Zebra G Nibs: Beautiful Hairlines

One of the hardest things to navigate in hand lettering seems to be what nibs to choose. The most frequent answer to my questions have been answered with, “it depends on the person”. I understand the gist of that sentiment, because each person holds the pen holder with a different weight and it does depend on many variables, but I still wish someone would give me one concrete suggestions. I am hoping that maybe my experience can at least guide you in the right direction. I am going to pop in with a few pen nibs that I have tried out. My current two favorites are both Japanese nibs, the Nikko G and the Zebra G (they are very similar to each other so if you are having a hard time finding one, try the other). The sample above is with the Zebra G, I love that it can make such beautiful hairline strokes. In calligraphy they refer to nibs as being stiff or flexible (and variations in between). For beginners it seems that a stiffer nib is easier to manipulate. One of the things I really like about this nib is that it is so smooth and doesn’t skip, you can have a heavier hand (like I do). The Zebra G’s first got popular with Manga artists and have worked their way into a lot of modern calligraphers tool boxes. When I posted a sample image on Instagram two of my fave lettering artists immediately commented that the Zebra G’s were their favorites.  I think starting a lettering practice with either the Nikko G or Zebra G will be a great start and give you a little confidence in your abilities.  Earlier I mentioned variables with nibs and you can’t even believe how many subtle nuances can change your lettering outcome such as type of ink, paper, even humidity.  Don’t give up, change it up! I’ll be back later with more samples and nib suggestions. I am no expert, but if you have questions please let me know.