Bruges: home of letter connoisseurs and paper makers

While wandering through the beautiful streets of Bruges it's hard not to notice the rich supply of bookshops, publishers, illustrators and the amazing artwork made by the talented craftsmen and women of Bruges. Letters and paper are made with traditional design with an emphasis on innovation and creativity. Bruges boasts of talented connoisseurs ranging from those who can  create their own paper such as Papierschepperij Piet Moerman, letter sculptors, calligraphers to even having a school, The European Lettering Institute, where aspiring students can learn from the masters.

These experienced letterheads are not just interested in immortalizing text but to make it as artistically pleasing and refined as possible. I managed to interview Brody Neuenschwander a world-renown calligrapher and text artist and got the following insights:

- Most calligraphers have spent a great deal of time mastering the art. An educational background also offers a stepping stone and the ability to remain curious and eager to improve is required.

- Working alongside talented artists who are passionate about what they do nourishes your craft. Brody who worked with Peter Greenaway says this about the English film director (The Pillow Book, Flying Over Water): "He asked the real questions: what can calligraphy express, how can it work with an image, how can it BE an image, how can it be exciting to watch in film. These were the real challenges, and working with him on several films and other projects taught me to look at calligraphy as a conceptual art form."

Young creators, entrepreneurs and other people interested in this artform are also lucky because the city is an open house where workshops, lectures, exhibitions and creative events are held frequently. 

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