Calligraphy must fit a space-like cinderella's shoe
Calligraphy Services, Photography, Photoshop Magic & calligraphy

How To Choose the Perfect Background For Custom Calligraphy

sunset photograph artwork combines perfectly with calligraphy poems

Choosing the Perfect Background

Choosing the perfect background for your handwritten calligraphy makes your finished custom calligraphy text even more appealing because there's also a beautiful background. This is the only site online that I've found where you can add the artwork of your choice, including your own photographs to the handwritten calligraphy to create a one of a kind personalized gift! Check out all of the ideas that you've probably never even thought about! 

I always feel like an image enhances and elevates a quote. It also makes it more memorable because you have that visual that reflects the meaning you imagine in the text- the reason it's meaningful to you! It captures your attention when you walk past it. It creates a visual memory that goes with the words.

Think about it.  I bet you’ve never seen an advertisement that is just text on a parchment or plain color background! And those artists make tons of money for their exciting and motivating designs!

If you have looked around my site, you’ll notice that 99% of my pieces have some decorative background- it can be a personal photograph, or the perfect background that graphically reflects your text. I STRONGLY encourage you to stretch out of your comfort zone and not choose a “parchment” or plain background. Art combined with your custom calligraphy text will really make it special and unique and add to your enjoyment of the piece every time you look at it!

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone - Neale Donald Walsch

How To Find The Perfect Photograph or Image for Calligraphy

Close your eyes and think about your text. What do you see in “your mind’s eye”?

reading a book and imagining images from the text

I may be ruining your ability to read by telling you this, but here goes: when you read anything you are running a silent video with pictures and images in your head. You’re probably not aware of it, but we think in pictures. All you have to do it pay attention to what you’re “seeing” in your head to get a great idea for a background image for your calligraphy text!

Calligraphy Text Determines Your Background

How to choose the right background image for your calligraphy depends on many factors. It's a different kind of art than others because you need to fit the "shape" of your text into a background. So just finding a pretty background is probably not always going to work! You need to look at your text and see, not the words, but the shape of the words. I know, it's confusing! But I'm here to help you.

The Size of Calligraphy

It's also important to figure out the approximate size that you prefer. Are you going to hang the calligraphy on the wall centered over a large object (such as your couch or bed) or put it on a bookshelf. You want to have balance, so you don't have a custom piece of calligraphy art the size of computer paper centered over your couch! It would be lost!

A good way to figure out what the final size should be is to take some tape and put it up on the wall where you want to hang your calligraphy poem or text. Or you can also cut up some cardboard to approximate the size that you like. That gives you a feel for what it will look like.

The Shape of Your Calligraphy Text Determines How To Choose the Perfect Background

shape of calligraphy to choose background

Your text has a shape that's determined by how long each line is, (that's the width) and how many lines of writing there are (that's how tall it will be).

If you have a poem with specific line breaks and number of lines, your text will decide the best final dimensions of your final piece of artwork. 

The width of the finished piece depends upon how many words are on each line. The height depends upon how long (how many lines or paragraphs) are in the text.

It's important to leave borders around the writing in the artwork, and they generally should be equal on both sides, top and bottom.  So now you see that calligraphy has to find it's own size. I can shrink the size of the entire piece, but it must keep its proportions, or the calligraphy will be either stretched or compressed!    

You may think: make it larger- but when the size of the letters are bigger, they get wider as well.

Even if you have a plain background such as "parchment" you see that the piece looks empty and unbalanced because there's too much space on the sides! 

Standard Size for Framing

There are certain sizes that are standard for framing. If you are going to have your piece professionally framed you don't need a stand size frame.   Check out the terrific options I have at Beautiful Calligraphy for different styles of framing) But you still want balance of borders in the calligraphy and background.

If you have a more "free style" text where line breaks are not important, such as a personal letter, you still want to take into account "orphan" words. I never like leaving one or two words on a line by themselves. While it's easy to do this with a computer and adjust the size of the font, it's not the same with writing hand calligraphy! I have to set up each line manually. It's hard to read very long lines of text. Your eye actually gets tired. So I work to keep the maximum number of words per line to about 14-16 words.

