Published on July 3rd, 2014 | by Sally Wenham


A Picture Paints A Thousand Words But So Does A Calligram

A calligram can be a poem, phrase or even a single word where you arrange the words or letters to make an image which expresses the meaning of your content. To construct a calligram you can use computer generated text, calligraphy or handwriting make that image.

Due to the advances in design technology and the popularity of the internet, calligrams are being created and shared in increasing numbers. They are appearing more frequently on internet forums, blogs, websites and online art galleries. Calligrams have progressed from being primarily monochrome to using a wide array of colours, this is again due to the advances in graphic design technologies.

Calligrams have also stemmed two similar forms of visual poetry; these are known as concrete art or visual art. These two types of poetry allow you to arrange your poem’s words in an order which creates an image. In most cases, the image the words create is more important than the actual words used in your poem.

Arguably the most famous artist who has produced calligrams is Guillaume Apollinaire. Apollianire was born in Rome during 1880 and was named Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki. He spent his early years in Rome. Eventually he moved from Rome to Paris and established himself in Paris’ artistic communities which at the time included Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein and Max Jacob.

Apollinaire created a volume of calligrams which was titles calligrammes. The release of the volume made him, and calligrams, famous worldwide. Amongst his collection of works, his most popular is a piece where the poem’s words create the shape of the Eiffel Tower. He has also produced other easily recognizable pieces; Cheval, where a horse is created by the poem’s words and Il Pleut; where the words create the impression of rain.

Here is one we have created:

Calligram - Envelope

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