August 15, marked World Calligraphy Day – so to celebrate, we chatted to Pixel and Ink London about all things handwritten! Natasha (the brains and creative force behind Pixel and Ink) is a true superstar when it comes to calligraphy, creating effortlessly gorgeous designs for her clients, all with a hand finished personal touch. We just love seeing her creations hit our presses, so we couldn’t wait to chat with her on this exciting day. So, without further ado, get to know Natasha and Pixel and Ink…
Hi Natasha! First of all, tell us a bit about Pixel and Ink…
Pixel & Ink London is my luxury design studio for weddings & event stationery. I offer bespoke stationery and on-the-day details designed from scratch with my clients to give them something truly unique and personal to their day. Available alongside this is my House Collection, a range of wedding suites designed with their own unique touches, be that custom calligraphy, gold foil, vellum layers or hand embossed elements – all customisable ready to go for the client.
How’d you get started?
Pixel & Ink London was born when my previous background in design collided with my love of all things Wedding & Events. After planning our own wedding, a year ago, friends and friends of friends were asking me if I could help out with theirs. Before long, I had set up the business alongside my full-time job, as a Lead Digital Designer at a fashion brand, working both day and night to fit it all in! This naturally led to me building my business and eventually, after a long year, taking the plunge, dedicating all of my time to Pixel & Ink London.
Alright, so as it’s national calligraphy day, we’ve gotta ask you about your gorgeous hand lettered calligraphic elements…
Calligraphy had naturally played a part in Pixel and Ink from the start. I had been introduced to traditional calligraphy from a young age, when I got given a calligraphy set for Christmas one year. I spent most of my childhood drawing, designing, spending my lunchtimes in the art rooms at school – so I guess I have always been looking for a way to incorporate some element of this in my adult career!
Whilst planning my own wedding, I had started to see a growing interest in calligraphy within the industry. So, alongside my full-time job as a graphic designer, I re-discovered my calligraphy set and took classes in my spare time. I went to Calligraphy classes and practice sessions at Quill, a calligraphy studio in London. These were great and really taught you the basic techniques along with the more advanced skills needed to master Modern Calligraphy. It was also a great place to meet and chat with like-minded calligraphy lovers over coffee & cake!
Tell us about the most exciting project you’ve worked on?
One of the most exciting projects I have had the pleasure of working on so far was for the luxury travel company Scott Dunn. They were launching their new range of luxury holidays and wanted to give their event the same treatment! It was around the time of the recent Royal Wedding so there was a real buzz around Windsor Castle, which was the theme of the event. They commissioned me to produce their invitations as luggage tags, each individually hand-lettered and sent out attached to a crown balloon with little corgis’ dancing around the bottom!
Calligraphy in itself is quite a traditional method, so how do you ensure that your suites are fresh and modern, whilst still staying true to the ancient practice?
Calligraphy is a very traditional art and there are many different styles of Calligraphy to suit each client. I practice a variety of these styles to ensure I can offer something with a modern twist, while still keeping that traditional feel of hand-lettering. Alongside this, and one of the best parts I think, are the finishing touches. These can include wax seals, hand-lettered envelopes, beautiful silk ribbons and handmade paper, to name a few! I LOVE working on these elements with my clients and because some of them are so traditional, and sometimes completely new to them or their guests, it adds such an element of luxury and surprise to their wedding suites. They become something their guests will keep and truly treasure, which is why I always say that the first impressions start the moment they touch the envelope! That is where you want to really inform guests of your wedding style and theme and get them excited for what’s to come!
Ok, so… What’s the best bit about your job?
The best part about my job is being such an important part of such a special day in my clients lives. When you love stationery as much as I do, and find clients who share that same passion, getting to work on their wedding suite, produce something dedicated to them to the highest quality and co-ordinate everything to match on the day with them is a real privilege and when those people love what you do for them and are desperate to send them out to all their guests, it’s a really special feeling…and getting to work in my home studio with my little miniature poodle Sake is pretty great too!
Do you have any advice for fellow creatives who want to get started with calligraphy, or take the leap into starting their own creative business?
My advice to anyone who is looking to try their hand at calligraphy is to practice! Practice day, night, lunch time and any spare time you have. It really makes a difference and it’s amazing to see the improvement over time! Do warm up drills every, this gets your muscles in your hand and arm warmed up ready to go! These drills are something I do every day and you can find templates for these online free to download, or simply make one for yourself in a notebook. And as for setting up your own creative business, I am certainly no expert at this and am very much still learning on the job! But I think the key is to get yourself into a position where you attract the right clients for your business and can support yourself before taking that leap.
What does the future hold for Pixel and Ink?
For Pixel & Ink, this is just the beginning. I have so many plans and creative ideas whizzing around in my head to excite and delight my clients. It’s really just a matter of trying to find enough time in the day to fit it all in! But I think one of the most exciting possibilities in the future for me is to be able to teach the skill of calligraphy to others and to make sure this wonderful skill is nurtured and remains in the industry for many years to come.
Fancy getting involved in World Calligraphy Day yourself? If, like Pixel and Ink, you use calligraphy or hand-lettering in your greeting cards, stationery or giftware products share them online during the day, using the event hashtags…
Want to see more gorgeous stuff by Pixel and Ink? (Who wouldn’t?!) Head over to their Instagram and get ready for some seriously inspiring print creations. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…
Or, if you’re looking for more beautifully handwritten creations, why not check out our #ProudlyPrinted series, and head to The Handwritten Edition?