The word Calligraphy comes from two Greek words stuck together, kallos, meaning “beauty,” and graphein, meaning “to write” — literally “beautiful writing.”
Calligraphy is an ancient writing technique using flat edged pens to create artistic lettering using thick and thin lines depending on the direction of the stroke. The height of calligraphy was reached in the middle age, where monks developed the narrow writing style called gothic, allowing more words to fit on a single line, as paper was expensive at the time.
Calligraphy has existed in many cultures, including Indian, Persian, and Islamic cultures; Arabic puts a particularly high value on beautiful script, and in East Asia calligraphy has long been considered a major art. Calligraphers in the West use pens with wide nibs, with which they produce strokes of widely differing width within a single letter.
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 type design and non-classical hand-lettering, though a calligrapher may practice both.
Calligraphy continues to flourish in the forms of wedding invitations 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.