Lettering, Calligraphy and Typography. What’s the difference?

Imagine you want a potato but you ask for a tomato, how would you feel? Lettering, Calligraphy, and Typography. These terms are usually used interchangeably, but if you look closer they are not the same, whether you are a designer or not it’s very important to understand the subtleties of each term.

Calligraphy
Calligraphy is the art of writing by hand, the calligrapher has to develop this skill through constant practice to develop muscle memory and this usually takes a lot of discipline, practice and time.

Since we are visual creatures, here is a beautiful video by Matthew Vergotis where he is creating amazing calligraphy pieces.

Lettering
Lettering is the art of drawing, the letterer creates custom artwork that is intended for one configuration only, either a word or a piece. The main focus is only on this one composition of letters, the letterer can either start from scratch using a pencil or using different tools (pens, brushes etc.) to start with then, later on, tweak or redraw the artwork depending on his needs.

Lettering by Tyrsa

By Tyrsa “Alexis Taïeb”

Lettering by Tyrsa, Doyald Young, Jessica Hische

By Tyrsa “Alexis Taïeb”, Doyald Young and Jessica Hische.

Typography
Typography is the art of arranging and laying out type, it’s what you see now and every day on your screen.
Designing type is very time-consuming, type designers work in a system where there is a lot of constraints and a ton of refinements to do, some typefaces take years before being released commercially.
Another thing to know, type designers create typography, while graphic designers use that typography in their design work.

 

In a nutshell
It’s important to know the differences between lettering, calligraphy, and typography. You have to know what you are talking about when interacting with other people and share the knowledge if there is a confusion.
Calligraphy is “writing”.
Lettering is “drawing”.
Typography is setting type.

...

This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work!

Please upgrade today!