Calligraphy is an ancient art with historical and cultural significance in many parts of the world. Simply defined, Calligraphy means, "beautiful writing". The ability to create perfectly balanced and artful lettering is still a valuable skill, and calligraphers are sought out to create invitations, certificates, cards, and other paper communications. In the digital age, people want calligraphy because it imparts a personal touch and adds depth and character to a text. Whether you're already into calligraphy or you would like to learn about it, you'll find a lot of excellent resources here. Look through the following links for the best calligraphy sites and articles that the web has to offer.
History of Calligraphy
Calligraphy has a long and interesting history. Use the resources in this section to explore the history and cultural heritage of calligraphy. Learn how calligraphic arts originated in different parts of the world and how it influenced the people of those regions. You can also delve into the symbolism of different calligraphic styles, and learn the fascinating ways that hidden meaning was weaved into certain texts through its use.
Calligraphy, Lettering, and Typeface Design - Look through this page from The Calligrapher's Guild to explore some of the ways different lettering styles were used to represent specific cultural values or to identify the artist's place of origin.
History of Chinese Calligraphy - The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents this article taking you through a timeline of calligraphy in Chinese history.
Calligraphy in Islamic Art - Also from The Met, this article explores the origins and history of Islamic calligraphic art.
History of European Calligraphy - Read this article to find out more about European calligraphy - its history and significance, as well as its influence on modern calligraphic styles.
The History of Calligraphy - This article provides a basic history of Calligraphy and discusses its origins in the Roman, Chinese, and Arabic cultures. If you are looking for a general history of calligraphy, this is a good place to start.
Getting Started With Calligraphy
Anyone can learn to do calligraphy, but you can't just pick up a pen and create the perfectly metered and beautiful lettering like an experienced artist. It takes practice, patience, and the right supplies to become a great calligraphic artist. Don't be overwhelmed or think that you have to be formally trained to start dabbling in calligraphy, though. Try looking through some of the following links to help you get on your way to making lovely calligraphic characters.
Calligraphy for Beginners - Every post in this blog is full of helpful advice for beginning calligraphers. Read just one of the encouraging posts and you'll believe you can become great at calligraphy before long.
Calligraphic Terminology - This alphabetical compendium lists commonly used terms associated with calligraphy. Run through these before you place any supply orders or go to your local art store.
Selecting Calligraphy Ink: Tests and Reviews - Ink is oh-so-important when it comes to calligraphy. Before you order the first calligraphy pen you see, read some of these reviews to figure out which one is going to work best for you.
Basic Calligraphy Tools - If you want to get started with calligraphy but aren't ready to start shelling out major dough until you get some practice under your belt, read this. Use the guidelines to create a starter kit that will provide you with all the essentials -without going overboard.
Calligraphy for Kids
There's no better time to start with calligraphy than during childhood. Kids learn so easily that it will be like second nature for them to write beautifully when they are older. Given that many schools are phasing out cursive-style writing and penmanship doesn't receive the attention it once did, is it ever more important to keep passing on the art of calligraphic lettering. To teach a child this skill is to give them a unique advantage. Nowadays, everyone can type. But not everyone can create hand-lettered media. Use these resources for teaching calligraphy to kids.
Calligraphy, Handwriting, and the Alphabet - If you want to use calligraphy in an educational way, try following this excellent lesson plan that uses calligraphy to explore concepts related to art, math, social studies, science, and language arts.
Cally & Graphy - Join "Cally" and "Graphy" on a learning adventure that's all about calligraphy. Kids can follow the fun characters through the history of calligraphy, browse the gallery, and play in the calligraphy jungle.
Handwriting Worksheets - For preschool children, it's best to start by having them practice good penmanship. You can use these free printable worksheets to help kids develop their handwriting while familiarizing themselves with the alphabet.
Teaching Kids Calligraphy - This great article was written by a home-schooling parent and tells you every thing you need to know before you sit down to do calligraphy with your kids or students.
Calligraphic Societies and Associations
There are actually several groups in existence whose sole purpose is to keep calligraphy relevant by educating, sharing, and collaborating with other enthusiasts. Many of these groups are nonprofit and function through the use of government grants and member donations. All of the sites listed here are run by reputable outfits and provide high quality information, valuable learning opportunities, and help to promote the calligraphic arts everywhere.
The Society of Scribes and Illuminators - This group, operating primarily out of the UK, is comprised entirely of modern lettering artists. On the site you'll find articles about calligraphy, information about events and meetings, and even a free downloads page.
IAMPETH - The acronym stands for the International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting. On their website you can access printable example pages by master letterers, along with lots of helpful articles and archived texts.
Friends of Calligraphy - Based in California where it runs workshops and other calligraphy-related events, this nonprofit group's site has lots of great resources for the new calligrapher. You can also sign up for calligraphy newsletters and magazines.
Learn Calligraphy - This UK-based website supplies a lot of free resources for anyone wanting to give calligraphy a try. There are tips and advice, as well as helpful video tutorials.
It's hard to talk shop or share your enthusiasm about calligraphy with people who don't appreciate it as much as you do. Spend some time on the following sites if you're looking to connect with other real-world calligraphy artists and enthusiasts. There is actually quite a large community of calligraphers out there and many of them are eager to share their experience, advice, and even product reviews.
Cyberscribe - Join this online community to stay in touch with calligraphers around the world. Share tips and advice, vent about your frustrations, or ask a question of the more experienced scribes in the group.
The Flourish Forum - Here you'll find a busy open forum where all calligraphers and wannabe calligraphers are welcome. There are scores of helpful discussion topics, or you can start a new one of your own. Also on the site, a fantastic blog filled with free templates, technique tips, and more.
Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society - This group, based in the UK, offers a vast collection of resources for calligraphers and other enthusiasts of the hand-penned letter. While there's not currently an active forum on the site, you'll find plenty of ways to connect with and be a part of the world community of Western-style calligraphers.
Worldwide Calligraphy Guild Directory - If you're looking for a calligraphy group in your area, use this index to find one, no matter where in the world you are.