Recognizing Quality Hand Written Calligraphy
Calligraphy is defined as the art of beautiful writing. The difference between other art forms and calligraphy however, is that there are rules about how to construct the letterforms. Yes, artistic talent does play a part, but one must first know the rules before breaking or bending them!
I took my first calligraphy class 23 years ago. I grew up in New York and didn’t realize how lucky and privileged I was to have so many of the greatest calligraphers in the world available as teachers, and friends.
Back then, with my unstudied eye, anything with “flourishes” (fancy swirls on the letters) qualified as calligraphy to me – and I wanted to learn how to do it. In the early stages of my studies, I remember receiving compliments for my work from people impressed by flourishes. But as I studied calligraphy in depth, I learned to distinguish professional calligraphy from fancy lettering. In fact, I have found that much of the calligraphy for sale is of a substandard level that would not be considered professional quality. As with everything else in life, it is “buyer beware”. That is why I am writing this section: to help you to become a discerning and educated customer, who pays for, and receives a quality product.
Look for Consistency
CONSISTENCY in each letter. For example, each “A” looks like every other “A”. It has the same width, height, shape, thick and thin parts, slant, serif shape (the beginning and endings of letters), and spacing between letters, as each other letter. Furthermore, each “a” is also the same width as every other letter in the alphabet, except for “m” and “w”. Interestingly, I learned that with this type of consistency one could construct of an entire alphabet with only the letter “a” or “n” as a guide to what the other letter should look like.
Well done calligraphy reminds me of a beautiful, softly curling ribbon. To achieve this look and feel on envelopes, calligraphic lettering, in general, should be opaque coloring. Unfortunately, it’s hard to create beautiful “hairlines” (the thin parts of letter) with waterproof inks, and therefore, when working with color, I mix paint to match whatever color scheme you choose. One of the things that makes calligraphy beautiful is the contrast of the thick and thin parts of each letter, which can generally be accomplished when the paint is not waterproof.
All of my work is fully guaranteed. If you are unhappy with the job, I will either correct the problem, or refund your money.