Pretty letters or lettering can be created using the English alphabet. So, whether the letter is "A" or "Z" or any of the other letters among the 26 symbols, the letter can be stylized to look "pretty." The art of handwriting, called calligraphy, stylizes letters so they look ornate or "pretty" to view. Calligraphy is used today on diplomas, promotions, certificates and awards, plus hand-written invitations, poems and greeting cards.
Styles of calligraphic letters include unicals, italic script and Gothic black letters. Unical lettering was adapted in early English writing and used by monks in northern England. The Lindisfarne Gospels were written in this type of "pretty" writing style. The Gospels that were written in the unical script are now housed in the British Library in London.
The italic form of writing was formerly used by engravers who used copper plates to develop printed works. These same engravers also developed the style of writing known as Copperplate. The handwriting style, which was taught in schools throughout the British Empire, was a popular form of lettering in the 1800s.
Old books that featured Gothic black letters also displayed vibrantly colored pictures that were stylized with pure gold-leaf designs. The strong, bold look of Gothic black complemented the richness of the colors represented by such pigments as cinnabar red and lapis lazuli blue.