Calligraphy (from the Greek καλλιγραφία [kaligrafía]) is the art of handwriting, a practice that fascinates anyone who is observing its execution and who leaves breathless who admire the finished work. Although it seems a skill only for a few, as all art has its tricks and techniques and can be learned. Whether you start in this art or if you are just an admirer of calligraphy, you should not miss the work of the following 20 calligraphers you should know.
Chris Van Weidmann
I love creative craftsmanship, aesthetics and decorations, good design, admirable architecture, honest materials and most of all fascinates me calligraphy.At the age of 10, I got my first calligraphy book. At first I found the scriptures from my exercise book a bit old-fashioned. However, I was very surprised that there are so many different fonts that one can portray the same letter in so many different ways and yet everyone could read these different scriptures. I found that very fascinating. That's why I started to practice these different scriptures.
This fascination has remained until today!
My art form is the art of writing, which I represent in the form of calligrams.All calligrams are designed exclusively from my handwriting.
For the design of my works, I use lexicon texts, stories, narratives and fairy tales or terms on a specific topic.
I visualize the texts and give them a shape. Text and picture are always thematically related. All works always contain the whole story and are unique.
When you look at it for the first time, you see the picture, when you take a closer look the picture is rediscovered and you can see what is really in the picture and how it is structured:
Shading and strokes are not lines, but words, that the whole content is not just any words, but in the pictures a whole story is written that words are not just information brokers, but together can also make a picture!
Being able to please people with my passion is a gift.
Every day I am thankful for this great luck.
Ricardo Rousselot is a master clerk. A calligrapher of those who no longer exist. His knowledge and ability to draw the lyrics make him almost a rarity. He is an older man with a hooligan spirit, who tells his life to anyone who wants to hear it almost as a kind of oral tradition so that he does not get lost. He still keeps his love for letters intact as if it were a child. Author of multiple brands (Farias, Smoking, Tarradellas, Borges, La Casera, Spanair, Ducados, Okey, Fortuna ...) is known for his enormous skill with calligraphy. Seeing him move his hand with his homemade pen over a paper is pure magic.
Iván Castro is one of the designers of our country who in a few years has become a benchmark to follow within lettering and calligraphy. Ivan is a crack in this strange and hypnotic art that is to design letters and label by hand. After working in several design studios, Iván Castro established himself in September 2010 as a freelancer and combined his design and calligraphy assignments with teaching in several schools, such as Elisava, BAU, Escola Massana and Visions. He is also passionate about tropical cocktails. The characters that Iván Castro draws have a fresh style that he knows how to apply to packaging, brands or publications. Ivan is the evidence that the hand made has returned. Beyond what is a trend or fashion, we know with certainty that it is a reality. Pure lettering to see and enjoy.
Martina Flor, founder of Letter Collections, combines her talent as a designer and illustrator when drawing letters. He was born in Buenos Aires and studied in Spain and the Netherlands. Now, based in Berlin, his work focuses on typography, lettering and illustration. When he is not working on a commercial assignment, he uses his time to prepare presentations of his personal projects. Holds lettering workshops as well as talks at various universities. He has traveled all over the world to present his work through conferences and workshops with the aim of helping other designers to develop their skill set and improve their work process.
Keith Adams (1954 - Swindon, England) studied BA Chinese Studies, Oxford in 1976, MA, Oxford in 1984 and studies with Fellows of the Society of Scribes & Illuminators (SSI) in 1975 John Shyvers & Ann Hechle, 1978 John Shyvers, 1981 John * Shyvers and 1982 David Howells. He is a freelance calligrapher and calligraphy teacher at EINA since 1985. He has taught at other design schools such as ESDi, Elisava, Escola d'Art de Terrassa, La Massana, among others. He has also taught more than 100 monographic courses in England, Belgium, France, Spain, etc.
Jessica Hische, designer and illustrator specializing in lettering, is known - in addition to her work for different relevant brands - for her infographic 'I should work for free' and her book 'In progress'. Jessica Hische has worked for clients such as Wes Anderson, Dave Eggers, Penguin Books, The New York Times, Tiffany & Co., OXFAM, American Express, Victoria's Secret, Nike or Samsung. He grew up in Pennsylvania and studied art. In 2006 he graduated and got a job as a freelance for a small studio in Philadelphia, where he helped design books and where he reaffirmed his passion for illustration. Later he worked with Louise Filie b Brookly. After two years working for her, she decided to start her solo project. Since then, she works as an illustrator and typography designer. He has a studio and collaborative workshop with Erik Marinovich. "I love what I do for a living and work as hard as I can to help others find a way to do what they love.”
