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CALLIGRAPHER - Description, Education And Training, Calligraphy: Then And Now, Outlook, For More Information - Salary

writing pictures printing press

Calligraphy, a French term meaning “beautiful writing,” is an art form known for its distinctive style of lettering. For many centuries, calligraphers in Islamic countries, Japan, India, and China have worked with a brush.

Calligraphy as we know it in the Western world began with early cave paintings that were abstract images. The Egyptians by about 3500 BC had created pictures that represented important events. They used these pictures, called hieroglyphics, to keep records on papyrus paper and to cover the walls of tombs.

By 850 BC, the Romans had developed a kind of writing with which to record their language, Latin. By the Middle Ages, Latin had become the language of Europe's churches. Monks painstakingly transcribed ancient text into beautifully lettered and illustrated books.

The invention of the printing press in the mid-1400s made it faster and less expensive to produce books. But the printing press was too awkward for everyday correspondence and invitations. Calligraphy flourished!


What a calligrapher earns depends on the project and the client. “Payment can range from ten dollars for making a little bookmark to many thousands of dollars for creating a one-of-a-kind art piece,” says Tuttle.

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