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Sick of coloring books? Try this instead.

While the coloring book craze is starting to wane thanks to oversaturation, there’s another creative practice that’s sweeping the Internet: calligraphy, or lettering as it’s also commonly known.

You can’t just pick up any pen and letter to do it well, though. Your tools are crucial, as we’ve learned by trying to use a variety of pens not designed for the purpose. However, once you know what to buy, you’ll find there’s a wonderful, meditative quality to lettering that’s instantly addictive. And yes, it’s way better than coloring.

Here are the items we recommend if you’d like to get started.

1) Tombow fudenosuke brush pen 


These Japanese pens write so beautifully that you’ll find it easy to practice any words you want to write and find the flow. This set comes with one hard tip and one soft tip pen, which are perfect to get you started.

Price on Amazon: $7.49

Buy it here

2) Rhodia classic black notepad


Not only do your pens matter, but the type of paper you use to letter matters too. Choosing smooth, acid-free, archival safe paper will be best for the life of your pens as well as your lettering projects (more on why here). Not only is this pad from Rhodia well-priced, but lettering bloggers praise it for being “smooth as butter” to write on!

Price on Amazon: $7.94

Buy it here

3) Tombow dual brush pen art markers


If you’re ready to introduce some color into your work, this Tombow Brights set is a terrific tool. Packed with 10 colors, it’ll give you plenty to work with. Tombow also makes a beautiful box of all the markers available in this line, but you’ll want to save that purchase for later when the addiction deepens.

Price on Amazon: $16.90

Buy it here

4) Creative Lettering and Beyond


If you’d like to gather some inspiration, this best-selling book may be a good guide to get you there. It features examples of many different fonts, as well as how to get your strokes right and tons of other tips.

Price on Amazon: $11.97

5) Dr. Ph. Martin’s Bleedproof White


If you’re ready to letter actual cards and want to make sure you don’t make any mistakes, you might want to have a bottle of this miracle stuff handy. It’ll correct everything from marker colors to watercolor, making it easy to erase your errors absolutely.

Buy it here


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