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FAQs

We'll get you the answers to your questions

I want to learn calligraphy, but I don’t know where to start.

If you have no experience with the art, or if you’re not having success with whatever tools you’ve collected, we very strongly recommend our starter kit + video tutorial or an in-person workshop. Both options are geared towards true beginners. We include tools specifically curated for beginners and detailed instructions on how to actually use them.

I’m left handed, can I learn calligraphy?

Yes! We have many left handed learners in our workshops and offer a left handed pen option in the starter kit. Learning calligraphy is difficult for most individuals, right or left handed, and everyone’s results vary. We also offer tips for left handed learners on our blog.

What type of calligraphy will I learn with your starter kit or in your workshop?

We specialize in modern pointed pen calligraphy. Our beginner learning option teach you how to properly prepare and use the tools & cover a basic beginner alphabet.

I purchased a starter kit at a craft store or various places online, but what I’m doing doesn’t look like your work. Why not?

Not all calligraphy supply combinations (ink, nibs, paper) will work well together. Our starter kit & workshops use supplies custom curated for beginners, that we know will work together, providing you the best chance at success with modern pointed pen calligraphy.

When I buy a starter kit or attend a class, how long until I’m good?

Calligraphy is a learned skill that takes a lot of patience & practice to excel in over time. We will teach you how to use the tools and provide support for continued learning and practice through our Calligraphy Practice Plan and Beyond Beginner Guide, but ultimately you will have to put in the hard work and practice to succeed. Your rate of improvement depends on a variety of factors: using high quality tools, frequency of practice, taking steps in the most effective order, etc.

I can no longer attend the workshop I signed up for, what do I do?

As noted on the class enrollment page, our workshops are non-refundable. You can transfer your seat to someone else, just let us know her/his name and email address, or you can pick up (or send someone to pick up) your supplies on the day of class. You will still have access to the online video for at-home learning.

If I sign up for the wait list for a workshop, what are the chances that I will get into class?

We list all seats available in each class, so you will only make it into class if someone else cancels. For this reason, we highly recommend signing up for an alternate date or time if you are able to attend. We do not generally receive many cancellations, but if we do, they are usually the week of class and we inform everyone on the wait list that a seat is available on a first come, first served basis.

I know how to use the tools of pointed pen and create a beginner alphabet, but what’s next for improving my skills?

Once you learn how to form an alphabet, the next step is to work on your letter consistency and then letter connections. We cover this, along with two flourished alphabets, in our Beyond Beginner Guide. We also offer a 5 week Calligraphy Practice Plan that we recommend for anyone wanting to accelerate their skill development. We offer ongoing educational resources through our blog and additional alphabet exemplars and project based video tutorials in our online shop.

I ordered an online course (starter kit, script videos, beyond beginner) & don’t know how to access my video.

Upon placing an order for any LHC products with digital content, you will receive an email with details to access your content in our Teachable school. If you do not see this email, please check your Spam folder. If you still do not see the email, it’s possible that you had a typo in your email address when placing the order. Please email hello@lhcalligraphy.com for assistance.

My nib was working fine and now it’s not. Why would this be happening?

Nibs have a lifespan. Everything you do as soon as you start using a nib is dulling the tip. While the amount of time you can use a nib varies depending on your own hand pressure, the ink you are using, the surface you are writing on and more, a standard gauge for beginners is 10-15 hours. Laura can use a nib for about 20 hours, but she uses the nib cleaner carried in our shop as she is working to help extend the life of her nib.

How many people are in a workshop and will I receive one-one-one attention?

Our workshop sizes vary depending on the venue capacity, but they range from 16-36 people per class. Both Laura & Alyssa teach our workshops, so that we can offer individual attention regardless of class size.

I would love to enroll my child in your class, what is your minimum age for students?

We have had children as young as 11 years old attend our in-person workshops. For anyone under 16, we ask for a guardian’s contact information and that they stay in the workshop vicinity. We also offer a starter kit geared towards children.

What forms of payment do you take?

We accept all major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover) - we are a cash free business. We do not accept personal checks, Venmo, or Paypal.

Do you offer gift cards?

Yes! We are excited to offer gift cards. You can find them here.

