There is a slight possibility you don't have any idea of what I am talking about. Lettering, calligraphy, what is that? Well, if you read my last post you must have an idea of what lettering is, if you didn't, I invite you to take a look a it!

So as I was saying in my last post, there's a big difference between calligraphy and lettering. I remember clearly how my lettering teacher was always telling us how important it was for us to understand that these two are NOT the same thing. They are connected, yes, but not the same.

What is calligraphy?

"Calligraphy is a visual art related to writing." In other words: calligraphy is the action of writing beautifully. For this we can use many different tools like a pointed nib, a broad-edged nib, a brush, etc. The important thing to address here is the act of writing, meaning that the letters are created in a single motion "no re do's".

When we talk about calligraphy, there is something we can't forget: think of it as an umbrella term that involves many different writing styles.

These are some examples:

Blackletter (Gothic)
Calligraphy pens and tools

What is lettering?

"Lettering is the art of drawing letters, instead of simply writing them." Lettering, like I explained in my last post, consists on drawing the letters. Different from calligraphy where you write them and have only one chance to do it, with lettering you can draw and change and redraw one letter as many times as you want.

Same as with calligraphy, we can use many different tools (as long as you can draw with them) to create your lettering art. There are a bunch of styles you can create! In lettering you have more freedom while designing your letters, but you'll have to base on how calligraphy says a letter should be done. Calligraphy is the mother of all letters! Remember it teaches us how we should write them.

These are some examples on styles and lettering designs:

In lettering, there's many ways to create one single letter!
In lettering we mostly use guides when creating our art!
This is a lettering sketch

Nowadays, we see a bunch of terms on social media referring to calligraphy or lettering styles, and I thought that since we're tackling the differences between the most popular ones, I could introduce you to some terms you could hear now and then to clear things up.

"Brush lettering" refers to the type of calligraphy made using a brush pen. Something to keep in mind is that this is actually calligraphy, not lettering, since you're writing the words with the tool and not drawing them.

"Brush Lettering" example!

"Faux calligraphy" it's kind of a combination of both calligraphy and lettering. You draw the letters imitating or trying to make it look like it's calligraphy.

"Faux Calligraphy" example!

"Sign Painting" or as it is known in Mexico: rótulos. Here in Mexico this is a very popular term for the  painted signs you see on many small businesses. This technique combines both calligraphy and lettering along with specific tools and techniques to create a painted sign. You can see people just drawing and writing on the wall just using some guides and a brush, it's pretty awesome!

Sign painting example, look how cool!
This is an example of a traditional mexican "rótulo", amazing!

Why is this important?

Because I'm tired of people mixing this terms, and it's all wrong!

Just kidding. This all really depends on the person. For me, since I started practicing these techniques it's been really important to know terminology and the different terms for all the ways of creating letters.

They may seem confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it you start identifying one from another. These art forms are complex because of the many ways we have of creating them. Understanding the basic terminology is pretty much the basis to master this techniques.

Practice, create and just go with your flow!

Okay so let's sum up everything I just talked about:

Calligraphy, the art of beautifully writing letters.

Lettering, the art of drawing letters.

Brush lettering, the art of doing calligraphy with a brush pen.

Faux lettering, a combination of both lettering and calligraphy to create letters on calligraphy styles.

Sign Painting, the art of painting signs with calligraphy and lettering techniques.

Remember the big differences here are in the process used when creating your letters!

The key is to practice, practice, practice and PRACTICE a lot! Create and have fun with it! At the end of the day these terms only guide us to create our work in the best possible way.