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6th May 2022

What is Calligraphy & Why is it Important?

Just think about your favourite line from a movie and think about it typed on a sheet of paper in front of you. Now try reading each word and think about how you can enhance the meaning of these words by inculcating artistic expression while also maintaining the integrity of the quote. How would such minute changes and extra details alter the overall appearance and importance of each word? 

Calligraphy is a truly unique art form that can help inundate each phrase and word, just like a painting helps in depicting a story. Through clever and elegant brush strokes, this art form can stress the history and beauty of the written word through creative expression. In this blog, we will look at the definition and history of calligraphy and how it can affect your daily life.  

 History of Calligraphy 

The roots of the art form of calligraphy can be traced back to the origins of the Islam religion. This intricate art form was adopted by Muslim spiritual leaders as a way to promote and propagate the word of God. Many pages of the Quran are adorned with beautiful calligraphic details. There are many chapters in the Quran that start with an unusual combination of letters. The importance of this combination of letters has been linked to various reasons and is believed to be an indicator of the complex nature of the holy texts. 

Apart from using calligraphy for religious purposes or interpretive art, the Islam religion also used this art form to address the unique beauty in the word of God. In this society, calligraphers were considered elite members of the community. This was because the knowledge that they used was developed over centuries and passed down through generations. 

Calligraphy can also be found on some of Islam’s holiest sites, the most popular one being the Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem. This inscription is made out of mosaic and can be dated back to the year 692. Even today, calligraphy is used in art and Holy Scriptures and continues to influence other artistic styles and cultures. 

 Impact of Calligraphy on the Art World 

The traces of calligraphy can be found in the history of many cultures all over the world, but usually differs in style and principles. In the Chinese version of the art form, The Three Perfections is an amalgamation of poetry, calligraphy, and painting that has been a source of inspiration for numerous modern artists who are looking to incorporate contemporary designs into their traditional design styles. 

But arguably, more importantly, numerous characters utilised in Chinese calligraphy have evolved into personal symbols of empowerment. Knowingly or unknowingly, we wear many of such characters as symbols of courage or wisdom on our clothes and have them even painted on our walls. Not only are these designs absolutely beautiful to look at, but their interpretation can give our lives new meaning. 

Even though it may not be immediately apparent, calligraphy’s impact on modern-day art is very clear all around us. These elements have been so seamlessly integrated into our daily lives that we barely even notice them. The modern street trend has particularly adopted the modern calligraphy that can be most commonly spotted on trendy chalkboards, menus, flyers, brochures, bags, etc. Wedding invites are one of the most common ways of using calligraphy, these invitations usually have elegant name styles spelt out on them and can be used for any black-tie formal functions. 

In short, calligraphy is used today to enhance the mysterious beauty while enticing the viewer with skills that make the person curious and spark immense intrigue. 

 Use of Calligraphy Today 

As discussed earlier, the art form of calligraphy is still prevalent today and is most widely used in the advertising sector. Even though one can find various calligraphy styles and fonts for free online, they can rarely match the uniqueness and artistic expression of the human hand. 

Although we may not be privy to it, human beings tend to leave subliminal messages in our art, and this is usually because we play into our artistic vulnerabilities. An advertising campaign utilising the calligraphy art form will have more of a chance to touch and bring about emotions and feelings in our subconscious minds. On the other hand, a regular campaign with plain typesetting may get our attention, but it will not linger in our minds. 

One of the most important benefits of calligraphy that are gaining attention recently is the meditative effect it has. It is a very niche art form that requires immense concentration and patience. To attain such patience, the artist has to let go of all the unnecessary thoughts in their head and direct all energies to the present moment. 

With society now focusing more on wellness and health-related recreational activities like meditation and yoga, it is not uncommon to mix two different activities that may be beneficial for each other. So when you reach your yoga class next time, don’t be surprised to see people with a calligraphy pen rather than focusing on guided meditation. Both of these activities go hand in hand and will achieve the best results. 

Calligraphy Vs Typography 

It is easy for people to be confused about the difference between typography and calligraphy if you are not clear about either concept. But as the name dictates, typography is a form of expression that is related to the typed art form. 

Typography usually requires an electronic device, like computers, and the main aim of typography is to convey any message precisely and accurately. Calligraphy, on the other hand, is done completely by hand and is done to express the meaning and enhance the artistic beauty of words and sentences. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is calligraphy calming? 

There are numerous reports that state that calligraphy has the potential to regulate heart rate and increase body temperature. Calligraphy provides calming effects similar to the ones obtained from meditation. 

Does calligraphy help with anxiety? 

Research has shown that calligraphy has numerous benefits for our mental and emotional wellbeing. It can help the person to free up space in the mind and can go a long way in controlling anxiety. 

Why is calligraphy therapeutic? 

It is known that regular practice of calligraphy can improve cognitive function and is known to provide stimulation and relaxation to the brain, thus speeding up the therapy process.