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What are the Different Types of Calligraphy Fonts?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are quite literally hundreds of different calligraphy fonts available for use in various computer software programs. Some of these fonts are available for free download and use, some come preinstalled in a number of different programs, and some are created by very talented artists and typographers and are available for separate purchase. These different calligraphy fonts can range from emulating different calligraphy styles or types of calligraphy found throughout history, to fonts that replicate traditional handwriting or even those made to look like the handwriting of a particular writer or artist.

Calligraphy fonts are types of computer files that can be used by various other programs to enable different styles of text in those programs. There are a number of different fonts typically available in many computer programs, such as Times New Roman and Courier. Calligraphy fonts are fonts that are specifically created to resemble styles of writing referred to as calligraphy and are intended to look artistic and beautiful on the page.

Modern calligraphy used to write English is typically a form of Western or Roman calligraphy, and these may fall into a number of different subcategories. These include styles such as copperplate, italic, blackletter, and uncial. Calligraphy fonts are then often created to replicate or otherwise resemble these traditional handwritten calligraphy styles.

Many computer programs, especially word processing programs designed for extensive writing, often include some calligraphy fonts as part of their initial font selection. These may be limited in number, but can give users a general sense of what a calligraphy font will look like. Other fonts are also available for free download and use from numerous websites found all over the Internet. These can be downloaded for free, and installed to the font index on whatever computer a person is using. The installed fonts can then be used by any programs on that computer that include different font styles for text.

Some calligraphy fonts are available for purchase, either as downloads or as collections that can be purchased on a disc and installed to a computer. These types of fonts are typically methodically created to resemble handwritten calligraphy as closely as possible, and may directly emulate particular styles such as copperplate or blackletter calligraphy. Regardless of how the fonts are made available, they will usually appear similar to fluid, fairly flowing handwriting that enables a user to add a more distinct and artistic flourish to a typed document.

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Discussion Comments
By pleonasm — On Jul 02, 2011

I read in a speech Steve Jobs made once that he reckoned taking a calligraphy course was one of the best things he ever did to secure his future. He didn't intend to do anything with it, just took it as an extra class at university and kind of enjoyed it.

But, when it came to developing the new computer technologies, he realized the importance of a good font to make it more user accessible. Before that, people were just tossing on whatever worked best for the computer, rather than for the user.

He realized that functionality and style are the most important things when it comes to selling technology, an attitude that has continued to take him far.

By croydon — On Jul 02, 2011

Helvetica is a font that's used all over the world. What was really funny was that Google used it as part of an April Fool's Joke in 2011.

If you tried to search for Helvetica, all the search results would come up in another kind of font. I think it was "comic sans".

It's a kind of subtle humor, but there are quite a few people who really love fonts and would have gotten a big kick of that.

By indigomoth — On Jul 01, 2011

Courier has become known as a standard "old fashioned" kind of font, which people use for manuscripts and so forth.

It was used like that because it is a "monospace" font, which means that each letter takes up the same amount of room. So, if you typed an essay or article in Courier, a publisher would know how many words there were, and how much room it would take to print it, without needing to count or estimate very much.

Of course, now it is all online anyway, so they can just do a word count. But, back then that kind of thing was important.

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