In fact, you  probably do this automatically when you are reading text on the computer. You can make the window larger or smaller and that adjusts both the size of the font and how many words are on a line.

I know, it's a bit confusing. I'm sure if someone was great at math they'd be able to figure out a way to do it. But I'm just a creative type and I have to "see" what the line looks like. AND, I have to figure out where to break lines so it makes sense. 

Balance The Look of Calligraphy With Decoration

I make sure that your calligraphy looks beautiful with using decoration to balance the sides. This poem was long and narrow.  This is a poem written by the famous author Charlies Baudelaire entitled "Always Be Drunk". Luckily I found the perfect picture which was also long and narrow of someone pouring from a wine bottle and missing the glass. I guess the drinker already had enough wine in them while pouring! 

You can see how that balanced the shape of the calligraphy and elevated the look of the calligraphy to make it look really great! This is one of my favorite calligraphy pieces. 

Narrow shape of calligraphy balanced with decoration

Don't Buy A Frame Before Your Calligraphy is Completed

It's  best practice not to buy a frame before you have your custom hand calligraphy finished. The colors on your mat may be different from what you expect and may clash. And making the calligraphy fit a frame can end up with an unbalanced finished size of what the calligraphy should be. It will be just like trying to fit Cinderella's shoe on a large foot! 

I have lots of great alternatives to framing that come ready to hang. See below for examples and read more about the options. 

Below are examples of calligraphy lettering artwork that were improved by adding some decorative element on either one side or both. You may just want "dark writing on parchment paper" but it won't look good when you see it if the text is not wide enough to fit a pre-determined space. I know it's confusing,  but I hope I've explained it so you understand. If you have questions, just write and we'll come up with the combination of the perfect size and decoration for your needs.

God's name in many different religions written in calligraphy superimposed on background of a Christian Cross in sunset
Shakepeare long text written in calligraphy
long narrow poem in calligraphy with background that balances the space
Birthday calligraphy gift poem for mother-

Where to Find Great Photographs

For free photos go to www.Pixabay.com, and www.unsplash.com, and enter search terms or keywords. If you haven't found any there, the best place with a huge variety is https://stock.adobe.com. The adobe photos cost about $10-$15  but they have the most choices and are really wonderful photos with TONS of options including borders and original watercolors. Make sure to save the pictures you like in a “lightbox” or save the ID numbers and send them to me. Click here to see how to use the filters to speed up your search. Make sure there’s a place in the photo where I can place the calligraphy. Choose keywords so you don’t have to look through millions of photos!

Finding the perfect photograph for your calligraphy gift 

You may find lots of pictures you love, but it still may not work with the calligraphy. You may love a particular photo but  you have to consider how it will work with the calligraphy text. Here’s the thing I look for- where am I going to be able to put the text?

A photo like the one below has that dark rock right in the middle- and I’d have to write on right side- but it would look unbalanced.


perfect background with space for calligraphy on the side

A Perfect Background Has A Place For Calligraphy

One of the reasons the photo above is perfect is there’s not a lot of contrast with dark vs. light in the area where the text will be- so the calligraphy  is clear and legible from top to bottom.

That would be the problem with the photo below- light on the top (great for black writing), but dark on the bottom, and harder to see the black writing… So what color can the text be that will stand out in both sections? RED? You probably don't want that!

Background for calligraphy has too much contrast

 

Photograph With No Space for Calligraphy can only be boxed

Oftentimes a photograph you want to use cannot be used for an entire background, but can be part of the calligraphy design. I can't write over the photo or you won't see the picture! If you look the beautiful photograph of the young and old hand, you’ll see that there’s no place for calligraphy to fit on that photograph. In that case, a parchment paper background, or a color background can pull the calligraphy art piece “together”.
The poem, Her Hands written in calligraphy with a personal photo of a mother and daughter's hands. This calligraphy artwork is personalized.

Creating More Background With Photoshop

In order to write calligraphy marriage vows, photoshop magic extended the background of the ocean.

Photographers Don't Leave Background for Calligraphy

Sometimes I have to use photoshop “magic” to extend the beach or a background. You can see that in the original little photograph example, the couple was centered on the with the ocean background. I had to move the couple to the side and extend the beach on one side to superimpose the caligraphy text. And it’s not even possible. It takes me extra time to do that, and ends up costing you more.

