Arts & Culture

Peculiar Ones

Ordinary school schedule, ordinary school routine, and ordinary pens. Yes, it’s only February, but we’re already tired of ordinary things aren’t we? No, wait a second– perhaps they’re not all as ordinary as we thought. Let’s look at some peculiar pens for hand-lettering.

There are many extraordinary kinds of pens, but I would like to focus on two types: dip pen and calligraphy marker. These pens often fall into the calligraphy category instead of hand-lettering; nevertheless, they are still close cousins so let’s take a look at them.

Calligraphy Dip Pen

Calligraphy dip pen is possibly one of the most ancient writing tools. Metal dip nibs even trace back to Ancient Egypt. Back in those days, scribes used dip pens to write and draw.

No doubt, these pens look fancy and classy, and even if I can’t write very well using one, I would love to just exhibit it on my wall for its delicate and archaic look.

Dip pens can be divided into two parts, the nib and the handle.

Usually the handle doesn’t matter too much. Still, the handle varies in size, shape, and material. I have one that is made of wood, and another of plastic. The nib is what really makes the difference. Different nibs create different styles and have different textures and feels when they are used.

Nibs can be divided into two main types: broad nibs and point nibs.

Broad nibs have stiffer and wider tips. The writer needs to change the direction of the pen to control the thickness of the letters. Point nibs on the other hand, have a sharp, pointy tip. The tip may be really thin, but the writer can acquire thicker strokes by adding pressure to the pen. Many artists use point nibs for drawing instead of calligraphy.

Calligraphy Marker

This pen is similar to a dip pen that has a broad nib, except it doesn’t need to be dipped in ink every single time you write because it has inks inside the pen.


It may look like a highlighter, but it is a calligraphy pen. It can take some time to get used to this pen because, as with the broad nib, you need to change the direction of the pen to control its thickness instead of giving the pen pressure. When you use this pen to write, you can write like the medieval scribes or just with really cool gothic letters.

Pens can be such extraordinary and strange things even though they are just everyday items. Could we as students find something that is extraordinary and different in our daily routines? Well, it isn’t easy. But perhaps getting one of these interesting pens and starting to letter with a special handwriting style would give you something extraordinary in your ordinary life.

January Hand Lettering Challenge Update: Unfortunately, I didn’t receive much feedback from last month’s challenge. As a result I am going to extend the challenge through February. I am looking forward to seeing some of your extraordinary hand lettering!

Works Cited:

“History of Dip Pens.” History of Pencils, 2019.

One Comment

  1. Corrie Anna Campbell

    I just love this column. =)