Beautiful Handwriting, Lettering and Calligraphy

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Handwriting seems to have lost some of its attraction over the last years. Nobody writes beautiful handwritten letters, and uses digital means of communication with smileys, abbreviations and standard lettering instead. And that’s a pity. Since handwriting is unique, it has a tremendous expressive power a standard lettering isn’t able to achieve.

More than that, handwritten text can be incredibly gorgeous. In fact, there is nothing more valuable than a beautiful handwritten letter sent to your beloved ones. And this post attempts to prove just that.

In the overview below you’ll find excellent examples of beautiful handwriting, creative lettering and professional calligraphy. It’s really amazing to see what one can create out of simple letters drawn with a pencil on a small piece of paper.

For further typographic inspiration you can browse through our previous posts

Calligraphy

1800s Lettering Sketchbook:Journal 144
Beautiful calligraphy from 1800s.

Lettering and Handwriting - 1800s Lettering Sketchbook:Journal 14.jpg5

Experiment with photographic paper_036
Written by Marina Marjina, a type designer and letterer from Russia.

Lettering and Handwriting - Experiment with photographic paper_037

Lettering and Handwriting - Experiment _process28

Lettering and Handwriting - IMG_81819

Lettering and Handwriting - The sketch_fragment10

Claredon Press, Flower11
A book cover from 1987. Published by Claredon Press. Created by Sheila Waters.

Lettering and Handwriting - Claredon Press, Flower12

Cronica de los reyes catolicos, XVI century.13
A Spanish manuscript from Berkeley, University of California, The Bancroft Library.

Lettering and Handwriting - Cronica de los reyes catolicos, XVI century.14

Extra: Natasha Mileshina15
Natasha Mileshina’s work. Moscow, Russia.

Lettering and Handwriting - Extra: Natasha Mileshina16

Daily Type17
Calligraphy by Vera Evstafieva.

Lettering and Handwriting - Daily Type18

Pool Word19

Lettering and Handwriting - IMG_857020

Tom Gourdie’s gallery21
Shakespeare’s Sonnets by Tom Gourdie. Handwriting master’s pieces from 1980s.

Lettering and Handwriting - 22

French Notarial Handwriting23
From Michael Twyman’s 26 November 2007 presentation.

Lettering and Handwriting - French Notarial Handwriting24

Scripture and Calligraphy25
By Denis Brown.

Lettering and Handwriting - Scripture, Denis Brown26

Erin K. Nolan27

Lettering and Handwriting - Digeridoo Festival28

Handwriting, Doodling and Lettering

British Ariways B/W Font29
Alex Trochut’s work for British Airways. Sexy, sweet and beautiful lettering!

Lettering and Handwriting - British Ariways B/W Font30

Panasonic Advertisement31
The design by the agency Lowerporta from Chile. An advertisement for Panasonic digital devices.

Lettering and Handwriting32

Art and Life33
Joei Lau’s project. Beautiful curves.

Lettering and Handwriting - Art and Life34

all the best35
Wishes from Ale Paul.

Lettering and Handwriting - happy holidays and wishes36

Lettering and Handwriting - all the best37

Estrella Levante Posters38
Tasty typography!

Lettering and Handwriting - Estrella Levante Posters39

Lettering and Handwriting - Estrella Levante Posters40

Extraverage x The KDU41
Karoly Kiralyfalvi, graphic designer from Budapest, Hungary.

Lettering and Handwriting - Extraverage x The KDU42

Lettering and Handwriting - Lettering43

Lettering and Handwriting - Aquasky flyer44

Typography45
Jeff Finley’s work.

Lettering and Handwriting - Typography46

Split in Two47
Created by Pawel Janczarek.

Lettering and Handwriting - Split in Two48

Doodles!49
Beautiful doodles from Austin, TX.

Lettering and Handwriting - IMG_280950

Handwriting51
By Yury Ostromentsky.

Lettering and Handwriting - Daily Type52

takin’ it53
Lettering design by Jon Contino.

Lettering and Handwriting - taking it54

“R”55
By Zeptonn, an illustrator from the Netherlands.

