FREE Next Day Delivery on orders over £50

5 Things you should know before you buy a Calligraphy Pen Set

5 Things you should know before you buy a Calligraphy Pen Set

Table of Contents

Reading time: 5 minutes

Calligraphy and creative writing is becoming increasingly more popular – whether it’s for writing wedding invites, letter writing or just plain old doodling. With more and more people wanting to put their creative hands to work, it’s useful to know the type of things you will want to consider before you purchase a Calligraphy pen set.

Calligraphy Pen Guide Zieler

1. Ink Flow

A major factor to consider is the flow of ink from the nib. This might sound obvious, but we all write at a different speed and apply a different force with the nib. Therefore, it is important that the flow of ink is consistent. If it is not then your work will not look particularly attractive and it may cause you frustration due to no fault of your own.

If there is too much ink flow from the nib your work will blot on the writing sheet (see picture A, below). When this happens you may also find your work seeping through the back page and possibly ruining on to the next sheet.

In contrast, if the pen does not provide enough ink flow (or the flow is inconsistent) you will have patchy and incomplete strokes (see picture B, below).

Calligraphy Flow Control Comparison
All Zieler Calligraphy pens are designed with nibs that provide flow-control to ensure that you get a smooth, clean finish with each and every stroke as shown below.
Zieler Written Calligraphy - Zieler Art Supplies

2. Comfort

Writing with any type of writing instrument, even for short amounts of time, can sometimes lead to discomfort in your fingers – especially if you are using a hard plastic composition like many calligraphy fountain pens are made from.

Calligraphy Pen Nib Section Comparison
Hard Plastic Is Not The Most Comfortable Grip
As a budding or experienced Calligrapher you will most probably be writing for a good length of time so comfort should be high on your priority list. Zieler has formulated a soft-rubber grip (shown below) for most of our Calligraphy pen sets – so you can write with ease and enjoyment.
Calligraphy Pen Grip Type

3. The number of pen lids & barrels

This point is often overlooked by buyers. A complete Calligraphy pen is made up of three parts: a nib section, a barrel (the piece above the nib section) and a lid or cap. If you are not going to be switching between the different nib sections that often you might be able to make do with a Calligraphy set which has one lid and one barrel. However, if you are going to be switching nib sections fairly often you may want to consider a lid and a barrel for each nib section. This will save you the time of unscrewing and re-screwing nib sections every time you wish to change nibs!

Calligraphy Pen Nibs And Barrel Lids
Nibs, Barrels And Lids

Another big advantage of having separate lids and barrels is that they help prevent your pens from drying out quickly as the lids can be placed on when they pens are not in use.

4. Converter & Ink cartridges

The purpose of a converter cartridge is to allow you to use bottled ink (as opposed to ink cartridges). You may choose to do this just for ease or because you have a specific colour bottled ink that you would like to use. Be sure to use ink that is suitable for cartridge pens otherwise you may find your nib becoming irreversibly blocked. Indian ink, for example, is a dipping ink and is not suitable to run through a cartridge-based pen even if you using a converter.

Calligraphy Pen Converter
Be Careful Which Type Of Ink You Fill Your Converter With

The alternative to a converter, and a far more popular choice, is to use conventional ink cartridges that come with most good Calligraphy sets. These cartridges, in the same way as bottled ink, can be permanent or water-based.

Permanent ink will provide better protection against your work fading with time or in the light. If you’ve spent hours on your work you will probably want it to last so permanent ink can be a good choice. The two main downsides to this type of ink, however, are (1) that the nib section will need to be cleaned out after each use and (2) the ink is less easily removable from clothes or surfaces should it leak or be spilt.

Water-based ink will wash out more easily and the nib section does not need cleaning out after every use (though periodic cleaning is recommended). The ink will not, however, provide the same level of colour intensity or protection as a permanent ink.

The blue ink cartridges in Zieler Calligraphy sets are washable ink with all of the other colour cartridges supplied being permanent ink.

Finally, you should also consider how easy your cartridges are to buy when they run out. The last thing you want is to be spending money on a pen set for which replacement cartridges are hard to obtain. Zieler pens are designed to fit standard, international-size cartridges which are readily available at all good stockists.

5. A Guide

A useful part of any Calligraphy set is whether it includes a guide to get you started. This is especially true if you are considering as a gift for someone new to creative writing.

Some guides may include a grid sheet. This is a sheet with lines on it that guides you on how to size and space out your lettering – something which many newbies struggle with. Please note you should make a copy of the grid and ensure you practise on this so that the original can be copied and reused.

The lines on grid sheets differ depending on the size you are writing and the writing style you have chosen. Calligraphy practice grid-lined pads are available should you require these.

The Zieler guide to Calligraphy includes a grid sheet with step-by-step instructions on how to write Uncial Script and Gothic Script styles of Calligraphy. You can also download our free grid sheet here and use it to practice various sizes and styles of writing.

Calligraphy Grid Sheet
Grid Sheets Are Good Way To Learn Calligraphy


Lettering is something to be enjoyed and should never feel like a chore. You will want to be spending more time actually practicing, learning and writing than fiddling around with pens and inks. There are many Calligraphy sets available on the market and it can be difficult task choosing the right one as it’s not normally something you can try before you buy.

As far as Zieler Calligraphy sets go, we’ve created the table below to assist you.

Product Ink Flow Control Comfort Grip Number Lids, Barrels & Nib sections Converter Included Cartridges Included Guide Included

Soft Rubber

1 x lid
1 x barrel
3 x Nib sections


Blue washable

Only as basic guide

Soft Rubber

3 x lids
3 x barrels
3 x Nib sections

Blue washable & other permanent colours

High Precision Super-Smooth nibs


3 x lid (suction fit)
3 x barrel
3 x Nib sections

Blue washable & other permanent colours

Soft Rubber

4 x lids
4 x barrel
5 x Nib sections

Blue washable & other permanent colours
  • ,

    Original price was: £39.95.Current price is: £29.95.
    Add to basket
  • Original price was: £12.95.Current price is: £10.95.
    Add to basket
  • Original price was: £19.95.Current price is: £16.95.
    Add to basket

More helpful Guides:


How to use colouring pencils.

The Ultimate Colouring Pencil Guide Table of Contents Learn how to use colouring pencils with Zieler artist ambassador @bishandbow_art. Colouring pencils have become increasingly popular.

Read More »
    Your Basket
    You're £50.00 away from free shipping.

    Applies to DPD UK Zone 1 only

      Apply Coupon