ROMANTIC, ORGANIC AND JUST gorgeous — Dyonna White, owner of metro Detroit-based lettering and design studio Availa + Co., is redefining the art of calligraphy with her modern and moody style. A quick scroll through White’s Instagram feed brings endless awe and wonderment with every swoop and swirl posted. From her work on hand-torn scroll place cards to return addresses that transform envelops into pieces of art, White is taking classic calligraphy into a decidedly modern direction.
Availa + Co., a combination of White’s two daughters’ names, Ava and Laila (“I always say that I am the ‘and company,’ ” White laughs), began two years ago. White was working in the corporate world when she decided she was looking for a way to pivot her career when she stumbled upon the art of calligraphy. “I have always been artistic,” she says. “I wanted to do something that creatively inspired me and gave me purpose. But also, something that I could do that would provide for my girls.”
And that’s when Availa + Co. was born. Today, White specializes in modern calligraphy and lettering. Her work graces everything from paper to glass and even mirrors and agate slices. “Anything that can be written on, I will write on it,” White says. To create truly one-of-kind details, White offers bespoke calligraphy where she collaborates with local makers who handcraft their own papers.
While in the past calligraphy was often associated with formal invitations, at Availa + Co. calligraphy is so much more. From glass bottle table numbers to beautifully addressed envelopes, White believes calligraphy can add a unique element to an event that makes it truly special.
“This year there has been a lot of changes in what weddings look like,” she says. “I have been really lucky to have been able to participate in some very intimate weddings, really focusing on that detail aspect that lets everyone that you love know that you are happy they are there and included. Calligraphy really gives an added personal touch that is unique to the couple and wedding.”
When working with couples, White draws on their love story and their history to elevate and bring that personalization to each detail she creates. Whether she’s using brush lettering or modern calligraphy, the possibilities in style and feel are endless.
“I aim to really bring emotion and warmth to my work,” White says. “I feel like a lot of times that’s missing when it comes to stationery … Some may say it’s just paper, but it’s really not. I’m working with brands that are handmaking these papers in their homes or in their studios and they are taking the time and the care to create these wonderful products, and I’m taking the time and care to write on these wonderful products … It’s like a circle of life. I try to show that. I try to shine a light, shine some warmth and some romance onto these details.”
To learn more, visit availandco.com.