Lettering and Handwriting - R56

1961 William Mitchell Pen Catalog57

Lettering and Handwriting - 1961 William Mitchell Pen Catalog58

inspiredology.com | inspiredology.com59

Lettering and Handwriting - inspiredology.com | inspiredology.com60

Zapf Games 200561
By Alexander Utkin.

Lettering and Handwriting - Zapf Games 200562

Daily Type63

Lettering and Handwriting - Daily Type64

inspiredology.com65

Lettering and Handwriting - inspiredology.com66

Sostav.ru67

Lettering and Handwriting - Sostav.ru68

Unit.nl69

Lettering and Handwriting - Unit.nl70

Daily Type71

Lettering and Handwriting - Daily Type72

on Flickr – Photo Sharing!73

Lettering and Handwriting -74

zutto75

Lettering and Handwriting - zutto76

STEREOTYPE77

Lettering and Handwriting - STEREOTYPE78

Typography79

Lettering and Handwriting - Typography80

Arabic calligraphy81

Lettering and Handwriting - Arabic calligraphy | creativebits82

si scott design83

Lettering and Handwriting - si scott design84

Rolling Stones: Rolled Gold +85

Lettering and Handwriting - Rolling Stones: Rolled Gold +86

timeless87

Lettering and Handwriting - timeless88

on Flickr – Photo Sharing!89

Lettering and Handwriting -90

Marian Bantjes: Yale Alumni Magazine91

Lettering and Handwriting - Marian Bantjes: Yale Alumni Magazine92

When Love Dies93

Lettering and Handwriting - When Love Dies94

Libertyland grand selection95

Lettering and Handwriting - Libertyland grand selection96

Funeral of the Heart by Leah Hayes – front cover97

Lettering and Handwriting - Funeral of the Heart by Leah Hayes - front cover98

Experiments with type

Typolight99
Type with light.

Lettering and Handwriting - Typolight100

Feliz Natal | Merry Christmas101
By Marina Chaccur. “The 2006 online christmas card started being very real. In the beginning the letters were drawn by hand, then after the final layout was chosen, the white beads were arranged onto a paper with a very pale outline of the lettering. In the end, the paper was photographed, the image was altered in Photoshop, and the beads went back to the package.”

Lettering and Handwriting - Feliz Natal | Merry Christmas102

Lettering and Handwriting - Feliz Natal | Merry Christmas103

Flickr in Lights 2104

Lettering and Handwriting - Flickr in Lights 3105

Lettering and Handwriting - Flickr in Lights 2106

Arabic Poesie107
Type and light.

Lettering and Handwriting - Poesie108

Caligrafia na pele109
Calligraphy on the body.

Lettering and Handwriting - La Grafía: Caligrafia na pele110

Daily Type111
Hmmm, tasty!

Lettering and Handwriting - Daily Type112

Stephanie DeArmond – Gallery113
Typographic sculptures.

