Caligraphy vs. Lettering vs. Type design

Caligraphy is writing, or let’s say fanciful writing. Jackson Alves’ daily calligraphy videos are a perfect example to showcase the art of calligraphy and the craftmanship that goes into it.

Lettering refers to the art of drawing letters. When a designer does lettering, it doesn’t always include the entire alphabet. It’s a set of a letters created for a specific purpose. Each individual letter that composes the design is not meant to be rearranged, but to work in that certain way, for that one scenario. A lettering project might start with a written sketch/hand gesture; but it’s then reworked and drawn until it’s finally perfect.  Here is sleek example of lettering crafted by Erik Marinovich for a CBS Emmy campagin of The Good Wife and Elementary.


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Type design is the art of designing typefaces. Letters are carefully and thoroughly crafted to work as part system. As a result, a font is created that can be packaged and shared for use in different forms and combinations. A font includes caps and lowercase, numerals, punctuation marks, and any special characters contained in the typeface, such as symbols or ligatures.

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