Need Help?

01437 781775
01437 781910

How to purchase
Mail order
Trade order & Terms

Search the web

About Us

 The Team    Company Profile   

Calligraphic Cards UK is a small company producing high quality cards, with humorous quotations hand written using calligraphy: 'the art of beautiful writing'.

The cards are designed, printed and packaged in Wales and can be delivered to you anywhere in the world.

Our cards are sold in a wide variety of shops and bookshops etc. For your nearest stockist please contact us.

If you are an agent and wish to distribute our cards, please get in touch to find out more!

How to order : For retail outlets wishing to stock our cards please use the Trade Order Form. Private individuals should use our Mail Order Form. Contact us requesting more information by selecting the "Contact Us" icon in the left hand frame.

The Team @ Calligraphic Cards UK:

The Artist


The failure to find a greeting card neither crude nor overly sentimental for a forthcoming wedding in 1991, proved to be a turning point for Shirley Norman. Thinking she could create something better than those available in local card shops, the first of a whole range of designs emerged with Marriage card No.1. Using numerous quotations about marriage (eg "Intelligent women always marry fools"/ "A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers" etc) the card was written totally in calligraphy and printed in Haverfordwest on a high quality board.

Although calligraphy now occupies most of her working hours, it wasn't always the case. After obtaining a BA Honours Degree in Fine Art (Sculpture) followed by an Art Teacher's Diploma, Shirley spent five years teaching in one of the mining vallies of Mid-Glamorgan. The A-Level students were already studying calligraphy as part of their examination syllabus when she arrived to take up the position of Head of Art at Ogmore Vale Grammar School in 1969.

Shirley came to Pembrokeshire in 1974 to marry Little Haven resident, Ian Norman. Her first years living in Broad Haven were spent painting watercolours for local exhibitions, completing calligraphy commissions and working as part time tutor at Haverfordwest Community Education Centre.

Although still continuing as a tutor, there is no time at present for painting. The first Birthday card followed the first Marriage card, then the first Baby card and the first Retirement card - all using quotations or proverbs. The combination of calligraphy and the research required into the written material for the card's subject matter has proved to be an all-consuming interest.

In 1992, the WDA offered the chance of exhibiting on a joint stand at The Spring Fair, held annually at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham : the largest of the UK trade shows. With just twelve designs, Calligraphic Cards were displayed and the first trade orders were received. Encouraged by the response to the cards, Shirley worked at increasing the range of designs and in September 1995 Calligraphic Cards were back at the NEC for The Autumn Fair and exhibiting with the Wales Craft Council.

With Ian's retirement from BT four years ago, it has been easier for Shirley to work at expanding her card business and now she exhibits independently at the NEC in the Greeting Card Hall on a regular basis.These trade shows provide the main contact with buyers from the UK and the rest of the world. Cards produced in Broad Haven have found their way not only to stores throughout Britain but also to such places as the Falkland Islands, Hong Kong, USA and Canada.

The aim of this small greeting card business has always been to produce a range of cards different from all others. Different in size, shape, colour, content and design. Some designs cover both front and back of the card; some are multi-lingual and meant to be displayed according to one's first language. Others are bi-lingual; some have English one side and eg Gaelic the other - so either language can be packaged as the "front". It's always the hope that a recipient of a Calligraphic Card will not throw the greeting away at the end of the occasion. Certainly word has reached Broad Haven that framed collections are already displayed on many walls!

The production of a new design is rarely a fast process. Most of the time taken in producing a finished piece of calligraphy is not in the actual final writing but in all the preparatory work - the endless measuring and re-measuring of guide lines for rough drafts. (No, the computer hasn't taken over this role - yet!) One of the most time-consuming parts of producing a new card is the research required in applying for copyright permission to use a quotation or poem. (Life is so much easier when an author has been dead for more than seventy years!) However, the quest for permissions has meant some interesting exchanges via telephone or letter over the years. The latest being for the card illustrated - whose author is Virginia-based Robert Orben, one time speech writer for President Gerald Ford.

Calligraphic Cards can be found in gift shops, bookshops, galleries, museums, castles, stately homes and Cathedrals. They also offer all their customers the chance to suggest suitable subjects for new cards. An outlet may have a particular poet or quotation associated with their area and Calligraphic Cards will always look at the feasibility of adding such a card to their existing range, or of producing an exclusive design. Since February this year, St Martin-in-the-Fields in London has recently requested a card based on a prayer used by St Martin ; a theatre company in Canada has asked for several designs based on their forthcoming productions.

Whilst Shirley still uses the tools of ancient scribes, her son, Peter has ensured the business is ready for the 21st Century. A B.Sc Honours Graduate in Computer Studies, he is totally responsible for taking Calligraphic Cards into the technological age. The new Web site is a testament to his design skills and can be visited at

Top of page