Typography, even artistic typography, is something that most of us encounter every day, even if we don’t realize it—it blankets billboards and our Instagram feeds alike.
But what is typography art, exactly? Put another way, what does typography mean in art? We’re here to help with a typography art definition and some incredibly creative typography examples.
What Is Typography Art?
The dictionary definition of typography is “the style, arrangement, or appearance of typeset matter.” That essentially means letters and words that are printed and that can be reproduced. It’s related to calligraphy and often looks very similar, but calligraphy is lettering that’s formed by hand.
Not all typography is very artistic—think of a standard printed book—so what does typography mean in art? Through the size, color, shape, and arrangement of the letters and words, typography can become beautiful pieces of art. Typography is also one component of graphic design. Even more standard printed materials can be made more attractive and interesting through the use of customized fonts and typographic experimentation.
How to Make Typography Art and Fonts
Building a Custom Typeface with Just Enough Personality
Artists Who Create Typography Art
Illustrator and graphic designer Sophia Yeshi creates typography art for brands like Instagram and Refinery29 on topics like climate change, mental health, and body positivity.
Graphic designer Aaron Draplin says that while he has spent most of his career creating work on the computer, he has always been inspired by the rough quality of vintage graphics created by hand.
15 Examples of Typography Art
1. Floral Letter
Intricate floral typography can first be designed by hand and then transferred to design software for easy replication.
2. Skiing Brochure
Page layout and word placement is an important part of typographic art.
3. Floral Logo
Letters and images can work together in typographic art.
4. Psychedelic Fonts
Psychedelic fonts were popular in the 1960s and ‘70s and are seeing a resurgence now.
5. Gothic Calligraphy
Gothic or Blackletter font was commonly used in Europe until the 17th century. A Gothic typographic font adds drama and an historic feel.
6. Summer Letter Art
The meaning of the word “summer” is beautifully illustrated by incorporating florals into the design of the letters.
7. Art Nouveau Book Art
Decorative Art Nouveau typography was very influential in 20th-century design.
8. Block Type
A contrasting light font and dark background is an integral element of this typographic design.
9. Custom Typeface
Designing typefaces that can be used for a variety of purposes is bread-and-butter work for many typographic designers.
10. 3D Block Letters
Three-dimensional lettering can be created by hand or through design software. Learning how to create typography art in Photoshop or other design software is a useful skill for any designer.
11. Custom Wordmark
Many graphic designers take pride in avoiding “default” typefaces and creating their own fonts drawing from meaningful reference material.
12. Ouija Board
Hand-lettering styles can be quickly reproduced using digital design software these days.
13. Mountain Logo
Logos and type are carefully combined for effective branding.
14. Font Collection
The word “THE” repeated in many different font types shows how typography affects the way a word is read and perceived.
15. Book Cover
Book covers require careful typography to stand out from the competition.
Where to Find Typography Art
If you’re looking for a typographic print for your wall, start with Etsy. If you’re after a customized font for your own art or design project, check out FontShop, which sells fonts for print and online/screen use.
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