The Calligrapher's Business Handbook by Molly Suber Thorpe

Welcome!

You've reached the companion page to The Calligrapher's Business Handbook, a guide to best business practices and pricing strategies for calligraphers and lettering artists. Here you will find links to all the online resources referenced in the book.

➺ Don't own the book? Find a seller near you.

➺ Learn more about the author, Molly Suber Thorpe.

 

 

Your Business (A.K.A. Legal Stuff)

  • U.S. Patent & Trademark Office – Legal – Check on and register trademarks (U.S. only)
  • U.S. Small Business Association – Legal – The U.S. government agency providing resources for registering a company and creating a business plans
  • Freelancers Union – Biz help – Free to join; offers great support about contracts, taxes, health coverage, and more. They also offer some great, member-exclusive discounts to third-party services here.
  • Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
    An affordable legal aid and education organization dedicated to New York artists and its arts and cultural organizations.

Browse more freelance and small business resources here.

 

Your Website and Email

  • Creative Market Themes – Templates – Site templates created by designers, available for various platforms
  • Google Domains – Domains – Affordable domain names, custom email addresses, and website design tools
  • Google Fonts – Fonts – Fonts to use on your website and/or download to your computer for free
  • Squarespace – Host – Website host with elegant templates, great for online portfolios and e-shops
  • Squarespace Tutorials – Tutorials – Nice and simple lessons from Elle & Co.
  • Weebly – Host – Simple web design templates, great for online portfolio design and e-shops
  • WiseStamp – Email – Email signature plug-in to create custom, graphic signatures for Gmail, iPhone, Mail, and Outlook

Browse more web design resources here.

 

Your Company Branding

  • Adobe Color – Color – Free service for creating cohesive color palettes; integrates with Adobe programs
  • Coolers – Color – Free color palette generator with features like pulling colors schemes from photos
  • Czar Press – Printer – Top-notch letterpress printer; located in California, U.S. but ships internationally
  • Google Fonts – Fonts – Fonts to use on your website and/or download to your computer for free
  • Moo U.S.  /  Moo U.K.  /  Moo E.U.  /  Moo Australia – Printer – Great for business card printing and promotional materials
  • Printed.com – Printer – A versatile online printing company; based in the U.K. but ships internationally
  • Printswell Fulfillment – Printer – Mass producer of custom stationery, perfect for creating your own stationery line! Only ships within the U.S.
  • StationeryHQ – Printer – Printing for stationery and a range of products including wrapping paper and notepads; ships only within the U.S.

Browse more printers here.

 

Ads and Social Media Tools

  • Facebook & Instagram Ads – Ads – Flexible advertising for both Facebook and Instagram to promote a page, website, product, event, or special offer; set your own budget and target audience and pay per click
  • Google Adwords – Ads – Highly flexible advertising for advertising on Google; set your own budget and target audience and pay per click
  • Pinterest Ads – Ads – Flexible advertising for promoting pins to drive traffic to your website; set your own budget and target audience
  • Benchmark – E-newsletters – Beautiful templates and easy to use; free up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month.
  • MailChimp – E-newsletters – One of the most popular tools for designing and sending e-newsletters, with simple plug-ins for capturing new subscribers through your website or blog.
  • Hootsuite – Social media – The most robust social media manager, allowing post scheduling and analytics for all social networks; free and paid plans available
  • Later – Social media – Formerly known as Latergramme, this is a very popular (and entirely free) Instagram scheduling tool

Browse more advertising and social media resources here.

 

Freelancing Tools

  • Freelancers Union – Biz help – Free to join; offers great support about contracts, taxes, health coverage, and more. They also offer some great, member-exclusive discounts to third-party services here.
  • Pricing Guidelines for Professional Calligraphers – Pricing – Download the full text of Carla Hagan's 2016 survey of professional and hobbyist calligraphers in the United States.
  • Freelancer's Union Customizable Contracts — Contracts – Build a standardized client agreement with this step-by-step contract creator.
  • The Contract Shop – Contracts – Contract templates specifically drafted for creatives, such as calligraphers and stationery designers.
  • Hello Sign – Contracts – Legally-binding e-signature service. Among the nice features, it seamlessly Integrates with gmail. Paid monthly or annually.
  • Shake – Contracts – Legally-binding e-signature service. Offers templates of all sorts
  • HelloFax – Fax – E-fax service with free and paid plans
  • Google Forms – Forms/surveys – Free service for creating surveys and simple contracts with free, customizable templates
  • Typeform – Forms/surveys – Create visually appealing, easy-to-use, web-based forms and surveys
  • Dropbox – File sharing – Cloud-based file sharing and storage service; free and paid plans available
  • Google Drive – File sharing – Cloud-based file sharing and storage service that integrates with all Google accounts; free and paid plans available
  • WeTransfer – File sharing – Free file sharing up to 2GB, or up to 20GB with a paid account, which includes analytics and a customizable home screen

Browse more freelance and small business resources here.

 

Money Stuff

  • 17Hats – Bookkeeping – Client and project management platform for creating quotes, contracts, invoices and more.
  • Bench – Bookkeeping – Affordable small business accounting services provided by a team of live experts. Payable monthly.
  • Wave Accounting – Bookkeeping – Free online accounting software for small businesses
  • Square Register – E-payments – Point-of-sale service making it easy to accept payments on the go
  • Stripe – E-payments – Extremely user-friendly payment infrastructure for selling online
 

Online Learning

  • CreativeMarket – Design – Photoshop tutorials for bloggers
  • IAMPETH – Calligraphy – The International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers, and Teachers of Handwriting, offering written and video tutorials
  • Lynda.com – Design – Video tutorials in design software, photography, business, and more
  • Skillshare – Design & Calligraphy – In addition to the offerings about calligraphy, find video classes here about design software, photography, crafts, business, and more. (Psst — get a free month of Skillshare Premium with this link!)

Browse more online learning resources here.

 

Miscellany

Browse more books here.

 

Buy the Handbook

 
 

NORTH AMERICA:
CreateSpace
Shop locally in the U.S.
Amazon.com – U.S.
Barnes & Noble – U.S.
John Neal Bookseller – U.S.
Amazon.ca – Canada
Amazon.com.mx – Mexico

EUROPE:
CreateSpace
Amazon.co.uk – U.K.
Amazon.es – Spain
Amazon.fr – France
Amazon.de – Germany
Amazon.it – Italy
Amazon.nl – The Netherlands

SOUTH AMERICA:
CreateSpace
Amazon.com.br – Brazil

ASIA:
CreateSpace
Amazon.cn – China
Amazon.co.jp – Japan
Amazon.in – India

OCEANIA:
CreateSpace
Amazon.com.au – Australia

Molly Suber Thorpe

The Calligrapher’s Business Handbook is a guide to best business practices and pricing strategies for calligraphers and lettering artists. Whether you’re starting out in creative freelancing, transitioning from a different profession, or running a lettering business that just needs a boost, you will welcome the invaluable ideas in this handbook. Award-winning graphic designer, renowned calligrapher, bestselling author of Modern Calligraphy, and founder of Calligrafile.com, Molly Suber Thorpe shares her hard-earned insights to answer your most pressing business questions.

Molly has packed these pages with advice you won’t find anywhere else, covering a range of topics for freelance calligraphers and hand lettering artists:

  • How professional calligraphers charge for their services
  • Whether to charge flat rates or hourly rates
  • When – and how – to offer discounts or freebies
  • How to charge for commercial work, such as logo designs
  • How to get the most bang for your advertising budget 
  • What goes into a fair project contract
  • How to navigate copyright licensing and know your rights!