Can I get a price adjustment?

Sale pricing is only valid during the dates of the sale. We do not offer price adjustments for orders placed outside the dates of the sale. If there is a sale within 48 hours of your purchase, we will offer a store credit for a future order for the difference in cost. Store credits cannot be applied to custom work or be applied retroactively.

What currency are your prices in?

All pricing is listed in USD.

Where do you ship to?

We can ship anywhere in the world. If for some reason you don’t see your country, please reach out to us so we can assist you in placing your order.

Where can I find my tracking?

Once your order is scanned in with the carrier, you will receive an order email with tracking information included. Just click the tracking number to be taken to to carrier website for full details. Unfortunately once the order leaves our hands, we only have access to the same information that you have, so for any specific questions on the location of your order, please reach out directly to UPS or USPS:

U.S. Postal Service: 1-800-222-1811

UPS: 1-800-742-5877

Do you ship via Fedex?

We use UPS and USPS primarily. However, if you have access to a Fedex account - we can accept a pre-made label emailed to us but request that you schedule an advance pickup online for custom calligraphy orders only.

What methods of shipping are available and how long do they take?

We ship only using methods where tracking is available. We typically ship USPS Priority mail for calligraphy supply orders unless overnight UPS is selected for 1-2 day rush shipping. For custom invitation & calligraphy orders, all work is shipped via UPS ground with insurance.

I forgot to apply my coupon code, can you apply it for me?

Coupon codes are not available retroactively. Please ensure your coupon code is applied BEFORE processing your order. If you have questions about why your coupon code isn’t working, please reach out BEFORE submitting the order.

How do I qualify for free shipping?

Easy! Just fill your cart with at least $150 worth of supplies (shipping costs and tax are not included) and you’ll be eligible for the free shipping option. For orders under of under $150 in merchandise, you have access to a flat rate shipping of just $9.95. Free shipping may not apply during sale periods.

How long will it take to process and ship my order?

Processing time listed for each item refers to the time it takes us to prepare, package and ship your order. It does not include the time in transit once an order is shipped. Orders generally ship within 3 business day of purchase.

How do I know if I need expedited shipping?

IF YOUR EVENT IS WITHIN TWO WEEKS OF DATE OF PURCHASE, WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE THAT YOU PAY FOR EXPEDITED SHIPPING. Even if we ship same day, we cannot guarantee that USPS/UPS will deliver the product in time.

How long will it take my package to reach me after it is shipped?

Most orders within the US take 3-5 days for delivery AFTER you receive your tracking information, while international orders can take 2-4 weeks or even longer depending on the receiving country. Please know that we CANNOT guarantee delivery dates on behalf of USPS, nor can we be held responsible for delays by USPS. Once an item leaves our hands, we have the same tracking information as you and cannot provide updates beyond what is listed on the USPS tracking website. Additionally, we will not provide cancellation or refunds because of delays by USPS.

Can I pick up my order in person?

We now offer in person pickups in our studio in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Orders must be processed online and select “in person pickup” for the shipping, which is free. This will ensure we have your order ready when you arrive. Please contact us after you place your order to schedule a day and time for pickup.

Do you have a storefront for walkins?

We currently operate out of a studio, rather than a storefront, and so we are open limited hours. You are of course welcome to stop by and peruse what we have in stock, but if you need specific items, it’s best to order on the site and click the pickup option to make sure we have it ready for you. Our studio doesn’t carry 100% of the items in the online shop.

What are your office hours?

Generally speaking, someone is in the office between the hours of 10am-5pm Monday thru Friday, Eastern Standard Time. We are not open weekends or holidays. We are a small business, so we aren’t always in the studio. If you are making a special trip to Old Town, we recommend reaching out first to make sure we will be here!

Help! I just got my order and the contents are incorrect!

If we mistakenly send you the wrong item, we do apologize! Every order is packed by people! Please do let us know within 48 hours of receipt & we will send you a return label. Once tracking begins on the returned item, we can ship the correct item. Or if you prefer, you can repurchase the correct item, and we will refund the initial order once the incorrect item is received back at our office.

Do you ship internationally?

