Fountain pens are frequently used for calligraphy, whether by advanced professionals or beginning amateurs. The nib customizations that we perform to increase line-width variation can make your quality fountain pen into a highly suitable instrument for creating calligraphic script.

In general, the line-width variation required for creating calligraphy with a fountain pen is achieved by modifying the nib through two distinct methods. A regrind to a sharper italic point results in a pen that will give broad down-strokes and narrow cross-strokes, making this an appropriate tool for creating traditional italic style calligraphy.

Adding flex to a nib, on the other hand, allows the user to achieve line-width variation by varying the pressure used while writing - when combined with a regrind to needlepoint, this modification is well-suited for Spencerian copperplate and similar styles.

Here are examples of firm formal italic nibs for calligraphy.

Here is the uncustomized Pelikan triple-broad nib

Here is the Pelikan triple-broad customized to a crisp cursive italic.

Here are more writing samples of firm formal italic nibs customized at the Nib works.

These beautiful writing samples were provided by Mandy Young, a freelance calligrapher in Lincoln, MA. She also teaches various courses in lettering at De Cordova Museum School. 

We make extra flexible nibs in all widths and most styles. Most 14k nibs are good candidates for this customization. This is done with a Namiki Falcon fine with added flex. We used Pilot's Irishizuku Moonlight ink.

A customer penned this with one of our Namiki Falcons modified to our Spencerian approximation. Notice how, using greater pressure, the line width changes on the downstroke. These tips are challenging to use. Nakaya are the only other pens, besides the Pilot Custom 912 with FA nib and the Pilot Falcon that are appropriate for the Spencerian approximation.

Here is a sample of writing by one of our customers, Edward Weyman, who is using a vintage dip pen which we re-tipped.

Calligraphy books