The Best Gold Ink for Modern Calligraphy

The Best Gold Inks for Modern Calligraphy Pink-01.png

Since I get so many questions about the best metallic and gold ink, I wanted to share my favorite(s) with you. Honestly, there's one tried-and-true ink that I always return to. It's dries just so, looking beautiful on envelopes, name cards, or written out for a favorite quote.

But before you get started, know that it will take a little troubleshooting. It can sometimes be finicky, which is why I like to keep a small jar of water at hand, for dipping the nib if it starts to build up (which will often cause the ink to drip when you're least expecting it). Scratch paper is also really handy, to get in the habit of making a few marks after dipping the nib in the ink. This will help get rid of any drips before you start writing on that envelope or final piece. It's never fun to end up with a glob of ink on the page when you've just about completed the calligraphy!

Moving from the ink that I supply in my workshops takes some getting used to (I supply Higgins Eternal Ink and/or Sumi Ink), as the consistency is quite different. Have fun practicing and experimenting with the ink so you can get a feel for working with a thicker ink. If you do decide to dip the nib in water, make sure that you don't add so much that the ink is watered down. It's difficult to see those hairlines if too much water gets mixed in with the ink.

Here are my favorite golds:

1. Dr PH Martin's Copperplate Gold - my very favorite and the best IMHO.


2. Finetec Gold Palette - this one will just need to be brushed on. This video is a great example of how to do that!


Other fun metallic inks to try:

3. Dr PH Martin's Copper & Dr. PH Martin's Bronze

NYE & Resolutions

Once I've finished up these brush lettered addresses and stamped each envelope, these New Year's cards will be on their way and I'll be crossing off something I've planned to do every year until now (I know, finally). Because in my humble opinion, not much beats snail mail, photos from friends on the mantle or the fridge, and a note to say "hello" and "I'm thinking of you." 


In every one of my calligraphy workshops we talk about hand writing and how rare it is to make time to write a note or a letter and drop it in the mail. It takes intentionalitity and some planning. So whether you're sending love notes or soaking up some leisure time on the last Saturday morning of 2016, Happy New Year to you and yours. May this be a good one. 


Thanks to Minted for making these quick and easy to customize and order. And thanks to Madeline Metcalf for taking Blair and I around NW Portland for some coffee and snapshots. 

3 Secrets to Begin Your Bridal Stationery Planning with Ease

Engagement is a whirlwind season. It's a season chock full of anticipation and planning and fiancé (which, in my opinion, is simply fun to say). And when it comes to your invitation it will be the guests' first glimpse into your wedding experience. The stationery invites them in from the moment it's opened, allowing your wedding day to be anticipated weeks in advance. Here are a few secrets to keep in mind as you begin gathering inspiration and dreaming up the specifics of your own wedding stationery.

1. Get started early -- even if your wedding is still a year out.

It's easy to underestimate how much time is needed for stationery. Booking early is always beneficial, not only to secure your spot on your calligrapher's calendar, but to also allow time for the custom design process. Provide your calligrapher or designer with the date you'll want to have everything in hand. Ideally, invitations will go out 6-8 weeks before the wedding date, allowing time for guests to clear their schedule and plan for travel time, if needed. Even if you're more than a year out, it's not too early to reach out to a designer or calligrapher and begin the conversation.

2. Tally up that guest list

How many guests will you invite? Do you invite your coworker and what about kids? While the specifics really are up to you and your fiance (and though we won't get into etiquette today, Brides does a superb job of addressing guest lists and etiquette with delicacy and class), you will want to distinguish between your guest count and your household count. When it comes to stationery, the household count will be the important number because it indicates how many invitations you'll actually you'll need to send out.

To calculate your guest count, total the number of individuals. Your household count will be tallied by counting each family unit: each residence will count as one (formal etiquette calls for one exception: adult children living with their parents receive their own invitation). For example: a family of two adults and a child living under one roof will count as three for the guest list and one for the household count.

