Tag Archives: Handwriting

Kaweco Italic or Calligraphy Nibs – 1.1, 1.5, 1.9, 2.3

Many companies make italic or stub nibs as an option for their pens, including Lamy, TWSBI, Edison, and of course, Kaweco. These “italic” or “calligraphy” nibs are primarily a European writing style, so you may not find them as often on Japanese or Asian pens, except as a music nib.

Kaweco Calligraphy Nibs 1.1, 1.5, 1.9, 2.3 at Wonder Pens, wonderpens.ca

These days, in my abundant free time, I’ve been playing around with the Kaweco calligraphy nibs- you can get these on any Kaweco pen you buy, or buy them individually as a spare nib unit. I’ve had a lot of fun playing with the Pilot Parallel pens, but I love that I can get a nib as wide as 2.3 on a more compact pen.

I used a clear Kaweco Sport for these writing samples, which I’ve eye-droppered with Noodler’s Kiowa Pecan. If you’re going to be using italic nibs, especially the wider ones, it helps to have a lot of ink. (For some direction on converter your Sport to an eyedropper, check out this post)

Kaweco Calligraphy Nibs 1.1, 1.5, 1.9, 2.3 Writing Sample at Wonder Pens, wonderpens.ca

The 1.1 and 1.5 nibs are fairly standard, smooth, even flow but still with good line variation. The 1.1 is good for everyday writing, and you may be able to squeeze in the 1.5 if you’ve got good paper or large handwriting. A lot of customers use these nibs for letter or card writing, but a Fine or Medium nib for their work or school notes. 

Kaweco Calligraphy Nibs 1.1, 1.5, 1.9, 2.3 Writing Sample at Wonder Pens, wonderpens.ca

The 1.9 and 2.3 nibs, though, are slightly more exciting. I love that they’re still nice and wet, and you can see shading with the ink. The difference in the horizontal and the vertical is of course much more pronounced, so your writing really takes on a bit more of a calligraphic air, without even taking any lessons! (Although, obviously, some lessons would help…)

While I did just describe the nib as wet, being so wide does mean that you have to slow down just a bit. You’re not going to be able to scribble and scrawl at top speed, especially if you want the strokes to be even and crisp. If you write at an moderate pace, your ink should be able to keep up no problem – I think this may also not be a big deal because calligraphy is not necessarily meant to be scratched out, but written with a bit of care.

Kaweco Calligraphy Nibs 1.1, 1.5, 1.9, 2.3 Writing Sample at Wonder Pens, wonderpens.ca

Kaweco Calligraphy Nibs 1.1, 1.5, 1.9, 2.3 Writing Sample at Wonder Pens, wonderpens.ca  Kaweco Calligraphy Set at wonderpens.caYou can get all four of the nibs, plus a Black Sport with Silver Trim, and two packs of black cartridges in their Calligraphy Set, which all comes in a beautiful tin case.

Of course, you get everything you need, but there are a few advantages to getting it in the set, rather than individually (unless you know you just one want or two nibs). Kaweco Calligraphy Set at Wonder Pens in Toronto, CanadaEach nib comes in a section, which you can just screw on and off to the barrel of the Sport. You can keep a cartridge punctured in the back, and the little clear plastic domes fit around the nib to keep them from drying out. If you’re doing a lot of switching back and forth, addressing envelopes that need different font sizes, or practising calligraphy or typography, this can be really handy.

I’ve just been playing around with the 2.3 nib for the past little while, and when it came down to doing writing samples of all of the nibs, my fingers got pretty inky as I had to pull out each nib from the section, with the feed all inky.

In the future, if you have a different pen you’d like to use these italic nibs with, they’re friction fit, so you can pull them out of the housing and put them in any other Kaweco pen.

Kaweco Calligraphy Set at WonderPens.ca       Kaweco Calligraphy Nibs at Wonderpens.ca

If you know which nib you want, though, you then have the flexibility of either purchasing the nib with the pen body of your choice (mint, burgundy, clear…) or you can purchase the nib unit alone. This is pretty common for people who know they’re only going to use the italic nibs in certain situations. 

Keep in mind that all of the italic nibs are only made with a silver finish. You can purchase a Black Sport Skyline with Silver Trim, but many of the other Sports only have gold trim, so if you have a Clear Sport, like the one in these pictures, the nib isn’t going to match the finial.

Kaweco Clear Sport Demonstrator as Eyedropper

Kaweco Vintage-Styled Clip on Clear Sport

If you already have a pen, Kaweco or otherwise, you should consider trying an italic nib! Taking the time to slow down with your writing and maybe even looking up some calligraphy guidelines online will help you develop an appreciation for the beauty of handwriting and its rich and beautiful history. It can be almost meditative, while also giving you a good reason to get writing. 

