Engagement season is around the corner again (or it’s just started, judging from the status updates on my Facebook feed!) and that means that brides and grooms-to-be will immediately begin to plan their wedding. Since the trend of using handwritten calligraphy to address invitations, place cards, etc. is becoming more and more widespread, here are a few tips on what to look for when choosing a calligraphy artist to work with:
1. Quality. When choosing a calligrapher, first and foremost, make sure that their work is done by hand (computer calligraphy is also an option, so the last thing you want is to assume that you are getting hand-rendered calligraphy when it is in fact computer-printed or scanned). Feel free to ask the burning questions: “How long have you been doing calligraphy?” and “Where did you learn it?” Contrary to certain beliefs, a good calligrapher doesn’t necessarily have to have a college or Master’s degree in art. Some of us just chose to major in something else! I know many calligraphers who through artistic training and practice, almost apprentice-style, have become seasoned masters over time.
You should be able to view and evaluate samples of their work conveniently. Since each calligrapher will have been trained in specific “hands“, the goal is not to have them match the hundreds of computer fonts exactly. However, they should be able to match the color scheme of your invitation with ink as best they can, and their style(s) should be carefully executed to blend with the overall elegance of the event. It should also be legible enough for the US post office. In short, be sure you can affirm that the person is an expert! 🙂
2. Value. Good calligraphy will make your wedding or event stand out and set a classy, luxurious tone that joins the ranks of celebrities and the elite. However, it is also truly affordable, so be sure to shop around for calligraphers in a mid-price range before ruling it out completely. I guarantee that you’ll see that the cost of calligraphy is one of the most miscalculated in the budget, and doesn’t have to break the bank!
3. Service. Finally, the calligrapher that you choose should be personable and provide impeccable service. Above all, when you contact them, they should get back to you in a timely way. They should be able and willing to answer the questions that you ask and be as accommodating as possible to you, the client. If they don’t have a certain ink color, will they go to a little bit of trouble to locate it for you from a distributor? Will they offer perks like free return shipping on finished projects and extra materials, and assemble / mail your invitations for you to save you time? The better the service, the more pleasant and hassle-free your experience will be.