3. Bespoke or pre-designed wedding suite? Decide if custom design is a good fit for your wedding.

Bespoke wedding stationery is dreamed up from scratch. It's made to order in the sense that the bride and calligrapher collaborate to create a unique reflection of the wedding vision. Each element is one of a kind and the details are hand selected. Think gold foil edging, wax seals, and postage stamps to match the color palette. It's about inviting your guests into a wedding experience. You'll often find bespoke stationery suites with hand dyed paper, delicate envelopes with monogrammed wax seals, and illustrations of your venue. I personally enjoy including custom illustrations that transform the invitations into heirlooms pieces: works of art reminiscent of your special day. 

p.s. If you haven't yet signed up for the Bridal Guide series to receive exclusive offers and bridal tips, join the list! And if you would like more information on booking a 2017 wedding, head over to my contact page and we can begin the process to get a spot on my calendar saved for you.

Monday Freebie: "Now Is Your Time" Modern Calligraphy Desktop Wallpaper

rachel jacobson calligraphy now is your time hand lettering

I posted these words to Instagram a few months back, after reading the excerpt from Shauna Niequist (which is in no way a rare occurrence as I love her work). I've been wanting to create a desktop download for some time, and this is my debut freebie for you! I don't know about you, but I'm prone to letting my desktop fill up with files waiting to be sorted. When I have a clean color with a simple design (some favorite words and a good reminder are a plus), I find myself automatically keeping things a bit more organized. I hope this provides some inspiration for you, too, with these meaningful words from one of my favorites:

Stop every once in awhile and go out to coffee or climb into bed with your journal. Ask yourself some good questions like, am I proud of the life I'm living? What have I tried this month? What have I learned about God this year? I feel more and more like myself with each passing year, for better and for worse, and you'll find that, too. Every year, you will trade a little of your perfect skin and your ability to look great without exercising for wisdom and peace and groundedness, and each year the trade will be worth it. I promise. Now is your time. Become, believe, try.

And in case you're interested in the behind the scenes tools, this modern calligraphy lettering was created by yours truly with a Nikko G nib on my favorite Strathmore everyday paper.

Download Now Is Your Time Desktop Wallpaper

please remember these design are for personal use and in no way to be used for commercial purposes without written permission. All copyrights for this image are retained by Rachel

Lady Evelyn

This week marks the launch of the Lady Evelyn debut collection. And it's absolutely stunning. Crafted from the finest silks and lace with thousands of rhinestones, crystals, and beads, each piece is exquisitely handcrafted by Jade herself and inspired by her travels to Italy and France. I caught my first glimpse at the lookbook shoot and was enamored with the intricate details and gorgeous handiwork of each piece.

Jade and I first crossed paths during our college days and reconnected more recently, just months after she had settled into life in Yorkshire, England where Lady Evelyn is now based. Jade was in the market for a calligraphy logo and we set to work immediately, drafting ideas to perfectly capture Lady Evelyn.

It was such an honor to contribute calligraphy pieces for the Lady Evelyn Lookbook shoot and to meet the wonderful and talented team of individuals involved -- truly a dream to work with each of them.

Lady Evelyn stands out in the bridal industry as a brand dedicated to couture craftsmanship. Many pieces take days to create and hand stitch, as Jade Rose is the sole designer and artist. The detailed precision found in each piece is inspired by Jade Rose’s travels throughout Europe. From the gold ceilings in Rome to the white cliffs in the South of France, from the cathedrals of Spain to the crown jewels of London, Jade Rose finds inspiration all around her.


Lady Evelyn is offering a giveaway. One lucky bride will win a $200 gift certificate to Lady Evelyn to use towards a gown. The winner will be announced on January 1st. Visit the Lady Evelyn feature on 100 Layer Cake to view entry details.

Photographer: Anthem Photography / Styling: Birds & Honey / Wardrobe Styling: Jade Rose Blog / Florist: Wood Lawn Floral Studio / Hair & Makeup: Renee Bruhn Cosmetics / Calligraphy & Stationery: Rachel Jacobson / Décor Rentals: Something Borrowed PDX / Sparkly Linen: Mrs. Freund & Co. / Veils, Headpieces, & Gown: Lady Evelyn