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  • Writer's pictureKelli

Is calligraphy the same as handwriting?

part of a poem written in copperplate calligraphy script with gold ink
copperplate calligraphy script

The short answer is "no."

You can absolutely have terrible handwriting, yet be an amazing calligrapher. My personal handwriting isn't anything special. Calligraphy is more like drawing. You are intentionally creating shapes, aka letterforms, to look a certain way.

Many people start out writing "modern calligraphy." That is a calligraphers' personal script style that they have developed.

addressing envelopes in copperplate script

There are other styles of calligraphy that are considered "universal." Copperplate / Engrossers Script, Spencerian, Roundhand, Italic hand, Black letter - these are just a few styles that exist with rules about how each letter should be drawn and spaced. I have another blog post that goes in to more detail here.

modern calligraphy script

So, the next time you compliment someone for their calligraphy, don't tell them you love their handwriting (or even worse - a font!) 😉

interested in booking me for calligraphy services? fill out my contact form here

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