Calligraphy | Top tips to enhance your stationery

Calligraphy offers a beautiful form to express your party style, colours and theming. Within our stationery inspiration pieces, stationers have often described calligraphy as personal and special, elevating stationery to a new level. We have spoken to our Curated Suppliers, the experts in gorgeous stationery, for their top tips and advice on how to incorporate calligraphy in your stationery.

Calligraphy, where to start and the industry’s best top tips

We asked our wonderful Curated Supplier and talented calligrapher, Henrietta at The Styled Writing Company to piece together her top tips and tricks. Listen close, this is gold dust.

“I started my business with nothing more than my trusty fountain pen, creating handwritten detailing in a quirky font that is essentially an elevated version of my handwriting. As much as this seemed to be in demand and to this day I still regularly produce work in this style, I soon yearned to be able to offer a more crafted and elegant style to my clients as well as to learn and grow as a calligrapher.

I learnt the basics of modern calligraphy with the fabulous Lucy Edmonds at Quill London and then set about using my new skills to underpin my natural hand to create a unique style. One which continues to evolve and change as I gain confidence and continue to be inspired and influenced by my surroundings and the people I meet along my journey. 

‘Patience and determination are key…’

– much like learning a musical instrument or trying to master a yoga pose – it takes time and lots of practice. Keep plugging away as you’ll eventually have a breakthrough and a whole new world will open up to you where your creative outlet will add so much to your life.

As well as patience, if you already have a strong creative streak and a flair for handwriting – try to let your natural style come through using modern calligraphy techniques as your foundation.”

“I would recommend buying a starter kit from Quill London – experiment with different nibs and holders to see what suits you. Nibs are inexpensive so it’s worth buying a selection and seeing what feels good (Nikko G and Zebra G are my personal favourite all rounders and I use an oblique holder).

Also, use a pencil to map out tricky compositions – 9 times out of 10 if the aesthetic of a piece isn’t looking right it will be the composition that is the problem. It could be the composition of the piece as a whole or perhaps the spacing between your letters is off. Remember that the empty spaces are just as important as the spaces filled. Even though your letter formations might be perfect, if they are not together in unison, then you won’t find your hallelujah moment.

‘Relax. Shut down your emails, put on some music, enjoy the moment.’

Calligraphy commands your full attention so embrace the absolute absorption of it. I find it the perfect antithesis to modern digital life. Whilst it is really good for the soul to be able to craft something out of just a few simple tools and materials.

Have a goal in mind – perhaps lovely hand written tags for your Christmas presents or creating placecards for a dinner party. The joy you will encounter from your recipients will make all the effort worthwhile and inspire your continued journey!”

Henrietta’s Favourite Suppliers

Quill London – for the prettiest coloured inks and the most stylish desk stationary around.

Tom Gyr of Tom’s Studio – for exquisite hand crafted pens.

Mount Street Printers – for high quality stock and print commissions.

Scribblers (online only) – for all manner of calligraphy supplies, especially nibs and top quality paper.

L. Cornelissen & Son – for an Aladdin’s Cave of artist materials.

Cass Art – for really good really reasonable paints and drawing inks.

Lyndons Graphics – local to me in Notting Hill and full of treasures.

John Purcell Paper – for bespoke commissions.

“Happy crafting!”

We would love to see pictures of your gorgeous creations and hear your feedback on how you’ve got on.

Share with us @pearlandpear.

Enhancing your stationery with calligraphy

We asked our wonderful Curated Supplier and talent stationery designer, Vaishali Shah at Ananya Cards to piece together her expert opinion on calligraphy and its adaptable forms.

“Although Calligraphy (meaning ‘beautiful writing’) has been in use for centuries, one of the reasons for its recent resurgence is due to its adaptability to contemporary trends and styles.

Today, differentiation and personalisation in all forms of stationery is what has become a paramount requirement. Calligraphy fulfils that requirement perfectly. Needing skill and effort, hand drawn calligraphy conveys a sense of artistry and authenticity. It has multiple applications, such as a party or corporate event invite, RSVP, menu, place card or table plan.

‘It can add a touch of romance or charm or give it an official look, to suit the occasion.’

“The adaptability of calligraphy allows you to be creative for use on different materials such as leaves, glass, leather, wood and also stone. Used on tags, it can be attached to gifts or hung on table plan trees. It can be combined with print for added emphasis, such as to highlight guest or host names on an invitation. Sometimes, having the entire invitation in calligraphy can be a little difficult to read, so highlighting certain words or names adds impact. For an informal look, why not do the calligraphy all in lower case.”

“Use calligraphy in colours to match your event or occasion. Using metallic colours makes it really stand out and adds that all important touch of glamour. This sets it apart from digital printing where metallic colours are not possible. A welcome bonus is that calligraphy shows up beautifully in photographs.

Calligraphy adds a personal, individual and impressive element wherever it is used. Beautiful to look at and drawn by hand, it is classy and full of character” says Vaishali Shah of Ananya.

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