If you are planning on using your wedding photo for calligraphy make sure to speak to your photographer ahead of time and tell him or her not to center all of the photos and leave space for calligraphy.

How To Take A Great Photograph

If you are going to take a picture to include in your calligraphy order, I have written a blog about 7 tips to make sure your picture comes out great.

If you’re taking a digital photograph of another paper photograph, it’s particularly difficult to get it in great focus. If you have a printer/scanner that would probably give you the best results. Set the scanner to 300 dpi to get the sharpest results for printing.

And if you’re going to take a picture make sure to take a bunch of them so you can choose the best one! Even professional photographers take multiples of any shot – just to make sure they get the results they want. And since we don’t use film any more, it’s practically free to take thousands of photographs!

Now you know how to pick the perfect background image for your calligraphy! Believe me, you will be happy you put in this effort when you see the final result. Just contact me to get started with an inquiry.

and....

Alternatives toTraditional Framing 

Framing your calligraphy poem or text takes time and additional money. Sure there are standard size frames. There are times when your finished calligraphy on paper doesn't come out to a standard size. And the choices for ready-made framing are generally not so great. 

In fact, my customers used to complain that the frame cost more than the artwork! Glass over framed calligraphy can change your ability to read because of the reflection. The option is non-glare glass with your frame. The non-glare glass is absolutely invisible is even more expensive than regular glass! If you do traditional framing over paper, you will need to protect your calligraphy artwork (except oil and acrylic paintings) with glass. That's not necessary anymore! 

At Beautiful Calligraphy, I have many options so that you won't have to go shopping and spend a fortune on traditional framing for your calligraphy poem and artwork.

Framing With Glass

One of the things that I love so much about the metal, wood, canvas and other wraps is that you are not separated from the artwork with glass. There's no distortion or reflection with many of the surfaces - unless you choose to have it glossy and reflective (like acrylic). But that even has its charm because you see the artwork through the sides! 

Some of the many different framing options are below, and there are even more!  You may surprise yourself and find something that you will really treasure! AND if you have a smaller piece you can also get a tabletop version with a built in stand! Now curved metal that stand on their own are available as well. Perfect for your fireplace mantle or desktop.

S T R E T C H out of your comfort zone and you may surprise yourself with something you love!

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Calligraphy of First anniversary poem written in by wife for her husband using their wedding photo
Custom Calligraphy, Photography

7 Essential Photography Tips

Taking a Great Photograph

7 Essential Tips can help you take pictures that are in focus and look great, and it’s not hard to do.

I have been taking photographs my entire life, and used to even develop my own black and white film. But with digital photography taking a great photo is so much easier!

These seven essential tips are important in order to take great photographs, and it doesn’t take much effort to use them.  Practice using these tips and they become a great habit. Then, when you want to print your pictures  you won’t have to hire someone to do much editing, which isn’t always able to totally correct a poor photograph. After all, a photo is being in the moment, and if you miss the shot, you can rarely have a chance to take that same great picture again.

Photography is like our memory’s external hard drive! When there was a hurricane coming through where I lived, I grabbed my photo books and double wrapped them in plastic bags. Of course I grabbed my kids as well (LOL)! Those were the olden days when you had paper photos and negatives (which you rarely saved). Now the majority of photography is digital and you’d just have to grab a disc, or your computer, unless you have your pictures stored in the cloud. Even though it’s so much cheaper to take pictures now, you still want to capture the best image you can! These tips apply to actual cameras as well as phone cameras.

Here are 7 essential tips to taking the best photograph.

1. Consider how much of the person you want to include in the photo.

Standing too far back will make their face (the important part) very small. Coming in very close can make keeping the camera (or phone) very still so you don’t giggle it and get the picture out of focus. It can also exaggerate parts of the face, depending on the camera settings.

2. Look around to make sure that the background is good

Sometimes people take photos and it seems like a branch or object is sticking out of someone’s head. I remember a picture my mother took of my father on the honeymoon in Washington DC. He was standing DIRECTLY in front of the monument, and it made it look as though the pointy Washington Monument was coming out of my father’s head! Pretty funny!

