The largest collections of calligraphy are of Chinese, Indic, Persian, Arabic, and Latin scripts. The earliest preserved samples of Chinese writing are nearly 5000 years old, and calligraphy still occupies an important place in Chinese culture. Though printed text is now ubiquitous, the ministry of Chinese education has ordered all students to learn how to write conventional script as well as how to type. The customary way of learning calligraphic writing is to copy examples of calligraphic master works of various traditional styles. To learn to write properly, students must also learn to recognize these styles. Our goal here is to develop automated aids for style discrimination rather than for identifying the origin and date of given works. We, therefore, consider calligraphic style as the intrinsic signature of homogenous groups of writers and seek critical indicators of the difference between intragroup and intergroup similarity of semantically identical characters. Although the notion of style extends to fonts and typefaces in printed matter, it will be seen that its manifestations in calligraphy are substantially different and, because of the variability of handwriting, more difficult to detect.