Calligraphy Series: Defining Calligraphy
Oh, that exciting feeling when starting on a new creative journey! Let me welcome you to this beautiful art called calligraphy.
I know that there are tons of information out there. You might feel overwhelmed, confused or couldn't decide how or where to start - I totally get you! I was also in the same shoe years ago! Hence I decided to create this particular series, my own Beginner’s Guide to Starting Pointed Pen Calligraphy, to help budding calligraphy artist like you.
This series aimed to be more approachable and straightforward. And I hope you will find this series helpful and inspiring for you to continue loving this art. To never give up on writing and create something beautiful for yourself and for your loved ones.
What is Calligraphy?
For me, calligraphy means writing beautifully. It is a form of art and discipline. It has rules and foundations which you can master, then break creatively to give it a modern flare.
Calligraphy comes in different forms or styles and can be executed with various tools or medium. As we are narrowing down to pointed pen calligraphy, let’s start by highlighting two groups: traditional and modern calligraphy.
To date, probably the most common style of scripts are Copperplate, Engrosser’s, Spencerian, Ornamental, and Business Penmanship.
These are the different styles of pointed pen scripts that have a strict rule of letterforms and consistency. Each form is developed centuries ago to create specific writing standards and meet decorative demands on prints such as certificates, policies and documents to name a few.
These scripts invoke the feeling of classiness, formality and elegance.
This is a style of script that breaks the rules of traditional calligraphy, so to speak. This style is more relaxed, contemporary, and vary between artists.
A beautifully done modern calligraphy, for me, is tamed freedom. Although the script style does not strictly follow a certain angle and letterforms can vary in sizes or may look bouncy, it should still be readable. Rebellious in execution but still recognisable and retains the capability to invoke lightness, subtle elegance and traditional informality.
On this modern era, calligraphy is widely visible not just on wedding paperie but also on branding and product designs as people grow more appreciation of handmade. Yes, there are fonts made available that mimic the style of both traditional and modern scripts, but those can’t wholly replace what a human hand can do.
Generally, calligraphers are sought after for the following:
Couple’s personal monogram
Place cards and Escort cards
Menu Card design
Personalised labels or tags
On Personal Stationery
Love Letter or Proposal Letter
Notes for personal events
On Commercial Use
Calligraphy element on Publishing or Advertising materials
Wall art on storefront or interiors
Personally, I send out handwritten (in calligraphy, of course) letters of excuse or thank you notes for my daughter’s teachers. It is my way of making them feel appreciated and respected in this modern day where sending a short mobile message is too convenient.
Calligraphy is my own meditation as I need to slow down, breathe slowly and relax my muscles while writing, studying and practising. It also serves as my creative outlet and escapes from the daily routine of life.
I love how personal and fulfilling it is to share the passion and become an instrument in expressing deep feelings through writing. And by now, you would have realised that my most favourite job is writing love letters and wedding vows.