Terminologies in Hand Lettering Part 1

When starting anything new its import to first learn the basics. I've shared with you many other experiences that I've learned since starting this blog, like what tools to use. While I am still in the learning stages of lettering, It's important to share with you some basic knowledge when it comes to hand lettering. 

Common Terms Used in Hand Lettering 

Often times we get terminologies mixed up. We interchangeably use Typography, Hand Lettering, Calligraphy, Font - however they are all different. 

Typography is a noun: it is 

1.  The style and appearance of printed matter.

2. The art or procedure of arranging type or processing data and printing from it.

Calligraphy is writing of letters - often in script. 

Hand Lettering - is drawn or to print by hand (or digitally). Can't get any simpler than that! 

Calligraphy - is written and often considered to be a form of penmanship. You use a nib and ink to write. 

font - is a part of a set of type. It is a set of printable or displayable text characters in a specific style and size. The type design for a set of fonts is the typeface and variations of this design form the typeface family. Example: Helvetica is a typeface family, Helvetica italic is a typeface, and Helvetica italic 10-point is a font.

Text (Noun): is the main body of a book or other piece of writing, as distinct from other material such as notes, appendices, and illustrations.

Additional terms:

Majuscules also known as capitals are large lettering, either capital or uncial, in which all the letters are usually the same height.

  • a large letter.

Miniscule also known as lowercase are: 

  1. extremely small; tiny.

  2. of or in lowercase letters, as distinct from capitals or uncials.

For the past few months I've dedicated time working on deliberately practicing Roman capitals in the style of Garamond. Here's a mini history on the letter garamond: 

Claude Garamond cut types for Parisian scholar-printer Robert Estienne. 

  • He died in 1561. 

  • His work mistaken with Jean Jannon (1580–1635)
  • His work disappeared for nearly two hundred years!
  • With many changes it has distinctive representations of French Renaissance style.
  • Garamond - though many variations - is easily recognizable by their elegance and readability.

You can learn more about Garamond and see the evolution of it by visiting this site.

I am working on a post for the anatomy of type. You'll learn even more terminologies and have illustrations to go with them. Stay Tuned! 

"Hand Lettering is a form of drawing.
You can't get any simpler than that!