Calligraphy School - Gaynor Goffe & Anna Ravenscroft

Calligraphy Book Reviews

There are lots of books and videos about calligraphy on the market. The challenge usually isn't to find one. It's to find the best one on the market, so you get a good use out of your time and money when you work with one.

Calligraphy School by Gaynor Goffe & Anna Ravenscroft definitely isn't the best book out there on basic calligraphy. It barely covers a few fonts - far fewer than many other books out there. Its instuctions for actually doing the calligraphy activity is similarly lacking. Other books go into far more detail about pen angle, posture, writing materials, writing papers, and so on. This book here gives you some information but not the full amount shown by other books in the market.

Similarly, the 'background of how calligraphy began' section of this book is fairly sparse. Compare it with several of the other top books out there and this one seems to skim over all the beautiful artwork which is in our historical library.

Still, there's an area that this book does quite well in.

I own a number of books on calligraphy and most think about historic calligraphy. The Book of Kells. Renaissance calliligraphy. The various styles which have been developed over the centuries.

But this here is one of the few books which realizes that calligraphy kept changing and developing in modern times. It showcases a variety of modern art calligraphy which combine unusual letter styling along with painting. The book encourages readers to explore these new styles and to think of calligraphy as a growing art form.

In addition, the book talks a fair amount about the artistic layout of calligraphy in terms of it being an art form. Most books do talk about letter spacing and the balance of upper and lowercase and so on. But here, there's a fair amount of discussion of cutting up parts of a calligraphy phrase and moving them around on paper to see how sections can be aligned. About ways to showcase calligraphy and letterhead on posters and in books. There's sections on color theory. The book is definitely much more aligned to an artist using calligraphy compared with a person who is making letters.

I'll give the book four stars because it really needs to have a different title and presentation. As a "calligraphy school" this book doesn't do nearly as well as many other books on the market. But as a book that gets an artist started with the basics of calligraphy, and then inspires that artist to explore the color and layout combinations to create fun art projects, the book is different from most others out there.

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