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Get Original: Benefits of Handcrafted Lettering in Design

The article focused on lettering and its benefits in modern design: check the definition, comparison to calligraphy and reasons to apply it in design projects.

Nowadays, people try to be discernible and unique among thousands of similar ones. Business owners strive for the uniqueness of their brand and often demand something special from designers. The majority of original things are made by hand. Custom hand lettering took its place among other design techniques a long time ago, and it never gets old. All the advanced digital tools still couldn’t replace it, and even more, they only supplemented it with new opportunities. Today’s article reveals the essence of lettering and shows its role in the design industry.



What is lettering?

The essence of the term “lettering” is already hidden within its name. To be specific, lettering is the art of letter drawing when a word or phrase is presented as an artwork. Each letter is drawn in an original way, and together they form a unique composition. Lettering masters usually work by hand using various pencils, brushes, ink, or chalk. Some may prefer applying graphic tablets and stylus, but it can be more challenging because it requires advanced skills in special programs like Adobe Illustrator. A distinctive characteristic of hand lettering is that an artwork can be carefully developed as well as absolutely spontaneous.


Lettering vs Calligraphy

People seeing decorative letters may think “ A calligrapher did stunning work!”. It happens because not everyone knows that lettering and calligraphy are not the same things. Let’s clear this out.

As we said above, lettering is the art of letter drawing, while calligraphy is the art of beautiful letter writing. A dip pen and ink are the main tools of calligraphy masters. Calligraphers follow certain rules to create a perfect construction with the letters made in one style. They regulate the width of lines by changing the degrees of pressure on the pen. Calligraphy masters usually write one letter and even one word with one stroke.

One of the biggest differences is that calligraphy aims at the perfection of style, while lettering is popular due to the freedom of presentation. Lettering is more like an individual illustration. Each letter is an original unit, and together they form a unique picture. Masters of lettering are not constrained by a certain style, so they can create something really special which isn’t similar to anything else.


Hand-drawn lettering in design

Being an expert means non-stop improving and expanding professional skills. Today a proficient designer is expected to be an artist, architect, psychologist, and illustrator all in one face. So, lettering skills will definitely be a huge benefit for a designer’s status. However, some may ask how lettering can be applied in web design. Let’s see.

Nowadays, a designer can choose from a great assortment of various fonts perfectly suiting different digital products. Nevertheless, it may happen that a client’s product has a wide range of competitors, and to stand out, it needs something extraordinary so that the product could attract the attention of potential customers. Many designers offer to create slogan lettering. It is drawn in an absolutely original way that characterizes the product and the company principles. This way, people may memorize the slogan more quickly and associate it with a certain product. Design with custom lettering can increase brand awareness and make sure people will be able to distinguish the company from the others.



In addition, beautiful original lettering can guarantee a pleasant first impression from the company. People always appreciate things that go from hand craftsmanship, so handmade lettering will give clients strong associations with trust and painstaking. Also, decorative letters give the feeling of aesthetic pleasure, which is significant for the delightful first impression too.

Hand lettering in branding

Building a strong brand identity is as vital as providing excellent services to your customers: a business just can’t survive without brand awareness and loyalty.

A logo is one of the key parts of creating a brand’s image. Well-thought logo design can tell about the personality of a company to potential clients. A designer’s task is to create a powerful, extraordinary logo that would represent the business image and transfer the message of the company.

Hand lettering is an effective way to design a unique, aesthetic, and recognizable brand identity. A designer creates custom letters fully based on the company’s features and peculiarities. The professional will take into account the smallest details paying deep attention to every letter and line because it’s known that the devil is in the details. Moreover, today everyone strives for uniqueness, so a great benefit logo with hand lettering brings to a business is that everything made by hand can never be repeated once again. It means a company receives an original logo that will be hard to plagiarize, so people will associate it strongly with your company.

toonie photo lettering

Logo lettering handcrafted for Toonie Alarm


Pitfalls lettering may bring

Despite all the pleasant emotions and benefits hand lettering brings, it isn’t perfect as well as any other technique. First of all, considering hand lettering as a design element, you need to think if it suits the brand. For example, it’s hard to imagine a website of a law firm with decorative letters saying, “We’ll protect your rights”. Hand lettering looks artistic and sometimes even playful. A designer needs to understand the target audience and their requirements before making decisions.

Another point to keep in mind is the legibility of letters. Sometimes, it may be difficult to see the line between beautiful and usable. Designers may go too far with the letter decorating, turning them into an illegible mess. Badly readable letters may ruin the transferred message, so a company risks falling into disrepute or losing its reach.

Points to consider

Hand lettering is an old craft requiring discipline, knowledge, and talent. Not every designer will choose to spend time and effort on lettering learning. However, for those who want to learn and for companies thinking about applying hand lettering, we present the list of possible benefits it may bring.

  • Hand lettering is fully original, so it makes the design feel fresh and special.
  • Custom letters always look extraordinary and attract customers’ attention.
  • Beautiful decorative letters influence visual perception bringing the feeling of aesthetic pleasure.
  • Powerful hand lettering increases brand recognition.
  • It’s sometimes easier to transfer the right message of a product via custom letters than with the help of digital fonts.
  • Original lettering assists a company in standing out against competitors.
  • Hand lettering can guarantee a pleasing first impression.



Recommended reading

Drawing Type: An Introduction to Illustrating Letterforms

The Art Of Hand Lettering

Creating a Hand-Lettered Logo Design

Understanding The Difference Between Type And Lettering

Hand Lettering for Responsive Web Design

Welcome to check designs by Tubik on Dribbble and Behance; explore the gallery of 2D and 3D art by Tubik Arts on Dribbble

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