✒️ The Best Calligraphy Paper for Beginner Practice & Professionals

Picking the best calligraphy paper can be a very difficult task. It often comes down to individual needs – are you looking for calligraphy paper that specifically helps you to learn proper lettering? Or perhaps you’re trying to find something for professional use. That’s why we’ve painstakingly sorted through all of the options on the market and condensed them down to 4 calligraphy papers that suit a variety of different requirements.

Why You Can Trust This List

Since most people cannot try calligraphy paper before ordering it online we are often at the mercy of online reviews and rankings that don’t always accurately reflect the real pros and cons of a given product. Rather than focusing only on the positive aspects, we make sure to give you an unbiased and complete picture of each paper so you can make an informed decision.

In order to find the absolute best paper possible we have performed extensive research to figure out exactly what makes one better than the others. We reviewed dozens of products across multiple platforms before we narrowed down our list to the top 4 that you can order online right now. This includes determining best calligraphy paper with different criteria, including:



Our Top Overall Pick




ImageNameFeaturesPrice
Strathmore Bound Calligraphy Pad
  • Width: 8 inches
  • Length: 11 inches
  • Sheets: 50 pages
  • Ideal for smooth flowing ink.
  • .38" thick.
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Calligraphy and Hand Lettering Practice Notepad
  • Width: 8.5 inches.
  • Length: 11 inches.
  • Sheets: 110
  • Non-spiral & non-perforated.
  • Lined and alphabet practice pages.
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Studio Series Calligraphy Paper Pad
  • Width: 8.5 inches.
  • Length: 11 inches.
  • Sheets: 50
  • 140 gsm sturdy paper.
  • Slant grid lines.
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Modern Calligraphy: A Beginner's Guide to Pointed Pen and Brush Pen Lettering
  • Width: 8.2 inches.
  • Length: 11 inches.
  • Sheets: 109
  • Excellent for tracing and practicing lettering examples.
  • Perforated, spiral bound.
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Top 4 Best Calligraphy Papers for Beginner, Practice, and Master Calligraphers

1. Strathmore Bound Calligraphy Pad – Best for Experienced Calligraphers


Features:
  • Width: 8 inches
  • Length: 11 inches
  • Sheets: 50 pages
  • Ideal for smooth flowing ink.
  • .38″ thick.

The Strathmore calligraphy pad is an excellent choice for a thin calligraphy writing surface. If you’re particularly concerned with feathering or bleed-through then this is a great choice as it significantly prevents both. It’s also .38″ thick which means you can safely write on both sides.

The texture is very appealing for both beginner and experienced calligraphists. It also has excellent tooth which allows the letters to look quite crisp and clear which makes it perfect for very fine pen work.

Keep in mind this calligraphy paper is ideal for people who have already mastered proper calligraphy pen work and doesn’t contain lines like practice paper does. The binding also tends to wear out quickly from overuse so you may want to limit the opening/closing to prevent unnecessary wear-and-tear.

Pros
  • Prevents feathering.
  • The ink will not bleed through.
  • Non-spiral binding.

Cons
  • Not recommended for beginners as it’s missing lines.
  • The binding tends to wear out quickly from overuse.

Buy at Amazon.com

2. Calligraphy and Hand Lettering Practice Notepad – Best for Practicing


Features:
  • Width: 8.5 inches.
  • Length: 11 inches.
  • Sheets: 110
  • Non-spiral & non-perforated.
  • Lined and alphabet practice pages.

This calligraphy pad sets itself apart from the others by being lined and having several different practice pages. There are 36 slanted angle lined guide pages that are lined at 55 degrees, 36 alphabet practice pages so you can perfect your lettering and 36 dot grid paper pages. At 110 pages total you’ll have plenty of space to practice and learn new techniques which makes the Calligraphy and Hand Lettering Practice Notepad the perfect choice for novice calligraphists.

