Lettering is an umbrella term that covers the art of drawing letters, instead of simply writing them. Lettering is considered an art form, where each letter in a phrase or quote acts as an illustration. Each letter is created with attention to detail and has a unique role within a composition. Lettering is created as an image, with letters that are meant to be used in a unique configuration. Lettering words do not usually translate into alphabets that can later be used in font since they are created with a specific word in mind.

Lettering includes that used for purposes of blueprints and comic books, as well as decorative lettering such as sign painting and custom graphics. For instance; on posters, for a letterhead or business wordmark, lettering in stone, lettering for advertisements, tire lettering, fileteado, graffiti, or on chalkboards.

Lettering may be drawn, applied using stencils, or using a digital medium with a stylus, or a vector program. Lettering that was not created using digital tools is commonly referred to as hand-lettering.

In the past, almost all decorative lettering other than that on paper was created as custom or hand-painted lettering. The use of fonts in place of lettering has increased due to new printing methods, phototypesetting, and digital typesetting, which allow fonts to be printed at any desired size.


"We long to be here for a purpose, even though, despite much self-deception, none is evident."
Carl Sagan
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