As popular as illuminated manuscript alphabet art, the first use was in the 6th century, but it became popular in the 15th century in Europe. In that year, the illuminated alphabet was used for glorifying the era of literacy, devotion in spiritual, and a mere cultural use. Since its delicate art, the material to make the art were from gold leaf, mineral-substance paints, and so forth. The people chose those precise materials because they still wanted to serve the document while at war, the manuscript could get ripped or the alphabet got washed off.
At that time, the people who use this illuminated manuscript alphabet art were those who are devoted to religion. They were the nuns, monks, and those who went to the Church services. They wrote about daily life, reflection, prayers, and other liturgical usages. Later, the use had gotten to the secular people like the aristocrats, royal families, and other people who worked for the society. And so, they used the illuminated manuscript alphabet was led for writing narratives of poetry, mythology, and history. Now, as it is known as an ancient art, people adapt the alphabet for a lot of occasions.
Back then, the illuminated manuscript alphabet art was written to begin the first letter of a paragraph in a chapter. It has much symbolism like animals, plants, and other mythological creatures. It could also be a hint of the chapter, as well as adding more aesthetic for the readers. Today, people use it to decorate things with medieval themes. They also make the alphabet with the technology, while some still like to make it by hand. You might find the alphabet on a wedding invitation card.
Taking back to the early establishment of this illuminated manuscript alphabet art, Egyptians used this alphabet art to mark the development of languages. Then, in the European continent, the alphabet art is made by a painter who also wrote the script, then the person who manifested the script of each page, and the one who made the illumination on the alphabet with some special ingredients. In the Middle Ages, all tasks from the drawing to the illumination were done by monks in the monasteries. Those makers must choose the material for the alphabet with the best ingredients amongst all.