Fancy letters are all the rage these days! Everyone wants to learn to make their letters look beautiful, to make quotes stand out, or address fancy envelopes. What’s with all the different terms? Can they be used interchangeably? The short answer here is us lovers of letters would rather not.

The easiest to define and most traditional of styles is calligraphy, which refers directionally to the art of writing letters in a very specific style with specific tools. This art form uses a pen nibs that you load up with ink to create your letters. When you are moving the pen in different directions you can achieve thick or thin lines. When learning traditional calligraphy many guilds begin with Copperplate, once you learn the traditional forms you can begin to create your own style.


This brings us to brush lettering! Just like it sounds brush lettering uses a brush to draw your letters. This allows for a large variation in pressure to create your strokes, and a wider variety of inks and mediums. The current trend in brush lettering revolves around using watercolors to give texture and fluidity to the writing. (

Finally we come to hand lettering. This is a pretty broad term and can be used to contain the other two, but we can most accurately define hand lettering as any letters that are drawn by hand for a specific look. When someone identifies as a hand letterer they are usually referring not just to the convention of drawing letters but also the thought and process of creating dynamic layouts. The art of hand lettering takes many different styles into consideration with the goal to mix and match when creating a final piece. ( or whatever other one you wanna use)

Interested in learning more? Come take our CraftJam Academy classes in Hand Lettering and Modern Calligraphy! 

Information from this post was taken from: