With an emphasis on individual style, artistic expression, and the use of diverse writing instruments, modern calligraphy offers a contemporary take on the ancient art. “There are very few rules and it’s quite expressive,” explains Montblanc instructor, calligrapher and watercolour artist, Brittany DeSantis. “One of the benefits of modern calligraphy is that you have that creative freedom.”
A traditional calligraphy style, elegant Copperplate lettering has adorned the pages of history for centuries. “It’s a beautiful script, one of my favourites,” says Chantelle Hoffmann, Montblanc instructor and professional penman. Crafted with a pointed nib, Copperplate calligraphy follows a set of defined rules, but that doesn’t detract from its creativity. “It can be really fun and beautiful with these flourishing, dancing wisps,” notes Hoffmann.
Inspired by nature and known for its beauty and elegance, Spencerian Script is a fascinating calligraphy style created by Platt Rogers Spencer in the early 1840s. As professional penman and Montblanc instructor, Mike Ward, explains: “It uses ovals and curves, rather than circles and straight lines. So, while it can be written rather rapidly, it’s written smoothly, and uses the ergonomics of the body and the movements we naturally want to use already.”
As the name suggests, architectural lettering is traditionally used by architects and engineers to communicate clearly on blueprints. “This is a fun lettering style that blends the worlds of calligraphy and penmanship,” explains Montblanc instructor Chantelle Hoffmann. “Traditionally it would be written with a mechanical pencil, but you can actually write with a few different writing instruments to see how it changes the look.”