The word “calligraphy” has its origin in the greek word Καλλιγραφία (kalligraphia) which is a combination of κάλλος (kállos, beauty) or καλός (kalós, good, beautiful) and γράφειν (gráphein, to write) and is the art of writing. A contemporary definition of calligraphic practice is “the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner”.
The story of writing is one of aesthetic evolution framed within the technical skills, transmission speed(s) and materials limitations of a person, time and place. A style of writing is described as a script, hand or alphabet.
Modern calligraphy ranges from functional hand lettered inscriptions and designs to fine art pieces where the abstract expression of the handwritten mark may or may not supersede the legibility of the letters. Classical calligraphy differs from typography and non-classical hand-lettering, though a calligrapher may create all of these; characters are historically disciplined yet fluid and spontaneous, improvised at the moment of writing.
Calligraphy continues to flourish in the forms of wedding and event invitations, font design/typography, original hand-lettered logo design, religious art, various announcements/graphic design/commissioned calligraphic art, cut stone inscriptions and memorial documents. Also props and moving images for film and television, testimonials, birth and death certificates/maps, and other works involving writing.