The Process of Creating Your Custom Calligraphy


copperplate calligraphy style for a letter written by a father to his newborn son superimposed on a photo of the parents hands with the baby's little feet

This calligraphy style called copperplate was chosen by a new father for a letter he wrote for his newborn baby boy.

How I create your calligraphy poem

Calligraphy is the ancient art of “beautiful writing”. But because of advances in technology and Photoshop, the process to create your custom calligraphy can now incorporate your own pictures or stock photography,  company logos and other artwork. Many people think of calligraphy as writing in black ink on white or parchment paper. But the process I follow is a bit different, so I want you to understand exactly what I’m doing. First I write your original custom calligraphy order by hand. It is NOT a computer font, it is handwritten calligraphy. Once I have completed the hand lettering, along with my ink splatters, less than perfect letters that I don’t like, flourishes that bump into other lines, I take the entire piece of plain paper the calligraphy is it written on, scan it at a very high resolution into my computer to get it ready for editing and then printing.

Your photography with my calligraphy

Using your photography with my calligraphy is only possible because of programs like photoshop. I write calligraphy by hand, and then scan it into my computer. Then use Photoshop, a very impressive software program that took me YEARS to learn. I can adjust the text to the size you want. I take out letters that I don’t like, fix mistakes, center perfectly, match any colors you want, and perfect the calligraphy. This takes a lot of time. Then one I’m satisfied, the custom calligraphy lettering is superimposed on a background of your choice. This is how I can incorporate your personal photographs, or pick a beautiful graphic background that fits so well with the text you are having written in calligraphy. If I didn’t do a print I wouldn’t be able to superimpose the calligraphy lettering on your photographs. They would have to be framed separately, or cut into a mat alongside the calligraphy text. This is an old school approach.

Now that calligraphy can be scanned and printed in a “short run”  it is possible to incorporate your company logo include in business certificates. You can choose from a universe of amazing stock photographs to visually elevate the calligraphy art. In the olden days, it was cost prohibitive to print one or a a few of the same prints.

Parchment “paper”

Even if you choose “parchment”, this is a high resolution photograph of a piece of original parchment. (Parchment is actually animal skinvery expensive and difficult to prepare for writing). The paper you choose is an archival, heavy weight paper that has texture that can be similar to parchment, but it’s not animal skin, or vegetable parchment.

black flourished custom calligraphy superimposed and printed on a photo of original parchment skin paper


Photoshop for Your Photos

Sometimes your personal photographs include photo bombs that you don’t want included in your calligraphy piece. That’s when Photoshop Magic comes into play. I’ve removed overflowing garbage cans next to grandma and other busy backgrounds like wires in a sunset to make your photo really nice. I can lighten or darken the background, remove blemishes on people’s faces and get rid of red eyes.

I’ve had to use Photoshop Magic to extend the ocean and make space for the calligraphy.  Editing with photoshop does take time, but it’s worth the effort! Photoshop magic adding more beach - a place for the calligraphy

Printing Your Calligraphy Poem

After your calligraphy text is written and incorporated with the photo you’ve chosen I’ll send it off to you for the first look. Most often my customers are thrilled at this point (see the Rave Reviews), however, sometimes small changes have to be made. Moving the title, changing the size of the text, adjusting the color, or oops! fixing an error in spelling I’ve made, adding a word or leaving one out – now is the time when I correct any errors until you are completed satisfied and the calligraphy is ready to print.

But please remember- I remind you to look over your text that you want printed and make sure you have given me all the personalization you want to add. Any additions in text after I’ve started writing the calligraphy will result in an extra fee. It takes me a lot of time to add additional text because it has to all be resized.


Choice of Printing Surfaces

yoga quote with Lianda, the calligrapher, holding an acrylic printYour custom calligraphy is then printed on heavy weight archival paper, if that’s your choice. Advancements in technology have made it possible to choose from many surfaces to print your calligraphy, that won’t even need additional framing!  You may prefer a smooth surface or a paper with heavy texture. However, all paper prints are made with a high resolution giclee printer. (Read more about “giclee”)

By writing custom calligraphy in this manner, each print will last longer than an original, and it looks virtually the same as an original, except it is perfect. It can also keep the cost down, because writing an original will cost about 100% more than using this process. In the case of writing an original, a mistake such as an ink splatter, a letter that is not perfect, a line that isn’t centered properly,  results in needing to do a complete redo of an original. That take a LOT of extra time! And you can imagine the stress of having to be perfect each time I bring pen to paper!

Calligraphy Gifts that are Unique on the Internet!

Calligraphy Mistakes

I’m really thankful that when I make a mistake, it’s much more easily corrected with technology. When working on an original, and I leave out a word, it would mean having to redo the entire piece, unless I could scratch off the paint and not damage the paper I was working on!

I can remember a time when I was working on a very long text on my drawing table. I love to listen to books and music when I’m painting or writing. But this one particular time, (it was back when telephones had wires and were connected to the wall) I wasn’t paying enough attention. And I didn’t cover all of the surface of the paper that had been completed. The phone rang and I reached for the receiver (do you even know what that is?! LOL). My arm hit the black ink, which turned over and spilled over the entire surface that I had just spent HOURS lining, and writing! I just looked with my eyes wide open realizing what I had done! Well, all I can say is: the worse the mistake you make, the less likely you are to ever repeat it!  I am SO THANKFUL to be able to work with printing now! 

If you read my “rave reviews”  you’ll see that people are completed satisfied with the quality of the print – and you also have an option to print on a different surface (such as canvas, thin wraps, metal, acrylic, glass or wood).

(ps- once the original is done, printing additional copies is also a low cost option)

calligraphy signature from Lianda from

Your Calligraphy Gift – Uniquely Printed and Framed and Ready to Hang 

Your calligraphy artpiece can be printed on a variety of amazing surfaces that will not need additional traditional framing – and it comes ready to hang, right out of the box! Imagine how great your calligraphy piece will look printed on canvas, metal, wood, glass or acrylic!

Click here to get started with your own unique personalized custom calligraphy gift.

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