Calligraphy is an understated and underappreciated form of art that revolves around script writing.
The focus when it comes to this particular art is not only to showcase the beauty of what is being written, but also the beauty that can be found in the formation of the letters themselves.
As a traditional art form, calligraphy is often performed with writing instruments such as ink brushes and specifically designed calligraphy pens.
However, with technology advancing so rapidly, it is no surprise that calligraphy has become an art form that can also be undertaken digitally.
Calligraphy is now accessible on devices such as the iPad, with specific and best calligraphy apps being designed to allow for the practice of calligraphy, as well as general art and design apps where you can engage in some calligraphy.
This includes both free and paid applications.
With this in mind, we are going to be looking at some of the best iPad calligraphy apps- and general design and art apps for both aspiring calligraphers and professionals alike. Let’s get started.
1. Calligraphy Handbook
If you are looking for the perfect app to not only improve your calligraphy skills but also learn as you go, then Calligraphy Handbook is the choice for you.
As well as offering various kinds of digital pens to practice with, there is also the chance to take part in interactive challenges where you have to reproduce a certain model within the given limited space and with a certain number of strokes.
You will also be penalized for exceeding the strokes as well as for using other shortcuts, so you have to take your learnings and put them into practice.
The Calligraphy Handbook offers the following when it comes to digital writing tools:
- 1 Pointed Ink Pen
- 11 Calligraphic Pens
- 1 Eraser
- 12 Alternated Colors Effects
- 12 Mixed Colors Effects
All of the pens in the app also feature a smooth stroke, to get the perfect lines and curves.
You also get a range of different angles for your pens- 24 to be exact- as well as premixed colors, guiding lines, and calligraphic hands with different style choices.
- Both a free and paid versions are available.
- A range of digital calligraphy tools.
- Well laid out.
- Create elegant and majestic shades.
- Not as user-friendly as it could be.
- A slight delay with writing.
Procreate is a well-known, award-winning Apple app that allows for a wide range of artistic projects, including calligraphy.
There is a brush library that you can find in the Procreate app, where you can choose what kind of brush you want to use for your art.
Whilst you can get traditional art-themed brushes such as painting, sketching, drawing, and inking styles, there is also an entire section dedicated to calligraphy brushes.
For a versatile app that allows you to engage in any kind of art project that you want, including calligraphy, then Procreate is the app for you.
- Incredibly versatile.
- You can purchase more calligraphy brushes via plugins if you so choose.
- Customization options.
- An amazing selection of brushes.
- Nicely designed and easy-to-use user interface.
- A more expensive choice
- If you want an app that is purely calligraphy-based, you might find Procreate inappropriate
3. Sketch Club
Much more than just your run-of-the-mill drawing app, Sketch Club offers a range of options and tools to practice your calligraphy.
With support for Apple Pencil or a third-party Bluetooth stylus, as well as features such as layers with configurable blending choices, filters for layers, and much more.
Sketch Club is a more economical choice than Procreate, but it offers the same opportunity to practice calligraphy in a digital format.
- You can create your own brushes
- Compatible with Apple Pencils and other Bluetooth styluses
- A versatile list of features
- Much like Procreate, this isn’t the best choice for a pure calligraphy app.
4. Paper by WeTransfer
This immersive sketching app is an excellent option when it comes to getting in calligraphy practice before you move on to one of the pricier apps.
A free app that has the option of in-app purchases, Paper features pressure-sensitive brushes that give you a great level of control whilst practicing your writing, which is a necessity for the most accurate calligraphy work.
As well as for those who have recently started learning calligraphy and want to do some practice, you also get five options when it comes to your digital calligraphy tools, including brushes, pens, and pencils.
- Various different digital tools
- A great app for beginners needing practice
- More cost-effective
- Free with optional purchases.
- Pressure-sensitive brushes.
- One of the more basic apps that may not be suitable for more advanced calligraphers.
5. Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Illustrator is one of the best illustration apps out there, and it features a Calligraphic brush that replicates the feel and looks of a calligraphy pen nib.
This particular brush is perfect for both beginners and more experienced calligraphers, but this isn’t all that Illustrator has to offer.
There is so much that you can do with this app, from creating logos and graphics to – of course- illustrations.
If you are looking for a versatile app that you can use for a range of different creative projects as well as calligraphy, then Adobe Illustrator is the choice for you.
- Huge versatility when it comes to what you can do with the app.
- Free if you already have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.
- Features a pressure-sensitive lettering brush that is perfect for calligraphy
- Intuitive user interface
- A handy smoothing function
- A particularly expensive choice with monthly costs, which is not worth it if you are looking for an app purely for calligraphy.