Yes! International orders are shipped via USPS First Class Mail, unless you select Priority Mail at checkout. International orders can take 2-4 weeks or even longer for delivery depending on the receiving country. We recommend ordering very early to allow for transport and customs in your country.

My international order just got billed for a tariff on entry into my country. Why did this happen?

Please note international orders may be charged a tax or tariff upon entry to your country. This is additional to the shipping that you paid to Laura Hooper Calligraphy, which only covers our cost to mail the package to you. We have no control over these customs charges and legally we must disclose the value of your item when we ship in the customs documentation.

My international order hasn’t arrived, can you please tell me where it is?

Unfortunately, we have no control over international orders once they leave the US. It is the responsibility of the customer to follow up with their local postal carrier if there are issues in the country outside of the United States. We can only contact USPS, within the US, and once an item is out of their hands, they do not have any additional information. We require 90 days to pass before we take action regarding a replacement item, and we do not offer any type of refund on international orders. No exceptions.

Do you offer refunds on custom work?

Due to the handwritten quality of all our work, we do not offer refunds on any custom, hand written orders. With hand lettering, it is common for there to be variances in the spacing, size and style of letters. Calligraphy is an art and no two handwritten pieces can be identical. All sales are final.

My wooden sign doesn’t look exactly like the one I saw online, help!

All of our wood products are created in house and different batches of wood can possibly absorb the stain with slight variations by batch. Natural knots and grains in the wood can not be controlled. Additionally, refunds will not be offered for minor errors in the context of the wording or spacing.

What happens if my order arrives incorrect or damaged?

If a shop item arrives incorrect or damaged, please do contact us within 48 hours of receipt so that we can correct the situation. If we mistakenly send you the wrong item, we do apologize! Please let us know & we will send you a return label. Once tracking begins on the returned item, we can ship the correct item. Or if you prefer, you can repurchase the correct item, and we will refund the initial order once the incorrect item is received back at our office. Thank you for your understanding!

What is your return policy on the calligraphy starter kit?

Due to the proprietary nature of our calligraphy kits, all sales are final & non-refundable. No exceptions. We do not offer refunds on any supply orders, though exchanges can be offered on a case-by-case basis. All shipping for exchanges is paid by the client.

What is your exchange policy on calligraphy supplies, other than the starter kit?

For exchanges on products such as inks, pen holders, nibs, the customer is responsible for return shipping with tracking in addition to the shipping for us to get the new product shipped at our flat rate fee. There is a 20% restocking fee since our products ship from a warehouse. We are not able to have products returned to the warehouse, so they have to come back to our studio, then we have to send it back to the warehouse in our next round of stocking. Items can also be exchanged in person as long as we have the item in stock you want to exchange for.

Can I cancel an order after it has been placed?

Once an order is placed, should you attempt to cancel, we cannot guarantee that we will see your cancellation request in time to stop shipment as our staff packs/ships immediately during shipping hours. If your order is shipped, depending on the item, we will determine if it can be returned, unopened, at the customer's expense less a 15% restocking fee. Custom or personalized orders cannot be cancelled once purchased. We cannot cancel purchases once they’ve been processed for shipping. No exceptions.

I just opened my order and some items are missing, help!

Because we operate out of a studio in Old Town, Alexandria, and have a warehouse in central Virginia, it is possible that your order may ship in separate boxes. It should be noted on your order if this is the case, but if not, please send us an email and we can check for you!

Do you charge sales tax?

Sales tax is applicable to customers in the state of Virginia. Payment is due in full at the time of purchase.

My order says it was delivered, but it’s not here. What do I do?

Sometimes an order will be marked as delivery PRIOR to the order actually being left at your door. This is usually the case with USPS. We ask that if your order is marked delivered, you reach out to your neighbors to see if it might have gone to them by mistake. We can contact the post office as well, but typically packages show up within a few hours in most cases.

I’d like to get information on invitation design & print services. What do I do first?

Thank you for thinking of us! You can find details on our custom services here to help determine if we are a good fit for your aesthetic and budget. Once taking a look, you can fill out this form to request a custom estimate & more information.

If I already have my invitations and just need my envelopes addressed, do you offer this?

