Custom calligrapher that isn't cutesy?
April 28, 2021 8:35 PM   Subscribe

I have an assertive and in-your-face quote that's meaningful to me that I'd like to have hand-lettered to frame and display. Every custom calligrapher on Etsy seems to only offer bridesmaid font, which is too bouncy and cheerful. Any recommendations for calligraphers who can do something edgier?
posted by helen_of_tron to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, I don't even think of that as calligraphy, but cursive.

I can't offer a personal recommendation but there are studios outside Etsy who will do this. E.g.
posted by praemunire at 8:38 PM on April 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Do you like illuminated manuscript calligraphy? The seller does custom pieces.
posted by homodachi at 8:45 PM on April 28, 2021

I agree, that seems like cursive to me, but my mother did what I think you may be thinking of calligraphy and I found that looking for words like "blackletter" or "gothic" may get you closer to what you want. Here's another one that is flowy but not cutesy.
posted by jessamyn at 8:46 PM on April 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Calligraphy might be the wrong word. Something scrawly would even be good, similar to this only handmade (that's computer-generated) and a tad more artistic?
posted by helen_of_tron at 8:50 PM on April 28, 2021

Response by poster: For a better description of the quote, it's like something that would go on a protest sign.
posted by helen_of_tron at 8:58 PM on April 28, 2021

PseudoForcePrints on Etsy does harder-edged handwritten calligraphy and takes custom orders.
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:20 PM on April 28, 2021

Best answer: You could always check other services, such as Fiverr.
posted by wile e at 10:38 PM on April 28, 2021

If I had an in-your-face text I wanted to hang on the wall I would want it to be drawn by someone who can write in a proper bad-ass fraktur script.

I don't have a personal recommendation, but there are people out there who can do this well -- a quick search finds this guy, whose work is certainly passable. But don't settle for anything at all limp. If you like the style search 'fraktur calligraphy' until you find someone whose work is head-bangingly vital.
posted by bertran at 10:54 PM on April 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I used to work for a copperplate calligrapher, and it makes me think you're looking for a graphic designer (maybe a logo designer) rather than a calligrapher. Calligraphers tend to work with specific types of lettering, and they rarely/never do small one-offs in a style of lettering that's not well-established and highly practiced and refined (keep in mind, most professional calligraphers are doing thinks like hand lettering diplomas and professional certificates, wedding invitations, etc., dozens to hundreds of things done in identical styles). Designers, on the other hand, take your input and can give you something like five options of what might work best for you.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 10:54 PM on April 28, 2021 [7 favorites]

ThirteenScorpios might be able to provide what you're looking for.
posted by erst at 11:19 PM on April 28, 2021

Best answer: You want the search term handlettered and I use Fiverr for this!
posted by DarlingBri at 2:32 AM on April 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I just looked at graphic designers and handlettered on Fiverr and much more what I want! Thank you!
posted by helen_of_tron at 3:55 AM on April 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: For some sample/reference font styles, check out this list of "sign painter" fonts.
posted by spamandkimchi at 12:43 PM on April 29, 2021

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