6. Calligraphy Penmanship
The name of this app is pretty indicative of what it offers! Calligraphy Penmanship is exclusively designed for calligraphers, giving them the chance to practice and maintain their skill whilst also building on it.
The app does support finger touch but, as with most art-based apps, it is best used with a stylus or the Apple Pencil as these allow the strokes to be managed and designed more appropriately thanks to sensing the user’s pressure.
The pressure is such that even the slightest change will cause different, intricate strokes.
As well as offering various brushes with different thicknesses, there is also a range of customizable colors to choose from.
For an app that is dedicated solely to the art of calligraphy, Calligraphy Penmanship is sure to be one of the most suitable choices for you.
- Specifically designed for calligraphy enthusiasts
- Pressure sensitivity is well adapted for calligraphy
- Various brushes available with different kinds of thickness
- Customizable colors
- Free and paid versions
- Well-designed layout
- You will have to pay for the full version in order to get the most out of Calligraphy Penmanship.
7. Adobe Fresco
Another piece of Adobe software, Fresco is a painting and drawing app that is built for styluses, making it a great choice when it comes to calligraphy.
There is a whole section of Adobe Fresco dedicated to exploring different lettering style options, including calligraphy.
This allows the user to understand the various nuances and subtleties associated with calligraphy and lettering resources as a whole.
This revolves more around the idea of utilizing your calligraphy within a project, such as a for a business or for graphic design, making it the perfect choice of app for those who might be considering using their calligraphy skills for more than just a hobby.
Fresco also offers both traditional and modern calligraphy styles, with the traditional kind featuring specific, handwritten styles of lettering- such as Spencerian and Copperplate- which is made up of certain formations and distinctive strokes.
More modern takes feature lettering such as brush styles, cursive, and scripts, all of which are possible with Fresco.
- A range of tools allows for different styles of painting and drawing, as well as calligraphy.
- Both modern and traditional calligraphy possibilities.
- A great choice for building your calligraphy skills to a professional level.
- Smoothing function along with pressure sensitivity
- A wide range of brush choices
- Another particularly expensive choice, much like Adobe Illustrator.
- Again, if it is just calligraphy that you are interested in then this app is likely to have functions that will go to waste
8. Affinity Designer
Affinity Designer is another excellent choice when it comes to an app to use for calligraphy, thanks to the various features that the graphic design app has that align well with calligraphy as an art form.
This is another app that is well suited for building a business, with all sorts of projects possible such as the creation of logos, the concept of digital art, UI designs, icons, and mock-ups to name a few.
Affinity is the app of choice for creative professionals such as game developers, web designers, and illustrators.
Compared to some of the Adobe programs, Affinity Designer is a more affordable price with a ton of additional features.
That being said, Affinity Designer can be a little bit frustrating as it does not have the smooth, pressure sensitivity that some of the other apps offer.
- Various options when it comes to brushes
- One-time purchase, no subscription necessary
- Much more affordable than the Adobe programs.
- Can be used for graphic design and artistic projects as well as calligraphy
- Lack of pressure sensitivity
9. Inspire Pro
This is another art based app that is well-suited for calligraphy as well as sketching, painting, and drawing.
As well as having no subscription fees, Inspire utilizes a proprietary painting engine named Sorcery that has been meticulously designed to take advantage of the GPU in order to render brush strokes that are not only laser sharp and feature sub-pixel precision, but also bright and bold 64- bit color.
This is a great feature for painting, but it also suits calligraphy well, as does the subtle pressure sensitivity.
With more than 150 brushes to pick from, you are sure to find the right one to suit your personal calligraphy needs with the Inspire Pro app.
- Sorcery engine increases the sharpness of the brush strokes
- Pressure sensitivity makes for smooth writing
- Tons of brush options
- No subscription fees, just a one-off payment
- Easy to use
- More centered around painting, so probably not suitable for those only interested in calligraphy
Designed to create mandalas and tessellations, Amaziograph is an app that is more centered on the drawing but can still easily be used for calligraphy.
The brushes in Amaziograph allow for customization of stroke softness, width, and opacity, which is the perfect feature to allow for precision calligraphy.
The relaxing nature of this app is also sure to be appealing to those looking to engage in calligraphy via a calming application.
- Calming vibes
- Customization of brushes allows for more precise calligraphy
- Excellent user interface
- Very easy to use
- No duplicate layering
- A drawing-based app that you might not be immediately drawn to for calligraphy.
So there you have a range of iPad apps that you are able to use to practice calligraphy, including both paid-for and free applications.
Whether it is just calligraphy that you are interested in, or you want an app to create digital artworks and other forms of art too, or perhaps you possibly want an app that will help you build your own project or business.
Whilst using your calligraphy skills to create fonts and typographies-, you are sure to find the right app to suit your personal needs with our extensive and varied list.