Modern calligraphy – an ever-evolving art

Trends in calligraphy change as often as the seasons. In one of last month’s blogs I talked about learning a loose, organic lettering style – all by changing the joining strokes and flow of a basic modern calligraphy script. Organic lettering has been hugely popular in 2017 – but I know from experience that next year I’ll be writing something very different.

All images by Katy Melling at Lartington Hall (full supplier list below)

Calligraphy appeals to so many people because it’s easy to learn (with a little guidance at first!). It’s the joy of learning which attracts us to the art of lettering and consequently those who practice calligraphy are endlessly looking to improve, to progress.

It’s this that makes being a calligrapher in 2017 so fascinating. I can never rest on my laurels as a modern calligrapher – I’m always looking for the next trend in style, in technique or in writing surfaces.

If you’ve just begun your calligraphy adventures, do enjoy the journey. It will never grow old!

Venue – Lartington Hall
Fine Art Wedding Photography – Katy Melling
Flowers And Bouquet – Bels Flowers
Bridal Gown/Skirt – Halfpenny and Catherine Deane at Marrime Bridalwear
Make up – Jo Leversuch
Hair Styling – Lesley Hewitson
Cake – Designer Cake Co.
Calligraphy- By Moon & Tide
Silk Ribbon – Kate Cullen

Heavenly Flowers {portfolio}

Illustrated stationery in a collaboration with fabulous designer Amy Swann. English country garden styling with more romance than any midsummer night’s dream. Organic calligraphy lettering, torn edge stationery and a feminine twist for a timeless summer wedding style.


Featured on Love My Dress wedding blog.

Concept & design – STYLE & BLOOM
Planning & Styling – FOR THE LOVE OF WEDDINGS
Silk runners/napkins/ribbons – POM POM BLOSSOM
Videography – ROCK SALT PHOTO
Candles – HUS & HEM
Crockery & glassware – JOHN LEWIS

A quick reminder – Manchester calligraphy class on 6th October

If you’re reading this because you love modern calligraphy but haven’t picked up a pen yet – or if you have a pen but aren’t sure how to get started, it’s time to start learning!

There are a handful of spaces left on my October calligraphy class at Manchester Craft & Design Centre. It’s in just over a fortnight and you’ll learn everything you need to know about modern calligraphy techniques in just a couple of hours.

Please don’t be shy to book: it’s a fun class, relaxed and friendly and open to everyone. We only take a dozen or so students each time, and everyone has some personal tuition on the day as well as the opportunity to watch demos and ask questions as you learn!

To book your space(s) just click here:

Photos by Laura at Inbetween Days Photography

Natural, organic coastal inspiration {portfolio}

This breathtaking shoot has just been featured on the wonderful Magnolia Rouge wedding blog. An organic and natural beach bridal look, designed around the location itself and curated by the fabulous Kathryn Hopkins Photography. “The colour palette of black, sand, sage green and slate blue derived from the seaweed, mussel shells, and the overall location.” The hand torn edges of the calligraphy suite mimic the wildness of the landscape, shaped entirely by nature. Organic, flowing modern calligraphy lettering in an almost windswept style. With handmade papers, gold #finetec inks and a scattering of gold powder.

Featured on Magnolia Rouge: Windswept, natural & organic English coastal bridal inspiration

Stationery BY MOON & TIDE
Earrings ASOS

From basic modern calligraphy lettering to a loose, organic style

Do you have your heart set on learning a specific style of calligraphy? If so, you’re not alone. So many of the lovely people I’ve taught at my Manchester calligraphy workshops are there because they’ve seen a style of lettering they love, and want to learn to write exactly like that.

The trendiest style of modern calligraphy – as I write this article in the late summer of 2017 – is loose, flowing and organic. It’s a beautiful style to read and to write – and if you come to my workshop I can certainly teach you how it’s done. Mastering a style like this takes a little longer and involves plenty of practice.

The basic modern calligraphy style was really popular in 2015 / 16. Simple, shapely letters with a contrasting thick and thin flow and a steady rhythm featured at every wedding and in every brand of artisan jam!

This is still the style I begin my calligraphy workshops with today. It’s easy to learn and a great way to become familiar with your new calligraphy pen. It’s also a fantastic stepping-stone to go on and learn a more raw organic style from.

The difference between the two is not in the letters themselves: it’s in the spacing between and in the lightness and curve of the joining strokes.