Lettering and Handwriting - Stephanie DeArmond - Gallery114

Lettering and Handwriting - Stephanie DeArmond - Gallery115

Lettering and Handwriting - Stephanie DeArmond - Gallery116

Lettering and Handwriting - Stephanie DeArmond - Gallery117

Sources and Resources

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/25/breathtaking-typographic-posters/
  2. 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/11/19/monday-inspiration-typography-in-motion/
  3. 3 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/01/03/hand-drawing-style-in-modern-web-design/
  4. 4 http://flickr.com/photos/typeoff/1803780526/
  5. 5 http://flickr.com/photos/typeoff/1803780526/
  6. 6 http://www.flickr.com/photos/7333287@N07/513070957/in/pool-word
  7. 7 http://www.flickr.com/photos/7333287@N07/513070957/in/pool-word
  8. 8 http://www.flickr.com/photos/7333287@N07/513044370/in/pool-word
  9. 9 http://www.flickr.com/photos/7333287@N07/1575813708/in/pool-jalalspages_calligraphicalbum
  10. 10 http://www.flickr.com/photos/7333287@N07/856956965/in/pool-jalalspages_calligraphicalbum
  11. 11 http://waterslettering.com/
  12. 12 http://waterslettering.com/
  13. 13 http://www.typeart.ru/details.php?image_id=38
  14. 14 http://www.typeart.ru/details.php?image_id=38
  15. 15 http://www.flickr.com/photos/random-project/429164718/in/pool-_handmade_typography
  16. 16 http://www.flickr.com/photos/random-project/429164718/in/pool-_handmade_typography
  17. 17 http://www.dailytype.ru/index_2007_september.html
  18. 18 http://www.dailytype.ru/index_2007_september.html
  19. 19 http://www.flickr.com/photos/7333287@N07/2051535549/in/pool-word
  20. 20 http://www.flickr.com/photos/7333287@N07/2051535549/in/pool-word
  21. 21 http://www.tomgourdiesgallery.co.uk/page_product/item_84/index.html
  22. 22 http://www.tomgourdiesgallery.co.uk/page_product/item_84/index.html
  23. 23 http://flickr.com/photos/typeoff/2068691636/
  24. 24 http://flickr.com/photos/typeoff/2068691636/
  25. 25 http://quillskill.com/trad/pangur_big.htm
  26. 26 http://quillskill.com/trad/pangur_big.htm
  27. 27 http://www.flickr.com/photos/pejnolan/189819230/
  28. 28 http://www.flickr.com/photos/pejnolan/189819230/
  29. 29 http://www.behance.net/Gallery/British-Ariways-BW-Font/53857
  30. 30 http://www.behance.net/Gallery/British-Ariways-BW-Font/53857
  31. 31 http://www.callig.ru/node/240/
  32. 32 http://www.callig.ru/node/240/
  33. 33 http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeilau/386485213/in/set-1653663/
  34. 34 http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeilau/386485213/in/set-1653663/
  35. 35 http://flickr.com/photos/17849178@N00/329947635/
  36. 36 http://flickr.com/photos/17849178@N00/2118108875/
  37. 37 http://flickr.com/photos/17849178@N00/329947635/
  38. 38 http://www.behance.net/Gallery/Estrella-Levante-Posters/53856
  39. 39 http://www.behance.net/Gallery/Estrella-Levante-Posters/53856
  40. 40 http://www.behance.net/Gallery/Estrella-Levante-Posters/53856
  41. 41 http://www.flickr.com/photos/extraverage/673475679/in/set-72157602502659949/
  42. 42 http://www.flickr.com/photos/extraverage/673475679/in/set-72157602502659949/
  43. 43 http://www.flickr.com/photos/extraverage/1373381958/
  44. 44 http://www.flickr.com/photos/extraverage/1359834887/
  45. 45 http://www.behance.net/Gallery/Typography/46714
  46. 46 http://www.behance.net/Gallery/Typography/46714
  47. 47 http://flickr.com/photos/runeone/2119750843/in/set-72157594226064640/
  48. 48 http://flickr.com/photos/runeone/2119750843/in/set-72157594226064640/
  49. 49 http://www.flickr.com/photos/jabzug/2341658715/
  50. 50 http://www.flickr.com/photos/jabzug/2341658715/
  51. 51 http://www.dailytype.ru/index_2007_april.html
  52. 52 http://www.dailytype.ru/index_2007_april.html
  53. 53 http://www.flickr.com/photos/outbreak/2367723888/
  54. 54 http://www.flickr.com/photos/outbreak/2367723888/
  55. 55 http://www.flickr.com/photos/zeptonn/2264006779/
  56. 56 http://www.flickr.com/photos/zeptonn/2264006779/
  57. 57 http://www.flickr.com/photos/8729526@N02/2387826280/
  58. 58 http://www.flickr.com/photos/8729526@N02/2387826280/
