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The Hand Lettering Explosion

Hand lettering. I’m sure you’ve seen it everywhere: boutique logos, bullet journals, wedding invitations. How can some mere, pretty handwriting be taking over the world? Paired with watercolor backgrounds or embossed with gold leaf, this dainty form of typography has become a trend that keeps expanding and consumers are eating it up.
Perhaps we can look to the traditions of age-old calligraphy and how high of an art and design form it is. Stemming from the writing practices of ancient Chinese characters, Islamic Kufic, and German blackletter, our modern-day, Western writing has plateaued in style. The resurgence of traditional writing and art is coming upon us in full-throttle. The growth and expansion of the hand lettering and calligraphy practice seems to be correlated with the explosion of the digital era. In a world surrounded by digitized and sans-serif fonts, people’s hearts are aching for the authentic and personal form of letterforms! Letters, words, and numbers can be as intricate, measured and even include illustrations along with it. They can also be as simple as a single-line, 3-letter word. Whatever the case, hand lettering promotes a connection between words, art and design. When used intentionally, it can create powerful emotional effects. For example, when a bride sees her name written in an elegant style on her wedding invitations, she can’t help but feel special and excited for her special day. Whether it’s a pen, brush, or whatever writing tool they prefer, the artist or designer has a voice, mark, and style of their own.

4 Comments

  1. kbeutner wrote:

    I’ve also been thinking a lot about how prevalent calligraphy has become recently. I hadn’t actually thought about how it’s probably connected to the pervasiveness of minimalist design and sans serif typefaces, but that’s a great observation.

    Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Permalink
  2. ckim46 wrote:

    It’s crazy how impactful a simple typeface can create such a difference! I love looking at wedding invitations because of the hand lettering type. I find it being used everywhere too, but it’s always used/associated with an event where there is some type of intimacy and closeness (at least from what I’ve seen)

    Friday, September 21, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink
  3. gebeling wrote:

    In relation to the part that mentions how we are in such a technologically driven time makes me think about how valuable it is to still see some sort of human touch in technology. Our technology continues to put less limits on us as creators but still maintaining the use of more organic and natural ways can help make a design or typeface more attractive.

    Sunday, September 23, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink
  4. nzheng wrote:

    Hand lettering videos always pop up on my social medias and I can’t stop watching them! It is so pleasing to the eye. Yet, I feel like not many people appreciate the hard work and practice the artists have to do. I makes a huge difference in works.

    Sunday, September 23, 2018 at 7:12 pm | Permalink