Calligraphy is an art form that has stood the test of time. It is the epitome of elegance on paper; it is created with precision and perfected by practice. I could spend hours just pouring over artists work and wishing I could letter the way they do. It is also a wonderful way to jazz up your envelopes for the holiday’s or add the final touch of elegance for formal invitations. Last post, we discussed the importance of proper etiquette and tips for addressing envelopes. Today, I want to take a brief look at some of my favorite calligraphy artists and offer advice on how to get the look without breaking the bank.
Erica Dunhill of EricaDunhill.com is a sweet spirit that finds joy in the structure and elegance of calligraphy. With two little boys, I am not sure how she finds time to create, but she does! Erica letters with traditional pen (nib) and ink. Her style is more classic and yet has a hint of whimsy. Erica is not afraid of working with different colored envelopes and ink, which I love! She is quick, precise and loves what she does.
Another one of my favorite calligraphy artists is Shannon Kirsten. She is an Etsy artist based in Florida and works with gouache paint and a brush to create her unique lettering. I found Shannon after receiving a note from a friend that was addressed by Shannon. I remember being afraid to open the envelope for fear of destroying her beautiful lettering. Coupled with a combination of unique stamps, it may in fact, be the best looking envelope I’ve ever received. I still have it tucked away for inspiration!
I love that Shannon uses gouache and a brush. When I asked Shannon where and how she learned calligraphy, she told me she has never taken a class, but simply uses her own handwriting… #jealous! Shannon also creates complete invitation suites, what a great bonus and one stop shop.
More of Shannon’s beautiful work can be found on her Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/ShannonKirsten or you can see her full portfolio at shannonkirstenstudio.com.
One of the best things I have ever done was take a calligraphy class. Where I am located in Florida, it is hard to find calligraphy classes and with a new baby, it can be even harder to actually get out of the house to attend one! Cue, Melissa Esplin from istilllovecalligraphy.com. Melissa has created an online calligraphy class complete with video tutorials, download-able worksheets and a critique board for the homework assignments. Not only does Melissa have a a sweet personality but her calligraphy work is incredible! Her work is flawless and she’s always creating fun, new things. You can see all her work here: melissaesplin.com or register for her class and give calligraphy a try here: istilllovecalligraphy.com
Whether you learn from Melissa, or hire a pro I think fun lettering on envelopes is definitely the way to go! If you don’t have the time or the budget for either of these options, there are a few tips I can give you to DIY.
Tip 1: Buy some great pens! Don’t limit yourself to simple blue/black ink ball point pens. My favorite pens to use for envelopes are the Gelly Roll Gel pens. They slide over the paper smoothly and come in a wide variety of colors! Find them here: Gelly Roll Gel Pens
Tip 2: Use a ruler! When addressing your envelopes, always make sure you’re writing in a straight line. You can spend a lot of time perfecting your letters only to find you’ve written the address crooked. It’s the little things…
Tip 3: Try printing your envelopes! Most top-feeding printers will work for printing envelopes. Microsoft Word has a template for envelopes under the mailers and labels tab. You can format your “label” or document to whichever size envelope you have and try really fun fonts on your envelope! I love Dafont.com for calligraphy fonts. Just make sure you have a good stock of sample envelopes, I went through about 5 trying to get it lined up properly.
Tip 4: Practice practice practice! Just because you don’t know how to letter using calligraphy, doesn’t mean you can’t come up with a fun style of handwriting! Just take a few sheets of paper and practice different ways to letter or layout the address. Here are some fun examples of how to address your envelopes without using calligraphy via InkandAnn, 5thFloorDesigns and SimplyShindig