How much does it cost to hire a calligrapher?

I’ve had some lovely calligraphy price enquiries this week, and taken some very exciting commissions. This afternoon will be spent painting flowers and writing some beautiful words. But this morning I wanted to answer one of your biggest questions: how much does it cost to hire a calligrapher? I’ll break down my current prices to give you an idea. I hope it helps!

How much is it for a calligrapher to write a poem?

Calligraphy poems and song lyrics are my favourite work. I can really lose myself in the lettering, and I do love settling down for a couple of hours of just writing. I love my job! The pricing will always depend on the length of your calligraphy poem, and how long the piece will take me to write.

Prices start from £20 for just a few (up to 20) words in calligraphy. You can order a simple piece of calligraphy writing in my Etsy shop. This is for short quotes and names in a simple style – always hand written.

If you’d like a longer piece of modern calligraphy, the cost might be £150 for up to 200 words.

Does calligraphy with illustration cost more?

Adding any kind of painted elements to a calligraphy poem will cost more, based on the complexity of the design and how long it takes. I usually charge for artwork by the hour: a detailed floral border stretching all the way around a wedding reading might take 4 – 6 hours, and add £100 or so to the price of your calligraphy commission.

How much is gilding on calligraphy?

I adore working with gold leaf. I’ll often spend a little time creating a beautiful initial letter for a calligraphy poem with 23 carat gold leaf and a simple illustration, as I do with my version of Rudyard Kipling’s “If” in calligraphy. This adds £15 – £20 to the price of your calligraphy commission. It doesn’t take long, but the gold is real and has to be carefully applied.

How much do you charge for weddings?

I offer various wedding calligraphy services:

  • Wedding invitation design from £75
  • Wedding invitation printing from £2 per invitation
  • Calligraphy names on invitations from £1.50 per invitation
  • Envelope addressing in calligraphy £2 each
  • Wedding place names in calligraphy from £2 each

Wedding signs, table plans etc. are charged by the hour at £20 per hour. A table plan with 80 names takes from 6 hours depending on the surface (e.g. mirror, paper, slate) and pens / nibs / ink types required for the work.

Photography – Jessica Reeve // Styling – Tebbey & Co

How much are family trees?

This is the ‘how long is a piece of string’ question – but I have an easy answer!

If your family tree is simple, with first names only and no dates (a nice gift for grandparents or for a special wedding anniversary) head to my Not On The High St. store. Prices start from £29 with free delivery. The more names on your family tree, the higher the cost for the calligraphy.

For a more complex calligraphy family tree, with dates and generations showing your ancestry, prices start at £375. These trees take a lot of planning, often with a careful email conversation and multiple proofs provided before I set pen to paper. They take a week or more to produce.

simple modern calligraphy family tree
Credit: Jenny Jones Photography


Are there any cheaper calligraphy options?

I have a handful of calligraphy prints which I’ve scanned and sell on my Etsy shop for a lower price. These include popular wedding readings: Love is a Temporary Madness, Corinthians wedding reading and favourite poems: Desiderata, Invictus. Shop the full range in my online calligraphy shop.

Do you offer discounts?

I do. Discounts are available in my online stores at key times of year: Not On The High St. run summer and winter sales where I discount key calligraphy items including family trees and calligraphy gift sets.

If you would like a quote for a piece of calligraphy, please contact me: with your wording and any design ideas. We can chat through price options, designs and timings to create the perfect piece of beautiful lettering for you!

Header image credit: Lara Rios Photography