What Is The Difference Between Calligraphy, Lettering, & Typography (Expert Advice)

A calligraphy is an art form that involves the use of a broad-edged pen to create lettering with ornate, flowing strokes.

Lettering is a style of writing that doesn’t carry the same weight or dignity as a traditional, formal script but still uses interesting and complex fonts.

Typography refers to printed letters in books, magazines, and newspapers but also includes computer-generated text.

Let’s check out the Difference Between Calligraphy, Lettering, & Typography:

What is Calligraphy?

What Is The Difference Between Calligraphy, Lettering, & Typography
Calligraphy. Image Credit: Freepik

Calligraphy is the art of creating letters with a pen, brush, or another writing tool. It’s not just what you learned in high school. Think about the way people write their signatures—that’s calligraphy!

Calligraphy has been around since ancient times and has developed into several subgenres over time:

  • Copperplate calligraphy involves using a pointed pen to create letters that have graceful curves and slanted lettering. The best examples are from the 18th century when quill pens were used to write on vellum or paper.
  • Italic calligraphy is similar to copperplate but uses less curved lines; it was created in Italy during the Italian Renaissance (the 1300s-1600s).
  • The gothic script is similar to italics but uses more straight lines; it was created during medieval times in Europe by monks who were trying to imitate Roman lettering styles as they copied manuscripts by hand.

What are the types of calligraphy alphabet?

Roman, Gothic, and Blackletter typefaces are the three most common types of calligraphy alphabet. They are all based on the same letterforms that were used in Europe during the Middle Ages.

Roman typefaces are the most familiar because they are based on the Roman alphabet, which was used by ancient Romans to write Latin.

Gothic typefaces were created in Germany during the Middle Ages and have a uniform look; they are often used for signage or in religious documents.

Blackletter typefaces are also called Fraktur and were used by German printers from about 1450-1900.

Roman is an upright script that has been modified over time to make it more readable than other calligraphy alphabets. Gothic is very similar to Roman, but it’s often wider and shorter than its predecessor.

Blackletter typefaces are very similar to Roman and Gothic fonts; however, these fonts have some unique features:

  • their letters have sharp points at the bottom of each letterform (called terminal serifs), as well as thicker strokes than traditional calligraphic styles.
  • In addition to these features, blackletter typefaces also tend to be darker in color than other typographical choices when italicized or slanted with a pen!

Is calligraphy a form of art?

Calligraphy is a visual art form that has been around for centuries. It can be used in any number of ways, including as the primary element in a logo or branding project to add some visual interest and personality to your work.

In addition to being used by artists and designers, calligraphy has also been integrated into graphic design projects by corporate clients looking to stand out from their competitors.

The use of calligraphy in graphic design is becoming more and more common because it offers a unique aesthetic that few other forms of visual expression can match. It’s also incredibly versatile, as you can use it to create logos, headers, and even entire websites!

If you’re looking for a way to add some personality to your next design project, then consider using calligraphy. It offers an alternative look that can be extremely effective at standing out from the crowd.

As you may know, there are many different types of calligraphy styles available online these days—but don’t worry if you’re not sure how they differ! We’ve put together some expert advice on how these three forms differ so you can pick the right type of calligraphy style for your next project:

What is the difference between calligraphy and handwriting?

A calligraphy is a form of art. Handwriting is a form of writing.

Calligraphy can be used for more formal purposes, like invitations or announcements, whereas handwriting tends to be more personal and casual in nature.

Handwriting is more of a personal thing. It’s something everyone can do, and you don’t need to be good at it to have your own style.

Handwritten letters are usually more casual than their calligraphy counterparts, which are often used for formal occasions like weddings or birth announcements.

What is Lettering?

What Is The Difference Between Calligraphy, Lettering, & Typography
Lettering. Image Credit: Freepik

Lettering is the art of creating letters and words. It can be done with pen and paper or digitally, but regardless of the medium, lettering is often used in advertisements, logos, and other design work. Lettering is a form of calligraphy.

It’s similar to calligraphy, but it’s not the same thing. There are some major differences between lettering and calligraphy that make them unique from one another.

The primary difference between lettering and calligraphy is that lettering is not handwritten. It’s created digitally or with a pen and paper, but the lines are straight—they don’t have the same flow as calligraphy does.

