Wednesday Tips: Pointed Nibs - Kinds & How to Prep Them

Modern Calligraphy is all about the pointed nibs. How flexible a nib will determine how thick a downstroke will be. There are 2 kinds of pointed nibs, flexible and stiff.

Kinds of Nibs

Stiff nibs are usually recommended to beginners as they require extra pressure when pressing down to create a thick downstroke. Good examples of these nibs are: Nikko G and Tachikawa G Nib .

Flexible nibs are mostly recommended to calligraphers with some experience since they are able to control the pressure level when pressing down to create a downstroke without hurting the nib. Good examples for these nibs are: Leonardt #40 (Blue Pumpkin) and Leonardt 33 Nib . 



Do you ever wonder how a nib works? It is simple. There are 2 components of the nib's body you should really care about. The Vent Hole and the Slit. The Vent Hole holds the ink. The Slit opens to let the ink travel to the paper. Pressure against the paper is what opens the slit which releases the ink from the vent hole.

New Nib

When you purchase a new nib, they are not quite ready to be dipped in the ink yet. Nibs are usually oily when coming out or manufacturing so you will need to prepared before using them. There are many ways to prepare a nib. Here are a couple of ways, you can do this: 


You can light up a match and once you inserted the nib on your pen pass the nib over the fire about 3 times. All oil is now gone.



Starch removes oils, so if you have a potato at home, insert the nib in the potato a few times and problem solve. 


In both occasions, do not forget to clean your nib after by rubbing it with a paper towel.

A nib is just one of the most essential tools of modern calligraphy. They are many other components that are needed to start learning this beautiful art. To learn more, please check out my blog, subscribe to my newsletter, or follow me on Instagram