Plurabelle Calligraphy & Design Studio

My Books

I am the author of bestselling DIY guide, Modern Calligraphy, and a freelancer’s companion, The Calligrapher’s Business HandbookShop now.


Modern Calligraphy

Having sold over 60,000 copies, Modern Calligraphy: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Script Calligraphy (St. Martin's Press, 2013) is a bestseller in its fourth printing. In 2016 it was released in Spanish and Chinese translations. In 2017 it was made available as an eBook for Kindle and iBooks. 

Modern Calligraphy is the first book to teach contemporary, fresh, pointed pen calligraphy, breaking the learning process down into simple steps so anyone can do it. With over 180 pages of instructions and 260 full-color photographs and illustrations, the book guides you through the process from the very beginning. After mastering letter forms using a pointed dip pen and ink, take your new skills to the next level with intermediate techniques such as how to calligraph with gouache and digitize your calligraphy to make invitations and rubber stamps.


What readers have to say about Modern Calligraphy:

“This book has filled the gap in what’s missing from online resources.”
— Terri B.

“I have been a calligrapher since 1985 and this is the best book I have in my vast collection. There is something that everyone can accomplish with a little bit of practice using Ms. Thorpe’s techniques. It is beside my drawing board, light box, ink and pens. It will not go on the shelf with the others!”
— Nancy D.

“The way it's put together inspired me to put pen to paper. Usually I am overwhelmed and intimidated but Molly makes this doable!”
— Lisa J.

A peek inside Modern Calligraphy


The Calligrapher’s Business Handbook

During my career as a professional calligrapher and freelance graphic designer, I have taught calligraphy to hundreds of students and worked with countless peers in the lettering arts industry. There is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the business of calligraphy and hand lettering and, over the years, I’ve heard the same questions and run into the same misconceptions time and again.

My goal in writing this book was to provide answers to these questions and to clarify misconceptions about the business side of hand lettering by creating a guide to the best practices and pricing strategies of successful, professional lettering artists.

The common questions my new book answers include:

  • What prices do professional calligraphers charge for their services?
  • When should I charge a flat rate and when should I charge by the hour?
  • I’ve heard I should charge a lot more to design a logo than to design something for an individual to use personally, but why?
  • What is the protocol when a company wants to buy the copyright to my work? (Wait, do I even own the copyright to my work if a client hired me to make it?)
  • What are exclusive rights? How are nonexclusive rights different?
  • What should a fair project contract include?
  • When, if ever, should I agree to do work for free or for considerably less than my customary rates?
  • What are the best ways to advertise on a budget, especially when I’m just starting out as a freelancer?
  • Do I need to go to art or design school to become a successful, in-demand lettering artist?


What others are saying about The Calligrapher's Business Handbook:

“This new book should be a staple in the library of any calligrapher who wishes to pursue the art as a business. It is simply a wealth of useful and practical information. ... This is a volume that certainly should not be missed!”
Paper & Ink Arts

"If you’re interested in making some income from your dip pen talent, I highly recommend The Calligrapher’s Business Handbook! When you have a moment to read it, you’ll want to dig in with a highlighter in hand. Molly’s transparency about pricing and process is unrivaled, and I think that a lot of calligraphy businesses will get a running start because of her generosity in sharing information."
— Lindsay Bugbee, The Postman's Knock

"This book is the concise compilation of all the information a newly skilled letter artist needs to begin or an expert calligrapher needs to refine their business techniques. It answers the question that most dominated my mind – "What are other people charging for their work?"
— Nina, Amazon reviewer


A peek at the pages:


Shop my books worldwide:


North America
Shop locally in the U.S.
Paper & Ink Arts – U.S.
John Neal Bookseller – U.S.
Paper & Ink Arts – U.S.
Powell's – U.S. – U.S.
Barnes & Noble – U.S. – Canada – Mexico

Shy Mao (Complex Chinese edition) – China
Fully Booked – Philippines
Kinokuniya – Singapore – Japan – India

CreateSpace – U.K. – Spain – France – Germany – Italy – The Netherlands

South America – Brazil

Oceania – Australia