There are all kinds of ways to make guidelines for calligraphy. Here are some of the ways I do it:
- A Word document. This downloadable Word document prints landscape on a letter-size sheet of paper − x-height of 10 points (a little larger than 1/8″) with a leading of 36 points (about 7/8″) and 35º slant lines. The slant lines are in the header/footer area.
- An InDesign document, which provides more opportunity fine-tuned guidelines. Here is a downloadable PDF from an InDesign document which has many layers of guidelines − slant lines and regular − that I can turn on and off for a variety of combinations. I could have multiple columns, or a shape that breaks up the text, or other complications that don’t work so well in Word.
- I like manually inked guidelines too, especially for large pieces. I use a lining guide, T-square and slantboard for these. John Neal provides instructions for using a lining guide here.
If you don’t want to make your own, you can generate some online at several websites:
- Scribblers has an app that generates guidelines based on ascender, x, descender, and line-space values that you input –
- I haven’t used this one, but it looks interesting –
- And another –
- And this one inspired by Eleanor Winters’ book –
- And one which generates a PDF from your settings
- Pre-set calligraphy guidelines you can download
I used to use Calli-Graphic, a computer app, but it seems to be defunct.