I feel like most people start their pointed-pen calligraphy journeys with the Speedball Straight Holder, and I'm no exception. As I started researching different nibs, I came across the Brause EF66, a teeny, extra-fine nib that didn't properly fit in my cheap, plastic holder. Enter the KOH-I-NOOR Universal Straight Holder. This holder was a lifesaver for me. Its universal opening could wield any nib, any size, making it perfect for the EF66. I used this pen religiously for several months, until it was time to try something new.
And that something new was the Retro Styled Thick Oblique Holder. It was definitely a different experience switching to an oblique holder as there's a learning curve to everything new. I found that oblique holders encourage a more natural grip on the pen, leading to more comfort when when writing. If I'm writing in pointed pen, I reach for this holder 99% of the time. I default back to my universal straight holder only if a nib doesn't fit properly in the oblique version.
As for nibs, I always have the Nikko G (pictured in oblique holder) and the Brause Steno 361 a.k.a. "Blue Pumpkin" (pictured in straight holder). They're easily my favorite nibs, but for different tasks. The Nikko G creates fine lines and comparatively thinner downstrokes than the Brause Steno, as it's less flexible (i.e. the tines require more downward pressure to create a thick downstroke.) When I need a look that delicate and whimsical, I reach for the Nikko G.
The Brause Steno's tip is more blunt than the Nikko G, making it perfect for writing on more textured surfaces, like handmade paper. It's less likely to catch on the fibers, giving a beautiful, effortless finish. This nib is flexible and creates beautiful thick downstrokes, but with practice, a more thin downstroke can be achieved. Due to it's size, the Brause Steno is also great for larger projects because it can hold more ink than most other nibs.
My Go-to Pens
Pilot G-2 05 is my everyday pen. Its smooth gel ink is perfect for lists, sketches, inking designs, doodles, and simple hand-lettering. It comes in several nib sizes, but my favorite is the .5mm. You won't catch me anywhere without this pen in my bag because it's seriously the best.
The Tombow Fudenosuke Hard Tip is a versatile brush pen, perfect for brand new letterers. Its tip allows for ultimate control when learning basic brush lettering and calligraphy techniques like how to create a delicate upstroke and a heavy downstroke. I love it for note taking and lists too, in combination with the fine lines of the Pilot G-2.
So there you have it, friends.
These are my MVP calligraphy and lettering supplies as it relates to pen and paper. Let me know if you have any questions, or would like me to go in-depth on any other favorites! Thanks for hanging out with me!