Difference Between Calligraphy and Typography
By Claire Miles - November 21, 2022

Writing as art exists in many forms that may be easily mistaken for one another. You have probably heard the words “calligraphy” and “typography”, but do you know what is the difference between these two forms? Keep reading to find out.

Table Summary

Calligraphy Typography
An ancient art formA modern commercial type form
Calligraphy features strict rules and regulations There are no strict rules to typography
Calligraphy is done manually with hand-held pens, brushes, and inkTypography is done with the aid of machines or gadgets
The letters, spacing, and human error result in text unique to the situation and individual.There is very little error, and the text is usually uniform each time


Calligraphy is an old art form derived from two Greek words: kallos, which means “beauty,” and graphein, which means “to write” – literally “beautiful writing.” It necessitates a certain understanding of the right letter shape and the ability to create them with such arrangement of the various elements and harmony of proportions that the experienced, knowing eye will identify such composition as a work of art.

Typography is the design or choosing of letter shapes that will be grouped into words and phrases and printed in blocks of type on a page.

Calligraphy VS Typography

Calligraphy is a handwritten form similar to hand lettering because they are both conducted manually. Calligraphy is usually done with oblique or straight dip pens and appropriate nib attachments, dip pen ink such as India ink, brushes and brush pens, or parallel pens. The best equipment for the work will be determined by the type of script the artist want to practice. Typography arose following the creation of printing from moveable type in the mid-15th century, and the three primary type families in the history of Western printing (roman, italic, and black letter (Gothic)) originated from existing Calligraphy scripts or styles. Typography is mainly done digitally or with other machines and is an essential feature in print, advertising, newsletters, and blogs.