What is calligraphy?

Calligraphic lettering is always thick-and-thin, often slants slightly to the right and requires the use of guidelines to keep it straight.  Of the many styles developed throughout history, Italic is most often used for addressing invitations. It has been with us since the early 16th century, is elegant and easy to read. Other styles, including several known as ‘Old English’, often appear on some certificates. These styles, more properly called ‘Black-letter’, possess a formal beauty but when whole paragraphs appear, become difficult to read. A mixture of styles often relieves this situation.  It is interesting to note the popularity of some truly ancient calligraphic forms. For example, Celtic-inspired lettering from as early as the 8th or 9th century can be found as computer fonts!

The word Calligraphy means ‘beautiful writing’ and styles or variations on its form have existed since Roman times. Its tools & techniques changed over the centuries, each leaving visible hints of its existence in the subtle details of present calligraphic letter-forms. Certainly one of the most influential tools was the quill pen and while few professionals use the quill on a daily basis in the 21st century, the steel nibs that followed it and even some computer fonts still retain its character.

Lettering done using calligraphic forms, even when executed with any commonly used writing tool (markers, ball-point pens, pencil) becomes remarkably beautiful! Likewise, writing which is not traditionally calligraphic in form but is done in an attractive, consistent, intentional style using a calligraphy pen can be very interesting and beautiful as well.

       Examples:    Pen & Ink Calligraphy        Computer-Generated Calligraphy