I had another person submit of a photograph of his beloved aunt standing right next to the garbage can in her kitchen. Not a pretty site! Thankfully, I was able to make it disappear with the magic of photoshop.

3. Brace you arms against your side to keep your phone or camera steady 

Moving the camera or phone even slightly, especially when in a darker setting will result in the picture being out of focus. If you can’t find something to lean against, bracing your arms against your sides will help stabilize the picture and keep it in sharp focus. Even better is if you have a tripod and a release cable (really for professionals) that snaps the photo, so pushing the button doesn’t move the camera.

There are some terrific devices now that keep the camera or phone stabilized- but they cost a ton of money. But there are some great little tripods that can set your camera to take great, in focus pictures.

4. Make sure there’s good lighting on your subject.

When you think about it, you are taking a picture of LIGHT. Observe to see where the light is coming in. You know how hard it is to see out of your car windshield when the sun is directly in your eyes, and you have to try to block it out to see what’s in front of you and not crash into the car in front of you? It’s the same thing with taking a photograph. If the light coming in is too bright the picture will be overexposed. Also, taking the picture in the best lighting adjusts the automatic settings in your phone or camera so you can get a better, sharper picture.

5. Don’t take a photo with bright light behind people

When you take a picture with a bright light behind your subject, your automatic setting on your camera doesn’t know what to do! The camera doesn’t want to overexpose the light, so it adjusts for the bright light, and your subject will be very dark. It can make them appear as a silhouette, and the background will be overexposed. No good.

6. Conversely, don’t take a picture with the sun shining in someone’s eyes.

First of all, if you take a picture with the sun directly pointed at your subject, you’ll get a lot of pictures of people with their eyes closed and people blinking! And secondly, you get harsh shadows from the nose and around the eyes. People are very unhappy with the results and will ask you to trash the picture!

7. Take a picture where it’s bright, but in what’s known as “uniform shade”.

Don’t take a picture under a tree where you have lots of shadows and light coming through, and you’ll see “spots” from leaves that are darker around brighter spots where the sun shines through. Find a place where the shade is the same- but it’s still bright- like the shade of a building, where the building behind is the same brightness as your subjects.

Check your camera or phone’s setting

Pictures taken with your phone can be great or a problem. If it’s a selfie that you’re taking with the back of your phone, the resolution is great to look at it on your phone or computer, but not for printing. When I ask people to send me their photo in “full resolution” that means a picture where there are LOTS of pixels, which are necessary to make a clean, sharp print. If a picture is only 72dpi (like on a computer screen) when you go to print it, the photo will look like a comic book picture with dots. It can be enlarged, but only slightly, and it will never be as crisp a picture as you’d like.

iPhones are supposed to be set to take the highest resolution pictures, but I’ve seen cases where the setting is off. Make sure to check this BEFORE you start taking pictures and then realize this is a problem. Make sure when you take a picture on your camera or phone that you have the resolution set for the highest quality.

Sometimes even if you have a great photograph there’s no place for me to put your calligraphy text. In that case I’d have to box the picture separately from the photo. But if you want me to be able to superimpose calligraphy on the photo, you have to plan and leave a place that’s not  too “busy” with detail. 

Your photo boxed with calligraphy text when there's no room on the photo

I can also make your photo stand out by superimposing it on another beautiful background that gives the picture real depth and makes it even more beautiful! 

New Baby Birth Certificate with baby's photo boxed and placed on a pretty background

Think before you shoot

Sure, it’s easy to press the button, but if you put a bit of thought into your pictures, you’ll be a lot happier with the results. And, as your calligrapher who wants to use your pictures, it will cost you less money if I can use your picture “as is” without me having to use Photoshop Magic to remove objects, add more space for the lettering, adjust exposure or remove photo bombs!

If Worse comes to Worse

I think the saddest thing was a job where the couple’s wedding photos were all destroyed in a fire. Only one picture remained of the wedding bouquet. And unfortunately, that too was out of focus and damaged. I knew it wouldn’t look nice with the calligraphy. That’s a place where Photoshop Magic really works. I made the out of focus picture look more like a painting, and that solved the problem.

Check the Photo after you take it to see if it’s in focus

Look at the picture on your phone or camera and enlarge it to see if it’s in focus right after you take it. You still have the opportunity to retake the picture. Have a critical eye right then and there, otherwise, no one will be able to make it a better focus when you submit it for printing.

