The lettering on your stationery says it all, quite literally. Every word written on your stationery is a piece of a detail that you are giving to the person who received it. With that being said, you want every word and phrase to be legible and beautiful. When you browse stationery you will see several different lettering styles but what is the difference? What exactly differentiates calligraphy from hand lettering? It is important to recognize how each of these styles differs from each other. When moving forward with purchasing your stationery, there are a few need-to-know facts prior to making your purchase.


The typeface or the font you see on your screen is typography, this style is known for keeping a constant, specific look for each letter. Typography uses the style, arrangement, and appearance to create consistency throughout the font.


Calligraphy is known as a decorative lettering, where you use a dip pen and ink to draw the letters. In this style, you use the thickness of the ink to design the letters. It is commonly known that downstrokes are thicker and upstrokes are kept thin and light. Calligraphy is an art in itself, and if you are considering using calligraphy on your stationery, it is suggested to hire a professional calligrapher to save yourself time and a big headache.

Hand Lettering and Hand Lettered Fonts

Another form of decorative lettering that is often confused with calligraphy is hand lettering. As they are similar, they are also very different. In this style of lettering, you use a pen or felt tip marker to draw out the letters. Unlike calligraphy, hand lettering is often digitized to clean up letters and then printed onto stationery for a beautiful result.

When you are choosing lettering, like other details on your stationery, it should flow effortlessly with the rest of your theme and style. Calligraphy is perfect to announce an elegant event, hand lettering will compliment a fun and unique celebration, and typography is consistent and versatile for any occasion!