Difference between hand rendering and typography

‘Just as typography is not lettering, lettering is not typography.’ (Alessio, 2013)

From the concept panel, I got the two terms Hand rendering and typography mixed up. So I decided to research more in to this and write down the differences.


  • Typography is primarily the skill of setting type. 
  • Subset of characters
  • Typefaces
  • “writing with prefabricated characters.”  (Alessio, 2013)
  • Typesetting.
  • Leading – spacing between lines that is typeset.
  • Kerning-Horizontal spacing between characters.
  • Characters
  • Uses a grid
  • Letters are components. 
  • Typography is used for titles to body text.some of which present a myriad of typographic considerations that those concerned with lettering will not have to think about.
  • Johannes Gutenberg built his printing press around 1439- the concept of typography, which had been developing slowly, was revolutionized.
  • The moveable type system, metal alloy and casting methods gave the world a practical solution to printing. This gave rise to the discipline of typography as we know it, with kerning, leading, which are the terms we still use today.



  •  Hand lettering is an art of designing letters
  • Marking.
  • Does not use a grid
  • Specific combination of letterforms crafted.
  •  hand-drawn, with pens, graphite or brushes
  • Engraving  is related to lettering.
  • Line spacing.
  • Space between letters.
  • Calligraphy is based on penmanship; it’s essentially “writing letters.”
  • Lettering, is based on draftsmanship- “drawing letters.”
  • The arts of both lettering and calligraphy have been around since time immemorial.
  • Spoken languages quickly developed writing systems, which were then used to communicate through a more enduring medium than speech.
  • Lettering and calligraphy followed cultural trends to flower into ornament type through the Victorian era and the florid shapes of Art Nouveau. The worlds of type and lettering constantly intermeshed.
  • History has provided us with endless examples of lettering and calligraphy, by engraving, pen and brush, which are rosetta stone and ancient Roman inscriptions to the works of scribal art mentioned.




Manuscript_nerd. Lindisfarne Gospels. [Online]. Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/83142434@N07/7807754206/ [Accessed 12 December 2015]

  • Manuscript.
  • Lavishly decorated lettering
  • Lindisfarne Gospels


Flickr, (2012) Traditional Chinese calligraphy. [Online]. Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/terry/6839152872/ [Accessed 8 December 2015].

Why is hand rendering closer to the voice?

For my project, I have used hand rendering, as a method, as from researching I found that hand rendering offers more flexibility of thinking  and time because your senses (hands and eyes) are involved in a touchable creative process and not just merely pointing and clicking which has the tendency to mundane the brain (Cok, 1999). Therefore hand rendering can be closer related to the voice as its more personal.

Cok, S, R. (1999). Method for rendering improved personal handwriting.  [Online].Available at: https://www.google.com/patents/US6298154#forward-citations [Accessed at: 8 December 2015]





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