The (imperfect) charm of lettering

Lettering, or lettering in Italian, allows a message to be communicated through the artistic representation of letters, numbers, notes and formulas.

The use of lettering in the artistic scene had been around for a few decades, but it finally exploded a few years ago, thanks to the spread of digital content and social networks.

The expansion of design has also fuelled the boom of this art form, in a context where graphic tools and editing programmes allow virtually anyone to create compositions that simulate hand lettering. Its use today ranges from the creation of logos to illustrations for print media or books, very often including the packaging of new products.

But why does it fascinate us so much?

The reason why lettering has an ability to amaze us every time is perhaps due to its imperfection: today we are surrounded by mass-produced things, by perfectly symmetrical things, by digital things. Of course, letters are things too. But imperfect things, reminding us how we too, in the end, are imperfect beings.

Luca Barcellona is one of the leading representatives of Italian lettering.

His works are exhibited all over the world and in 2003 he started performing live lettering performances with his group Rebel Ink.

Seeing him at work is a real treat for the eyes.

What do you say, doesn’t he do the best job in the world? 😍