Wind down with a modern calligraphy class


Modern calligraphy has gotten super trendy – it’s the go-to font for wedding stationery, personalised gifts and basically everything listed on Etsy is adorned with it. It’s effortless, timeless look is charming: but how hard is it actually to ‘do’?

If it’s broken down into easy manageable steps, like it was on the Modern Calligraphy for beginners class hosted by John Lewis (#gifted), it’s easy to get your head around. 

The golden rules, I learned, are as follows:

  1. Remember: thick downstrokes (and apply more pressure), thin upstrokes (apply less pressure)
  2. Don’t write as you normally would with a ballpoint pen; the nib pen doesn’t work like that
  3. Break each component of a letter of the alphabet apart, then join them together slowly with different strokes – not in one go!


It’s going to take a lot of practice for me to create something presentable, but the gently-paced class and knowledgeable tutor (Heena Tailor) provided a valuable introduction to the craft. We were taught the basics, from how to use a nib pen to how to craft letterforms and words. 


The two-hour modern calligraphy class (£50) was hosted last night at John Lewis White City as part of their new in-store experiences. It was held in the Discovery Room – a quiet, peaceful room on the third floor, which didn’t make you feel as though you were in the middle of the department store!

There are a few more calligraphy classes taking place across other stores: there’s one more at John Lewis White City on Thursday 12th, and one in the Southampton store on Saturday 7th. To find out more, visit


There was a class of 11 and we were provided with refreshments on arrival. We were able to take our nib and pen set, ink pot and practice guide home with us, so now I can say I have my own calligraphy set! We were also given some blank cards and a few gift tags so we could go away and practice on them.


The session had an apt Christmas angle: the tutor showed us how we could use our newly-learned skills to decorate gift tags, Christmas cards and envelopes – so simple and elegant – I’ll definitely be attempting the gift tags with my newly learned skills.

One of the attendees on the class told me: “A handwritten item is the nicest thing you could give a loved one in this busy day and age. I was interested in this calligraphy class because I wanted to take some time out and slow down from the madness of every day life. I’ve loved it!”


Another said she found out about the class by popping to the Experience Desk on the ground floor a few weeks before. “I went to the desk to find out what was going on and they asked me what I was interested in and what I enjoyed. I’ve always wanted to do calligraphy so this was right up my street. I booked a few weeks ago and here I am!”



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