Custom calligraphy is a beautiful way of personalizing wedding invitations, invitation envelopes, and place cards. I’ve received a few emails recently about custom calligraphy and what to look for in a calligrapher and have come up with a few general tips about what to look for if you’re looking into custom calligraphy.
Look Around – Before you do anything, you should first do a little research to get a better idea about what you like. Check out online galleries, online calligraphy studios, and calligraphy / hand lettering books to figure out what type of calligraphy fonts you like.
As you’re doing research, you’ll quickly find that you’re attracted to certain styles and sites. Be sure to jot down or bookmark any custom calligraphy / calligrapher sites that stand out to you.
Reputation and Samples – Once you have your calligraphy “wishlist”, you’ll want to find out more. Wedding message boards are great places to get recommendations from those who have experience with specific calligraphy studios and to find out more about the reputation of specific calligraphers that you may have on your wishlist.
Portfolios are an excellent way to see samples of a calligrapher’s work, and most calligraphers’ sites do have a portfolio section. Some calligraphers will also send out physical samples for a small price.
Pricing – Most of us aren’t lucky enough to have an unlimited budget, so pricing will be a factor in determining which calligraphy studio you’ll be working with. Some studios have pricing listed on their websites. This type of pricing is usually done on a cost per unit basis. If pricing is not listed, you’ll want to contact the studio to get an idea about what they will charge for your product. Be sure to give as many specifics as you can when you make contact, as this type of custom project pricing can vary widely. Specifics can include things like what items you’ll need (envelopes, invitations, place cards, etc.) and how many of each you’ll need.
Ask Questions – Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make contact with calligraphy artists and studios. The vast majority will be more than happy to answer any questions that you might have, and in doing so you’ll be able to get a better idea about the calligrapher’s personality and work process.
Though I haven’t used any of the following calligraphy studios personally, I’ve read and heard good things about all of them. Their portfolios are a testament to their wonderful work and range.
images from May + Belle, Tara Jones Calligraphy, and Pretty Pen Jen