Calligraphy has a unique beauty and elegance unlike any other style of writing. It is evident from its ancient appearance that calligraphy has a long history, one which parallels the development of the way we communicate.
The 26-letter alphabet used in western society today has been adapted, shaped, and reshaped over the last 2,000 years. By the end of the 12th century, two different styles of lettering were used: an informal cursive style used only for correspondence, and a more formal script, used for manuscripts and inscribed ceremonial forms. In both, scribes scratched their messages onto a wax tablet or wrote them out with a reed pen on papyrus.
This arduous printing method was used to produce calligraphy until the beginning of the 20th century, when there was a modern calligraphy revival. At this time Edward Johnston, considered the father of modern calligraphy, began experimenting with the quill pen in England. Johnston established standards for calligraphers, which included simplicity, distinctiveness, proportion, beauty of form, and personality of hand, and these remain fundamentals for contemporary calligraphers.
Today we most commonly see calligraphy used to invite people to the special events that shape our lives. Invitations are a ceremonious art form entrenched in tradition. Wedding invitations are deeply tied to the historical importance of marriage and its profound religious and social implications. For centuries, these invitations have been a symbol of our abiding trust and abundant joy in the institution of marriage, and they remain so today.
When it comes to the form our invitations take, protocol varies from culture to culture. In one region of Turkmenistan, the relatives of the engaged couple visit the house of each invited guest. If you don't have time to be quite so personal, calligraphy is a meaningful way to invite your guests. Your announcements are an indication of how special your event can be, and should be as elegant as the occasion you are planning.
For the most part, people use calligraphy to establish a formal feel. In this fast-paced digital age, where most communication is generated in seconds, the style of calligraphy is reminiscent of a slower time. Calligraphy is a traditional art that remains flexible to our changing needs, which is why it has retained its important place in the culture.