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What is a Calligrapher?

Also known as: Lettering Artist, Penman.

A calligrapher is someone who uses an instrument like a paint brush, pen or marker to create a particular style of writing that is artistic and expressive. Calligraphy has been used since ancient times by the Romans, Greeks and Chinese. This beautiful and ornamental handwriting was incorporated into their formal texts and meaningful pieces. Calligraphy is known as the art of beautiful writing.

What does a Calligrapher do?

Modern calligraphers typically use one of several calligraphy alphabets, creating attractive texts and lettering for wedding and event invitations, logo designs, maps, memorial documents, religious art, cut stone inscriptions, quotes, poems, testimonials, birth and death certificates, letters and stationery. 

Typically, a calligrapher works as a freelancer, taking special orders from clients. A calligrapher may be hired by a graphic design firm, or an educational institute to help create diplomas, or a wedding planning company to help write client invitations. Film and television companies may also need a calligrapher’s services for images and props. 

One of the most important parts of a calligrapher’s career is to have the patience to write and rewrite drafts, sometimes to the point of hand cramps. It is only when a calligrapher feels confident that they can do the best job possible, that they will start working on a final draft.

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What is the workplace of a Calligrapher like?

A professional calligrapher has the option to work independently as a freelancer or in a calligraphy studio, though there are only a few different types of studios that still hire calligraphers. For example, wedding planning companies may hire a calligrapher to create wedding invitations. An educational institute might also employ a calligrapher to help create degrees and diplomas. For the most part, professional calligraphers work as freelancers, taking on commissioned work.

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Further Reading

  • What is a Professional Calligrapher www.beautifulcalligraphy.com

    The major difference between a paid calligrapher and a professional calligrapher.

  • So You Want My Job: Master Penman www.artofmanliness.com

    In this fascinating interview, Master Penman Jake Weidmann shares the story behind this historic job and title (one that only 11 people currently hold) and how he found his way into it.

  • Who Decides You're a Professional Calligrapher? linktoink.wordpress.com

    For those who want to become professional calligraphers, how do you know when you've learned enough to launch your own business?

  • A Career in Calligraphy ccskills.org.uk

    Meet Cherrell Avery. She is a calligrapher who is passionate about the visual expression of words. She combines teaching, from beginner to expert, with producing private commissions.

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Find your perfect career

Would you make a good calligrapher? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

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Should I be a Calligrapher?

Think you might be interested in becoming a Calligrapher? Here are your next steps.

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good Calligrapher? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

    Take the free career test
  2. Get the Education
  3. Get Hired
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