There’s no shortcut to learning an organic modern calligraphy style. You need to understand how your pen flexes and bends, and to gain the confidence to form a hairline-thin, sweeping stroke first. This comes with time.

Then all you need to do is experiment with long, free and curvaceous joining strokes to achieve a perfectly on-trend, modern organic calligraphy style.

Join me for a modern calligraphy workshop in Manchester!

Friday 6th October, 1pm – Manchester Craft & Design Centre – tickets £65
Friday 20th October, 10am – Anthony Burgess Foundation – tickets £30*
Saturday 21st October, 10am – Anthony Burgess Foundation – tickets £30*
Friday 24th November, 1pm – Manchester Craft & Design Centre – tickets £65

*Workshop only price – calligraphy kits will be available to purchase on the day.

All images are by the fabulously talented and exceptionally lovely Paper & Primrose Wedding Photography, and were created with the help of this amazing team:

Photography & Styling: Paper & Primrose:
Floral design and styling: The Good Florist –
Hair: Simply Beautiful Wedding Hair –
Make-Up: The Beauty Aisle –
Wedding cake: Bunston Bakes –
Calligraphy By Moon & Tide Calligraphy –
Model: Olivia Arben

Autumn 2017 calligraphy workshop dates – Manchester

Friday 22nd September, 2pm – Beaumont Organic – tickets £45

Friday 6th October, 1pm – Manchester Craft & Design Centre – tickets £65*

Friday 20th October, 10am – Anthony Burgess Foundation – tickets £30

Saturday 21st October, 10am – Anthony Burgess Foundation – tickets £30

Friday 24th November, 1pm – Manchester Craft & Design Centre – tickets £65*

*starred workshops include a personalised calligraphy starter set for you to take home, with a pen and nib set, alphabet sample sheets, example quotes and a box to keep your calligraphy goodies inside.

All workshops will have a little pop-up shop for you to buy penholders and nibs, brush lettering pens, hand mixed inks in a rainbow of colours, and calligraphy books to guide you in your practice at home.

{Image credit Paper & Primrose}

Wedding invitation wordings for 2018

Image credit Jo Bradbury Photography. Illustration by Amy Swann. Featured on Love My Dress

The internet is far from perfect. Google for inspiration for wedding invitation wordings and you’ll find advice from 2007 alongside recommendations from 2017. And when you read some of those old fashioned wordings you could be forgiven for thinking that’s how everyone’s writing their invites.

You couldn’t be more wrong.

Captured by Brightside Photography, with illustration by Amy Swann and featured on B.Loved Blog

Just as wedding dress styles have changed in the last decade, so have invitations.

“Mr & Mrs Smith request the pleasure of your company for the marriage of their daughter…” is falling by the wayside along with stretchy white chair covers and mason jars.

Modern brides and grooms are choosing their own wordings, and sending invites which sound brilliantly personal, friendly and real.

Image credit Jenny Heyworth Photography for Aspire. Styling by White Feather & Co.

So forget about writing to your friends to request the pleasure of their company and send invites which are more you.

Try these wedding invitation wordings for size:

Emily & Joshua
are getting married
and would love
you to join them
at [venue]
on [date]
at [time]

Emily & Joshua
joyfully invite you
to their wedding
at [venue]
on [date]
at [time]

Together with their families,
Emily & Joshua
invite you to join them
for their wedding
at [venue]
on [date] at [time]

Short & sweet is definitely the way forward for wedding invitation wordings. If you’re considering handwritten calligraphy invites, then a shorter wording will make them really affordable too!

Image credit Jenny Heyworth Photography for Aspire. Styling by White Feather & Co.

Simple, friendly wordings alleviate any pressure to mention your hosts by name – an especially thorny issue if your parents have remarried.

Keeping your printed wordings simple doesn’t mean you’re giving guests less information – all you need is a wedding website where you can share as much information as you like – from RSVPing online to accommodation lists, timings, taxi companies and even the story of how you met.

Photo credit Amanda Karen Photography Featured on the English Wedding Blog

I just love that wedding invites in 2018 are heading for simple design-led styles. And by pairing your printed invites with a simple website you can share ten times the information you’d ever have seen in a pocketfold invitation back in 2007!

Image credit Photography by Kathryn

Shop minimal wedding invites with calligraphy: or bespoke, handwritten designs: