May 24, 2012


Hand lettering is personal. In calligraphy each letter relates to the next in a slightly different way. A calligrapher strives for consistency in form and spacing, and it is that diligence that weaves a  beautiful texture on the page. A lettering artist strives for impact with the written word, but it is the rhythm of their lettering that gives it life. There is an energy captured within the strokes and rhythm of a practiced and confident hand that can not be replicated with type. Lettering is a trail that distinguishes the hand that renders it.

Elegant handwriting by Pretty Mail Calligraphy

Calligraphy as a hobby requires only paper, ink, rulers, erasers and a few dip pens. The tools of the trade of a professional are more extensive: old-fashioned quills, pen holders and tips, paintbrushes, gold leaf, watercolor paper, and sheets of calfskin and goatskin. "Beautiful handwriting was an indication of social grace, and was also a valuable business skill", says Michigan master calligrapher Harvest Crittenden. "The better your handwriting, the more employable you were, the wealthier and better educated you looked".

Envelopes by  a Master Penman Harvest Crittenden

To earn the Master Penman title, you have to prove your proficiency in the calligraphic arts, including illumination, broad and pointed pen lettering, Spencerian script, and engrossing, the art of hand lettering official documents such as certificates, resolutions and proclamations.

Place cards by Nicole Black of The Left Handed Calligrapher.  Her blog is a true calligrapher's heaven, you should read it even if you are just curious about the topic.

Address by Meant To Be Calligraphy. Strong hand and professionalism.

Sources: American Profile , Celebration Calligraphy by Ruth Booth


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