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Lettering - Tidformera

Lettering.  Over the years, we have come across a variety of terms about lettering from customer questions and about products. There is a plethora such as hand lettering, brush lettering, calligraphy, modern calligraphy. Everything often ends up in a jumble where everyone is referring to different things.

The art of drawing letters

Will try to figure out how everything is connected. The starting point is thus Lettering , which basically is the art of drawing letters . The step further from just "writing". There is a thought behind the design of each letter. But this can basically also be done with the help of the computer. Therefore, some use the term hand lettering when they want to be clear that it is made by hand.

The art of writing beautifully

Calligraphy is the art of writing beautifully . There are different traditions all over the world. Here in Europe, the older tradition has been to use a pencil shaft with a pointed steel nib and the technique of it being weighted down and light on the hand up. East Asian calligraphy has instead used a brush.

The European pointed steel pin has its broad point sibling. And over the years, a pen with a felt tip has also been developed that is flat and wide, which the vast majority mean when they want a calligraphy pen. With that pen, you cannot use the technique with weight down and light hand up, as you do with the pointed steel pin. With such a pen, technique is all about how you hold the pen.

Brush lettering

Nowadays, many people often talk about Brush lettering. Then you usually use a brush pen, can also be a brush. The technique used is usually the traditional calligraphy, that it is a weight down and a light hand up. But it can also be about other fonts and techniques. Then it can fit under both designations with just brush lettering and hand lettering .

Modern calligraphy

Many call when you use a brush pen that you are writing modern calligraphy . Note that in East Asia, a brush was used when they wrote calligraphy. The brush has evolved into a brush pen and many brush pens come precisely from East Asia. Hope you got a little wiser from this!

Below you will find videos that educationally show the technology behind brush lettering.


At Tombow there are good practice sheets that can be downloaded and printed.

Here are sheets for Tombow ABT Dual Brush pens and for smaller pens like Fudenosuke these sheets can be used.


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