Quite often we get asked about one particular wedding invitation design we offer. More specifically, we get asked about the ‘font’ on that invitation.
The font in question, we tell them, is actually calligraphy done by one Angela Welch.
When did your interest in calligraphy begin?
Before the age of six for sure. In first grade I never knew my place in the reader when my teacher called on me to begin reading — I was too busy trying to write a “fancy” alphabet of my own.
My first calligraphy job was in the sixth grade and a teacher asked me to letter, in Old English, the heading of a flyer to be printed. I loved the challenge of making a beautiful mark with lots of different mediums. My fascination with flourishing as a whole arm movement began in the third grade.
Your favorite letter to calligraph?
My favorite letter to write is the ‘M’ as an upper case letter and ‘y’ as a lowercase. I love to flourish and these two letters lend themselves to the flourish so beautifully.
Why do you enjoy writing about correspondence?
Lettering is as much a part of my life as breathing. I am constantly trying to push the envelope of design and flourish with the pen and ink. The whole process of writing, whether it be for a client or family member, is so incredibly enjoyable for me.
Of course, I draw great satisfaction in “taking the breath away” of the recipient when addressing a wedding invitation. The invitation, with beautiful addressing, sets the tone for the whole event! My goal is always to impress the guest so much that thinking of missing the event is “unthinkable.”
What is your favorite step in the process of written correspondence?
The addressing of the envelope. The recipient or event will dictate the color or choice of pen nib as well as paper choice, but I will always place a flourish on it. Always.
If you could be pen pals with anyone in history, to whom would you write and what would you say?
After much thought and always going back to the same conclusion, it would have to be Christ. I am and forever will be in his debt for my life and the blessings he has so richly given me.
To whom do you most often write?
Sadly, I do not write as much as I should. I used to write letters to my mother quite often when she was still alive. At her death, I found all of them in her trunk in a neat stack in the days after her passing.
As I write this answer, I realize just how much those letters meant to her and that I should begin today writing more to my children and husband, thinking those letters I may send will have as much an impact on them as those I sent to my mother had upon her during her life. I know I cherish anything she ever wrote to me — even the little notes in her cookbook along the margins are special to me now.
I also have a stack of love letters and notes and poems my husband wrote me in college. Sometimes in the solitude of an evening, I will read them again to remind me of just how lucky I am to have this wonderful man in my life that blessed me with my five precious children. Those letters and poems are tangible evidence of his love for me.
Describe the most memorable letter or postcard you have ever received?
A letter from Mr. Travis Jones in the late ‘70s. He was a master penman, a kind gentleman and my teacher for a brief five-week continuing education course about lettering Old English with a broad nib, the only lettering course I ever took. He sent a personal letter to me after the class and encouraged me to pursue lettering as a career. I was most flattered and honored that he would take the time to acknowledge me.
Do you have a favorite stamp or stamp series?
The Madonna and child stamps are my favorite! They are so beautiful and rich in color. I love to address on the envelopes using the colors of the stamp for Christmas.
What is your favorite product created by Crane & Co.?
Of course, my own designs that they have printed! [Grin.] I am particularly fond of anything engraved, especially the new personalized stationery [Signature Collection*] with the butterfly as well as the dragon.
What do you think classic correspondence will look like in a decade or two?
I don’t think hand lettered correspondence is going away in place of social media but rather will become even more appreciated. Even now, when I am requested to pen a letter, that someone has written to another, I will always ask the person sending the letter to sign it in their own hand, as this is so meaningful and special to the recipient.
It does not matter if your signature is not that of a calligrapher. What matters is that it is yours and you took the time to write.
* Our new Signature Collection will be available in late July.