InCoWriMo – International Correspondence Writing Month

Calligraphy & Lettering Uppercase Magazine Issue 23

This beautifully addressed envelope is from the Calligraphy and Lettering Issue of Uppercase Magazine

Now that you’ve been inspired by National Handwriting Day (January 23rd) to get writing again, International Correspondence Writing Month is the perfect opportunity to put those chops to good use.

The InCoWriMo challenge is to write a letter a day for the entire month of February. You can find more details here, but the gist of it is to get writing – once a day.

Here are some tips to get you through the month.

1. Get all set up! Find your paper and envelopes and some of your favourite pens or pencils and get it all together on your desk. Consider using some correspondence stationery that shows the thought you’ve put into the letter you’re writing, but some of the world’s most famous letters were scribbled on paper ripped out of a notebook.

photo-282. Check out your local Canada Post or post office for some cool stamps! I am loving these Year of the Ram stamps recently released, but they also have some older releases available that you might like. My favourites include these international stamps and these 63 cent stamps. It’s also nice to say hello to your local post office folks and appreciate what they do.

3. Take the time to create a list of people and collect some addresses before you begin – there’s nothing more frustrating than writing a letter and then spending several minutes (or more!) hunting for an address that you may not find. Having your list handy will mean as soon as you’re done, you can stamp and address your envelope with a sense of satisfaction!

4. Some people to consider writing to include:
– The obvious friends and family
– An old colleague
– A teacher from your childhood or professor from college
– Your local councilman or politician, appreciating what they have done
– Local businesses that you patronize
– Your spouse or significant other, sent to their workplace
– Your favourite (still living) author – try writing to their publisher
– Your local library
– A charity that has meaning to you
– Your favourite bloggers may have an address or PO box listed – sometimes it’s nice for them to receive encouragement since they write and write, but don’t necessarily hear back from their readers!

5. Go to your local bookshop or library and browse through a copy of Letters of Note. This collection of funny, touching, bizarre and historical letters written throughout time will surely inspire. While I love being able to flip through the pages and see the writing and descriptions of the circumstances of each letter, if you can’t get your hands on a physical copy, you can browse through their website, lettersofnote.com, to get some ideas.

Letters of Note, compiled by Shaun Usher

A letter from Elvis to US President Richard Nixon on that excellent American Airlines stationery – you write while on a flight, and you can indicate your altitude and location! From Letters of Note, compiled by Shaun Usher

6. Take it easy and enjoy yourself! Don’t worry if you miss a day or two or more. Even if you end up only writing a few letters, the important part is to connect or re-connect with people who mean something to you, your community or the world in which we all live.

7. Write to us! We are here at:
Wonder Pens – Liz or Jon Chan (preferably me, but Jon says I have to say preferably Jon)
906 Dundas Street W
Toronto, ON
M6J 1W1 Canada

*Fun fact: on our first trip away from Super (the family dog), I wrote him a postcard from Mongolia.

How to Celebrate National Handwriting Day

It’s National Handwriting Day!

We often get people in the shop who are looking for a fountain pen in order to improve their handwriting, or tell us that they’ve noticed their handwriting improving since they’ve started using a new pen. I’m not sure if a fountain pen is necessarily a magic wand, but having gone through the effort of choosing to write with one, you may find you are writing more thoughtfully or intentionally.

IMG_2106

However, that all being said, I think National Handwriting Day is also just a celebration of handwriting, whether or not it’s cursive or beautiful or legible (hopefully it’s legible…).

Here are a few ways you can celebrate:

1. Dust off that old fountain pen! Rummage through grandma’s drawer or try cleaning out and inking up a pen you haven’t used in a while. Sometimes an old tool gives you a fresh perspective.

2. Write a love letter to someone! Your wife! Your dog! Your favourite local pen shop!

3. Spend some time searching up the hashtag #calligraphy on Instagram, and immediately feel both desolate and hopeful about your own handwriting potential.

4. Google graphology, the art/science of handwriting analysis, and see what your handwriting says about you. Be prepared to attempt to change your handwriting…

5. Try something new! Normally write with an EF? Try an Italic! Die-hard printer? Try some Spencerian or copperplate. Try a new ink colour you might not naturally lean towards.

For many fountain pen users, every day is National Handwriting Day. We look for reasons to use our wonderful fountain pens and inks, and sometimes end up doodling. Today, however, is the day when we don’t necessarily seem so Willy Wonka, so go all out and celebrate! Have fun with your writing. Surprise your boss with a memo in your green scrawl. And ask for a raise while you’re at it.