I hope these essential tips will help you take the best photographs possible. And one final tip: If you want to add calligraphy text to your photograph, leave space on the side of the people where’s there’s not a lot of detail so I can have a place to put your words. The only other option is to box your photo and write the text on the side, instead of superimposing it directly on the photograph. But both can look great – especially when you have a great picture using these tips.

 

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Calligraphy Services, Photography, Photoshop Magic & calligraphy

The Perfect Background For Custom Calligraphy

Perfect background for religious calligraphy called God Sky

What is the Perfect Background for Calligraphy Text

Picking the perfect background for your handwritten calligraphy makes your finished custom calligraph look even more appealing. I always feel like an image enhances and elevates a quote. It also makes it more memorable because you have that visual that reflects the meaning you imagine in the text- the reason it's meaningful to you! It captures your attention when you walk past it. It creates a visual memory that goes with the words. It's artwork- not just the written word.

PLEASE, Not Parchment Again!

Think about it. I bet you’ve never seen an advertisement that is just text on a parchment or plain color background! And those artists make tons of money for their exciting and motivating designs! One of the things that attracts you to a particular book is the ARTWORK on the cover. Yes, you do tell a book by its cover! 

If you have looked around my site, you’ll notice that 99% of my pieces have some decorative background- it can be a personal photograph, or the perfect background that graphically reflects your text. I STRONGLY encourage you to stretch out of your comfort zone and not choose a “parchment” or plain background. Art combined with your custom calligraphy text will really make it special and unique and add to your enjoyment of the piece every time you look at it!

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone - Neale Donald Walsch

How To Find The Perfect Photograph or Image for Calligraphy

Close your eyes and think about your text. What do you see in “your mind’s eye”?

reading a book and imagining images from the text

I may be ruining your ability to read by telling you this, but here goes: when you read anything you are running a silent video with pictures and images in your head. You’re probably not aware of it, but we think in pictures. All you have to do it pay attention to what you’re “seeing” in your head to get a great idea for a background image for your calligraphy text!

Where to Find Great Photographs

There are many sites where you can find free stock photographs to use with your calligraphy quote. Here are a few: www.Pixabay.com, and www.unsplash.com. Make sure to enter search terms or keywords in order to limit the hundreds of photos that will appear. If you haven't found any there, the best place is https://stock.adobe.com. The photos cost a bit, but they are really wonderful photos with TONS of choices. You can also limit the choices by using filters that will only show you photos in a particular direction or style. I don't want you to waste your time. And in fact, you will probably really enjoy looking at all of the wonderful photos and images. I had a customer tell me what fun she had traveling through all of the photos before she found the perfect image for her calligraphy quote.

Make SURE to save the pictures you like in a “lightbox” or save the ID numbers and send them to me. Also when you see the image make sure there’s a place in the photo where I can place the calligraphy.

Finding the perfect photograph for your calligraphy gift 

You may find lots of pictures you love, but it still may not work with the calligraphy. You may love a particular photo but you have to consider how it will work with the calligraphy text. Here’s the thing I look for- where am I going to be able to put the text?

A photo like the one below has that dark rock right in the middle- and I’d have to write on right side- but it would look unbalanced.

image with no place for calligraphy text

One of the reasons the photo below is not perfect is because there’s a lot of contrast with dark vs. light in the area where the text will be. I know it's a bit confusing. But the calligraphy needs to be legible and clear from top to bottom. That would be the problem with the photo below- light on the top (great for black writing), but dark on the bottom, and harder to see the black writing… so I'd need a light color for the bottom. You probably don't want two different colors of text. 

Background for calligraphy has too much contrast

The one below would be perfect background- wide enough for text not to interfere with the focus of the photograph.

photo with area for calligraphy

The shape of the text

Long and Narrow text needs a border for balance in a well designed calligraphy piece

Some poems have very few words on each line of the poem, but there are MANY lines which makes the poem very long. The shape of this text is going to be narrow and vertical, like the picture with the dates in the example. Others have many words per line and can form either be almost a square or a long rectangle shape of the text. When you are choosing a photograph to use, it’s important to take that shape into consideration.

