The Enduring Art of Calligraphy


Even with the advent of digital typography and typefaces, printed lettering, varying fonts, and digital calligraphy, there is something about the beauty of hand-drawn calligraphy that goes beyond simply communicating a precise date and time.  Calligraphy bears a sense of the extra-ordinary.  A sense of regality.  A sense that someone has a message so beautiful to convey, that the typical range of fonts simply will not do!  And for that matter, the message is indeed so precious, that someone would take the time to turn a smattering of letters into a beautifully, artfully choreographed calligraphic design.

Calligraphy is enchanting.  Whether or not you know all the ins and outs of ascenders and descenders, of majuscules and minuscules, of baselines and x-heights and serifs and counters, you immediately feel the weightiness of a message expressed in calligraphy.  The majestic sense of the swirling, dancing line; the gorgeous tactile quality of precious ink against thick, luxurious paper stock; every detail is accounted for, and is sweepingly and perfectly realized.  The aim of the calligrapher is perfection, yet it is the subtly, imperfect presence of the human hand that is so alluring.

We caught up with three of our favorite luxury stationers to find out just how brides are utilizing calligraphy in their wedding stationery and invitation suites these days, what trends are most captivating and what gorgeous details we should keep an eye out for when selecting our own custom pieces!  We couldn’t get over these gem-like creations- some bearing a quiet elegance, others fascinatingly complex.  Get swept away in the beauty of the enduring art of calligraphy!



Ceci New York

Hand calligraphy is one of my favorite aspects of luxury invitation design. To the rest of the world it may seem like an old-world skill, but in the wedding industry it is a rare talent that continues to play a big role.

I have a very deep admiration and appreciation for hand calligraphers and all that they bring: patience, attention to detail, a refined eye, and of course steady, artful hands. Hand calligraphers are sometimes thought of as the “nice-to-haves” in the invitation and design industry, but I think they should be considered as the “must-haves.” There is simply nothing like the beauty of hand calligraphy. Each letter is perfectly drawn, and if the calligrapher makes a mistake, there is no delete button!

At Ceci New York, we can incorporate hand calligraphy onto so many aspects of your wedding design. The first, and probably most obvious, way is on the outer envelope, or mailer as we call it at the studio.

As you can see in the above photos, incorporating unique hand calligraphy with extra flourishes and embellishments to your outer mailer envelopes adds a special twist to a classic invitation. Guests are sure to notice the very moment your invitation arrives.
Remember calligraphy can also add a personal touch to your wedding day accessories – that means escort cards, place cards, table numbers – even favors! The sky’s the limit when it comes to beautifying with the art of calligraphy! 
Want to know more? Hop over to my online magazine, CeciStylefor my calligraphy 101 and plenty more inspiration.



Hannah Handmade

At Hannah Handmade, we incorporate hand calligraphy into just about every wedding invitation ensemble that we create!  It adds a sublime finishing touch that is often the first detail guests will see when they discover your gorgeously designed envelope in their mailboxes.

Hand calligraphy can be used for something as simple as addressing envelopes, to much more complex applications like hand-lettering complete invitation suites, where every last detail is calligraphed by hand!  The creation of detailed, multi-colored monograms and traditional engrossing with gold leaf accents are additional, beautiful applications.  I use the term “simple” lightly here – the truth is that the art of hand calligraphy is a skill that takes years of practice to develop into full mastery.

Hannah Handmade is proud to work with some of the finest calligraphers and master penmen in the industry!  We are very discerning about the level of mastery we pair with our fine work, as we only create the most refined and couture products.  Our calligraphers are so skilled, that in addition to paper, we have been known to calligraph onto more unusual materials such as metal, acrylic and wood.   With a professional calligrapher, the possibilities are absolutely limitless, and our goal is to create the invitation suite of your dreams.




Dulles Design

Calligraphy is an integral part of our designs, as well as a beautiful aspect of our custom stationery offerings for weddings.  Our brides love incorporating calligraphic touches throughout their stationery suites!  It’s so special to know that every word, name, and address has been hand-penned for them and their special day, and are thus unique to their specific celebrations!  We make great use of calligraphy, from the exquisitely traditional and elegant, to the glamorously swirly and dramatic, and the modern and minimalist block.  Each style reflects the personality of each couple and overall tone of the celebration!

While there are some fonts and typefaces that try to come close to the authenticity of hand-calligraphy, there is nothing as beautiful and eye-catching as the hand-calligraphed creation of lettering.  Taking lettering and turning it into an art is the essence of calligraphy.

We introduce calligraphy on save the date envelopes, of course, and have a little fun mixing our styles.  Sometimes we use a bold ink color and often integrate hand-penned wording to spice up a classic font, as per our bride’s preferences and style.  Our engraved or letterpress invitations offer brides the ability to showcase the most stunning of calligraphic artwork and see it evolve either in relief or indention.  This gives the lettering a palpable quality that is timeless and meaningful.  The outer envelope, addressed by our calligraphers, makes an initial (and lasting!) impression on its recipient, creating excitement for the wedding even before the invitation is revealed!

One of our brides, who was having a formal destination wedding in Paris, France, told us a wonderful story relayed by her maid of honor, whose mailman was so impressed by the beauty of the envelope with gold and black calligraphy, that he decided to hand-deliver it to her front door, instead of placing it in her mailbox.  In his mind, the envelope was too stunning to leave outside!  Isn’t that the reaction every bride wishes her invitation would invoke?

We offer further calligraphic options, including signage for both the ceremony and reception.  Beautifully penned signage greets the guests, indicates special areas, and informs attendees of the delicious hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, menu and desserts offered throughout the course of the evening.  Iconic get-away signs for the car or carriage are a must- and always add a beautiful, nostalgic touch to photographs!

Calligraphic touches throughout the scope of the wedding are the refining touches of elegance and thoughtfulness that make a luxurious celebration really stand out to the bride and groom as well as to their family and friends!  A bride’s calligraphic style gives her celebration its own, unique signature.