.

What is mindful calligraphy?

Practicing a bit of mindful calligraphy doesn't only focus on beautiful lettering. Mindful calligraphy is also about setting aside some time for ourselves - appreciating where we are now and taking a step back. Plus, if we’re feeling particularly anxious or nervous, slowing down our mind and body will help us press that reset button giving us a fresh perspective. As we all know, we very rarely have control over a situation, but we do have an influence over our perspective; the way we view the situation. As you deliberately begin to sit down and take time for yourself - your actions start to happen without the need to prompt this behaviour - which means it’s gradually integrating itself into our routine.

Now, let's have a go!

1. get a pen and a clean sheet of paper.

2. find a comfortable spot; bit of music on in the background.

3. take notice of our breathe - if we’re feeling on the edge, we may fancy slowing our breathe and taking in a much deeper breathe each time. Something so simple has such an immediate impact on our whole body - we begin to relax.

4. now, lets have a go! Get your pen out! The key to calligraphy is rhythm and pressure strokes. Once we feel comfortable applying pressures and then taking it off - we can get a fluid motion and bring personality to the lettering. We’re not necessarily looking for completely uniform lettering (as thats what a computer is for!). We’re looking for italic style and smooth curves in this characteristic brush script style.

5. now we’re going to follow the design Pol has laid out below. We’ll start top left (if we're right handed) as to avoid smudging! Adding the lovely decoratives and banner brings some personality to the rather minimalist design - have a go and let us know how you get on!

Back to 'School' Mindful Calligraphy for School, College or University students with Mellor and Rose // Mellor & Rose Lancashire

Check out our YT Channel for calligraphy + lettering videos

CALLIGRAPHY

by Polly Mellor & Beverley Mellor

WORDS

by Lucy Mellor

If you fancy trying your hand at brush lettering + joining us on a workshop, please drop us a message!

We currently host workshops in Lytham, Southport, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Ormskirk, Clitheroe & Fleetwood

SEE WHERE WE'RE HEADING NEXT