David Grimes, Portland Penman & Calligrapher David T. Grimes, Script Specialist
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Frequently Asked Questions

Are commissions accepted?

Yes! We ask for a 2-4 week lead time on projects, so it’s good to get on the calendar as soon as possible to ensure we can make things work for you. We are happy to offer referrals if we cannot meet your deadlines or the demands of your unique project.

Unfortunately, we do not accept commissions for drop-in calligraphy on items in the client’s possession (books, photographs, envelopes, etc.) All commissions must be produced on paper supplied from our studio to ensure that all of the materials work well together. Please submit a Request For Proposal to get the conversation rolling.

Why use calligraphy?

The vast majority of the graphic art created today is originated through digital means. Starting with pen and ink is an exciting way to arrive at something entirely unique and human. That’s not to say that we are aiming for imperfection in our lettering—merely that authentic calligraphy has a look and feel to it that comes directly from the human hand that created it.

What can you write?

To be honest, we can write nearly anything on anything. We love working with large and small businesses to create commercial artwork, but we’re moved by the occasional sentimental commission as well. If you have something in mind, feel free to reach out and see if we can make it happen. At our best, we deliver some of the highest quality traditional penwork in the United States. At worst, we will give you an awesome list of other calligraphy studios to inquire with.

How fast do you work?

We ask for 2-4 weeks lead time on all new projects. At certain parts of the year (holidays, late spring-early fall), we may be booked for over a month in advance. It is best to inquire early and get on the list to make sure that we can tackle your project with 100% of our attention. We accept rush jobs in select circumstances at a premium.

How does pricing work?

Nearly all projects are estimated by the project. If you’re working under a budget, feel free to share that with us and we are happy to show you what can be done. To get the most accurate quote, submit a thorough Request For Proposal.

Do you handle framing?

We work closely with a number of framers local to the Portland area to ensure that all artwork is protected from the drafting table all the way to your outstretched hands. Our framers are trained in conservation framing and purchase archival materials from reputable suppliers. If you’re interested in having your project framed, specify that when submitting your Request For Proposal.

Do you sell pens?

David makes pens from time to time that are specifically designed for professional penmen. All pens are made in Portland, Oregon using only natural woods. Profiles and measurements are customizable for patrons who have specific designs in mind. Flanges are friction set for obliques so they can be removed and replaced as years go by. Oil and shellac finishes available.

Do you offer classes?

The mailing list is a great place to stay abreast of everything happening with our educational offerings, but I also talk about classes and workshops on Instagram. If you’re in Portland and want to schedule a time to stop by the studio, see our collection, and talk about your goals, please don’t hesitate to say hello.

Masgrimes Studio