All you need to know about Calligraphy

You probably are familiar with the term Calligraphy. There is a lot more to the term than just beautiful writing of letters. Calligraphy is an art which requires the possession of certain skills and techniques that translates into ornate lettering where letters are in harmony with each other. Calligraphy is not just beautiful handwriting; even if you don’t possess good handwriting, you can learn Calligraphy. Mastering the art requires a lot of patience because every letter is written slowly and neatly. One would also require great attention to detail. In the words Calligraphy the elevation of something simple as handwriting into a refined ornate form.

The Origin of Calligraphy

The origin of calligraphy can be dated back to 200 BC in China. Along with China, Japan, India Europe and Korea have deep roots in calligraphy from a historical perspective. Calligraphy is considered not just as beautiful handwriting, but it is a major art in regions like the Middle East and East Asia. In Europe, towards the middle of 15th Century printing was introduced and it marked a distinction between normal handwritten letters or handwriting and ornate forms of lettering. The word calligraphy found its way into many European languages in the 16th Century and the English word Calligraphy appeared in the early 17th Century.

Types of Calligraphy

There are three major styles of Calligraphy, namely, Western, Arabic and Eastern.

1. Western Calligraphy:

Western-style calligraphy is influenced by Greek and Latin alphabets. During 3000 BC Romans used reed and quill pens to write on papyrus and then it made its way into biblical texts and various other manuscripts. In the 19th Century, calligraphy witnessed a revival with the beginning of calligraphy teaching courses in London. Brushes, flat ball, and round nib pen are used in Western Calligraphy. A typical example of Western calligraphy is a biblical manuscript.

2. Eastern Calligraphy:

Eastern calligraphy was greatly influenced by Chinese calligraphy. The East Asian cultures boast of a rich and complex history of Calligraphy. In the east, the tools for calligraphy is known as the Four Treasures of the study, and the four treasures are brushes, ink, paper, and inkstone. Eastern calligraphy uses a wide variety of brushes, inks, and papers. Palm leaves, clay, and barks are used as surfaces for calligraphy.

3. Arabic Calligraphy:

Compared to other forms of calligraphy, Arabic Calligraphy or Islamic Calligraphy is different. This form of calligraphy is closely associated with religion and Islamic geometry art. In a way, it is the visual representation of the art of the spiritual world.

Know the tools of Calligraphy

There are several brushes, pens, nibs, and inks used to create beautiful calligraphy. Some of the different types of equipment used in the art of calligraphy are the following.

  1. Broad Edged Pens: This one is perfect for beginners as it is easy to use. It makes thick and thin strokes popular with western alphabets. This pen is used for many styles but some tricks are required to get the desired outcome. Broad Edged Pens encompasses dip pens, automatic pens, and fountain pens.
  2. Pointed Pens: These types of pens do not produce thick and thin lines on its own but the pressure applied by the writer decides these factors. Working with this pen requires a bit of patience as the line weight produced by the pens solely depends on the pressure exerted and released by the writer.

Ruling Pens: Ruling pens come with a knob on its side which thick and thin lines the closeness of the blades, which can be adjusted by the knob.

Pointed Brush: A pointed brush comes in a number of different shapes, sizes, and bristle lengths. Interesting textures and lines can be created with this versatile tool.

Broad Edged Brush: These are perfect for surfaces such as fabric and thin Japanese paper. It is also great to create large letters on the walls.

Nibs: They come in different shapes and sizes and each of them works by releasing ink differently to create different types of lines.

Inks: Dye-based, pigment-based, carbon-based inks are used in calligraphy. Carbon-based inks last longer and do not fade over time. Dye-based inks are best for beginners as they are loose and it easy to work with.


Calligraphy is a beautiful art which can be learned. It is easy if you really want to learn it. Calligraphy as art is relatively easy to learn but difficult to master. It takes years of practice to master the art, learning all the techniques. If you are interested in learning this art, then now is a good time to start. Online calligraphy classes are available for people aspiring to learn this art.

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