What is calligraphy?

What is Calligraphy?

What is calligraphy really?

A lot have a misunderstanding of the difference of calligraphy and lettering. Others even see calligraphy as the same with lettering. Calligraphy is not lettering. It’s two different art forms each with its one set of rules and techniques.

Calligraphy as defined by Wikipedia is a visual art related to writing. It is design and execution of lettering with a broad tip instrument, brush, or other writing instruments.

In simple terms, it is the art of writing letters.

It has become popular because more people wanted custom and organic types that they can use. It continues to gain popularity and has been used in wedding invitations, font design, and inscriptions among others.

What calligraphy is not?

  1. It is not just beautiful handwriting.

Calligraphy means more than just making something beautiful using handwriting.

Although the word calligraphy comes the Greek work kallosgraphein (kallos: beauty; graphein: to write), which means beautiful handwriting, it has taken on a larger meaning.

The first goal of handwriting is to be able to write something quickly and easily without compromising readability, in other words clarity and speed. Beauty, personality and artistic impact are not as important.

There is a difference between writing as an art form and artistic-looking handwriting. Calligraphy’s goal is produce a work that elicits a reaction from the viewer, in which a deeper meaning is communicated between artist and viewer.  Handwriting, by contrast, aims to be read.

  1. It is not lettering by hand.

Calligraphy is not the same as hand-lettering. Hand-lettering is a bigger subject than calligraphy, but not necessarily better. Both art forms are beautiful in their own way, but one must not be mistaken for the other.

Lettering has a lot to do with the formation and use of letters to communicate meaning.  It is achieved by manipulating the letters and customizing them to look a certain way to convey a deeper meaning.

In other words, hand-lettering is the art of drawing letters.

  1. It is not a fancy font.

This is another misconception people make. Calligraphy is not about using some font on a computer to product an artwork.

Fonts are the styles used in machines. It is used to created designs for its intended purpose.

Although calligraphers design typefaces that can be used by everyone, the individual stamp of the artist is ultimately what makes it an art form. The individual’s character, which is unique, is conveyed onto the calligraphic work.

Calligraphy is the art of writing. It is making meaningful marks by the use of handwriting.