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What the font?

Ok, I have a huge confession to make... for ages I used to refer to myself as a typographer, not knowing that what I actually did for fun in my spare time was hand lettering! It's been a learning curve and a journey of self discovery but now I know better, I'm here to pass my knowledge on so you lovely people don't make the same mistake. So really, what is the difference between a typographer, a hand letterer and a calligrapher?

For a brief overview, a font is something you find on your computer, for example, Times New Roman or Helvetica. Hand lettering is when you draw the letters like you would illustrate an outline of a person, refining the letters as you go, usually a completely one-off piece, and calligraphy is the art of writing words using a nib pen or brush pen in a single stroke. If you're as old as I am, you may have learned cursive writing in primary school, this is very very simple calligraphy.

So what is a typographer? A typographer is a designer that creates fonts and typography is the art of setting type. They use software to ensure each letter is properly spaced (aka kerning) when typed on Word, for example. They're almost like the design world's mathematicians! In my eyes, font design is incredibly precise and it's an art form all of its own accord.

There can be some crossover. For example, a hand letterer or calligrapher can design a font and make their lettering usable on the computer from their hand drawn and single-stroked letters. Sometimes a hand letterer can draw letters in such a way that it looks like calligraphy but calligraphy can never be hand lettering.

I hope that clears some things up!

If you have any questions, comment below or you can always write me a letter!

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