Western Calligraphy in the Movies

This is a fun list of western calligraphy being used in public theatrical films and TV shows. The calligraphy in this list may have appeared in titles, credits, used by characters in the film, or included calligraphic elements on objects. There are two sections to this list, Calligraphy in Movies and TV, and Calligraphy in Titles and Credits. I have not verified the correctness of this list; if there are any mistakes, or if you have more to add, please write in the box at bottom. Thanks to all who submitted material! (For non-theatrical how-to or demonstration videos, see my list at: http://www.stevehusting.com/calligraphy/2013/08/18/favorite-calligraphy-videos/.)

Article format used:
Movie or TV name (TV or movie release date) calligrapher name
Where or how calligraphy is used in the movie. Link.

You can learn more about these movies by going to imdb.com and pasting the title into the search box.

Calligraphy in Movies and TV

12 Years a Slave (2013)
Solomon writing with what looks like a quill pen with ink of berries. Screenshot: http://images.christianpost.com/full/66003/solomon-northup-12-years-a-slave.jpg

Amistad 

Big Love HBO TV Season 3. Janet Martorello
A letter about the mandate for plurality of marriage written by the head of the Mormon Church

Bologna Towers (2000) Brody Neuenschwander

Book of Secrets DeAnn Singh

Box Trolls  Annie Atkins
Credits, etc.

Breaking the Maya Code documentary Mark Van Stone
All the Maya and Oriental graphics and calligraphy, including hand-inserts where his hand (painted brown to look Mayan) writes on codices and vases.,

Brush with Silence Brody Neuenschwander

Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV De Ann Singh

Charmed TV DeAnn Singh

Dangerous Liasons (1988)

Dateline NBC television special Bernard Maisner
Wrote as Leonardo Da Vinci http://www.bernardmaisner.com/hand-lettering/hand-lettering-for-film-and-TV/

Dead Letters Daniel Reeve
http://www.danielreeve.co.nz/SmallProjects/ — scroll down

Fallen DeAnn Singh
http://www.designingletters.com/html/fs/gallery.html (click on Movie Production)

Firefly TV
Inara, the Companion, practices calligraphy

Finding Forrester (2000) Bernard Maisner
Sean Connery’s writing

Flying over Water (1997) Brody Neuenschwander

Game of Thrones TV (2011-2015)
screenshots: http://imgur.com/a/Xe5pS

Gangs of New York (2002) Bernard Maisner
Did the props for this movie by Martin Scorsese

Harry Potter movie series
Addressed envelopes, potion labels, mystery map, Harry Potter writing, signage in shop.

Henry VIII: Mind of a Tyrant BBC TV (2009) Brody Neuenschwander
http://www.brodyneuenschwander.com/?page_id=7)

Highlander 2  Carole Johnson
Log entry and map pages for the 19th-century logbook of the captain of the “Rose Marie.” A bookbinder neighbor of mine created the book for the movie. http://highlander.wikia.com/wiki/Highlander_II:_The_Quickening

How I Met Your Mother TV (2005-20014)
Ted is a calligrapher.

Huell Howser’s Visiting… TV ep. #1603
HH visits calligraphy convention, Letters California Style http://www.calgold.com/visiting/Default.asp?Series=1600)

I Am Love (Io Sono L’Amore) (2009) Luca Barcellona
Opening credits; calligraphy

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

I, The Worst of All (Yo, la peor de todas) Carole Johnson
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100990/

Jagged Edge Jill Bell

Jobs (2013) Carrie Imai
Carrie Imai was hired as the “calligraphy consultant” for the movie – the early life of Steve Jobs, when he learned calligraphy at Reed college. She trained Ashton Kutcher and other actors in calligraphy and supplied all the art for the classroom scene.

King Kong Daniel Reeve
http://www.danielreeve.co.nz/KingKong/)

Lincoln
Writing at his desk with quill

Lone Ranger Mark Van Stone
Labels on the medicine bottles.

