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Oops... My Bad: Calligraphy is NOT Lettering

So... as I further read articles, blog posts and forums, I came to find that calligraphy is not lettering and lettering is not typography. So it looks like my blog theme is turning into an overarching theme of calligraphy/lettering/typography instead of just calligraphy.

The most informative blog I found was on Smashing Magazine. Written by design professional, Joseph Alessio, it covers the difference of lettering versus typography and then lettering versus calligraphy. So many professionals and clients misunderstand these terms. I mean, it is very easy to do so because over the years the terms have meshed with each other and honestly... a professional would only know this stuff right?

So, typography is the study of how letterforms interact on a surface. So how the type is set and how it goes to press. It involves the use of "leading" and "kerning." Typography is a subset of lettering: basically it is the use of letters in a typesetting matter such as printing books and publication. In this digital world, we are using typography as we set copy in a type box, etc.

Lettering on the other hand, is, as Alessio describes it, "the art of drawing letters." It's the combination of letters for one use instead of a repetitive use like typography. Funny thing here, since we talked about Jessica Hische in my art director's course, is Alessio uses her works of lettering as an example. Oh hey, and then he uses the "Book of Kells" to describe lettering, too!

Now, calligraphy derives from lettering. Alessio says that calligraphy is used a lot more in long passage of text. It is much more about penmenship, or writing letters... so I was pretty much right about that!

Phew, now that's clear...

photo source: Pinterest

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