It drove me crazy to write out this text this way with huge borders on the side. This is an unfortunate example when my customer didn’t believe me that we needed a border to widen the appearance of the calligraphy poem. It looks unfinished and unbalanced. But I do what my customer wants, even though I know it could look so much better! 

Calligraphy Size is Proportional

Calligraphy size is different from all other art because it's proportional. If the size of the text is made larger (like the font size on a computer), it will also get longer and wider. Calligraphy is proportional. That’s part of the design that I must take into account when thinking about the “shape of the calligraphy text” and the type of photograph you choose.

It doesn’t look pleasing when there’s a lot of empty space. You want to keep borders: top/bottom/ left and right around the calligraphy about equal.

Photograph can only be boxed

image boxed with calligraphy

Sometimes the photograph you want to use cannot be used for an entire background, but can be part of the calligraphy design.

Here’s another example so you can see how I have to figure out where where your calligraphy text will fit best with the photography you’ve chosen.

Sometimes I have to use photoshop “magic” to extend the beach or a background. But that’s not always possible.

Now you know how to pick the perfect background image for your calligraphy! Believe me, you will be happy you put in this effort when you see the final result. Click here, or on any of the photos to get started with an inquiry.

How To Take A Great Photograph

If you are going to take a picture to include in your calligraphy order, I have written a blog about 7 tips to make sure your picture comes out great.

If you’re taking a picture of something flat, it’s particularly difficult to get it in great focus. If you have a printer/scanner that would probably give you the best results. Set the scanner to 300 dpi to get the sharpest results for printing.

And if you’re going to take a picture make sure to take a bunch of them so you can choose the best one! Even professional photographers take multiples of any shot – just to make sure they get the results they want. And since we don’t use film any more, it’s practically free to take thousands of photographs!

You can do it! Good luck!

Traditional Framing Alternatives

Printing technology has changed so much that now it's possible to print on an amazing array of surfaces. Framing used to be incredibly expensive and necessitated covering your artwork (except oil and acrylic paintings) with glass. That's not necessary anymore! In fact, my customers used to complain that the frame cost more than the artwork! Not anymore. And now you don't have to go shopping and spend a fortune on traditional framing for your calligraphy poem and artwork.

One of the things that I love so much about the metal, wood, canvas and other wraps is that you are not separated from the artwork with glass. There's no distortion or reflection with many of the surfaces - unless you choose to have it glossy and reflective (like acrylic). But that even has its charm because you see the artwork through the sides!

Take a look at the options. You may surprise yourself and find something that you will really treasure! AND if you have a smaller piece you can also get a tabletop version with a stand!

S T R E T C H out of your comfort zone and you may surprise yourself with something you love!

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metallic paper makes calligraphy look like it's glowing
Calligraphy Blog, Calligraphy Services, Gift Ideas, Personalized gifts, Photography

Printing Calligraphy Choices

giclee makes your calligraphy prints  gorgeous

Printing your Calligraphy Poem

There are so many choices when printing your calligraphy art!  There are so many papers and surfaces that are now available. In the "olden days", you could choose a couple of papers, but printing on a photograph was only available when you ordered a huge quantity of the same text.

I remember having to hand write out ten memorial poems and have them framed with a photograph of the deceased person (a young surfer- very sad). And it cost a fortune because of all the time it took to write out those pieces individually.

I actually had to write calligraphy on mat board, and have a place cut out of the board to place the photo! It cost a fortune! Not anymore, thankfully!

matted photo with calligraphy on mat board graduation gift

 

Giclee Printers Create High Quality Printing of Calligraphy and Photography

I remember the first time I saw a "giclee print". I would have sworn it was the original!

 If you’ve heard the word  “giclee” (gee-clay), it comes from the French word to “spray.” Giclee print technology printers are now available at much lower prices and you can probably afford to buy one yourself. But let me tell you, that printing is really hard to get right. I gave up my printer and send my work to a company that SPECIALIZES in doing this printing. They have a great assortment of papers to choose from. And they do color correction.

Colors on Your Computer Vs. Mine

You probably don't realize this but unless you "calibrate" your computer screen using sophisticated technology the colors you see can be very different from the colors I see. And to make matters even more difficult, the colors on the computer screen are different from the colors of a print! That's why I use PROFESSIONAL printers who know their way with giclee printing! I want you to get the most perfect result on your calligraphy art. 