Mulan

Narnia Daniel Reeve
http://www.danielreeve.co.nz/Narnia/

National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets (2007) DeAnn Singh
http://www.designingletters.com/html/fs/gallery.html (click on Movie Production)

NOVA: Saving the National Treasures. TV PBS Brody Neuenschwander
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayJoTSO0wwU

Outlander (2014, Season 1, Ep 6)
Contract of Marriage for a wedding in1743. Mixture of broad pen and pointed pen styles.

Penny Dreadful Annie Atkins

P.S. I love you (2007)  Bernard Maisner 

Psych: The Musical 2-part Psych TV show special, season 8 (2013)
Opens with a storybook written in calligraphy. Also seen in middle of show and at end.
Sample 1, sample 2

Quills (2000)

Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton PBS TV Bernard Maisner
Filmed and interviewed as a handwriting expert

Rome TV series (2005-2007) Carrie Imai

Rushmore Mark Van Stone
The hero was a calligrapher, and a brief cameo shows him at a table promoting the
“Rushmore Calligraphy Club” for example. Calligraphic props

Shakespeare In Love
Writing with a quill.

Sleepy Hollow (1999) Bernard Maisner
screen shots: http://imgur.com/a/zNBkW Johnny Depp’s hand in Tim Burton’s movie.

Sometimes They Come Back Again DeAnn Singh
http://www.designingletters.com/html/fs/gallery.html  (click on Movie Production)

Sons of Liberty
History Network’s TV series

Spartacus: Blood and Sand TV Daniel Reeve
http://www.danielreeve.co.nz/SmallProjects/)

Stigma

The Affair of the Necklace (l’affaire Collier, 2001) Julian Chazal

The Age of Innocence (1993) Bernard Maisner
Writing as Daniel Day Lewis’ hand in Martin Scorsese’s film.

The Grand Budapest Hotel Annie Atkins
Calligraphy documents, letters, and signage

The Hobbit Daniel Reeve
http://www.danielreeve.co.nz/Hobbit/)

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Bilbo writes his bio at end

The Legend of the Laundry Warrior
(retitled The Warrior’s Way)

The Letter Writer

The Lord of the Rings Daniel Reeve
Biography book, ring, maps. http://www.danielreeve.co.nz/LOTR/)

The Name of the Rose
Sean Connery, trying to solve a series of murders, enters a scriptorium at a monastery where colorful illuminated manuscripts are on display. Two of the illuminators had been killed.

The Pillow Book Brody Neuenschwander and Yukki Yaura
Writing on woman’s body. http://www.brodyneuenschwander.com/?page_id=7 scroll down)

The Pirates of the Caribbean Xandra Zamora
Third movie: Pirates’ Code Book calligraphy by Mark Van Stone.

The Rose Haggadah Barbara Wolff

The Secret of Kells
https://thecelticjourney.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/the-secret-of-kells/
I
nk from berries. Drawing on stretched skin with goose feather.

The Sorcer’s Apprentice (2010) Anna Pinto
Calligraphy and illumination on pages.

The Tale of Despereaux Veiko Kespersaks

The Tudors TV Annie Atkins

The Wedding Planner

Tintin Daniel Reeve
http://www.danielreeve.co.nz/Tintin/

Underworld 3: Rise of the Lycans Daniel Reeve
http://www.danielreeve.co.nz/SmallProjects/ — scroll down)

Valmont
(same story as Dangerous Liasons, but came out in 1989)

Van Helsing Daniel Reeve
http://www.danielreeve.co.nz/SmallProjects/ — scroll down)

Vikings TV ep. 3 (2013-2015)
Shot of illuminated ms with monk; screen: http://i.imgur.com/pIDRf7i.jpg

Who Do You Think You Are (TV / Brooke Shields episode) Ann Miller

Writing to Vermeer (1999) Brody Neuenschwander

 

Calligraphy in Titles and Credits

Calligraphy has been used for movie titles on posters and box artwork. Links below take you to the Internet Movie Database or Netflix sites to see the lettering.

A Promise (2013)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm4223650048/tt2191082?ref_=tt_ov_i

Beyond the Mask (2015) End credits.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2433040/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Casper titles Mark Van Stone
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112642/?ref_=nv_sr_2

Clan of the Cave Bear Georgia Deaver
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090848/?ref_=fn_al_tt_3

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters TV (2013)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm347516672/tt1428538?ref_=tt_ov_i

Kindergarten Cop Jill Bell
(I don’t know where the calligraphy was. Perhaps it’s the child’s scrawl in the title.)

