Photo by Samir Bouaked on Unsplash

Calligraphy is an art. It is a form which can make you change your perspective towards art. But slowly the art of calligraphy is being challenged by computers and better software and printers.

In older times, people had the option of paper and quill only. Very few people had the privilege of getting educated. But the very few who had the opportunity made quite good use of it. At that time, technology was not advanced enough. So, the only means of keeping a record of something was in the form of handwritten notes on paper of different types. This gave birth to hand lettering form. After quite some time, there was also a problem of copying something from one page to another. Without printers, the only option was again handwritten.

Now, if we look closely then we can find out that in history during the 18th century, people tried to create the Roman alphabet against a grid background. Then later on these foundations were used for the creations of alphabets which we know today as English alphabets. The theory was that if something is created with the use of geometric principles then the end result would be a kind of art form. It is in the sense that the creations will look more attractive and noteworthy.

Later on, history also tells the story of Ali Ibn Muqla. He was a high-ranking political advisor or minister to three Abbasid Caliphs of Baghdad. During that time, when he lost his arm due to the political rivalry, then he decided to keep on writing with a pen tied to his hand which was cut off. He then invented a new form of writing for Arabic alphabets. He artistically used rhomboid as the basis of Arabic calligraphy. It was so because calligraphy in the Arabic language put more focus on proportion.

But on the other hand, calligraphy, which was practiced in Japan and Chinese, was using a brush. This was due to the fact that they preferred balance for their art form. Now we also have calligraphy for the English, or to be more specific, Latin alphabets. The main beauty of the art lies in the way these alphabets are created by artists all over the world. It is a sequence which needs to be followed without break. No matter what happens, even if the colour dries up in the brush, then also the artist will continue to complete the alphabet. The reason is that at the end brush will create a flow which will make the resultant creation complete. It will give a sense of continuity and fluency to the person who admires it and enjoys it. It is different than the digital one, in which there is provision for breakage in between and can be moulded according to needs.

The modern alphabets which are called the Latin alphabets have come up as a result of a few alphabet writing style types. Before printing reached Italy in 1464, the Latin alphabets were already being written in the form of manuscripts. These manuscripts were aimed to revive the art of calligraphy and make it more popular. Then came the second type of calligraphy which was roman in lowercase. After that finally, there was limelight on the black-letter gothic type.

There was also a fourth type of calligraphy style which was italic. It was there from the early 15th century. But became more popular later on, after it was adopted by Bartolomeo Sanvito.

Later on, in the 18th century, British printer John Baskerville created many new types of writing styles which appeared visually much better and clearer. He was inspired by the creations in a manuscript named Ramsey Psalter. This manuscript gave him a direction and path to work on which he did and became extremely popular in entire Europe. But his main popularity was in the countries of Italy and France. He also published a book on the fundamentals of his artwork, named Writing & Illuminating & Lettering. He was also greatly impacted by the works of William Morris. The fact is, the followers of Mr. Morris motivated him a lot to continue his work on Calligraphy style. It is believed that Mr. Morris was more focused on reviving the art of typography. Actually, he felt that the industrial sector was getting detached from the traditional techniques. So, he was making efforts to revive typography. Along with that, he also thought that some focus should also be given to the art of calligraphy. He considered calligraphy as an original and artistic form of work which needed support. Then it would ultimately help them in reviving the importance of typography.

Today, we can see one more type of art which has evolved from the art of calligraphy. It is called graffiti. It was first seen in the 1970s in America. But now it has become popular in many corners of the world. All of this has been made possible by the younger generation. They have now the power of social media, which can be used as a tool to make the art of calligraphy and many of its evolved forms more popular in the future.

Artists like Sachin Shah on Instagram and Becca who has a YouTube channel called The Happy Ever Crafter, have done a commendable job in making the art of calligraphy more admirable. Similarly, we need to put in more effort to make this art form more popular among the youth.

Now, the next question which arises is that of job opportunities in this field in modern times. The answer to this question can be satisfying for some people. The real thing is that this field can be majorly considered as a freelancing field of art. In this art field, we need to have good contacts and should try to slowly increase our client base, if we need to earn a good amount of money and make a career in it. Most importantly, our earning will majorly depend on the basis of the quality of work which we will be doing. But yes, there are opportunities for calligraphers in the fields of graphics designing. Calligraphers are needed on a daily basis in some institutions related to graphics, like in a regular job which most of us do. In this second scenario, we will be able to do our work every day irrespective of the worry of a number of clients or business pressure. So, ultimately if we choose this field, then at least we will be having a job which we will love to work on and feel satisfied with.

"Art is something that makes you breathe with different kind of happiness" 
                                                                                                 - Anni Albers

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