  59. 59 http://inspiredology.com/graphic-design/typography/
  60. 60 http://inspiredology.com/graphic-design/typography/
  61. 61 http://www.typeart.ru/details.php?image_id=230
  62. 62 http://www.typeart.ru/details.php?image_id=230
  63. 63 http://www.dailytype.ru/index_2007_may.html
  64. 64 http://www.dailytype.ru/index_2007_may.html
  65. 65 http://inspiredology.com/graphic-design/typography/
  66. 66 http://inspiredology.com/graphic-design/typography/
  67. 67 http://www.sostav.ru/columns/dutch/2005/39/
  68. 68 http://www.sostav.ru/columns/dutch/2005/39/
  69. 69 http://www.unit.nl/
  70. 70 http://www.unit.nl/
  71. 71 http://www.dailytype.ru/index_2006_may.html
  72. 72 http://www.dailytype.ru/index_2006_may.html
  73. 73 http://www.flickr.com/photos/cloudberryterrier/219099742/
  74. 74 http://www.flickr.com/photos/cloudberryterrier/219099742/
  75. 75 http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeilau/348968675/
  76. 76 http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeilau/348968675/
  77. 77 http://www.flickr.com/photos/chastinet/1271971366/
  78. 78 http://www.flickr.com/photos/chastinet/1271971366/
  79. 79 http://www.behance.net/Gallery/Typography/53832
  80. 80 http://www.behance.net/Gallery/Typography/53832
  81. 81 http://creativebits.org/inspiration/arabic_calligraphy
  82. 82 http://creativebits.org/inspiration/arabic_calligraphy
  83. 83 http://www.siscottstudio.com/
  84. 84 http://www.siscottstudio.com/
  85. 85 http://www.behance.net/Gallery/Rolling-Stones-Rolled-Gold-/53862
  86. 86 http://www.behance.net/Gallery/Rolling-Stones-Rolled-Gold-/53862
  87. 87 http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeilau/330859951/
  88. 88 http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeilau/330859951/
  89. 89 http://www.flickr.com/photos/piccolabiba/2366030519/
  90. 90 http://www.flickr.com/photos/piccolabiba/2366030519/
  91. 91 http://www.bantjes.com/index.php?id=199
  92. 92 http://www.bantjes.com/index.php?id=199
  93. 93 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mister-nylon/1788887607/
  94. 94 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mister-nylon/1788887607/
  95. 95 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mister-nylon/1788887593/in/photostream/
  96. 96 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mister-nylon/1788887593/in/photostream/
  97. 97 http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantagraphics/2359253475/
  98. 98 http://www.flickr.com/photos/fantagraphics/2359253475/
  99. 99 http://www.flickr.com/photos/nirtober/1252945006/
  100. 100 http://www.flickr.com/photos/nirtober/1252945006/
  101. 101 http://www.flickr.com/photos/marinachaccur/330294782/in/set-72157603270157684/
  102. 102 http://www.flickr.com/photos/marinachaccur/330294782/in/set-72157603270157684/
  103. 103 http://www.flickr.com/photos/marinachaccur/330294782/in/set-72157603270157684/
  104. 104 http://www.flickr.com/photos/naturalimagepro/386253166/in/pool-lightwritings
  105. 105 http://www.flickr.com/photos/naturalimagepro/386253167/in/pool-lightwritings
  106. 106 http://www.flickr.com/photos/naturalimagepro/386253166/in/pool-lightwritings
  107. 107 http://www.flickr.com/photos/13093604@N03/1879185654/
  108. 108 http://www.flickr.com/photos/13093604@N03/1879185654/
  109. 109 http://lagrafia.blogspot.com/2008/02/caligrafia-na-pele.html
  110. 110 http://lagrafia.blogspot.com/2008/02/caligrafia-na-pele.html
  111. 111 http://www.dailytype.ru/index_2007_december.html
  112. 112 http://www.dailytype.ru/index_2007_december.html
  113. 113 http://www.stephaniedearmond.com/gallery3.html
  114. 114 http://www.stephaniedearmond.com/gallery3.html
  115. 115 http://www.stephaniedearmond.com/gallery3.html
  116. 116 http://www.stephaniedearmond.com/gallery3.html
  117. 117 http://www.stephaniedearmond.com/gallery3.html
  118. 118 http://www.flickr.com/groups/jalalspages_calligraphicalbum/pool/
  119. 119 http://www.typeart.ru/
  120. 120 http://www.dailytype.ru
  121. 121 http://www.flickr.com/groups/_handmade_typography/pool/

