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Lettering Archives - Plurabelle Studio | Calligraphy & Graphic Design

My New Skillshare Class




In Calligraphy, Class, Graphic Design, Lettering, Press, Promotion, Teaching



I have been invited to teach an online calligraphy class at — Digitizing Calligraphy: Designing A Flourished, Calligraphic Logotype from Sketch to Vector.

Don’t be intimidated — while having at least a basic knowledge of pointed pen calligraphy is a plus, it is not required. I will also cover techniques for created a polished design using felt tip pen.

Sign up by December 15th with this link or by clicking the button below and you can receive 25% by entering the coupon code FLOURISH at checkout.



  • Sketching. We’ll start with sketching, covering the basic rules of drawing script letters, and examining opportunities to add flourishes. You will learn to recognize the difference between purposeful flourishes — those that enhance a design — and extraneous ones — those that distract and impede legibility.
  • Adding Flourishes. With a polished sketch in hand, you will then calligraph the design (with a pointed calligraphy pen or a fine tip felt pen) with emphasis on learning special techniques for calligraphing flourishes.
  • Digitizing. Then the computer fun starts! We will bring our design into the computer and polish it further in Photoshop, then vectorize it in Illustrator.* I’ll teach you some special techniques for making sure your final logotype retains the integrity of the stroke contrast, including the charming imperfections of the fine hairlines, that it had as ink on paper.

*You do not have to be an expert in either of these programs. If you do, great, but I will cover absolutely everything you need to know. You don’t even need to have the programs when you sign up. You can download free 30-day trials of both from 



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USC Calligraphy & Hand Lettering Lecture



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In Calligraphy, Events, Lettering

On 13, May 2013 | No Comments | In Calligraphy, Events, Lettering |

On 13, May 2013 | No Comments | In Calligraphy, Events, Lettering | By Molly


Back in April I had the opportunity to give a lecture at USC’s Roski School of Fine Arts. The subject was calligraphy and hand lettering with a slant toward graphic designers who aim to incorporate handmade type into their digital work. Unlike other lectures and workshops I’ve led in the past, given this audience, I was able to go beyond the paper realm and delve into the nitty gritty details of digitizing hand lettering, answering all the geeky questions about bézier curves and pixel depth the students could throw at me. It was so much fun to meet a room full of young designers who approach their design work from wildly different angles but have a common love of all things typography.

+ Interested in hiring me to speak at your school or conference? Email me!

{ All calligraphy by Plurabelle | Photography by Malktime Photography 
Special Thanks to the USC Roski School of Fine Arts and Andrew Kutchera }


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Work in Progress: Monogram




In Calligraphy, Lettering, Work in Progress

{ Design & Photography by Plurabelle Calligraphy }

Monograms can be deceptively difficult. A well-designed monogram should look effortless but can take many, many more rounds of editing than full words or larger layouts. Above, a monogram I’m almost finished with – I think this may be the last round of revisions!

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Roxanne Daner



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In Design Love, Lettering, Stationery, Wedding

I am swooning over this gorgeous work by Los Angeles designer/illustrator Roxanne Danner. This Save the Date postcard was hand-painted in gouache and then screen printed. The distressing of the black paper is just brilliant, and I love that she used a pale yellow rather than straight white. Seeing work like this makes me want to hunch over my calligraphy desk all night creating fun designs. So inspiring!

Browse Roxanne’s other illustrations here and her blog here.

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“Off Book: Typography”



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In Calligraphy, Design Love, Fonts, Graphic Design, Lettering

PBS Arts has just come out with this really nice, brief look at the significance of typefaces. It includes great insights by some of today’s best type designers like Hoefler & Frere-Jones and Paula Scher.

“Words have meaning and type has spirit, and the combination is spectacular.”
—Paula Scher

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vatican calligraphy



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In Calligraphy, Lettering

On 17, Jul 2011 | No Comments | In Calligraphy, Lettering |

On 17, Jul 2011 | No Comments | In Calligraphy, Lettering | By Molly

{ photographs by andrea boudewijn }

my lovely friend andrea boudewijn, the cake-making genius behind superfine bakery, snapped these photos for me on her recent visit to the vatican. calligraphy like this would be beautiful anywhere, but when i consider that each letter is likely 6 inches high at the least, all done in gold leaf, and frescoed onto a wall probably 10 feet off the ground (!), it becomes truly jaw-dropping. the last time i was in rome i was focused on painting and sculpture, but now i want to go back just for the lettering!

it’s also refreshing to look at calligraphed words that i can’t understand. it enables me to focus solely on the letterform structures and ornamentation without being distracted by the words’ meaning.

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like peas & carrots



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In Fonts, Lettering

On 14, Jun 2011 | No Comments | In Fonts, Lettering |

On 14, Jun 2011 | No Comments | In Fonts, Lettering | By Molly

today i dropped by anthropologie‘s website and it was more than the clothing that made me swoon. well, i always love their graphic design, but today their typography really caught my eye. even though these are well-photoshopped approximations of hand-written chalkboards, i still have a real appreciation for the designs. hey, i love digital fonts too!

{ screenshots from }

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chalk art



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In Calligraphy, Design Love, Lettering

On 15, Feb 2011 | No Comments | In Calligraphy, Design Love, Lettering |

On 15, Feb 2011 | No Comments | In Calligraphy, Design Love, Lettering | By Molly

i have long been an admirer of the amazing chalk lettering work of designer dana tanamachi. i’m absolutely in awe of it and want to try it myself!

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a fine collaboration



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In Calligraphy, Graphic Design, Lettering

I always like doing projects with other designers because I get a fresh perspective on my own work. It’s like being back in design school and getting critiques. Last month I collaborated on a logo with South Carolina graphic designer Marco Suarez. I did the calligraphy, he did the rest. I’m so happy with the result but am even happier to hear that the client loves it!

{ Image via the portfolio of Marco Suarez }

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holiday cards



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In Lettering

On 30, Oct 2010 | One Comment | In Lettering |

On 30, Oct 2010 | One Comment | In Lettering | By Molly

This weekend I’ve gotten a start on my holiday cards. I wish I had the time to make each and every one by hand like I did with my Halloween cards, but since my winter card mailing list is much longer, I don’t. Digitizing a hand-made design is always second best. After much experimentation I’ve settled on a the lettering below, although it takes a lot of refining by hand and then later in Photoshop to get it crisp enough to print well.

Stay tuned for more steps along the way….

{ i start with a quick pencil sketch then begin to refine the letterforms by tracing on vellum. }
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