The handwritten letter. I always dreamed of having beautiful handwriting when I started learning cursive in school. I have fairly neat handwriting, but achieving a traditional calligraphy style of handwriting hasn’t happened for me yet. I have mastered D’Nealian print because of my primary teaching background, but it isn’t nearly as elegant as calligraphy. There is just something special about an artfully handwritten note that sets it apart from text messages or emails. It takes additional effort and time. The thoughtful effort makes something handwritten unique and makes the recipient feel valued.
Allow me to introduce to you Christen Turney of Allocco Design. She is a very talented calligrapher based in Southeastern Virginia. She uses a traditional style of calligraphy that is refined and absolutely gorgeous. She got her start in calligraphy when she participated in Project 52, a project that led her to post some form of art weekly. Eventually she focused her artistic interests more on calligraphy. A book that her mom gifted her in addition to classes helped her to refine her calligraphy skills which are a wonderful fit with her background in graphic design.
Christen provides a variety of calligraphy services ranging from weddings to commissions. For weddings she does invitations but that is only one piece of the puzzle. Not only can she design your wedding invitations, she also can address the envelopes, design elegant wedding signs (table numbers, seating chart signs, etc.) for the reception, vows and other signs for the ceremony, and more. She also teaches calligraphy classes and has a podcast as well.
When I asked Christen what advice she has for prospective brides, she suggested planning ahead. When working with couples for a wedding, she caters to each unique event. Since calligraphy is an art form, it takes time to complete it just as it takes time for any other type of visual art. For invitations, for example, she suggests allowing 3-4 months. See below for a sample of her lovely work!