Hand Calligraphy Trends with Sarah Hanna

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.

Calligraphed envelopes from Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna, featuring Victoria, her most popular style

Classic Victoria hand calligraphed envelope

Calligraphed envelopes from Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna, featuring Victoria, her most popular style

Classic Victoria hand calligraphed envelope

Calligraphed envelopes from Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna, featuring her Embellished Victoria hand

Embellished Victoria hand calligraphed envelope – Sarah Hanna’s most lively style 

Callaway styled hand calligraphed envelopes by Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna

Classic Callaway – the up-and-comer (Callaway is the new kid, but she is bound to be the next homecoming queen!)

Callaway styled hand calligraphed envelopes by Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna

Classic Callaway hand calligraphed envelope 

A hand calligraphed note by Sarah Hanna, written on a Bella Figura Lace social note
The hand-written note is making a come-back! Just ask the New York Times. Emotion comes alive in a way that electronic communication simply cannot. I am often commissioned to calligraph a toast or a quote or something special to be framed. It doesn’t have to be long or fancy (or written by you)…just intentional. In the words of that brilliant booze-hound Don Draper, “Make it simple, but significant.”

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!!

A client recently commissioned Sarah Hanna to create hand calligraphed promise cards for an elaborate proposal

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!

A custom dance floor monogram penned by Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna

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 style hand calligraphed envelopes by Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna

Blue Danube hand calligraphed envelope 

London Script hand calligraphed envelopes by Bella Figura calligrapher Sarah Hanna

London script – perfect for your thank you note to Her Majesty. Or your wedding at Ascot.

Honoured Guest hand calligraphed envelopes by Sarah Hanna

Honoured Guest hand calligraphed envelope

Embellished Honoured Guest hand calligraphed envelopes by Sarah Hanna

Embellished Honoured Guest – a fuller version of Honoured Guest


Bella Figura in the Press, Spring 2012

Bella Figura’s letterpress wedding invitations have been featured in some fantastic publications lately, and thanks are long overdue for these amazing spotlights! Today we’ve got a round-up of some of the wonderful press we’ve received this spring. First up, a fabulous customization of our String Calligraphy design that was featured in an A-Z stationery guide by Martha Stewart Weddings. The featured piece was a letterpress rehearsal dinner invitation in hot pink ink with a perforated, tear-off reply postcard.

Bella Figura's String Calligraphy invitations were featured in the spring issue of Martha Stewart Weddings

The April issue of Brides magazine featured Bella Figura invitations twice! A customization of our Lace invitations (complete with a custom, Lace patterned envelope liner!) fit in perfectly with a Black Lace trend watch, and our String Calligraphy design was also featured in a fabulous stationery guide.

Brides magazine featured Bella Figura invitations in their April Issue! The Lace design and String Calligraphy invitations were both featured.

The gorgeous Volume IV of Southern Weddings magazine included an amazing spread with a theme called “Paper, Cotton, and Flour”, and we were so thrilled to be a part of this fabulous photo shoot! Our Honoured Guest, Loretta Formal, Collection, Bradford, and Anais designs were all letterpress printed in pretty shades of blue for the shoot.

The Paper, Cotton & Flour spread of Southern Weddings Magazine featured several Bella Figura invitations

The winter edition of Stationery Trends Magazine showcased several Bella Figura designs as well: TypologyMagnolia, and Serenade were all featured throughout the issue.

Stationery Trends magazine featured several Bella Figura wedding invitations

We were also thrilled to be a part of the following photo shoots: Erica Ann Photography’s Scandinavian Inspired Bridal Shoot; Starfish Studios + Sugar(ed) Occasions Estancia Culinaria photo shoot (as seen on Style Me Pretty Florida!); a fabulous purple & gold inspiration shoot by Dana Fitzgerald and Katelyn James, as seen on The Wedding Chicks; and Equally Wed’s eco-inspired photo shoot. We’d also love to thank the following blogs for featuring Bella Figura invitations on their fabulous sites over the past few months: Style Me Pretty (times 2!), The Bride’s Guide on Martha Stewart Weddings, Oh So Beautiful PaperRuffledGreen Wedding Shoes, Elizabeth Anne Designs100 Layer Cake, Papercrave, Junebug Weddings, Brooklyn BrideEco-Beautiful WeddingsInvitation CrushHeart Love Weddings, Love Me Do, One Fab DayThe Confetti Blog, and Chic Vintage Brides.

by Erica Henriksen on April 30th, 2012. Category: Press | No comments

Custom ink + Hand Calligraphy = Stunning Honoured Guest letterpress invitations

Our Honoured Guest design (by Sarah Hanna) looks stunning paired with this custom color letterpress invitation set. We love the wording of the reply card and whimsical touch of the menu motifs (we can add menu motifs like these for free to your reply card – just ask one of our client  coordinators for more information).

ink: custom Pantone 669 | calligraphy style: honoured by sarah hanna | paper: 2-ply white | invite size: a-7 | liner: the reverse elegant chainlink pattern in custom Pantone 669 | edge painting: metallic silver | client coordinator: christie jones | in-house designer: racheal decker

by Christie Jones, Client Coordinator.

by Christie Jones on July 20th, 2011. Category: Design Customizations | 1 comment