My first contact with the calligraphy was when my uncle gave me an old set of calligraphy when I had 15 years old. The first time I took the calligraphy tools in my hand was an special moment in my life, was like touching a part of history. In the age of computers it is not common to know all this rules about how to write in a certain way, people don’t even care anymore about how they write (me included). So why? Why calligraphy is still important to our days? I think it is because is one of the purest ways of art, it is not only a way to express but to communicate a message. You can write a poem and connect with each one of the words of the author but the idea to communicate something else with the letter make itself a piece of art.
This connection between the pen and the letters has been always special in almost every culture, we can see expressions of huge devotion in different cultures like Tibetans, Chinese, Japanese, Hebrews and Romans, who are the ones that develop the Western Alphabet with the Greeks. So it is a special connection between what we write and how we write it and that is why the calligraphy became important.
The World Encyclopedia of Calligraphy is a new book that was published in 2011 and it is the first book in the market that is a real compendium of the different calligraphic styles around the world. The design is some of the parts that I like more about the book, because every part is easy to find and the colors and the typography makes every page enjoyable to read. Some of the scripts that the book covered are:
- The Roman Alphabet
- Greek and Cyrillic
- Indic Scripts
- The East Asian Brush: Chinese, Japanese and Korean
- Armenian and other traditions
The book was written by Christopher Callahan who is editor and designer of Letter Arts Review and creator of the books series Letters from New York and Holly Cohen how is writer, calligrapher and jewelry designer. Both of them did an extraordinary job, researching and put this material together.