Asking “What styles can you calligraph?” is like asking a chef, “How many ways can you cook chicken?” If you understand your craft, you know that there are endless variations. And the more you learn, the more there is to learn. Understanding letter forms is the start to taking any font and adapting it for hand-lettered script. Today, Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna is sharing her favorite calligraphy trends — from the most popular styles and ink colors to the different ways people are using calligraphy to add an extra special touch to life’s most important events.
Trending now: without question, Victoria. I think that is because it is traditional with a personality. Generally, I match the script from the invitation – if that is my calligraphy, excellent. I can match almost any script, though. Black ink is and always will be the most classic, formal ink for addressing wedding invitations. I do, however, custom-mix a lot of gold, amethyst, and pewter.
Classic Victoria hand calligraphed envelope
Classic Victoria hand calligraphed envelope
Embellished Victoria hand calligraphed envelope – Sarah Hanna’s most lively style
Classic Callaway – the up-and-comer (Callaway is the new kid, but she is bound to be the next homecoming queen!)
Classic Callaway hand calligraphed envelope
Unique uses for hand calligraphy: I get a lot of interesting requests. I was recently asked to be part of a truly elaborate beach engagement! My client commissioned me to hand-paint their song on 4 canvas banners. She also had me calligraph promises on 30 different cards to be tied with ribbon to a tree over the candlelight picnic. Her girlfriend is a wedding photographer, and my client made up an alias email and hired her to photograph this special engagement…..but when she arrived to photograph the engagement, she realized it was for her! She said, yes, yes, yes!!
The promise cards for the engagement was a really meaningful one. Wedding toasts and vows mixed with custom painting is a favorite. Right now, I love doing the custom nursery rhymes. And of course, every Christmas, the Santa letters are fabulous! And I am REALLY excited about my new line of Artful Correspondence - hand-illustrated correspondence card sets.
Favorite calligraphy trends: Art that has staying power always gets my vote. A symbol or monogram that can be used after your wedding (which look fantastic on dance floors!), the bride’s married name custom-designed so she can put it on letterpressed stationery and more is an excellent gift. I love these trends, especially the ‘avere’ ‘tenere’ chairs….mais bien sur!
How did you get your start as a calligrapher? My mother Kaye Hanna is an incredible artist, master calligrapher, and my instructor. So, I am turning into my mother! Truthfully, if I end up with a fraction of her talent, I will be a lucky girl.
Blue Danube hand calligraphed envelope
London script – perfect for your thank you note to Her Majesty. Or your wedding at Ascot.
Honoured Guest hand calligraphed envelope
Embellished Honoured Guest – a fuller version of Honoured Guest
We worked with The Village Invites to create Tracy and Alexander’s vibrant Eleanor wedding invitations, which feature hand calligraphy from Elizabeth Hardin and bold fuchsia ink. Our Morocco motif was used on the envelopes and coasters in fuchsia and aquamarine inks and paired beautifully with the colorful stamps used on the invitation envelopes. We loved seeing photos from this colorful destination wedding on Style Me Pretty – be sure to check out the full gallery!
Photography: InTandem | Event Planning: SIGNATURE, Event Consulting & Design | Wedding Dress:Susan Neville | Invitations: Bella Figura | Ceremony Venue: Esperanza Resort | Reception Venue:Esperanza Resort | Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo
We were thrilled to see this inspiration shoot that we collaborated on with Dee Kay Events on Style Me Pretty recently! The shoot was inspired by 1920′s glamour, complete with beaded flapper dresses, classic decor and 20′s inspired hairdo’s. Our ever-popular Bejeweled invitations by Kamal fit perfectly with Diane’s vision for the shoot, which turned out beautifully. Visit Style Me Pretty to see more photos!
Photography: Love, Sylvia Photography | Cupcakes: Papa Ganache | Groom’s Attire: Tessuto Menswear | Accessories: Happily Ever Borrowed | Bride’s Dress: Unique Vintage | Bride’s Gown: Isabelle’s Bridal | Bridesmaid Dress & Accessories: Unique Vintage | Event Design + Planner: Dee Kay Events | Florals:Monday Morning Flowers | Furnishings + Rentals: Bits & Pieces Rentals | Invitation + Paper Goods: Bella Figura | Venue Location: Wilson Hall
Many thanks to Diane from Dee Kay Events in Tennent, New Jersey for inviting us to be a part of this shoot!
Sometimes the simplest change to an existing invitation design can make a big impact – like this horizontal customization of our vertical La Salle design. Nicole and Robert accommodated more text than the sample without sacrificing the delicate frame and bold typography that make this design so unique.
letterpress inks: pewter + navy | fonts: kunsel + eros + conquerer | paper: bella cotton 1-ply white | customization #18751
Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna has been sharing photos and stories from her adventures in France, where she’s currently spending time in the gorgeous village of Cassis. Today we’re sharing a few of the projects that Sarah has been working on in France – starting with La Tête à Toto boutique in Cassis, where Sarah calligraphed all over the walls!
With fireworks and festivities just around the corner for the July 4th holiday, we were inspired to share this customization of our Modern Fete wedding invitation design. Jade and Alex found the perfect summer palette in sunny yellow ink and shiny silver foil and their tri-fold save the date is sweet yet functional, giving guests lodging information for the busy holiday weekend.
letterpress ink: yolk | foil stamping: silver matte | font: alouette | paper: bella cotton 1-ply white | envelope: bella cotton white | customization #17570 | Union Street Papery
This stately and sophisticated customization of the Duncan design is formal but not too uptight. It’s perfect for an ultra-chic black tie wedding centered around signature cocktails, modern menswear patterns and partying the night away. Duncan – and all of designer Jess Tierney’s inspired designs – are on sale through June 30th!
duncan customization | letterpress ink: black | foil stamping: gold shine | fonts: brandon + sansa | paper: white | invite size: SQ-7 | liner: sullivan stripe pattern in black | original design and customization by in-house designer Jessica Tierney
Patricia Mumau wows us on the regular with her carefree calligraphy and illustrations. On this customization of our Balsam Calligraphy design, Sarah and John chose a mellow color palette paired with homespun touches like a jute envelope and textile inspired liner. They added a pop of color (and a shout-out to summer) with Watermelon colored edge painting.
letterpress inks: sand + deep blue | paper: bella cotton 2-ply white | edge painting: watermelon | hand calligraphy: harrison style by patricia mumau | envelope: jute | envelope liner: modern herringbone pattern in deep blue | customization #13893
This customization of the Leigha Spring design is perfect for a romantic southern summer wedding. Inspired by bountiful bouquets of oversized flowers, vintage blue china and soft lace details, this invitation has all the makings for a romantic night to remember. Leigha Spring – and all of designer Jess Tierney’s inspired designs – are on sale through June 30th!
leigha spring customization | letterpress inks: cornflower + powder blue | font: impression | paper: white | invite size: f-8 | liner: ambrose pattern in cornflower + powder blue | hand calligraphy accents: callaway style | original design and customization by in-house designer Jessica Tierney