Last Updated on September 7, 2021
Lettering is the art of drawing letters. If you’re not happy with doodles or scribbles, you can express your artistic sides further using the text.
Each word is meant to project an image, a feeling, or a thought. Many of these do not translate into alphabets that are further developed into typefaces. Most lettering are made with a specific word or theme in mind.
So how did it all begin? And is there a difference between lettering and calligraphy?
History of Lettering
Lettering’s basic principles started on mastering the art of proportion. Alphabets until the 18th Century were designed against squared grids. During this time, it mattered more how an alphabet looked as a whole rather than as individual letters.
The art of drawing letters persisted even as Europe entered the age of printing in the 16th and 17th Centuries. Interest in the drawn word was reawakened between the 19th and 20th Centuries. Manuscripts and texts of old were brought to attention again.
Both Asia and Europe revisited and attempted to replicate old lettering methods found in different media from ink to cut stone. Today’s youth found another outlet of expression through graffiti. Since 1970, this style of writing allowed self-expression and cultural interpretation reach new heights.
Lettering as a Hobby Today
More and more people are taking up lettering or calligraphy as a hobby.
Lettering in essence is the art of drawing each letter akin to making a mini illustration. A lot of attention and flair is given to each character. This art can be accomplished through traditional methods, such as using colored pens on paper, or through modern means like using Adobe Illustrator.
Calligraphy on the other hand, is the art of penmanship. It focuses on how individual characters are written, usually for letters, banners, or headers. Materials used are conventional ones, like nib and ink, so practitioners can carefully practice their upward and downward strokes.
Both hobbies can help with expressing creativity. There are plenty of lettering and calligraphy videos on platforms like YouTube, to help beginners get started. Don’t worry if you’re not inspired enough to pick up a pen just yet! Many people watch those kinds of content because it can be relaxing. For the observer, a hand silently making magic on a surface is a delight to watch.
Artists can also make a pretty penny making lettering and calligraphy videos. Anyone can jump in and comment, adding to relevant topics of discussion. Of course, getting Likes and praise for your work isn’t half bad either.
Beautiful Lettering Fonts
No need to spend hours on learning calligraphy. If you’re horrified at the idea of using your own handwriting for gift tags or greeting cards, these lovely lettering fonts should do a better job.
1. Farmhand Font Family
Adam Ladd brings you this textured, hand-drawn, condensed font family featuring a total of 8 styles with extras. Suitable for display titling, the all-caps typeface can be used by itself, or you can mix and match the varying fonts for interesting effects.
Ever wondered how people designed signs and labels without computers? Let this vintage ornamental font from Irwanwismoyo show you how it’s done, with its old-style handmade swirls and timeless, classic look.
3. American Handmade Typeface
Inspired by the graphic design craft, these intentionally deformed uppercase letters by GunzKingzArt will give your works a dark, gothic look.
Bring outdoor elements into your labels, t-shirts, posters, and greeting cards when you use this organic serif by Flavortype. It also comes with alternate characters and ornaments to instantly add flair to your creations.
This vintage decorative display font by Nurrontype has plenty of personality to go around. Use on displays or headlines, but also works well for short texts or captions.
An expressive sans serif with more than 355 glyphs including stylistic sets, Abbasy Studio gives you this handmade vintage display typeface that combines retro feels with modern hand-lettering.
8. Minerals Buble Bold Script Font
Multi-language with OpenType features, this bold script by Ovoz Digital is recommended for logos, labels, magazines, t-shirt designs, branding, and posters.
A little bit whimsical but always versatile, this modern serif by Din-Studio is most suitable for professional branding and printing projects. Product contains swashes, stylistic sets, and multilingual support.
10. Marema Typeface
11. Raighton Font Collections
Featuring 4 font styles with a wide range of standard ligatures as well as alternate characters, you will love this cool font collection from HRDR.
Achieve a true vintage approach in your logos, headers, and packaging when you use this display font by Aiyari. Product includes stylistic alternates, stylistic sets, and ligatures.
13. Remires Typeface
Get that effortless retro look in minutes in this old-school font that looks great on almost any theme, from sports, Halloween, to music or gaming.
15. Summer Flash
Say hello to fun days and humid nights in this bold offering from Khurasan. Fresh and modern, it comes in 2 different styles you can layer on top of the other.
16. Oatmeal Jack
Manually created using brush and marker, August10 gives you this dynamic script and serif that’s perfect for making mysterious, albeit incredible artworks. Set contains editable badges to help you draw up a storm.
Make those posters, headlines, cards, and logos shine when you use this modern script font by Vuuuds that includes alternate glyphs and beautiful extras.
18. Catalina Avalon
Inspired by hand-drawn menus, table cards, and wall quotes from local bakeries in Newport Beach, Kimmy Design brings you this type family with at least 4 styles, all drawn by hand, for a consistent, charming appeal from any angle.
19. Alpha Rough
Get on the beaten path and discover your own artistic techniques with a little help from this handmade typeface from Maghrib.
20. Bearmen Vintage Typeface
Go big or go home in this vintage line font by MartypeCo. Recommended for logos, headlines, banners, magazines, apparel, posters, album covers, signage, labels, badges, and more.
21. Hurscol Gothic Typeface
This old-school typeface will remind you of the Wild West or pioneering days, when times are simpler and days were longer.
22. Clarkson Script
Go from casual to formal in minutes thanks to this versatile script. With contextual alternates, ligatures, plus refined all-caps, it’s a fine addition to anyone’s toolkit.
23. La Belman Pro
24. Native + Instapress
Inspired by Americana lettering styles, Hustle Supply Co gives you this organic lettering coupled with a Photoshop Action called ‘Instapress’ for creating natural stamped looks that are truly eye-catching.
25. Brume Font
Carefully crafted with clean path lines, Creative Media Lab proudly presents this elegant typeface in 2 unforgettable styles. Ideal for logo lettering, headlines, product packaging, apparel, and book covers, use the alternate characters to make unique looks in a few clicks.
Specially designed for cafe and restaurant owners who want to create flair in their menus, labels, and signage, this vintage font from Flavortype contains 3 styles you can layer with one another.
Vunira brings you this retro script that will look gorgeous on greeting cards, posters, branding materials, and more.
28. Dream Letter
Whether you’re working on an industrial, editorial, or vintage theme, you will get plenty of use out of this all-caps serif from Typia Nesia Std.
30. Patrick Font & Lettering Kit
Who says letters can’t be artistic? This decorative font and lettering kit from Nadispasibenko comes with 205 graphic elements to instantly add magic to your projects.