Why would anyone spend money on calligraphy when computers can do it? Recently, a friend asked me this question which caught me off guard until I realized that others probably had the same idea.
Instead of responding with a less than friendly comment, I shared a few lettering stories and invited her to try a few pen strokes.
Although my friend struck a nerve, I couldn’t blame her misunderstanding about calligraphy and how it works. At one time, I might have asked a similar question since I’m known to look out for a discount or two. But, when it comes to calligraphy for special events, I’ve learned it’s not about letters on paper; it’s about appreciation for your guest.
Today, nearly every font or letter style easily prints from advanced computer technology. Printing envelopes and letters has become so commonplace that no one finds it special anymore. Unfortunately, the newer generation fails to realize a well-practiced calligrapher created the letters first before they were added to the computer program.
Living in the 21st century, we’ve become accustomed to receiving fast “everything”. We love fast food, fast service, fast delivery, or anything associated with fast. Fast equals better, right? In an age, where most societies spend more time on their daily commute, I guess fast should be better, but that’s another topic in itself.
If more people took time to sit down and write, they’d realize addressing one envelope doesn’t take much time if a writer uses a fountain pen. On the other hand, imagine using a dip pen and ink. This practice takes enormous patience.
First, the writer should set up a comfortable area for writing. This allows ample space for an ink bottle, nib with pen holder and envelope or paper. Next, the pen must be applied in ink to “warm up” with a few practice strokes while making sure the nib works fine. Once the writer feels comfortable with the pen nib and ink, they’re ready to address the envelope. Throughout the addressing process, it’s necessary to continue dipping the pen in ink until the addressing is complete.
For one who lacks patience, this procedure sounds daunting, but once it’s complete, the finished piece offers an added touch and shows the recipient you cared enough to spend your time, or money to hand write an addressed envelope.
So, now that my friend gained hands-on experience with calligraphy, she now has a greater respect for a calligrapher’s fees.