What are Styles of Calligraphy or Fonts?
The right side of the book is written in flourished italic. When you don’t have too much text, I can put wide spacing in between the lines and have space to put in flourishing that doesn’t make it hard to read. Many people love the swirls and flourishes that makes calligraphy look like someone wrote it by hand! But other people like a more tailored and simple look to the calligraphy style. When you order, make sure to let me know your preference, or what you think the person you are giving the gift of calligraphy will like better.
What Style of Calligraphy Do you Like?
Calligraphy Styles – Computer Calligraphy “Fonts”
The definition of “calligraphy” is beautiful handwriting whether you call it fancy writing, pretty handwriting, or anything else. There are many fonts with different names that copy calligraphy styles such as:
- Old English (which was really old German!)
- Gothic Black letter*
- Lucida (some people mistakenly call it Lucinda)
- Edwardian Script
- Spencerian Script
- Italic – cursive
Interestingly, the “Italic” common usage in fonts refers to any style that is slanted to the right. You can italicize any font on your computer by choosing the variation “italic”. However, in calligraphy terms, “italic” comes from the “Italian” originator of the hand, Ludivico degli Arrighi. The present style of italic calligraphy is copied from Arrighi’s letter forms.
How Do You Write the Letters in Calligraphy?
The italic style of lettering is made with a square cut nib, is based upon an oval shape and leans slightly to the right. Italic is truly my favorite hands, and one you will see all through my examples of calligraphy. When you use a square cut nib, the most important aspect is holding the pen consistently at a 35-45º angle. When you do that, parts of the letters will be very thin (hairlines) and the other parts will become thicker as the pen moves around to shape the letters. The most important aspect of quality calligraphy is consistency.
BTW: Black letter* is a misnomer. This name was given to the style of calligraphy that had an appearance of the page being covered with letters, and from a distance is looked black. In actuality, there was no paper at the time, and scribes wrote on parchment, which is animal skin! Because preparing parchment or vellum (skin from an unborn calf) was very time consuming, the scribes came up with a style of writing that would fit the most text possible on each piece of parchment. That’s how the name “black letter” came about.
About Copperplate Style of Calligraphy
Copperplate calligraphy is written with a pointed pen. Thick and thin parts of the letter are created by putting slight pressure on the nib as you draw the letter. Upstrokes will be thin, also called hairlines; downstrokes will be thicker, because that’s the time when you can apply pressure on the nib. If you study the letters, you can see the direction of the stroke. There should be consistency in how wide the thick part of the letters are when done by an excellent calligrapher! This is NOT easy to do and takes many years of practice!
This is the calligraphy style called copperplate chosen by a new father for a letter he wrote for his newborn baby boy.
Text like “The Hobbit” is perfect for the Celtic or Uncial style of calligraphy.
If you look, you’ll realize that this style of calligraphy is written in “capital” letters only.
Gothicized Italic style of calligraphy was designed to make the arches look like church window design.
It is a beautiful, flowing style of calligraphy that can fit perfectly with many types of texts, including Biblical passages.
Legend is a calligraphy style that was created to look like Middle Eastern writing.
Whatever calligraphy style you prefer, ask your calligrapher to make sure it goes with the text you are using. Remember, it’s then message of the words that you want to be able to read, no matter what calligraphy style you ultimately choose! Click on any of the photos to get started on your calligraphy art.