Handwritten and Digital Calligraphy: A Harmonious Relationship

Handwritten and Digital Calligraphy: A Harmonious Relationship

In a high tech world dominated by mass production, it’s a treat to get to enjoy handmade things – the kind which lets you feel the essence of the artisan who dedicated time, effort and skill just to produce something special. Modern calligraphy belongs to this category, and perhaps that’s one of the major reasons why it fascinates a lot of people today. Like how Epoch Times described it modern calligraphy “has become a novelty.”

Since its inception, modern calligraphy captivated society to the point of needing workshops to accommodate all who’ve become interested in the craft. As stated in a previous post here at Rachel Kathryn Designs, this type of decorative handwriting is all the rage right now, and there are other benefits you’d get aside from creating your own beautiful lettering pieces.

 Photo by Robyn Icks Photography

Photo by Robyn Icks Photography

On the other end of the tunnel though, digital calligraphy follows the footsteps of its handwritten counterpart. There are still many people who enjoy writing with their hands, which is why tech titans like Microsoft added similar features to relevant apps such as Plumbago.

Sophisticated programs may emulate the look of decorative lettering, yet the vintage style of handwritten calligraphy has a unique look and feel. But just like how modern calligraphy has its nostalgic appeal, digital calligraphy has its own strengths, too.

Digital Calligraphy

Movies and TV shows have established their own identities through creative digital lettering, which have become a focal point of their productions and franchises over the years. Take for instance the classic Jurassic Park film. Springfield News Leader shared how the commissioned artist came up with the lettering design, which eventually became immortalized as the 'Jurassic Park font'. The typography is now synonymous with the franchise and its video games also reflect the popular style. Recent games following the release of Jurassic World made sure they carried the iconic typhography so that players could relate to the game. Digital platform Slingo released its own Jurassic Park game on the back of the Colin Trevorrow directed film, which carried the famous lettering. Gamers enjoyed the game’s aesthetics because it reminded them of the original Jurassic Park movie that was released back in the 90s. The digital calligraphy on the Jurassic Park logo is now one of the most recognizable in the film industry. 

That’s not to say, however, that handwritten and digital calligraphy can’t form a harmonious relationship. Digital Arts Online showed how handwritten calligraphy serves as a tutor so computers could learn, which is basically just like how a nursery student learns to write.

Moreover, type designers, dubbed by Gulf News as ‘calligraphers of the digital age’, rely on handwritten calligraphy to create digital lettering or fonts that can be used by people around the world. Writing systems with complex strokes like the Arabic alphabet are difficult to project on screen, which is where traditional sources come in.

An Iranian animator even took it a step further and celebrated Persian calligraphy through an animated story. The Creators Project relayed how Meghdad Asadi Lari turned traditional lettering into digital then into birds which are the characters of the short film.

The connection between handwritten and digital calligraphy shows that there are cases when traditional doesn’t have to be overshadowed by modern, or vice-versa. Seeing how the two forms of calligraphy co-exist, today’s society is fortunate to receive the best of both worlds.