These days, when we use the computer for everything, it may be very difficult to find professionals who have beautiful and neat handwriting and whose work consists of using that skill. A century ago, however, such persons were easily found in all major cities. Their work consisted of writing on envelopes, invitation cards, certificates, diplomas, and other documents. Their neat and beautifully drawn handwriting was highly appreciated. What would such professionals be called?

  • 7
    There's also scribe
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 7:33
  • 5
    The person who draws the text in comic books is called the 'Letterer' (imaginatively enough!).
    – Beejamin
    Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 12:25
  • 3
    There is scrivener also.
    – ermanen
    Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 15:34
  • 6
    The word "anachronism" comes to mind.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 16:53

6 Answers 6


A calligrapher. There is the much lesser used word, "calligraphist."



1: a professional copyist or engrosser

2: one who practices the art of calligraphy



Calligrapher, as suggested by other answers, is most suitable for the majority of uses. A couple other words may apply, depending on the context:

  • An engrosser is someone who copies out an official document in fair copy, such as was done for the United States Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of India.

  • A penman is essentially a synonym for a calligrapher, but may imply more of a skilled hobbyist than a professional. The term master penman has currency in calligraphic societies. The term gives rise to penmanship, a word describing (usually good) handwriting, especially everyday handwriting.

  • 4
    Cool. I never heard of an engrosser. +1 Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 3:54

Hand-lettering used to refer to the custom drawing of signs and advertisements, although nowadays it has a more artsy connotation. So perhaps consider hand-letterer.


A "Master Penman"; there's actually a society for this called the IAMPETH Master Penman Society.

A great example is Jake Weidmann (here's his website).

  • This seems like a duplicate answer -- "master penman" is in John Peyton's answer.
    – MetaEd
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 21:17

I believe the word you are looking for is "penmanship". Dictionary.com defines the word as such:


  1. the art of handwriting; the use of the pen in writing.

  2. a person's style or manner of handwriting: "clear penmanship; poor penmanship."

I hope this helps.

  • 2
    "penmanship" doesn't define a professional. It's about the art or style of somebody's handwriting.
    – Centaurus
    Commented Nov 4, 2014 at 23:54

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