Differences Calligraphy - Lettering – Typography

What is actually the difference between lettering, typography and calligraphy? These three terms are often used synonymously, although they describe very different things. The distinction is however very simple and you can easily remember it.



Calligraphy is the art of beautiful writing. That is, the letters are written: With the pen, with a brush, with a fountain pen ... the goal is to form the perfect letters already at the writing stage, that is without compromising. Therefore, the calligraphy can only be mastered by a lot of practice, the letters must go into the memory of the muscles.

Brush lettering is also very popular at the moment, because you write the letters here.



Lettering is the drawing of letters. Here, the letter is not shaped in a swing, but worked out, put on paper and then refined. You can improve, erase and file a letter until it is perfect.



Typography is originally the set of letters with movable letters for printing. Earlier, with lead-drums, from which the texts have been composed, but today also on the computer. Typographical design is thus the use of writing for design purposes. Here the letters are not drawn or written, but already existing fonts are used.


Bonus: Font design

Font designers often combine all of the above mentioned skills to create a font that you can use on your computer. Often, the letters are first written (-> calligraphy) , digitally refined (-> lettering) and then compiled into a font. This process is a tremendous effort and I take my hat from all people who have patience and leisure.