Last Updated on February 21, 2023
If you are creative, have an artistic nature and are looking to start making money online with your own business, have you thought about calligraphy?
What Is Calligraphy?
Calligraphy is the art of drawing or painting different fonts and handwriting styles, using fonts in a creative and artistic manner.
Rather than just using standardized fonts, in calligraphy, you can make your own designs in order to make writing look more stylish.
Calligraphy has existed since ancient China and the Sang Dynasty and in Europe existed in ancient Rome and was written in Latin. Calligraphy has quite a history and has been around for thousands of years.
Ideas for Starting an Online Calligraphy Business
If you are interested in calligraphy, then it is possible to develop your interest into a business, and, with the Internet, you can make a living from it. Others are already doing this and so can you!
Although calligraphy is a niche, if you are able to produce unique, creative, or interesting designs, there is a demand.
So what are the options for building a calligraphy business online? Let’s take a look at some calligraphy business ideas that others are doing and that there is space in the market to also do.
1. Teaching Calligraphy to Beginners
It is very easy, these days, to use an online platform such as Teachable to upload your lessons and classes online and to build your own online classroom.
On Teachable, for example, you upload your teaching materials, be it videos, or written lessons on PDF or in text, and then your students can do the lessons in their own time on their own computer.
You might want to design a course that teaches lessons on things such as:
- Calligraphy equipment, pens, nibs, and inks
- Drills and strokes
- Letter connections
- Majuscule design
- and other related calligraphy lessons that you deem useful for your students
Using teachable as we have here with our own Online Marketing Courses is a great way to build a very good source of income from teaching online.
Tip: You can start off with the free plan with Teachable (the commission on each course you sell is higher but it’s a good way to get started without incurring any setup costs).
You can see this free example lesson from Jillian and Jordan of LoveLeightLoops here:
- Free Online Lesson: What calligraphy supplies do you need?
2. Selling Calligraphy Pens and Sets
Another great way to create a source of income from your calligraphy business is to create an online shop selling calligraphy equipment, including pens and inks.
Take a look, for example, at these shops:
For selling your own products:
- WooCommerce is a great plugin if you use WordPress for your site
- Shopify is another excellent option to have an online shop for selling your own calligraphy products
- and, if you prefer to dropship (sell other people’s calligraphy and art products), then Oberlo is one of the best options (as it integrates also with Shopify)
You will need to develop traffic to your site in order to develop the sales and for this, I recommend blogging.
By writing lots of articles on the calligraphy niche you can build up a following to develop good traffic to your calligraphy site.
From there, you direct people to your shop pages, i.e. have it on your top menu and promoted in your blog posts.
This is how we have successfully built a business in the training materials sector on Symonds Research, i.e. through a combination of blogging and also from using Pinterest.
You might want to consider these blogging courses below if you need to build your online presence:
3. Make Invitation Cards for Weddings and Corporate Events
Another great idea for building an income from calligraphy is to design:
- Weddings table placement cards or invitations – i.e. that are custom-made
- Corporate events cards – you can also do place setting cards and name cards
Weddings are a particularly interesting business niche as a calligrapher because people are willing to pay a premium in order to make it a special day.
Some calligraphers do very well with selling their wedding table placement cards and wedding invitation cards.
4. Set Up an Etsy Shop and Sell Your Designs
If calligraphy is really your passion and your niche in the art world, then another great way to develop an income is by creating a calligraphy-based Etsy shop.
You have two main options although you can do both together, and these are to sell:
- Your own creations
- Other people’s products by drop-shipping via Oberlo
Setting up an Etsy shop is really very easy and very popular with individual sellers involved with arts and crafts.
Etsy is intentionally designed with arts and crafts in mind thus is ideal for a calligraphy business.
You though want to read about the differences between Shopify vs Etsy before deciding on which sales platform to use.
5. Custom Made Items with Quotes
You can make gifts and signs that people can hang up, that have inspirational quotes on them.
Use your calligraphy skills and style to make the design of the quote look interesting and design different gifts that you can sell. Products can include framed quotes.
Framed inspirational quotes can be great, for example, in offices (including home offices).
Another popular quote gift can be something that people hang just inside their front door or just outside.
6. Design Custom-Made Birthday and Valentine’s Cards
Designing custom-made valentines cards and birthday cards is another popular idea for calligraphers.
This is a niche market but, once you build up a following, then this can be quite profitable.
A social media platform such as Instagram can be especially good here for building a following in this niche.
You might also want to build traffic using the search engine Pinterest to showcase your designs online.
7. Signage and Signs That Use Calligraphy
Although you might be making the signs or signage for use offline, you can certainly market your calligraphy products and services online through your own website, blog, Facebook Group, or via your Etsy shop.
The great benefit of making money from designing signage (and especially heritage interpretation signs) is that you can charge a fair bit more per item than many of the other products we have discussed.
Heritage Interpretation Signage
Heritage interpretation is great for calligraphy because, for heritage trails and other locations such as museum exhibits, you can try and match the calligraphy design with the heritage being interpreted.
Let me give you an example. A heritage interpretation exhibit in a museum might be on Roman artifacts. Thus, for the signage, if you can design the signage text to have a Roman-style feel and look, your calligraphy design will actually add to the exhibit and to the experience of the exhibit visitors.
You might want to create some examples and showcase what you can do for heritage interpretation, with examples on your own site.
3 Quick Tips for Marketing Your Calligraphy Business Online
Some quick tips to help you start promoting your calligraphy business online.
1. Use the Visual Search Engine Pinterest
As you can see from our own Art Pinterest Board, Pinterest really suits calligraphy and other visual arts.
One of the quickest ways to start building traffic instantly to your online site is using Pinterest and it’s free!
2. Showcasing Your Calligraphy on Youtube
If you are any good at all at teaching, then Youtube is the place for you to be.
The important thing to realize also is that you do not have to be Van Gogh to teach art online!
In fact, if you are teaching absolute beginners, then you will probably be able to better relate to the student’s level and be better at talking in a language and manner that they understand if you are also someone who was a beginner yourself in the last few years.
If three years ago you were where your students are now, then you could teach what you have learned.
3. Start Blogging and Build Your Presence Online
Without an online web presence of some kind, how will people discover your calligraphy?
In addition to Pinterest and Youtube, you can start your own blog.
I say blog rather than a website because a blog is relatively easy to set up and WordPress software is the easiest.
Click on the image directly below and you can learn how to start a blog and how to get started in 7 easy steps
Hi. I’m Dr Valeria Lo Iacono, a lady in her 50s living in the UK. I write about the over-50s and 60s lifestyle including on travel, health, food, and fashion.