Thankfully the binding is also non-spiral and non-perforated. It’s also much more economical than many of the other choices on this list as you get way more pages at a fairly cheap price.

The biggest drawback to this calligraphy paper is that the paper is a bit porous which could cause bleeding if you’re using some calligraphy nibs. The paper itself isn’t the highest quality but that’s to be expected as it’s just practice paper. And while lined paper is perfect for beginners it can unnecessary pollute the final work if you didn’t need it.

Pros
  • Lots of pages.
  • 55 degree lines which is perfect for beginners.
  • Non-spiral binding.

Cons
  • Lined paper can spoil the completed calligraphy, but it’s great for learning.
  • Paper is a bit too porous for some nibs so the ink may bleed.

Buy at Amazon.com

3. Studio Series Calligraphy Paper Pad – Best for Beginner Calligraphers


Features:
  • Width: 8.5 inches.
  • Length: 11 inches.
  • Sheets: 50
  • 140 gsm sturdy paper.
  • Slant grid lines.

Studio Series’ Calligraphy paper pad is a higher quality choice paper for beginners as well if you’re looking for slanted grid lines. The paper is quite thick and sturdy and should completely prevent bleeding while preventing your nib from getting caught on the paper. It’s excellent for practicing different types of calligraphy like Copperplate, Spencerian, Italic and brush lettering.

Unlike the practice paper on this list, Studio Series’ paper quality is very high and will help you get a hang of the spacing and alignment of your lettering. It’s also a great choice for brush calligraphy as the paper is 140 gsm so you don’t have to worry about bleed through even when using lots of ink. The smooth finish also ensures that your nib won’t grab the paper’s surface so your calligraphy will be extremely clean.

Unfortunately the grid lines don’t appear to be slanted at a 55 degrees which make it sub-optimal for perfect lettering so it may be tricky for those who aren’t used to it.

Pros
  • Nibs shouldn’t catch on the paper.
  • 140-gsm paper to prevent ink bleeding.
  • Non-spiral binding.

Cons
  • The slant of the grid lines could be improved.
  • May bleed from some types of calligraphy nibs.

Buy at Amazon.com

4. Modern Calligraphy: A Beginner’s Guide to Pointed Pen and Brush Pen Lettering – Best for Learning Lettering


Features:
  • Width: 8.2 inches.
  • Length: 11 inches.
  • Sheets: 109
  • Excellent for tracing and practicing lettering examples.
  • Perforated, spiral bound.

This paper is much different from the others on this list and should really only be purchased if you want to learn many different variations of calligraphy lettering. It has lots of different examples mostly clustered together so you can trace them and practice them for yourself. It isn’t just an empty pad, it also features a variety of useful information on lettering and techniques.

You won’t have much room to write freely but you will have tons of space to practice specific lettering examples and there are many. There are 10-20 different styles for each letter so you can definitely try a variety of lettering and pick the ones you like the most. For people who learn from repetition and lots of examples, this is a great choice for you.

The biggest drawback to this book is that while it may teach you how to write the individual letters, it doesn’t show you how you can connect them together to form full words. This can be very tricky for beginners, but if you know you need work on your lettering it’s still an excellent choice to learn many different techniques and styles.

Pros
  • Dozens of examples of different lettering styles.
  • Perfect for tracing.
  • Perforated, spiral bound.

Cons
  • While it does let you practice individual lettering, it doesn’t show you how to connect the letters to form a full word.
  • Much more expensive than the other options on this list.
  • Not a good pick for freestyle calligraphy writing.

Buy at Amazon.com

Conclusion

Of the 4 calligraphy papers on this list, we would suggest the Strathmore Bound Calligraphy Pad as it’s the best all-around calligraphy paper for the money.

That isn’t to say it’s the best for specific purposes, though. For instance we recommend the Modern Calligraphy: A Beginner’s Guide to Pointed Pen and Brush Pen Lettering for learning lettering and the Studio Series Calligraphy Paper Pad for beginner calligraphers, just to name a few.

