Molly Suber Thorpe is…
the award-winning graphic designer and calligrapher behind Plurabelle Calligraphy & Design Studio. She is known for her original, contemporary hand lettering styles and unique, non-traditional letterforms, combined with clean layouts and bold color palettes. Molly is based in Los Angeles, where she works with clients all over the country and internationally, from Sweden to South Africa and England to Brazil.
Molly studied art history, comparative literature, and creative writing at The American University of Paris. Her experience as editor and layout designer of the school’s bilingual arts and literary magazine, Paris/Atlantic, sparked Molly’s interest in graphic design. Upon returning to the States, she earned a degree in Design Communication Arts from UCLA Extension, with a concentration in typography and layout design.
While there, Molly took a course on Gothic, broad-tip, block calligraphy. Unable to find any books that taught contemporary script alphabets, she mostly taught herself — through much trial and error — and developed the fine-tip styles she is known for today.
When she’s not at one of the two desks in her Los Angeles studio – one for her computer, one for her calligraphy – Molly combs through flea markets for vintage office supplies, bakes lots of bread, and enjoys reading Virginia Woolf at her favorite Los Angeles cafés. A true Francophile, Molly speaks French fluently and looks forward to the day she can return to Paris.
- The Point of The Pen
Calligraphy is about creating something uniquely beautiful, and in a era when thousands of digital, commercial fonts hit the market every year, hand-lettering is a human touch that makes design work fresh and personal. While envelope design remains one of Molly’s special passions, contemporary script calligraphy has extended beyond the envelope and entered the digital realm and calligraphy is increasingly being used to create logos, type treatments, rubber stamps, and letterpress plates.
Molly’s toolkit combines traditional supplies – pointed dip nibs, pen holders, and ink – with unconventional supplies – paint, felt pens, chalk, and design software. More than anything, she loves experimenting with new materials, even such unorthodox “inks” as coffee and blueberry juice. Inspiration for her work comes from all kinds of hand lettering, from illuminated manuscripts to graffiti to vintage advertisements.
Plurabelle’s calligraphy services:
• Envelope addressing
• Digitized lettering for print and web
• Invitation design
• Personal stationery
• Place and escort cards
• Greeting and holiday cards
• Rubber stamps
• Logo design
• Spot calligraphy for print and digital publications
• Coordinating graphic design services
• Just about anything else – email me!
- Yes, Plurabelle is also a
graphic design studio.
In addition to Molly’s career as a calligrapher, she is also an award-winning graphic designer. In September 2011, Molly and two colleagues at the Santa Monica design studio softfirm, received three awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) for print design and branding work as part of the international 2011 (Re)Design Awards for Social Responsibility. Molly has also done graphic design work for companies including The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Neenah Paper, Martha Stewart Weddings, Cormier Creative, and Vogue Footwear.
Plurabelle’s graphic design services:
• Logo and brand identity design
• Layout design for print and digital publications
• Front-end web design
• Another type of project in mind? Email me!
Above photograph of Bluebird Cotillion cards ©Lindsay Branquinho.