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Calligrapher’s Hands

I used to be a calligrapher, ages and ages ago. At the time, I worked as an architectural draftsperson so I already knew (and was good at) tiny, concise, and neat lettering. It was an easy jump from there to calligraphy. Eventually that thing we used to call “desktop publishing” came around and most people lost interest in have hand-done calligraphy.

But just as fountain pens seem to have having a moment, calligraphy is once again popular. At the calligraphers’ guild table, you could get your name lettered on a bookmark by an obliging gentleman. So I did.

Dallas Pen Show
Dallas, Texas
photographed 9.25.2021

Fat letters



I used to be a calligrapher, and actually spent quite a bit of time studying different lettering styles. Because I also used to be a drafter (or draftsman, or draftsperson) and once had a job where we had to fill up any empty time by practicing lettering, calligraphy came pretty easy to me. There were some styles I couldn’t learn (like Copperplate), some that were too much trouble (Blackletter), and some I really did enjoy (like the sample below, of something I actually did.)

But this fat-letter style wasn’t one I learned. Which is a shame since the field of graffiti seems to have outlived the field of calligraphy.

Austin, Texas
photographed 4.12.2014

Calligraphy sample

October 5 – fixing technical difficulties

This was posted for about 15 seconds on October 5, then vanished. (I know how it vanished, but I don’t want to admit to what happened; it was 100% operator error.) I was traveling and didn’t have a way to re-post until tonight.

Back in the day, I used to be a calligrapher. So you can understand my excitement at noticing how the L and the second E line up exactly with the uprights of the sign. Well done, sign-painter.

Also – check out that cool old gin in the background….

Woodrow, Texas

photographed 3.2.2012

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