We do offer services for calligraphy only (i.e. you provide all of the paper) for envelopes and reception work. You can find additional details on our website here.

Do you offer in person consultations?

Yes, we would be happy to meet with you to discuss your stationery & calligraphy needs. To see if we are a good fit, please download this document regarding our services, and if we fit within your aesthetic and budget, please email hello@lhcalligraphy.com to schedule either a phone consultation or in-person consultation at our Alexandria, VA studio.

When is payment due for my custom event calligraphy?

Payment is accepted upon order submission via credit card. All payment is due prior to the start of writing due to the handwritten nature of our work and no custom work will be shipped without all balances paid in full. Retainer fees taken at the time of booking are non-refundable.

How should I format my list for submission?

All lists must be submitted in the exact format the client would prefer them written, so please thoroughly check your list. Lists should be written in MS Word format with 1 or 2 columns and numbered or in Excel format with each line of the address block in its own column. Inner envelope names should be listed in an a separate column to the right of the address. If you need an Excel template, please let us know.

What will happen if my list is formatted incorrectly?

If we notice anything off about your list when we are converting it from MS Excel into Word, we will clarify with you prior to starting the order. However, please note Laura Hooper Calligraphy is not responsible for determining the traditional etiquette for your envelope addressing and will write your list the way it is provided to us, and according to your selections when placing your order. If you have any questions about your list, please ask us prior to submitting the list.

How many envelopes should I send for overage/extras?

Errors are inevitable with hand-written work. Please be sure to include 15% additional envelopes with your order. Please include more if you are placing a rush order. For orders of 100 or less envelopes a minimum of 15 additional envelopes are required to complete your order. This is an industry standard. A good rule of thumb is to just order an additional 25 envelopes with your stationery order.

What if my list has abbreviations?

Please ensure there are no spelling errors or abbreviations in the list if you don’t wish words to be abbreviated. Laura Hooper Calligraphy is not responsible for spelling errors in the submitted list and cannot be responsible for improperly formatted lists. Typically the only word we will abbreviate for you is “Number” for townhouses, apartments, and condos (e.g. No. 123) unless you have indicated that you would like that on its own line, spelled out when you place the order. Otherwise, your list will be written “as is”.

How can I be sure all my envelopes will look exactly the same?

All work is done by hand. There may be slight variations in color, size, style, centering, spacing, and margins throughout the order. This is part of the charm of hand calligraphy, rather than a computer! Ink colors may vary and may not match the printed script exactly. Laura Hooper Calligraphy will attempt to correct all problems without needing to use additional envelopes. Corrections due to personal preference of specific letters or spacing will be made at the expense of the client.

Do you charge extra for textured envelopes?

Additional charges may apply to textured, handmade, or dark colored envelopes as they are more difficult to write on – these may also require a longer turnaround time, however if so we will notify you immediately on inspection of your order.

What ink colors can I choose from? What if I want my ink to match my invitation font?

Standard ink colors are: black, white, ivory, navy, slate grey, dove grey, aubergine (purple), lavender, greenery (dark green), mint, powder blue, robin’s egg blue (tiffany blue), smoky blue, dusty rose, peony pink, mauve, taupe, flax (light beige), saffron (mustard yellow), coral, wine (a deep red), gold, silver, copper, rose gold. A $50 mixing fee will apply for custom ink colors if not listed above. Please note, all custom colors are mixed by hand, by a person (Laura) and may not be a 100% match. Laura will make every attempt to match your color as CLOSELY as possible, however a 100% match is not guaranteed.

Do you charge extra for metallic inks, additional lines or centering?

No. Often clients will format their list so that unmarried couples are both on the first line to avoid the additional line charge. More often than not, both names will not fit on the first line. We reserve the right to move any information down to the next line that we deem will not fit or will compromise the elegant appearance of the calligraphy at our discretion. Since we don’t bill for additional lines, there is no added charge for this service. We do charge extra for middle names included.

Is it possible to see my order on your Instagram feed?

While we do make every effort to post as much of Laura’s work as we can, this is not guaranteed. Please note on any work posted on Instagram or social media, names and addresses will be altered to protect the privacy of the guests on your list.