Any item that can be discarded can be transformed into a small work of art after passing through the hands of freelance designer Rob Draper. This British designer and calligrapher uses all his creativity to give unique beauty to the objects that people throw away. It aims to revalue those things that have ceased to be useful for the user, such as paper napkins, cups and cardboard plates, pencils, worn envelopes, food, etc. Usually cover these objects with positive and inspiring phrases. Some take them home to work on a more elaborate design, but sometimes the lettering ends in situ and leaves it where it was found with the hope of provoking a smile in that person who finds it. "I've always been fascinated by the contrast that is generated by joining a beautiful creation with something disposable that has already lost its value. It's like giving him a second chance, another life. “
Seeing Seb Lester how letters work is a real joy. The English designer and calligrapher is a lover of letters. A passion that has led him to affirm that the Latin alphabet is "one of the most beautiful and profound creations of humanity". In the following video, Seb demonstrates his calligraphic mastery by recreating well-known logos. In a time of computer manipulation and digital processing, this collection of handwritten logos is a testament to the importance of handmade things.
Julien Breton - Kaalam
The French artist Julien Breton, aka Kaalam, is an artist of letters and light. Using the technique of light painting or light graffiti, he generates luminous calligraphies in which he fuses East and West. His meticulous ephemeral writing is captured in photographs taken through long exposures to light.
el Seed is a Franco-Tunisian artist who fuses the traditional art of Arabic calligraphy with graffiti. With this interesting mixture, he sends peace messages on all continents full of great beauty and poetry. Born in Paris and of Tunisian parents, Seed travels around the world carrying his art: Paris, New York, Jeddah, Melbourne, Gabes, Doha and beyond. Its objective is to create a dialogue that promotes tolerance, as well as the global change of perceptions of what 'Arab' means. In 2012, for example, he painted a message of unity on the facade of a 47-meter-high minaret of the Jara Mosque in Gabes (Tunisia).
Mr. Zé is the name with which Félix Rodríguez signs. The Valladolid artist has been named Official Ambassador of Calligraffiti, out of a total of 25 worldwide, being the only one in the Spanish State. Félix Rodríguez, Mr. Zé, has been the director for more than 13 years of the Pobrela Vaca studio, one of the most awarded studios in Castilla y León. His work as well as a calligrapher and multidisciplinary artist can be seen in a large number of international magazines and exhibitions in Boards and Art in Buenos Aires, Collagerie in the United Kingdom or Madrid with the name Heartache in the Serendipia room. His work in the world of calligraphy and lettering took a leap into the street a few years ago, being a space that has never taken off.
Glen Weisgerber is a self-taught artist who has been in the world of calligraphy since the 70s. Since then he has been writing everything that is put before him, whether cars, guitars, bicycles, etc. See how it works is hypnotic at the same time amazing. It has several tutorials in which he shows his work, as well as his technique and tools.
Oriol Miró is a professional calligrapher born in Barcelona. He has been a calligraphy freelance since 1994. He is a professor of calligraphy and techniques at the Elisava School of Barcelona since 1994, professor of typography at the IDEP School in Barcelona since 2006 and professor of calligraphy and lettering at the Master of Advanced Typography at the Eina School in Barcelona since 2008. Love letters, books, ink, papers, fabrics, scrolls, brushes and any type of pen; to understand the letter, to reproduce its historical forms and traditional methods, as well as to be able to explore new tools and forms from the first ones. These are his methods of work: "The stroke and the letter in its pure state.”
Marian Bantjes is a designer, typist, writer and illustrator who works internationally from her base on a small island off the west coast of Canada, near Vancouver. He is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI), and speaks regularly of his work and thoughts at conferences and events around the world. Her career spans three stages: she worked as a book composer from 1984 to 1994: she co-founded and directed a graphic design studio, Digitopolis, from 1994 to 2003; And since 2003, she has worked on her own as a designer / artist / writer. This last stage is why it has become internationally known. Marian's art and design cross the limits of time, style and technology. She is known for her obsessive handwork, modeling and ornament. Marian's work has an underlying structure and formality that frames her organic and fluid nature. It is these combinations and juxtapositions that attract the interest of a wide variety of designers and typographers, from experienced formalists to young students.
