Different Lettering Styles of the Alphabet

Written by melissa cooper
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Different Lettering Styles of the Alphabet
A variety of alphabet letter styles is available for any artistic pursuit. (spike font image by Adrian Hillman from Fotolia.com)

Whether you are a tattoo artist, a genealogist who makes family trees, or a greeting card designer, you have an arsenal of alphabet lettering styles from which to choose to make your text special. The advent of the computer and word processing have opened a world of different letter styles---or fonts---giving us font ideas we hadn't previously encountered on a daily basis. Different lettering styles represent different ideas, philosophies, lifestyles and general forms of expression and become an integral part of any project.

Times Roman

Times Roman---sometimes called Times New Roman---is often the default font in any word processing program. It is has been standard in office correspondence, though that is changing with the times, as well as with the availability of, and familiarity with seeing, alternative lettering styles in correspondence. Times Roman strikes a balance between the ornate and the practical in appearance with its minimal serif elements, which are small flairs at the end points of letters and symbols.


Arial has become more prominent over the years, especially in e-mail correspondence, where it is generally the default typeface. This serif-free type is simple and easy on the eyes without any decorative elements. Arial is easily put into bold and italics to make it stand out and make an impact.

Century Gothic

Developed in the early 1990s, this standard-looking font is economical in space and appearance, and is economical for printing standard text. The Guardian UK reports that the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has switched the default font for its e-mails from Arial to Century Gothic. The institution reported that the new font requires about 30 per cent less ink, which costs up to £6,500 per gallon. Century Gothic's lower ink output even tops the specifically designed Ecofont.

Foundation Hand

Foundation Hand font is the most legible while still attractive lettering style according to Heraldry Calligraphy & Illumination. It is decorative while still being visually appealing and inspiring thoughts of family history.

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