What happens after Laura completes my order?

When completed, the envelopes will be shipped to the address provided at the time of order. All wedding calligraphy shipments are sent via UPS Ground for the most reliable service. Please let us know if you wish to upgrade to next or 2nd day air shipping methods. Laura Hooper Calligraphy is not responsible for errors made by USPS, FedEx or UPS. While we make every available effort to ship your order in a timely manner, sometimes shipping delays on account of the carrier are unavoidable.

Can you guarantee that my order will be back in my hands by the date I’ve specified?

Please note that all work is done by hand and so there is no way to guarantee that orders will be completed on this exact date. We will make every attempt to have orders completed prior to the preferred date of completion and will notify you, the client as soon as possible if the order is delayed. Please keep in mind our standard turnaround times (explained in the paragraph immediately below). Turnaround does not start until the final list and envelopes are in hand, and any outstanding payment is paid.

I need my order in a hurry! Can you accommodate rush orders?

Our standard turnaround time is 2-3 weeks. A rush order is any order requiring completion in less time than this 2-3 week window. Rush orders are not actually rushed, they are simply orders that are added to the schedule outside of normal business hours, and for this reason there is an up charge for the rush service that is determined on a case by case basis depending on our current schedule, the nature of the order in question, and the calligraphy style needed. We do not offer refunds on rush charges.

I found an error on my order, and, I need to add a few names to the list that we forgot! Can you help?

We always keep several sets of extra materials after the order is completed. Please review your order within 48 hours of receiving it back to ensure that there are no corrections to be made. Please email a complete list of corrections including the name and addresses of the guest to Laura Hooper Calligraphy within 48 hours of receiving the order, specifying which errors were on account of the calligrapher. Later additions or corrections on account of client error will be billed directly to the client. Corrections are typically completed and mailed within 3-5 business days and are sent via USPS. Extra envelopes will be returned at your request.

I have my wedding vows/poem/favorite song lyrics I want to make into a print, can you do it?

We are not currently able to take on any custom prints, poems, greeting cards or other orders of that nature. So sorry!

I have a shop and want to carry your calligraphy supplies, what are your wholesale policies?

We currently offer a selection of our supplies, including our best selling calligraphy starter kit and Kid’s Kit, and grid pads for sale in stores. If you have a stop and are interested in including our supplies, please reach out to Alyssa@lhcalligraphy.com with your inquiries. We’d love to have you as a stockist!

How did Laura get started?

Laura started practicing calligraphy at age 11 when her mom introduced her to the art. In her early 20’s, she taught herself pointed pen calligraphy. For her full story, please check out this blog post.

How many styles can Laura write in for custom work?

Typically we offer at least 20 styles in rotation on our website. They are rotated out yearly as styles go in and out of trend. Laura can come close to matching any style of script writing, so if you need a custom script for your envelopes or invitations, don’t hesitate to ask.

Is this Laura’s only job?

Yes! Laura considers herself a “career calligrapher” and this has been her only “job” since 2004 when she left the world of subprime mortgage lending to put 100% into Laura Hooper Calligraphy. She has never regretted that decision and is thrilled to say this is also Alyssa’s career as well. Though she doesn’t do any of the actual calligraphy, she works full time for LHC.

How long have you been teaching calligraphy?

Laura & Alyssa have been teaching the art of modern calligraphy for nearly 5 years now. We’ve taught over 5,000 students in person and nearly 10,000 online as of 2018. When Laura started doing wedding calligraphy in her early 20’s, it was considered to be a dying art form, so we are absolutely thrilled to be keeping the art alive in our own small way!

What type of training have you had? What qualifies you to teach calligraphy or do my wedding addressing/invitation order?

Though Laura is self-taught in the art of modern pointed pen calligraphy, in recent years she has trained with multiple master penman in the more traditional copperplate and spencerian script styles. She is a member of IAMPETH, the most well-known international calligraphy guild, as well. Laura Hooper Calligraphy has been in business for over 16 years and have worked with thousands of couples on their wedding calligraphy orders. Laura & Alyssa have been teaching the art of modern calligraphy in-person and online since 2014 to over 10,000 students.

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