Sunday, February 13, 2011

Calligraphy is cool?

One of the things that I have taken for granted with my calligraphy is that I do it, show it to various people who enjoy it in varying degrees, and then it disappears into my portfolio, and is largely never seen again. As a result it is a bit strange to suddenly have one's work appearing on international websites and exciting real interest. This is what has happened with the Marisco's Kings Series work. Now I hasten to add that I can't take all the credit. The concept and wonderful overall design is by Christopher Thompson, but the calligraphy itself is getting some of the mention. Most recently the work has featured at number seven on a site called the Coolist which highlights thirty top wine labels world wide.
Having managed to get past 50 without, to my knowledge, ever attracting the label 'cool' this one has me scratching my head a bit. But I have managed to figure it out. It isn't me that's cool, it's calligraphy. After the plethora of rough handdrawn lettering that has featured in design for the last few years, the more sophisticated but non-rigid quality of this lettering seems to have struck a chord. So I am sensing that the time is right for calligraphy to have its day in the sun. Is this a good thing? Possibly not. The one thing that can be guaranteed in the cycle of graphic coolness, is that whatever is cool today is uncool tomorrow. So I guess it is just a matter of enjoying the next couple of years, and then bunkering back down to the normality of trying to research the edges of marginal discipline. But for the moment calligraphers can perhaps allow themselves to enjoy the possibility of a moment centre stage. The main thing is not to blink.