Calligraphic Guide Sheet for Charter Hand

For calligraphic practice I use a pad of marker or layout paper (a close cousin to tracing paper, very smooth and firm and translucent) and put a guide sheet underneath to keep everything lined up.

I normally use the amazing (and free!) Calidraw website to create my guide sheets and it works really well.

I’ve discovered, though, that if you want a guide sheet that has only x-height (where you write) and interlinear space (the bit between where you write) with no ascender or descender space (above and below the x-height for stuff like p and b) Calidraw gets a bit confused and don’t really produce a useful guide sheet.

Almost all calligraphic hands need ascender/descender space, but weird historical hands like the 13th Century charter hand I’ve been practicing recently don’t really have or need ascender/descender space, just x-height/interlinear and done.

After using a malformed and confusing guide sheet for a while I got tired of it and sat down with Inkscape to produce my own, clean charter hand guidesheet. One of the nice things about Inkscape is that it’s easy to work in real-world units (as opposed to pixels) so laying something like this out is relatively straightforward. This one has 1.5mm x-height and 4.5mm interlinear space.

Here’s the resulting PDF: Charter Hand 1.5mm (Landscape Letter)

It’s set up for landscape (horizontal) printing on North American standard Letter-size paper. Free to reproduce for any non-commercial purpose – personal use, teaching a class, whatever. Just don’t sell it, please.

If there’s interest in a vertical/portrait oriented guide sheet or some other paper size (A4?) I could do that, just let me know in the comments below!