This is a subject that comes up often. If you hire an experienced calligrapher, it’s not inexpensive and the truth is that home computers are capable of producing much more than address labels with a Times New Roman font. There are word processing programs that can duplicate Spencerian and Copperplate calligraphic hands. There are printers that will add color to your envelopes or invitations and no one can doubt the cost savings. Sounds a lot like I’m advocating against myself, doesn’t it.
But the truth is that while the digital process can imitate, there’s still nothing like receiving a handwritten envelope to make your event stand out in a crowd. Handwriting has a personality that is lost in digital reproduction and calligraphy can add that “wow” factor to your event like nothing else. Not only can hiring a good calligrapher provide you with beautiful writing, but also they are great resources for addressing etiquette and style. And in this day of hectic schedules, it’s a time saver that allows you to cross one more thing off the “to do” list.
Once you’ve decided your time is valuable or your handwriting isn’t all that awesome (or both), how do you find a calligrapher? And how do you know they produce quality work? First, good calligraphers aren’t cheap so it pays to do your homework. While in some countries such as the UK, there are organizations that provide education and certification of calligraphic skills, here in the U.S. pretty much anyone can purchase a calligraphy pen at a local craft store and hang out their shingle as a calligrapher.
Thankfully, with the advent of the internet, there are places to research calligraphers and their work. That means you can compare both price and style. While you will generally find costs higher in major cities such as New York or LA, in general prices will run about a dollar per line for an outer envelope. You will also find that calligraphers each have their own specialties. There are those who work only in the wedding industry with one or two styles while others with more background or experience can off you a wider variety of choices. Pricing varies from those like myself who simplify the process without all the add-ons to those who will charge more for everything from colored ink to different lettering styles.
Lastly, a good calligrapher should be willing to offer you a “letter of engagement” or “contract”. It should include not only a price quote, but stipulate method of payment, deadlines and list any extra fees for things such as shipping or last minute changes. As a calligrapher and lettering artist with over thirty years of experience, I’m able to work with brides and event planners to select or create a script that best expresses the theme of an wedding or event. From envelopes to place cards and more, I take pride in my work and with your help will do everything I can to make your day one to remember.