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How To Choose The Right Nib (for pointed pen calligraphy)

Answering one of the most commonly asked questions "Which nib do you use?"

I'll be taking you through some of the most commonly used and available nibs that are good for practice as well as final pieces.

Let me start by telling you "Nibs are a whole mood" and when you're getting started, you may find it hard to understand how they work with different inks, surfaces in fact X heights too but I promise, as you keep going and experiment, you'll get a hang of it.

I've written about the most commonly used/available nibs and their overall functioning, of course, this is based on my personal experience so you've got to determine what works best for you.

The G series nibs are best suited for beginners which include Nikko G

, Tachikawa G, and Zebra G - these nibs are very sturdy and inflexible which is why it’s good to get started with. They also work very well on handmade paper as the tip is not too sharp so it doesn’t pick up fibers.

As you progress, you want to try out other nibs and see what works best for you, my personal favorite is Principle EF.

Principle EF. was the nib I started using and is still the one I reach for most frequently. You can achieve beautiful, thin hairline strokes as well as thick downstrokes by simply adjusting the pressure applied. It’s strong, it’s sturdy, and an all-around great nib. It will take some getting used to, especially if you are just starting out, so give yourself time and grace to practice and learn how nibs work.

Hunt 101 and Hunt 22 are two of my most used nibs after Principle EF, they’re great for practice, it also works really well for addressing envelopes and working on finished pieces. They produce very fine hairlines and thick swells which gives a delicate look overall.

Gillot 303 - I’ve found it to be especially useful while creating flourishes, it just glides over the paper so easily letting us create some beautiful strokes. Superfine hairlines, and great swells.

Brause Steno aka Blue Pumpkin is an excellent nib and the best one for writing on very large X heights as it’s very flexible.

Hope this gives you a good idea about the various nibs you can use in different scenarios!

1 Comment

handmade papers
handmade papers
Nov 23, 2021

This was indeed helpful. Thank you Sanjana.

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