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Sleight of Hand

Hoang Dao

It is not just “write,” but also “see”

Developing his own tools, Hoang Dao applied his craftsmanship to the whole range of western letters. His arrangements offer clarity, precision, and a recognition that the hidden life of letters is in the spaces around them.

I started doing calligraphy at 18 while studying economics in college. I wanted to learn graphic design, then realized working on a computer was not for me. I love working by hand, touching and feeling materials.

My grandfather was a master of Chinese calligraphy, and my earliest lessons of calligraphy were from his handwritten notebooks. He started teaching me about craftsmanship when I was very little. I learned
Copperplate, bookbinding, and drawing; I learned to create my own tools and respect the materials around me. Without the tool, the craftsman is non-existent.

Calligraphy is the art of patience. I only feel my skill and ability after a period of time practicing nonstop. It is not just “write,” but also “see.” Calligraphy changed the way I see different art territories, and the way I connect them to my work,

I was fortunate to learn calligraphy from some of the best teachers in the world. My first official calligraphy class was a ten-day workshop of Roman letters, conducted by Margaret Shepherd in 2012. She changed the way I saw and wrote a letter. John Stevens is a master to me. His level of skill is my goal of life. His vision in calligraphy is absorbed perfectly in every single letter; from broad layout to little detail.

For information on individual works, see Hoang’s profile on lettering.com.

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