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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

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  1. 1

    UPDATE: Thank you for changing the link to “Didgeridoo Festival” to read “Erin K. Nolan.” I appriciate you kind follow-through and cooperation!

    (SM) Thank you, Erin, indeed, the article was updated.

    0
  2. 52

    I have never seen such an exciting and awesome works before in my life. Its looks so good and crazy and these people who have done these calligraphy work, I think they have a very deep creativity. These may be preserved as a memorable work of these guys who made it.

    I wish these people to grow furthur in there life on calligraphy.

    0
  3. 103

    ibrahim abu touq

    October 9, 2008 4:18 am

    very nice site

    0
  4. 154

    day by day i find more materpieces at this unique site

    0
  5. 205

    I love the old manuscripts.

    Does anyone know of Photoshop tutorials to help clean up calligraphy for digital printing? I don’t know the program terribly well and most of the tutorials aren’t focused on hand lettering. When I need to scan lettering, I spend more time cleaning smudges and smoothing lines than creating the original work! I would appreciate any help.

    0
  6. 256

    Incredible!
    I cannot believe how wonderful these are!
    The “R” one is super cool.
    Great Web page, it really inspired me!

    0
  7. 307

    i dont know white handwriting is the best

    0
  8. 358

    Hi from Estonia :) .. wow, super! :) very beautiful pics! … it’s also hard work to do smth like this. Väga kaunid pildid! :)

    0
  9. 409

    Gee, I read the whole thing. I started hand composing for letterpress sixty years ago and stopped when I found how difficult it was to have fonts designed and cut for what I really wanted to print. The love of typography is still there, and I guess I waited long enough to do it digitally!! Is there a senior’s discount for typography classes on line?

    0
  10. 460

    I love calligraphy , i u too love it

    0
  11. 511

    Nice stuff there. I love handwriting as art perhaps all the more b/c my own handwriting is such a disaster! The Magic Calligraphy was amazing. That guy writes more beautifully upsidedown than i do rightsideup!

    1
  12. 562

    amazing and interesting posts.
    I suggest also this website (wonderful things!)
    link (www.gentlepeople.it)

    0
  13. 613

    Simply amazing!!!!

    0
  14. 664

    HEY ED!I AM 14 YEAR OLD.I LOVE OUR MAGAZINE….IT IS WORLD BEST MAGAZINE MY REQUEST IS THAT PLZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ PINUP A POSTER OF ashley tisdalePLZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ..MAY ALLAH BLESS YOU.YOU ROCK

    0
  15. 766

    hey ! your magazine is superb .
    u all rock it .
    may god bless u all .

    0
  16. 868

    Great post! So many excellent calligraphers here.

    Cheers
    Steve

    0
  17. 919

    Wow! Inspiring calligraphy and typography styles.

    I did this kind of art since my younger days and I thought that my styles aren’t good. But now that I see styles and art similar to mine posted here, I think now I will be proud of my own art as it should be.

    Thanks everyone!

    1
  18. 970

    amazing collection……..i like to suggest to post some more designs.

    0
  19. 1021

    i love everybodygood handwriting.

    0
  20. 1072

    I like handwriting nice, my letter is now terrible bad.
    What can I do?
    Nicolas

    0
  21. 1123

    This is BANGLADESHI Singer. Nazmul Kavir, I lIKE SONG & nice handwriting , my letter is now terrible bad.
    What can I do for develop?
    nAZmul Kavir
    BANGLADESHI Singer

    0
  22. 1174

    it’s very tough to write like this

    0
  23. 1225

    Any freelancer willing to take up jobs?

    0
  24. 1276

    awsome maann !!!!!!!! really necer saw sm off such hanriting !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    0
  25. 1327

    Yo,its a good collection but please give us available writing tips which are cool but not fancy

    0
  26. 1378

    Yo,its a good collection but please give us available writing tips

    0
  27. 1429

    I Love this very much >3

    0
  28. 1480

    great but i thought i can learn how to write in all of them types of style and it was quite hard

    0
  29. 1531

    its very beautiful how to lern in computer

    1
  30. 1582

    wonderful site thnks for for this site

    -1
  31. 1633

    ahmad zafar kharal

    November 6, 2011 5:26 am

    i like this collection and your taste

    -1
  32. 1684

    im just learning so free materials to help learn would be great . beautiful work that ive seen so far.

    -1
  33. 1735

    I like the entire Presentation of calligrafy. I also want to learn the way of creative writing.

    -1
  34. 1786

    Great work!

    -1
  35. 1837

    Awesome. Kudos to creativity of calligraphers.

    1
  36. 1888

    wow

    -1

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