Calligraphy ~ A Modern Approach to an Ancient Art

Words appear to waltz across a page when written in calligraphy. Literally translated from the Greek language, the word calligraphy means "beautiful writing" and each character has a precise stroke order. Unlike typeface, it is this stroke order that forms the irregularity of character size, style and ink blot that makes calligraphy beautiful. Developed by the Phoenecians, perfected by the Romans and preserved by the monasteries of the fourth and fifth centuries, calligraphy is an ancient art that has taken functional residence in today's wedding invitations.

Elegant traditions are sometimes shunned with thoughts of a modern approach to wedding planning and the desire to be unique and "different". However, modern style can be enhanced by the incorporation of classic elements. The use of calligraphy shows exquisite taste for detail and lends a luxe, sophisticated feel to invitations, placecards, menus or really any wedding communication, particularly when used on equally luxurious papers.

Laura Hooper has turned the ancient art of calligraphy into a business. Not only does she offer calligraphy for invitations and addressed envelopes, but she also creates maps, monograms and logos. A lovely Laura Hooper monogram or logo can be a cohesive element in your wedding decor and design, and can be used everywhere from inviations to tabletops. We also love Laura's chic designer maps that not only direct your guests to their destination, but are also great keepsakes.

We held a little Q&A session with Laura to get her take on the use of calligraphy for the modern bride.

WU: Why should brides consider using calligraphy for their wedding stationery?

LH: In addition to being very beautiful and lending a classic look to your envelope, calligraphy really is the first thing guests will see with respect to your wedding. Traditionally, your envelopes should be hand-addressed and calligraphy is a beautiful way to address them. Elegance is in the details and your guests will notice.

WU: Where can brides have their calligraphy done and is it cost effective?

LH: The internet has made national and even international ordering pretty easy. I am lucky enough to receive over 40% of my business from New York, even though I am based in L.A. You shouldn't have to limit yourself to someone who is local.

With regards to cost, you can get pointed pen calligraphy professionally from about $2.50 per envelope, but I have heard it can go as high as $7.50 depending on the professional. Some people may not consider this cost effective, but calligraphy is an art and if that is something you value, you're willing to pay for it.

WU: Can or should brides attempt calligraphy themselves when addressing their wedding stationery?

LH: Sure they can and I am sure thousands do. Many enlist the help of their friends and family as well, if they have good handwriting. If you don't have good penmanship and you have room in your budget, I suggest hiring a professional calligrapher.

Laura takes orders for her wedding calligraphy and custom wedding maps on her website and via telephone. If you want to try your hand at calligraphy, there are some great resources online.

Popular Posts

Blog Archive