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Calligraphy: An Artistic Edge to Writing

What is Calligraphy?

Calligraphy means “beauty” in “writing”. It is a branch of paleography or ancient writing. It is the most ancient art of designing and execution of letters with a broad tip instrument or a brush, in which letters are drawn. It is a form of beautiful and ornamental handwriting. Calligraphy has been used by many civilizations like ancient Greeks, Romans and Chinese since ancient times, into their texts.

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Calligraphy is a way of expressing imaginations through creativity and design. It creates artistic strokes that may or may not resemble letters. Calligraphers use a number of tools for their work. These are traditional calligraphy tools such as boru, calligraphy pens, nibs, cut tip markers, art brushes, foam rollers etc. These tools have changed a bit throughout the years. Now modern computers are used for several different fonts, from plain to designed.

Ancient days calligraphy is reflected in the texts, edicts, sagas, palm leaves, animal bones and ancient monuments’ walls, ceiling, stones etc. In todays era, calligraphy is used for a number of purposes like designing in clothes, wood, plastic, porcelain and even on the human body also in the form of tattoos.

Countries famous for calligraphy

In China, from the ancient period, calligraphy was considered as the supreme visual art form. It was valued more than painting and sculpture and ranked alongside poetry as a means of self-expression and cultivation.

In Islamic countries it is known as Arabic calligraphy and is used by all Muslims in their respective languages. Calligraphy used in different Islamic countries are known by different names, such as the name of cities in which they originated, like the Kalnbti, Kufic, Hijazi and persian or the names of their creators, Kalyakota and Rihani and the Ghazlani.

Japanese calligraphy is known as Shodou. It was first introduced into Japan in the 8th century. There are about 48,000 characters in Shodu.

Career opportunities for Calligrapher

There is a wide scope in making a career in calligraphy. It plays a vital role in various fields like fine arts, typeface design, sign making, manuscript design etc. for a variety of purposes. As Calligraphy is found almost on everything like decorative pieces, home furnishings, sculptures, paintings, wall decors, wedding cards, greeting cards, invitations, business cards, menus, certificates, announcements, logos, monogram, posters, books, garments, watches, purses, jewelry, interiors and tattoos so calligraphists can work in interior designing firms, body painting studios, event organizations and can work independently by starting their own business. With the advancement in technology and with wide use of computer, calligraphy has became an integral part of fields like design, graphics and typography.

Skills and Education Requirements for a Successful Calligraphy Career

Students interested in a calligraphy career go for the degrees in visual art, history courses in order to learn about some of the various ancient alphabets. Many schools also offer courses in calligraphy. A minimum Bachelors degree is required to work as a calligrapher.

For the successful career in Calligraphy candidate should have an artistic mind and creative thinking. A calligrapher should posses keen desire to create beautiful images, motifs, symbols, an aesthetic sense and artistic balance.

Universities and institutes for Calligraphy Education             

-Universities and institutes for Calligraphy Education
-American Society of Shufa Calligraphy Education (ASSCE) is famous for the calligraphy of East Asian practices of Hanzi or Chinese-character script.
-University of Sunderland offers calligraphy degree ( Postgraduate in Design)
-The Roehampton University offers Correspondence Course in Calligraphy
-Arabic Calligraphy shorts Course at the Harvard University
-Mimar Sinan University, Academy of Fine Arts offers courses in Art and calligraphy.
-The Jamia Millia Islamia University in India offers Certificate Course in Calligraphy.
-The International Research Centre for Calligraphy (IRCC) is based in the Design Centre at the –University of Sunderland, UK and it is dedicated to promote and facilitate the development of calligraphy with national and international contexts.
-The University of Sheffield provided short courses in Chinese calligraphy
-Natraj Academy of Fine Art and Animation in India offers Certificate Course in Calligraphy Writing.
-Boston’s Simmons College’s East Asian Studies program offers a Chinese Calligraphy course.


Practice, interest, creativity are the important factors to become a successful calligrapher. Practice makes perfect and polish the skills required in this field. Candidates should need the right tools and ample of time to practice this craft. Above article can be helpful to know about the requirements needed for a bright career in Calligraphy.

Ghosia Tabassum