Calligraphy Is Encouraged By?

calligraphy is encouraged by?

Typeface designs for the letters E and F

A short history of calligraphy and typography

Article written by:

Ewan Clayton

Themes:

People and writing, The art and design of writing

Explore how the design of letterforms has evolved over time and across the world.

Calligraphy versus typography

Writing can be a form of art: a playground for human invention, ingenuity and skill. This applies both to writing by hand (calligraphy) and to letters and characters designed in printed or digital form (typography). As calligraphy is a gestural art, it incorporates more variation in form than typographic writing which is made mechanically and often within narrow technical constraints.

If we picture this on a sliding scale, on one end is typography, where legibility is primary (e.g. notices on a motorway sign or someone’s name on a form), and down at the other end is calligraphy – writing that is produced primarily for its decorative or expressive qualities – where legibility is less important (e.g. architectural friezes, lettering in paintings or the ornamental lettering engraved on a banknote).

But all letters and characters – handwritten or typographic in form – have been ‘designed’ by someone, and are a means of artistic expression.

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