Calligraphy

Calligraphy is a visual art related to writing. It is the design and execution of lettering with a broad tip instrument, brush, among other writing instruments. A contemporary calligraphic practice can be defined as, “the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious, and skillful manner”.

Modern calligraphy ranges from functional inscriptions and designs to fine-art pieces where the letters may or may not be readable. Classical calligraphy differs from typography and non-classical hand-lettering, though a calligrapher may practice both.

Calligraphy continues to flourish in the forms of wedding and event invitations, font design and typography, original hand-lettered logo design, religious art, announcements, graphic design and commissioned calligraphic art, cut stone inscriptions, and memorial documents. It is also used for props and moving images for film and television, testimonials, birth and death certificates, maps, and other written works.

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Picture credit: https://pixabay.com/en/calligraphy-scores-parchment-1527819/

Tools

The principal tools for a calligrapher are the pen and the brush. Calligraphy pens write with nibs that may be flat, round, or pointed.For some decorative purposes, multi-nibbed pens—steel brushes—can be used. However, works have also been created with felt-tip and ballpoint pens, although these works do not employ angled lines. There are some styles of calligraphy, like Gothic script, which require a stub nib pen.

Writing ink is usually water-based and is much less viscous than the oil-based inks used in printing. High quality paper, which has good consistency of absorption, enables cleaner lines, although parchment or vellum is often used, as a knife can be used to erase imperfections and a light-box is not needed to allow lines to pass through it. Normally, light boxes and templates are used to achieve straight lines without pencil markings detracting from the work. Ruled paper, either for a light box or direct use, is most often ruled every quarter or half inch, although inch spaces are occasionally used. This is the case with litterea unciales (hence the name), and college-ruled paper often acts as a guideline well.

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Picture credit: https://pixabay.com/en/writing-write-fountain-pen-ink-1209121/

East Asia

The Chinese name for calligraphy is shūfǎ (書法 in Traditional Chinese, literally “the method or law of writing”); the Japanese name shodō (書道, literally “the way or principle of writing”); the Korean is seoye (Korean: 서예/書藝, literally “the art of writing”); and the Vietnamese is Thư pháp (書法, literally “the way of letters or words”). The calligraphy of East Asian characters is an important and appreciated aspect of East Asian culture.

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Picture credit: https://pixabay.com/en/mat-character-paper-manuscript-970610/

Modern calligraphy

After printing became ubiquitous from the 15th century, the production of illuminated manuscripts began to decline. However, the rise of printing did not mean the end of calligraphy.

The modern revival of calligraphy began at the end of the 19th century, influenced by the aesthetics and philosophy of William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement. Edward Johnston is regarded as being the father of modern calligraphy. After studying published copies of manuscripts by architect William Harrison Cowlishaw, he was introduced to William Lethaby in 1898, principal of the Central School of Arts and Crafts,who advised him to study manuscripts at the British Museum.

 

Text credit: Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calligraphy#East_Asia 

Cover credit: https://pixabay.com/en/calligraphy-japan-character-1176333/

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