Beautiful Writing for Special Occasions

Tel: 01236 423735 or email

effort Written-without-effort-June-2013 Finger-writing-June-2013

Duncan Tolmie offers a calligraphy service for Weddings, Corporate Events, and all other special occasions. He teaches calligraphy at the University of Strathclyde and at the City of Glasgow College.

Although his area of expertise is normally associated with nibs and ink, Duncan is not afraid to embrace new technology. In addition to his traditionally executed calligraphy, he is an enthusiastic exponent of ‘Digital Calligraphy,' creating calligraphic compositions by means of a personal computer, scanner, graphics tablet, and various software packages including Font Creator and Adobe Photoshop.

Duncan inscribing a wedding invitation.

The two images opposite illustrate the process by which traditional hand-lettering becomes digital calligraphy. In the first image the word ‘effort’ was lettered by hand using black ink. It was then scanned at a very high resolution and re-coloured digitally in the software programme Adobe Photoshop to become an element in the computer-generated Samuel Johnson quote featured in the Gallery.

With almost thirty years experience, Duncan is regularly commissioned by  companies involved in public relations, marketing, advertising and the media, and has produced calligraphy for many high-profile events.

He has addressed envelopes and inscribed countless thousands of guests’ names onto invitations and place cards for Weddings, Corporate Dinners, Business Breakfasts, Annual General Meetings, Awards Ceremonies and Launch Parties. For one such event, he created a small calligraphic table plan for the personal use of Prince Charles, and he was commissioned to contribute calligraphy to the G8 summit in Gleneagles.

Duncan also creates calligraphic artwork, both for functional use (invitations, menus, certificates etc), and for framing (fine art, quotations, testimonials etc).

Yet, despite the indisputable efficiency of this contemporary approach to lettering, Duncan maintains that pen on paper is still the basis for calligraphy and he continues to produce almost all of his work by hand.

The left image shows the original hand-lettering, which was scanned, recoloured in Photoshop, and became the focal point of the digital artwork on the right.

Please click images to enlarge.


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