Buyer’s Guide

If you still haven’t made up your mind as to which calligraphy paper you want then you should probably determine which aspects are the most important to your needs. To that end we have briefly summarized the key differences to hopefully make your purchase a bit easier.

Size & Sheets

Generally speaking, most calligraphy paper is between 8-8.5 inches wide and 11 inches long. If you need any paper that is longer than these dimensions you may need to search for a bit to get the perfect dimensions down. The standard number of sheets also varies depending on the price, but the smallest number of sheets you can buy in a single calligraphy pad is generally between 50 and 80, but if you opt for more sheets expect to pay a bit more.

Surface

Calligraphy paper needs to be specifically designed to prevent the point of the calligraphy pen, called the nib, from catching on the paper. If it doesn’t your nib can get caught on the paper causing jagged lines and ruin your work. Make sure the paper you plan on using is rated for your specific calligraphy pen or brush before you place an order.

Paper Thickness

You’ll want your paper to be thick enough to prevent any potential bleeding or it could ruin the next page. You’ll also want the paper to absorb the ink so it doesn’t cause any unnecessary ink pooling which can cause smears or uneven printing.

Lines

For beginners you may want to go with a paper that has lines set at a 55 degree angle so you can perfect the proper calligraphy style. Grid lines are another option so you can learn the proper lettering placement. That being said, for experts non-lined paper is the best choice so your final work won’t have ugly lines running through it.

Binding

The binding can make a pretty big difference depending on what you’re using it for. If you’re looking for a beginner calligraphy pad then spiral, perforated binding probably isn’t a big deal as you don’t plan on keeping the final work. But for experienced calligraphers you’ll want to go with a tape-style binding that prevents any perforated pages so your final work will look cleaner on it’s own.

Warranty

Be sure to check whether or not the manufacturer offers a warranty on the item you intend to purchase. While Amazon should cover broken or defective items upon delivery, it’s up to the manufacturer as to whether they will provide a replacement after it’s been used. Compare different calligraphy paper sellers to see if any of them will offer replacements in the event it breaks from normal use.

Return Policy

Even if everything works properly, you may discover you’ve ordered the wrong calligraphy paper for your needs which may require a return. Be sure to check with the vendor before purchasing to see if they will allow a return and if so, under what circumstances.

Shipping

Shipping is easily one of the most annoying costs associated with making online purchases. Be sure to compare the shipping costs to your location prior to making a purchase so you don’t end up spending more than you bargained for.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which calligraphy paper is the cheapest?

If you’re shopping for the lowest priced calligraphy paper you can find then we recommend the Calligraphy and Hand Lettering Practice Notepad. Of all the calligraphy papers we’ve reviewed, none of the others can beat it’s price.

What kind of paper is used for calligraphy?

This depends on what type of calligraphy you’re doing – for standard nib calligraphy pens bristol paper is the best choice as it’s very smooth, absorbs ink well and won’t catch your nib as you write.

Can you use printer paper for calligraphy?

We wouldn’t recommend it. You’ll likely face lots of problems, from the ink bleeding to your nib occasionally catching on the paper. If you just want a simple practice surface and plan on discarding it afterwards then go for it, but if you want to keep the final product we’d highly recommend picking up the real thing.

Is cardstock good for calligraphy?

Like printer paper, cardstock paper isn’t ideal for calligraphy. The ink tends to bleed through quite easily and gets absorbed by the paper in an unusual way which can cause them to look fuzzy and uneven.

Should I use lined calligraphy paper?

If you need to practice structuring your calligraphy then sure. You’ll want the lines to be set at 55 degrees and it’s up to you whether to go with grid or standard lines. For experienced calligraphers though you probably won’t want to deal with lines as you won’t really need them and they tend to distract from the final work.

Further Reading

What Do You Think?

What do you think about our choice for the best calligraphy paper? If there are any calligraphy papers you’d like us to review please leave a comment below and let us know and we may add it to our list!

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