And now printmaking that can be done in "limited runs".  That means you can do one print at a very reasonable cost. In the past printing would cost much more money per print unless you did hundreds at the same time!

Calligraphy can be printed on paper with Deckle edge, especially nice for parchment paper

Giclee printing uses the highest quality archival pigment inks as well as archival heavy weight art papers that you will really appreciate. Now the edges can even be "deckled" like handmade paper. Many have beautiful textures. These giclee inks can maintain the color of the print  and will not fade for up to a hundred years (with proper care)! 

Choice of Surfaces For Print/Framing

Now with there are so many options available for printing your calligraphy poem or text. Your personalized calligraphy can be written on a variety of not just paper, but canvas, wood, glass, acrylic and on practically any surface! Look below for examples. I've actually seen beautiful photographs printing on shower curtains! No kidding! I had to buy one for myself!

Metallic Paper Looks Like Calligraphy in Gold

song lyrics written in calligraphy printed on metallic paper with photographs of the couple superimposed on a sunset at the beach

Metallic paper is one of the great options that I offer with your calligraphy order. This kind of paper brings out the shine in the calligraphy lettering (when it's in a light color) or even parts of the photo. It even seems to glow in a dark room.

This piece with the couple's selfie was printed on a thin-wrap so it was ready to hang, right out of the box. Doesn't it look great?

Printing in metallic gold or silver is impossibly expensive. But with metallic paper, using the right color for the calligraphy lettering, it can give the look and illumination of gold, silver or copper!

Calligraphy Services Means Lots of Options

When you contact me with your text, my calligraphy services includes lots of suggestions about how to make your calligraphy gift special. Instead of going with a plain "parchment" background, I encourage you to stretch and consider different options.

Background Choices Improve the Look of Calligraphy Alone

I love combining selfies with other backgrounds to personalize your calligraphy gift and make it even more sentimental. Sure it's great to have "your song" - but when you combine it with your photo, it's even better! If your special photograph or selfie you've taken sits on your phone or computer you rarely see it. But when we combine your photograph with another background photograph, like in this example above, it will make your calligraphy order even more special to you! And ordering multiples even brings down the price on the additional orders.

So, let's get started on your calligraphy- a gift for someone special- or for YOURSELF- because YOU are special and deserve it!


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Selfie with Song lyrics anniversary gift superimposed on background
Anniversary Gift, First Anniversary, Gift Ideas, Photography, Unique Gift Ideas

Using your selfie: a unique gift idea

Printing Your Selfie With Calligraphy

Combining calligraphy and personal photography is my specialty of calligraphy services. So many people are walking around with selfie sticks and taking selfie photos. Here’s a unique gift idea about how to use that terrific selfie picture you took.

Love song with couple's selfie
Valentines day gift of saying I Love You in calligraphyems are nthis includes a selfie of the couple
1st Anniversary marriage vows written in calligraphy combined with computer calligraphywith selfie of the couple in Hawaii

Photoshop Magic & Calligraphy

You may have a great picture of a place you visited, but you are not in the photo. That’s where Photoshop Magic comes in. I will combine your new background photo or your choice, or any other photo and place your selfie picture into the calligraphy art piece. All you have to do is send me your selfie photo in “actual size” or the highest resolution possible. Then I’ll remove the photo of you from the background, and use that selfie photo to put on a totally different background.

Then written the calligraphy is printed and ready to hang on the wall, or place on a table. That way you don’t have to scroll through your phone to always have that nice memory to see! This also makes a fun and unique first anniversary gift, which is traditionally paper.

Here’s an example of a combination of two photos. Personal photographs add so much to the memory of a place that you’ve visited- or even WANT to go to – but have never been there- like over the moon?!!

Selfie with Song lyrics anniversary gift superimposed on background

Make sure when you take a selfie that are not standing in bright sunlight that will make you squint and leave hard shadows. Take off your sunglasses as well. Here are tips to get a great selfie photo, or any other type of photograph. Take it from me, it’s much better to take a good photograph than having to pay someone to fix a dark, or poor photograph!

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