Lettering is the stylistic procedure and meticulous design of creating and forming numbers, letters and other characters. The execution of such characters is often done painstakingly by hand on practically any kind of surface; it can be replicated by different techniques that involve the use of machinery, or may be left on its own on whatever surface it has been printed or written on. There are different kinds of lettering styles, each with its own merit and distinctiveness. Lettering is produced through the use of ink or paint, with the help of brushes, pens and other writing, drawing or painting materials.
– Calligraphy – Calligraphy is perhaps one of the oldest and most intricate kind of lettering style. Historically, the art of calligraphy began during the reign of ancient Romans, when Latin was a major language. They were printed on stones, on walls, in parchment paper, and other surfaces. The execution of calligraphy involves the use of a pointed instrument with a broad tip, such as a brush, where only a single stroke is applied to create a fancy-looking character. To this very day, calligraphy is used as an element of design for filling out birth and death certificates, invitations to weddings, christenings and other personal events, and in works of graphic designers. Calligraphy also heavily features in religious and cultural art in some areas of the world.
– Graffiti – Despite the flak that graffiti artists get, this kind of lettering style is one that is lauded for its aggressive design, bold combination of colors, and brash yet creative execution. Graffiti is a kind of lettering style and art that is done on a surface readily exposed to the public, usually with spray paint or markers. It is often against the law. Despite this, a rise in graffiti art has been observed in recent times, but artists claim to create this not just to irk law enforcers, but to express their disdain of and to protest certain rules, trends or changes that take place. Graffiti features in underground street art culture as well as in hip-hop music.
– Serif styles – The serif kind of lettering style is one of the two major font styles there are out there. A serif is a small stroke or tail attached to a certain part of a letter or character. Serif fonts usually have a somewhat formal feel to them, and are best used for documents and papers of great value, as well as body text for books and publications. Some of the most distinguished and most commonly used serif fonts are: Times New Roman and Garamond.
– Sans Serif – Sans serif fonts belong to the other group of major font styles. These fonts do not have tails or strokes. They are more relaxed, a lot more modern and have a kind of casualness about them. Letters and characters from the sans serif fonts are usually created with straight, simple lines. Due to their consistency, simplicity and evenly-spaced quality, these fonts are used by web designers and modern illustrators. Arial and Helvetica are two of the most popular sans serif fonts of today.