Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Definition of Calligraphy


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Contemporary Western Calligraphy.

Calligraphy (from Greek κάλλος kallos "beauty" + γραφή graphẽ "writing") is the art of beautiful writing (Mediavilla 1996: 17). A contemporary definition of calligraphic practice is

"the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner" (Mediavilla 1996: 18). The story of writing is one of aesthetic evolution framed within the technical skills, transmission speed(s) and materials limitations of a person, time and place (Diringer 1968: 441). A style of writing is described as a script, hand or alphabet (Fraser & Kwiatkowski 2006; Johnston 1909: Plate 6) .

Calligraphy ranges from functional hand lettered inscriptions and designs to fine art pieces where the abstract expression of the handwritten mark may or may not supersede the legibility of the letters (Mediavilla 1996). Classical calligraphy differs from typography and non-classical hand-lettering, though a calligrapher may create all of these; characters are historically disciplined yet fluid and spontaneous, improvised at the moment of writing (Pott 2006 & 2005; Zapf 2007 & 2006). So, many calligraphers are as happy with "jazz" as "classical" for musical analogy and represents differing emphasis between artists.

The use of the Calligraphy Alphabet continues to flourish in the forms of wedding and event invitations, font design/ typography, original hand-lettered logo design, religious art, commissioned calligraphic art, cut stone inscriptions,memorial documents, props and moving images for film and television, testimonials, maps, and other works involving writing (see for example Letter Arts Review; Propfe 2005; Geddes & Dion 2004).

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