Various examples of calligraphy in different languages throughout history

Calligraphy (from Greek: καλλιγραφία) is a visual art related to writing. It is the design and execution of lettering with a broad tip instrument, brush, or other writing instruments.[1]:17 A contemporary calligraphic practice can be defined as "the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious, and skillful manner".[1]:18

Modern calligraphy ranges from functional inscriptions and designs to fine-art pieces where the letters may or may not be readable.[1][page needed] Classical calligraphy differs from typography and non-classical hand-lettering, though a calligrapher may practice both.[2][3][4][5]

Calligraphy continues to flourish in the forms of wedding invitations and event invitations, font design and typography, original hand-lettered design, religious art, announcements, graphic design and commissioned calligraphic art, cut stone inscriptions, and memorial documents. It is also used for props and moving images for film and television, and also for testimonials, birth and death certificates, maps, and other written works.[6][7]


A calligraphic nib, with part names.

The principal tools for a calligrapher are the pen and the brush. Calligraphy pens write with nibs that may be flat, round, or pointed.[8][9][10] For some decorative purposes, multi-nibbed pens—steel brushes—can be used. However, works have also been created with felt-tip and ballpoint pens, although these works do not employ angled lines. There are some styles of calligraphy, such as Gothic script, that require a stub nib pen.

Writing ink is usually water-based and is much less viscous than the oil-based inks used in printing. High quality paper, which has good consistency of absorption,[clarification needed] enables cleaner lines,[11] although parchment or vellum is often used, as a knife can be used to erase imperfections and a light-box is not needed to allow lines to pass through it. Normally, light boxes and templates are used to achieve straight lines without pencil markings detracting from the work. Ruled paper, either for a light box or direct use, is most often ruled every quarter or half inch, although inch spaces are occasionally used. This is the case with litterea unciales (hence the name), and college-ruled paper often acts as a guideline well.[12]

Common calligraphy pens and brushes are:

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Kalligrafie
Alemannisch: Kalligrafie
العربية: فن الخط
aragonés: Caligrafía
asturianu: Caligrafía
azərbaycanca: Xəttatlıq
বাংলা: চারুলিপি
Bân-lâm-gú: Su-hoat (gē-su̍t)
башҡортса: Каллиграфия
беларуская: Каліграфія
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Каліграфія
български: Калиграфия
Boarisch: Kalligraphie
bosanski: Kaligrafija
brezhoneg: Kaerskriverezh
català: Cal·ligrafia
čeština: Kaligrafie
Cymraeg: Ceinlythrennu
dansk: Kalligrafi
Deutsch: Kalligrafie
Ελληνικά: Καλλιγραφία
español: Caligrafía
Esperanto: Skribadarto
euskara: Kaligrafia
Fiji Hindi: Calligraphy
français: Calligraphie
Frysk: Kalligrafy
galego: Caligrafía
한국어: 캘리그래피
हिन्दी: अक्षरांकन
hrvatski: Krasopis
Ilokano: Kaligrapia
Bahasa Indonesia: Kaligrafi
íslenska: Skrautskrift
italiano: Calligrafia
עברית: קליגרפיה
Jawa: Kaligrafi
kaszëbsczi: Kaligrafiô
қазақша: Каллиграфия
Kiswahili: Kaligrafia
kurdî: Destxet
Кыргызча: Каллиграфия
Latina: Calligraphia
latviešu: Kaligrāfija
lietuvių: Kaligrafija
magyar: Kalligráfia
македонски: Калиграфија
മലയാളം: കലിഗ്രഫി
Bahasa Melayu: Seni khat
Minangkabau: Kaligrafi
монгол: Уран бичлэг
Nederlands: Kalligrafie
norsk: Kalligrafi
norsk nynorsk: Kalligrafi
occitan: Calligrafia
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Kalligrafiya
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਕੈਲੀਗ੍ਰਾਫੀ
پنجابی: فن خطاطی
polski: Kaligrafia
português: Caligrafia
română: Caligrafie
русиньскый: Каліґрафія
русский: Каллиграфия
Simple English: Calligraphy
سنڌي: خطاطي
slovenščina: Kaligrafija
کوردی: جواننووسی
српски / srpski: Kaligrafija
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kaligrafija
Sunda: Kaligrafi
svenska: Kalligrafi
Tagalog: Kaligrapiya
татарча/tatarça: Каллиграфия
тоҷикӣ: Хушнависӣ
Türkçe: Kaligrafi
українська: Каліграфія
اردو: فن خطاطی
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: خەتتاتلىق
Tiếng Việt: Thư pháp
Winaray: Kaligrapiya
吴语: 书法
ייִדיש: קאליגראפיע
粵語: 書法
中文: 书法