Lark Rise to Candleford TV (2008-2011)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2195622656/tt1077744?ref_=tt_ov_i

—-Broad Edge Nib—-

A Murder of Crows (1999)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1889573888/tt0133985?ref_=tt_ov_i

Celtic Woman concert (2005)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1265081600/tt0481404?ref_=tt_ov_i

Mysteries of Egypt IMAX documentary (1999)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3040124672/tt0145921?ref_=tt_ov_i

Songcatcher (2000)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3827470848/tt0210299?ref_=tt_ov_i

The Secret of Kells animated (2009)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0485601/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

The Tale of Despereaux animated Veiko Kespersaks
http://www.calligraphy-lettering.com/gallery.php?id=4)

 

—-Brush Lettering—-

300 (2007)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1056741632/tt0416449?ref_=tt_ov_i

A Coffee in Berlin (2012)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2915815168/tt1954701?ref_=tt_ov_i

A Letter to Three Wives (1949)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm4255030528/tt0041587?ref_=tt_ov_i

A Wedding (1978)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2648216320/tt0078481?ref_=tt_ov_i

Baywatch TV (1991-1992)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm48861952/tt0096542?ref_=tt_ov_i

Bewitched TV (1964-1971)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3725237504/tt0057733?ref_=tt_ov_i

Cirque Du Soleil: La Nouba performance (2004)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1284087040/tt0442043?ref_=tt_ov_i

Hercules (2014)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3776237312/tt1267297?ref_=tt_ov_i

Jules and Jim (1962)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3813393664/tt0055032?ref_=tt_ov_i

Mood Indigo (2013)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2950549248/tt2027140?ref_=tt_ov_i

My Reputation (1946)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2703856384/tt0038765?ref_=tt_ov_i

Otello (1986)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091699/?ref_=fn_al_tt_4

Otello TV movie (2001)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0418035/?ref_=fn_al_tt_9

Othello (1995)
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114057/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Red Tails (2012)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm632994816/tt0485985?ref_=tt_ov_i

The Belle of New York (1952)
http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/The-Belle-of-New-York/70075809?
strkid=1075876856_0_0&strackid=426ded46dcc8f408_0_srl&trkid=222336

The Boogens (1981)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1940037376/tt0082094?ref_=tt_ov_i

The Dagger of Kamui (Kamui no ken) (1985)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3033832704/tt0088983?ref_=tt_ov_i

The Earrings of Madame de… (1953)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1443283200/tt0046022?ref_=tt_ov_i

Willow Creek (2014)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm872861440/tt2885364?ref_=tt_ov_i

Wild China TV documentary (2008)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2316932864/tt0884762?ref_=tt_ov_i

 

—-Pointed Pen—-

Comfort and Joy TV (2004)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm998939904/tt0383278?ref_=tt_ov_i

Moliere Julien Chazal
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0796335/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
http://julien.chazal.free.fr/travaux_entrepri/Moliere/Titre/FrameSet.htm

Romeo and Juliet (1968)
http://dvd.netflix.com/Movie/Romeo-Juliet/60000774?
strkid=883973546_1_0&strackid=3de73af32ca9edc8_1_srl&trkid=222336

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Anne Robin, Prologue (Fabien Barral and Reno Orange)
Titles and credits. http://www.annerobin.com/2013/01/sherlock-holmes/http://www.graphic-exchange.com/exellence/prologue.htm

Sleepy Hollow (1999)
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm598512640/tt0162661?ref_=tt_ov_i

About Steve Husting

Steve Husting is a mild webmaster by day and fearless writer by night. He is deaf, loves making calligraphy, hiking, terrific movies, and making the Bible's message clear to his readers. His devotionals are regularly published in Daily Devotionals for the Deaf, and his latest apps are sold in the iTunes App Store. His self-published Christian and calligraphy books are on lulu.com/spotlight/stevehusting
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