The Romance of Writing

Practicing the art of modern calligraphy

By Maria Allen   Photography by Julia Cumes

If you’ve ever admired the delicate, swirling script on a holiday gift tag or bespoke wedding invitation, you’re not alone. In an age consumed by digital devices, there is something alluring about an elegantly handwritten letter. The art of calligraphy is making a comeback, thanks in part to the innovative Boston-area business Sip & Script, which offers hands-on calligraphy classes in casual social settings.

Sip & Script classes are held across New England and led by local “Script Squad” members, like Allison DiMaggio of Plymouth. A graphic designer by trade, DiMaggio has always had good handwriting. Even as a kid, she would make greeting cards by hand and walk around the neighborhood selling them around the holidays. After graduating from business school, DiMaggio took up graphic design and began creating event invitations for friends and family. It wasn’t long before she added calligraphy to her repertoire.

Back when DiMaggio was getting into calligraphy, there were no hands-on classes available locally. DiMaggio borrowed books from the library and practiced writing the alphabet until she had developed her own style. She officially established her business, Allison Kathleen Calligraphy & Design, in 2011 and now supplements her income as a graphic designer and calligrapher by teaching Sip & Script classes on the South Shore, Cape Cod and the Islands.

Sip & Script classes are often held in local bars and restaurants and include 1.5 hours of hands-on instruction on the elements of modern calligraphy. Each student receives a beginner’s calligraphy kit that comes with all the tools needed to practice at home—a straight pen holder, two nibs, black ink, and two alphabet guides. Participants learn how to hold their pen, dip the nib into the ink and delicately sweep it across a sheet of paper. It is an art that takes practice to perfect. Precision and patience are key. Students leave with the skills and tools needed to begin adding special lettering details to letters, home decor and more.


You can follow along with all of Allison DiMaggio’s projects on Instagram at


or learn from her at one of her upcoming Sip & Script events.

Upcoming Calligraphy Classes 

December 14:
Modern Calligraphy at 1620 Wine Bar, 170 Water St., Plymouth


February 6:
Modern Calligraphy at RSVP Hingham, 37 Main St., Hingham

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit