The Write Stuff: Styled Shoot by Distinctive Inscriptions Calligraphy + Erin Kate Photography
I was first introduced to Ashantai Yungai, the “Magic Hands” behind Distinctive Inscriptions Calligraphy, by Mara Marian-Harwood of Events by LMG at a photo shoot for the very first issue of Salt Lake/Park City Bride & Groom nearly two years ago. Since then, Yungai has become a welcome fixture in the local wedding scene and the go-to talent for gorgeous calligraphy work. He recently bid adieu to a career as a chemist to pursue his dream of working on calligraphy full time, and we couldn’t be happier for him.
Check out these lovely photos of Yungai and his work, all captured and styled by Erin Kate, and read on for our calligraphy Q & A with Mr. Magic Hands.
SLPCBG: Your nickname speaks for itself, but how did you earn the moniker “Magic Hands?”
AY: The nickname was given to me by a Twitter friend upon viewing my website. Her initial feeling was that my calligraphy was extraordinary. She felt the words came alive off the page and that she could feel a spirit in them. She told me later that my calligraphy “speaks for itself” and “speaks to me–like magic!” She then started calling me “Magic Hands” and it’s stuck ever since.
What would you tell engaged couples to encourage them to consider calligraphy for their wedding invitations and paper goods?
One thing to keep in mind is that your wedding paper goods are one of the few tangible elements you get to keep long after the big day. Consider also that your invitation is the prelude to your event–it introduces your guests to the style of your wedding. The first impression you make should be an enthralling one. If you’re spending the time to make your invitations exquisite, you should present them in an equally exquisite manner. Address to impress with hand-lettered calligraphy. A client once told me that her guests were keeping their invitation envelopes because they were so beautiful. Your guests will remember the small but elegant detail of calligraphy.
What does calligraphy provide or express that other forms of printing don’t?
Calligraphy provides a personal touch to the invitation suite. Mementos from the reception menu to the guest book to table names or numbers can be hand-lettered–this simple detail provides an enchanting memory of your wedding day. In addition, unique “stationery” such as limestone, sandstone, and wood can also be hand-lettered. These items are not easily expressed via computer printing.
What’s the typical time frame for calligraphy work? How far in advance should couples be contacting you? About how much does calligraphy cost?
My general time frame for calligraphy work varies, depending on the project. For a set of 150 envelopes, expect a turnaround time of about two weeks. Couples should make arrangements with a calligrapher soon after they decide on their stationery. Calligraphers can be booked as far out as six months in advance. For envelope addressing, pricing starts at $2.25/env for outer envelopes only, and $3.25/env for outer and inner envelopes. Place cards begin at $1.25/each. Other inscriptions depend on the lettering.
To read more about Yungai and see additional examples of his calligraphy, hop on over to his website. Thank you, Ashantai, for sharing your advice and insight, and thank you, Erin, for sharing these beautiful photos with us today!