Hand-lettering is epitome of design status, bar-none. I don’t recall who said it exactly, but some time ago I heard a fairly popular jazz musician admit to a radio host that piano players are the top of the musical food chain because of their ability to create music by playing the melody and the bass line at the same time. No other type of musician can do that. Pianists are more highly evolved.
This is how I feel about Calligraphers in relation to graphic design. Any designer worth his salt will be skilled in typographic treatments; know how to work with and render type perfectly. People that design type faces are the next level of design skill. Creating letterforms that not only look attractive, but work well together is an art form. Calligraphers take that concept and pave ways through everyone else. If you’ve ever picked up a calligraphy pen and written a few letters, you know exactly what I mean. Writing the letter A, M or Q by hand so well that most would guess it’s a typeface, Jordan Jelev makes sweet love to the paper with his pen. These are not just design or graphics; they are the physical manifestation of the term Communication Arts. LIke a songbird in spring, these works know how to sing.
Do you agree? Leave your thoughts in the comments and if you know of anyone who takes this concept even further, let us know.