When helping our clients create a memorable event we always recommend thinking about the details. It’s the small things that often make the biggest impact and beautiful hand written calligraphy is a great place to start.
Styling trends come and go but the true elegance of calligraphy will always be appreciated due to the care and time taken. A gorgeous piece of calligraphy can really engage guests and set the tone and theme for the whole event. Ofe Oyasor is a talented creative designer who we recently discovered. Ofe established Ollie’s Studio a few years ago and she creates beautiful calligraphy, whether it’s contemporary wedding stationery to delight your guests, branding to help your small business stand out, or gorgeous little bits to help beautifully style your event, her work will enhance any event and delight guests. We spoke to Ofe to find out more about her work and discover how you can incorporate calligraphy into your event.
How early did you become interested in calligraphy?
I did a little bit of traditional calligraphy at school but never took to it. Fast forward to many years later, I started a stationery design business. It made sense to learn calligraphy to compliment my offering and I definitely didn’t expect to fall in love with it. Now it’s a large portion of what I do and I’m a little obsessed.
Tell us about your company and how you got started.
It started with my daughter’s baptism. I designed lots of little bits for it. Invitations, decorations… I loved the process and the end result so much I decided to look into designing for a living. After a few false starts, while I figured out what direction I wanted to take the business in, I started Ollie’s Studio. I’m largely self taught and it’s been really exciting creating a design business from scratch.
Apart from invitations and place cards, what else do you work on?
I create hand painted laser cut pieces such as toppers, signs, coasters…. whatever you like really, and I letter on almost any surface. I also teach calligraphy workshops and design branding for small creative businesses. And I make hand dyed, hand torn silk ribbons and styling fabrics and hand bound silk Vow Books.
Any suggestions on how to use calligraphy for styling events or helping your brand come to life?
I love transforming my hand written calligraphy into large laser cut signs which can be used to create gorgeous installations and style events. There’s no end to the beautiful signage that can be created with calligraphy, and on any surface too. Incorporating calligraphy into your branding ensures that your brand will always be unique. Hand lettered logos aren’t easily replicated.
What do you love about calligraphy?
It’s such a beautiful skill to have. Seeing a few strokes transform into beautiful letter art is so satisfying. It’s also really relaxing to do.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve been asked to work on and what different materials do you use?
The most unusual thing I’ve worked on is the lettering for a gin bottle label. It’s pretty exciting to have a piece of my work featured in that way. The most nerve wracking thing I ever did was lettering straight onto a wedding photo album. I had one shot and couldn’t make any mistakes. I’ve worked with all kinds of materials from wood, to leather, acrylic, fabric, mirrors, shells, semi precious stones… there’s almost no limit to what one can calligraph on.
Do you have a favourite paper colour and ink combination?
Black paper and rose gold ink… it’s just so rich.
What makes you different from other calligraphers?
I think each calligrapher is unique and brings something different to the table. No two calligraphers letter in the same way. My style is pretty versatile though, from loose and flamboyant, to more refined and formal.
Any tips for people considering hiring a calligrapher?
Ask to see examples of their work to make sure their styles mesh with yours. Don’t ask them to copy someone else’s style. Try to book your calligrapher as early in advance as you can to avoid rush fees, send extra envelopes etc for mistakes and for ink testing. Supply the information you want calligraphed formatted in the way you want it to appear on the finished piece. This will save a lot of time and effort (which the calligrapher will have to charge for).
What styles of calligraphy do you offer?
I tend toward a flamboyant style but also offer refined modern calligraphy styles. I don’t do traditional calligraphy styles like copperplate or gothic.
Do you have a favourite font?
At the moment it’s Melika Letter. It’s a flowy calligraphy style similar to my own and is great for mocking up pieces before hand lettering.
What’s been your favourite job so far?
My favourite job so far was lettering a wedding seating chart on an 8 foot tall mirror. It was in a really cool loft venue and literally the biggest job I’ve ever done. I loved it.
Can you tell us a bit more about your workshops? We think they’d make a great team bonding event for a company away-day.
My workshops are fun and laid back and always include a few treats for participants. I take everyone through the basics and provide one on one guidance where needed. I like to combine them with other fun experiences, for example, I just completed a modern calligraphy and wine tasting workshop in London. It was a hoot. We sampled some delicious wine, ate fabulous meats and cheeses and learned calligraphy in the most gorgeous setting. I’ve also done modern calligraphy and afternoon tea which was lovely. Next up, modern calligraphy and gin tasting, and modern calligraphy and cake decorating. I love hosting private workshops too and will be travelling to a few new places to host in 2018. The energy is always so amazing. It’s great when it’s a group of people that know each other, but I’ve also found that perfect strangers seem to make friends easily during the workshops too.
When you’re not practicing calligraphy, what do you like to do?
When I’m not working, I’m most likely hanging out with my family plotting our next adventure. We like to travel and once our kids are old enough, we’re going to go everywhere! You’re also very likely to find me doing something creative, like dancing, crochet, cooking. I also like to eat, I love food. I’m a big fan of cake.
At Evolve we regularly share news about latest venues, styles and events on our blog and social media. You can visit our blog here and follow us at @evolveevents.
To get more ideas or help with your event talk to the team on 020 7610 2808 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about Ollie’s Studio and to see more of her beautiful calligraphy visit Ofe’s website here.