A contemporary definition of calligraphic practice is "the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner" (Mediavilla, 1996). The story of writing is one of aesthetic evolution, basically a combination of the technical skills, transmission speed(s) and material limitations of a person, time and place. A style of writing can be described as a script, hand or alphabet. Modern calligraphy varies from functional hand-lettered inscriptions and designs to fine-art pieces where the abstract expression of the handwritten mark may or may not compromise the legibility of the letters (Mediavilla, 1996).
Classical calligraphy differs from typography (another thing I really enjoy) and non-classical hand-lettering, though a calligrapher may create all of these; characters are historically disciplined yet fluid and spontaneous, at the moment of writing. The professional in this field works with many things, like wedding or event invitations, maps, testimonials, original hand-lettered logo designs, and even birth and death certificates!