Inspiring Calligraphers: Frani Matthews of Authentic By Frani

Hey everyone! So I have a beautiful collection of calligraphy to share with you all today. We’re taking a look at the work of Frani Matthews and her take on the art of lettering work and favorite projects she’s worked on with her business Authentic by Frani. Let’s dive in! – Jen

Inspiring Calligraphers: Authentic by Frani

Inspiring Calligraphers: Authentic Frani

Inspiring Calligraphers: Authentic by Frani

On her start as a calligrapher, Frani shares:

“When I started lettering (more seriously than my notebook-doodling days, mind you), I simply mimicked the letter forms and fonts I saw in magazines, on Instagram, in advertisements, etc. I would trace things and break more intricate forms into smaller, more manageable portions; but in the end, my style just looks like the upgraded version of my loose, cursive handwriting. Using a pointed pen and ink amps it up to its characteristic look: effortless, romantic, whimsical. After almost three years of refining, my style is now a part of me. Each stroke carries the tension of my day, the joy, the hunger-shakes. We live (and create) out of the overflow of our hearts, and I’m thankful that this art continues to be a release.”

Inspiring Calligraphers: Authentic by Frani

Photo Credit: Swak Photography

Paper or digital? The answer is clear, according to Frani:

“When designing pieces, I always sketch it out on paper first. I’m kind of a noob at digitizing my work (read: I’m still learning!), and I’d have no idea how to start from the screen. Sometimes, I consider saving up for a fancy iPad or something. Maybe one day. But I definitely feel most connected to my art, the client, and the energy of the piece when creating simply by hand. Is it wrong to say I tend to love my rough pencil sketch more than the crisp, completed piece? I don’t think so.”

Inspiring Calligraphers: Authentic by Frani

This wedding suite that Frani created for an October bride featured so many creative favorites on one wish list: handmade paper, gold foil lettterpress printing, warm and muted tones, silk ribbon, wax seals, and vintage stamps. No surprise why this was a dream project to work on!

Inspiring Calligraphers: Authentic by Frani

Photo Credit: Klaire Dixius

Frani likes to experiment with non-paper surfaces, too. On her favorites, she shares:

“In my spare time, I do some chalkboard lettering. It’s such a fun medium, and it stretches me creatively— between designing interesting layouts and then properly measuring and planning to ensure my ideas are portrayed accurately. I’m amazed by people who have a serious knack for it. I also appreciate lettering on fabric and embroidering my calligraphy as well.”

Inspiring Calligraphers: Authentic by Frani

Inspiring Calligraphers: Authentic by Frani

Another design medium she loves: designing tattoos. Frani shares, “It gives me so much life to illustrate florals and encouraging words as it is, but the fact that people want something I’ve drawn on their bodies permanently totally blows my mind. There really aren’t accurate words for it.”

Thanks so much to Frani for sharing a peek into her work and process as a calligrapher!

Photo Credits: All images via Authentic By Frani, except where noted.

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