Said Dokins lives and works in Mexico City. He is dedicated to art in public space, research and practice of graffiti, performance, installations, interventions and video art. His cultural practice assumes the production of contemporary art, research and cultural management. He has carried out curating projects related to urban arts. Said Dokins collects the economy of medieval calligraphy, the energy and expressiveness of Japanese calligraphy, as well as creating a poetic based on pre-phonetic writing. For Dokins, each experience is a trace, a psychic impression that creates a texture in our symbolic universe. In that sense, calligraphy and graffiti are not only in paper and ink, in the walls and spray, but in every event of our existence.
Hermann Zapf was born on November 8, 1918 in Nuremberg (Germany) and died at the age of 96 on June 4 in Darmstadt (Germany). He married the also calligrapher and type designer Gudrun Zapf von Hesse. Ever since he began his training, his teachers always saw in the young Zapf his aptitudes for drawing. In this way, he was recommended to dedicate himself to the lithographic field. However the task was not easy, every time he went to an interview, they asked him for the title that justified his training and having studied at the school in Nuremberg did not seem to like too much for political issues. The last company that appeared in the telephone directory Karl Ulrich & Co. was the only one that did not ask for political questions, and although they recognized their work, they did not need an apprentice lithographer. They offered him work as a retoucher of photographs. It was not long before his boss discovered that Hermann was good in the field of calligraphy. So they offered to touch up typefaces with which they worked.
Edward Johnston (1872-1944) belongs to that line of creators who change the course of history: he recovered the almost lost trade of calligrapher and exerted a great influence on practically all aspects of signage, both in England and in the rest of the world. Western world; also his work in typography design, together with his student Eric Gill, changed the appearance of the British printing press. He was a shy man, with few social skills and weak health. He enrolled in medicine at the University of Edinburgh, but soon his interest in medicine decreased as his love for art grew. Joined this to an absolute difficulty to overcome the human dissections, decided, not without difficulties, to abandon the studies and the university. Very shortly after, in 1897, he received his first calligraphic commissions through a close relative. These were posters for the showcase of some London shops. After some trips between London and Edinburgh, he moved to the English capital where he met, in April 1898, William Lethaby (1857-1931). Lethaby was also an architect and historian, the director and founder (in 1896) of the new Central School of Arts & Crafts in Upper Regent Street (the current Central Saint Martins), direct heir of the legacy of the Arts & Crafts movement, to whose founding circle also belonged Lethaby. That friendship would definitely change the course of Johnston's life.
Werner Schneider was born in Marburg / Lahn, Germany in 1935. He studied calligraphy with Friedrich Poppl at the Werkkunstschule Wiesbaden. Later he himself would become a teacher there, where he would carry out his teaching work with special emphasis on calligraphy and design. He has been Professor of Graphic Design at the Fachhochschule Wiesbaden (University of Applied Sciences) since 1971. He is also an independent calligrapher and font designer. Schneider is dedicated to corporate design, logo creation, font design and editorial design. He has been a member of Type Directors Club, New York since 1987. He is an honorary member of Letter Exchange, London (1988), Society of Scribes Ltd. of New York (1999). Schneider is also an honorary member of the CLAS Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society, London (1995), etc. Schneider designed types such as Berthold AG Berlin (later Chicago), Schneider Antiqua, Schneider Libretto, Vialog, Sunetta and Satero.
Katharina Pieper (1962 - Saarlouis, Germany) is a calligrapher, signer, designer and teacher. He studied a degree in Communication Design in Wiesbaden from the hand of Professor Werner Schneider. Katharina has been teaching calligraphy in different art schools (Mainz, Wiesbaden, Saarbrücken, Hamburg and Ravensburg) since 1988, and she gives workshops all over the world. Since 1987 he has been showing his calligraphic work around the world through publications, exhibitions and different magazine articles in Germany, England, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland.
Claude Mediavilla, paleographer, calligrapher, typographer and painter, has been a professor at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and has been present at numerous calligraphy meetings in France, although his career as a researcher and disseminator has spread throughout Europe. Their investigations go in unison with their professional activity. Thus, he has carried out various projects such as the one he made in commemoration of the bicentenary of the death of Louis XVI, the Ministry of France commissioned him to engrave the inscriptions on the royal tombs of the basilica of Saint-Denis, in Paris. Mediavilla has dedicated his life to calligraphic research to become a recognized specialist in the most diverse areas that make up this trade, today recognized as a true art. Specialist in calligraphic techniques, both ancient and modern, through them he enters into specifically pictorial areas of an art until recently considered artisanal. Among his publications highlights' Calligraphy. From the typographical sign to the abstract painting '(Campgrafic), a fundamental work for anyone who wants to dedicate to calligraphy and by extension to typography.