How Technology Is Helping to Revitalize the Art of Calligraphy

More

The skill's recent revival shows how heritage crafts can still flourish in the modern world, not in spite of, but with help from the Web

Tenner_Caligraphy_6-8_banner.jpg

Good news if you care about handwriting, which I've already argued here remains a living tradition. Fifty people in the U.K. still make a living as calligraphers. Only fifty or fully fifty? What kind of living? What about the U.S., Europe and Asia?

This video profile by the Guardian illustrates the challenges and skills of a top practitioner, including some surprising ones, like the scarcity of really suitable paper. It also shows that heritage skills aren't just anachronisms; they can be reproduced, improved and amplified by electronic technology. And film and television producers, advertising art directors and greeting card producers (electronic ones, too) need somebody to produce original art. The main thing about craft revivals is that, like preservation of heirloom plants and rare animal breeds, they need a critical mass. It's encouraging to see a major newspaper -- another threatened institution -- using Web video to spread the word.

Thanks to for the link.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Edward Tenner is a historian of technology and culture, and an affiliate of the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School. He was a founding advisor of Smithsonian's Lemelson Center.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Where the Wildest Things Are

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where the Wild Things Go

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Adults Need Playtime Too

When was the last time you played your favorite childhood game?

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

From This Author

Just In