Featured Guest Blog: Q & A with Christine Kirby
Today on the EWD blog we will be getting into the details; more specifically, calligraphy. Christine Kirby, owner of Carousel Atelier will answer frequently asked questions we often receive from our clients regarding Calligraphy.
Thank you for hosting me today! I’m excited to answer your calligraphy questions and to share a little bit about my art.
My name is Christine of Carousel Atelier and I’m joining you today from the sunshine state of Florida. I started learning calligraphy when my grandmother gifted me a starter kit for Christmas back in 1994. I was truly fascinated with learning how to do more with letters and words than just what I was taught in school. I really had no idea that it would have lead me to where I am today!
What is calligraphy?
Calligraphy is defined as “beautiful letters,” so from that we can derive that it is an ornate form of writing. Calligraphy is the form of writing letters - striving to achieve uniformity in each letter form through the use of guidelines and proper spacing. The calligrapher uses daily exercises to commit line types and forms to muscle memory so each letter can be the same across a piece. It is created with dip pens, nibs, and ink.
What is the difference between hand lettering and calligraphy?
I’m actually asked this a lot. So we have defined calligraphy as a structured form of elegant, ornate writing, created with specific tools. Hand lettering is the illustration form of writing words. It is the art of drawing letters through the use of brush pens, brushes, markers, and other tools. A hand letterer composes the piece as a whole – so each letter will be different. When you rearrange the letters from a composed piece of work, it would look jumbled.
In essence, calligraphy is writing letters, whereas hand lettering is drawing letters.
Which do you recommend of the two?
Calligraphy and hand lettering are very much related to each other, and often times a calligrapher practices both arts. It depends on what project you have in mind – for a formal event such as a wedding, calligraphy is the choice. Hand lettering is great when I create wedding signs (welcome signs, guest book signs, etc.).
Why is calligraphy preferred over labels with script font?
Pretend that you’re at your mailbox right now. When you open it, what is inside? Bills and junk mail with your name and address typed on it, stamp on it, and maybe on a regular business envelope. Nothing special about it, right? And you have a whole mailbox-full of those, day-in day-out. Now, what if I say that there’s a special piece of mail in it – a fabulous event and someone took the time to think of you, to write out your name in a fancy script. How does that make you feel?
Calligraphy is certainly an art form. I like to think of each piece of paper as a canvas – that they are mini-masterpieces. Myself and calligraphers like me are taking hours to focus on these works of art for each of your guests. It is a level of detail and personal touch that an online font does not quite compare to.
Of course, there are times when full calligraphy is not a viable option – full-calligraphy suites take a longer time to produce and can be beyond your stationery budget – there is flexibility to create “spot calligraphy” (calligraphy accents on a printed invitation) or to have a calligrapher only address your envelopes.
What is the average cost of calligraphy service?
There are many factors that go into the pricing of calligraphy, and there is not yet an industry standard. There are many factors that play into the pricing – specialty inks, centering of addresses on envelopes, extra flourishes on your lettering style, and return addresses can increase the base price for envelopes. Those prices are about $3.00 to $4.00 per outer wedding envelope. Prices vary based on the calligrapher’s business type (a professional versus a hobbyist), their experience level, their style (Modern calligraphy is less than a flourishing traditional lettering style), and even geographical markets can play in to the variation of cost.
Besides invitations, what other elements of a wedding can you use calligraphy?
The sky really is the limit here! Your Save the Date cards and envelopes (if they are not included in your wedding stationery). You can have cards made to ask your friends to be in your bridal party, and then design your bridal shower invitations and envelopes. Then there are your “Day-of” items: programs, seating charts, name or escort cards, menus or buffet cards, cake table, photo booth sign, cards and gifts sign, guest books, and itineraries. Then you can include it in your Thank You cards after your wedding day. You can have fabric written with calligraphy written on it to be a backdrop as you exchange your vows. There are so many ways to add in calligraphy, and if you have an idea that I skipped here, share it with your calligrapher!
Thank you so much for hosting me today. I hope that I was able to answer your questions – of course, if you have any more calligraphy questions, you’re more than welcome to reach out to me!