Unfortunately, as in much of life, it is buyer beware. I remember seeing some professional awards that looked like they had been done by someone’s octogenarian relative, replete with shaking pen strokes (lines). If that wasn’t bad enough, it looked like it had been done with a combination of felt tip and “parker pen sets”. The layout was horrendous, the lettering atrocious! And this person was paid for this work, and therefore called “professional”.
People love seeing “fancy lettering” or pretty handwriting, especially when their name is done in that style. It takes a while to learn about what is well done calligraphy. There are people who will say they are doing calligraphy because they are actually using a computer or a machine that replicates calligraphy. They are lying, or at best being disingenuous, because the name of the FONT style is “calligraphy”.
Here is a quote from a website that is actually VERY misleading. They are using a calligraphy machine to do envelopes – NOT handwriting! “We are able to print handwritten computer calligraphy on your envelopes that look as good or better than real handwriting.”
Some of this writing is really done well but it has a stiff look like type. The way to tell if something is hand written or typed is by comparing individual letters. For example in typing each letter “e” will look EXACTLY the same. If they are the same start comparing other letters the same way. Now you will learn for yourself whether you are paying for hand calligraphy or something much cheaper.
There is nothing as beautiful as hand written calligraphy in my opinion. It has a rhythm, it flows like a ribbon, it is captivating. Many scribes don’t even read the text for a while; they first get an overall holistic view, the gestault of the piece and then read the text.
Part of the wonder of calligraphy is bringing out the meaning of the text. When you have a short quote or poem, there is even more opportunity to look for the key concept of the text, and bring that forward. That can be done by changing the size, color, style, placement of the key word or phrase. That is part of the art of calligraphy: great layout.
I think The Serenity Prayer design that I have below is a perfect example. The meaning of the text can be read in many ways with the emphasis on the words: Serenity, Courage, Wisdom. But there is also the subtext of “Accept, Change and Know”. I tried to bring out both of these concepts in the design that I worked on. This print is available with many different backgrounds.
If you have a concept for a different background, or you’d like to look for a photograph that reflects that idea, I can also superimpose this lettering on that photo. You can find wonderful photos at www.istockphoto. Remember to put in a search with keywords that express that concept (religious, love, recovery, etc.).
The “Work, Love, Dance” Rumi quote, as well as the Warren quote are also good examples as well. (The Serenity Prayer is available in my store, and can be personalized).