Lettering is also often used for commercial purposes, with many products using it in their logos or advertisements.

What are the types of lettering?

There are many different types of lettering, all with their own unique styles and uses. The most common types of lettering include:

  • Handwritten lettering
  • Scripted lettering
  • Flourished lettering
  • Modern calligraphy
  • Sketched lettering
  • Typographic lettering

What is digital lettering?

Digital lettering is essentially a digital version of brush, pen, and paintbrush calligraphy. It’s created on a computer with the aid of a drawing tablet or stylus.

It can be very similar in style to traditional calligraphy but is often more freeform in nature because it doesn’t have to follow the guidelines set by pen angle or pressure when writing on paper.

Digital lettering can also be done more quickly than hand-drawn versions due to its digital nature; however, this isn’t always true as some artists prefer to take their time and get it right rather than rush through it just so they can start another project sooner!

Digital lettering is often done with just a tablet and stylus but can also be done on a computer. The artist will create the letterforms with their chosen tool and then use editing software to add effects like drop shadows, textures, and more.

Digital lettering is also easier to edit than hand-drawn versions; however, this isn’t always true as some artists prefer to take their time and get it right rather than rush through it just so they can start another project sooner!

What is Typography?

What Is The Difference Between Calligraphy, Lettering, & Typography
Typography. Image Credit: Freepik

Typography is the art and style of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed.

Typography also refers to the style in which text is set. The term includes hand-lettering and calligraphy but not generally typesetting.

Typography can be broken down into two categories: graphic design and typesetting.

Graphic design is the use of type in visual communication, such as signs, publications, and advertisements.

Typesetting is the composition of text in a manner that separates style from content for presentation purposes.

Typographic design, or graphic design if you prefer that term, is a broad category of services that includes advertising, corporate communications (or branding), package design (packaging), editorial design and publishing, and educational illustration/design including textbooks.

Don’t forget to Checkout our article on How To Choose The Best Font For Your Brand

What are the types of Typography?

Typefaces are further divided into categories that reflect their characteristics. The most basic division is between serif and sans-serif fonts, with each category having its own subtypes.

These subcategories include Old Style and Modern, Slab Serif and Display, Regular and Italic.

Serif typefaces have small decorative lines at the ends of characters (serifs). This can be seen in modern fonts such as Times New Roman or Century Gothic.

Sans serif typefaces do not contain any decorations at the ends of characters; this is what makes them “sans,” or without. Common examples include Arial Black, Verdana Regular, and Futura Heavy Oblique Italic.

Additional divisions include script, display, and old style.

Script fonts are cursive in nature and resemble handwriting; they were originally designed for use on signs. They can be found in the typefaces of many newspapers and magazines.

Display fonts are larger than standard body copy and often contain more characters per inch (cpi). They are used for titles and headings. They can also be found in the typefaces of many newspapers and magazines.

The last category is old style, which contains serifs that are similar to those found on Roman inscriptions.

The difference between Calligraphy, Lettering, & Typography

Calligraphy is the art of writing or drawing letters.

Lettering is the art of creating letters for commercial purposes.

Typography is the art of creating typefaces and fonts.


When it comes to lettering, typography, and calligraphy, there is a lot of confusion about the difference between them due to overlapping definitions and the fact that their origins are all intertwined.

However, if we look at what each one does and how they’re used today then we can better understand what makes them different from one another.

As you can see, there are many similarities between lettering and calligraphy, but the two are not interchangeable. Lettering is meant to be used in commercial settings, while calligraphy is more of an art form that focuses on creative expression.

Recommended reading: The 10 Basic Rules of Typography Every Designer Should Know


Is typography the same as lettering?

No. Lettering is a type of typography that uses lettering, or handwriting, to create phrases and words. Typography, on the other hand, is the design of printed material and includes things like line length and margins.

What is an example of typography?

Typography is the style of lettering used for a piece of writing. It’s how the text looks on a page, how it’s arranged, and how it interacts with other elements like images or graphics. For example, the website you are looking at is an example of typography.

What is calligraphy?

Calligraphy is the art of using a pen or brush to write beautiful letters and words.
It can be done with any writing instrument, but it usually involves using a calligraphy pen, which has a nib at one end (the tip) and a reservoir at the other end where ink is stored.

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