Calligraphy 'can combat anxiety and improve wellbeing' a study finds June 12, 2019 12:20

The ancient art of calligraphy can combat anxiety, improve wellbeing and boost self-esteem, a study has revealed. 76% of people found calligraphy to be a ‘distraction tool’.

It's an activity that is surging in popularity, and even comes with a Royal seal of approval as one of the Duchess of Sussex’s favourite hobbies.

And now a new study shows that the ancient art of calligraphy can combat anxiety, improve wellbeing and boost self-esteem.

A research team from University College London (UCL) surveyed nearly 50,000 people about the positive effects of calligraphy and similar creative hobbies. 

The team found that 76% of people who enjoyed such activities found them to be a ‘distraction tool’ to block out anxiety, 69% of participants took up a creative hobby as a way to make themselves more confident, and just over half used it as a ‘contemplation tool’.

The Duchess of Sussex took up freelance calligraphy to make ends meet between acting jobs, before she found fame in TV legal drama Suits and long before she met Prince Harry. She designed wedding invitations for Hollywood stars and also taught the art.

Professional calligrapher Jenni Liandu also makes a living from it and finds that the craft relieves her stress. She said: ‘I became addicted to calligraphy because I found it to be so therapeutic.

I think the repetitive movements, rhythm and changes in pressure all cause me to completely forget everything else in the moment and simply enjoy the creativity. It’s a very relaxing and peaceful practice

'In my workshops, there are a number of people who have said it has really helped them get through a time of physical illness or a death in the family.

Senior research fellow Dr Daisy Fancourt, who led the UCL research, said: ‘This study is the first to show the cognitive strategies the brain uses to regulate our emotions when we’re taking part in creative activities.’

Calligraphy has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of psychosis. Researchers in Taiwan showed how Chinese calligraphy therapy sessions help the brain work better, relieve depression and combat schizophrenia.

Crafts have grown in popularity over recent years and 20 per cent more people indulge in art as a hobby than three years ago.

Britain has long been a nation of knitters, and other textile crafts such as embroidery and crocheting are also being discovered by a new generation of devotees.

New products added to our catalogue for 2019 February 8, 2019 09:09

It's been a while since I last blogged - running PenmanDirect is a full time job so I get little time to sit down and compose anything. However, a customer brought this lapse to my attention today so here's the first post of 2019!

We have two new colours to add to our ever-growing collection of the beautiful Finetec Coliro mica watercolours from Germany. We have stocks of the Lagoon and Sphinx pans in stock for your perusal and purchase. Lagoon is a lovely deep bluey-green and Sphinx is a sandy pale yellow, both of which will ensure beautiful results to your calligraphy.

Lagoon and Sphinx Finetec Coliro colours

The other main new product results from our partnership with Babooche Calligraphy, a London-based business offering calligraphy workshops and private commissions. We are proud to be offering for sale their Modern Calligraphy Workbook. These are stunning 80-page, wire-bound books with guidelines and lessons on how to achieve the correct letter formations in order to create modern calligraphy. Created with luxurious calligraphy paper, you will be absolutely spoilt all the time you're practising!

Modern Calligraphy Workbook Babooche Calligraphy

Modern Calligraphy Workbook Babooche Calligraphy

Modern Calligraphy Workbook Babooche Calligraphy

Lastly, following on from the workbooks, we have now put together a Modern Calligraphy Beginner's Kit, which consists of a workbook and all the other items required in your journey of learning the contemporary version of the art of beautiful writing. All these products are live on the store and can be ordered at your leisure.

Other new additions to our catalogue this month include Speedball C-Style Pen Sets, Speedball Oblique Pen Sets and Higgins Black Magic Ink. More products are being added to our catalogue all the time so if there's something you'd like to see in the store, please do let us know and we'll see if we can get it in stock for you.

Remember, PenmanDirect are on social media - on Facebook (, on Twitter (@penmandirect) and Instagram (penman_direct). We'd love a follow and we'll follow you back.

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As always, we are here to answer any questions you may have but in the meantime, enjoy your art!


Happy new year! January 16, 2018 10:45

Hello to all our customers, existing and those yet to buy - I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and new year break, filled with Calligraphy loveliness.

I spent a day with the North West Calligrapher's Association at the beginning of December at their AGM near Macclesfield and it was a very interesting day. I was invited to take a selection of our products with me to sell on the day (the Finetec palettes went down well, as always) and I also got the chance to meet and chat with some of my long-term customers that I knew in name and voice only up to that point. The buffet lunch was also delicious  - thank you all at NWCA for making me so welcome!

An exciting and unexpected bit of the trip for me was to catch a glance at the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank for the first time up (fairly) close on my way to the meeting...

The work the group produces is stunningly beautiful and very original and I would urge anyone interested in calligraphy to have a look - not only on their website ( but on many of the local groups around the country - there's bound to be one near you. There's nothing better when learning something new than to have others around you to give help and encouragement.

Don't forget, if you have any questions on anything to do with calligraphy, we at PenmanDirect are here to try and help send you in the right direction.



Welcome to the new PenmanDirect website July 13, 2015 08:49

It's been a long time in the creation, but finally PenmanDirect has a brand new, online ordering website! We hope that you find everything you need for your creative calligraphy or hand lettering projects in our store. If you can't find what you're looking for, simply get in touch with us using the Contact Us page and we'll endeavour to find what it is you require

This blog will be the place to visit for constant updates on new stock items and ideas for what you can do with our products - we'll be posting images and videos on a regular basis so please make sure you visit regularly


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