I love many things about lettering-by-hand but none more so than all the possible lettering variations and flourishing. Variations are subtle additions or extensions to how you normally draw alphabets. They are used either to flourish or decorate letters. Variations can also show a connection between words or simply highlight power words with a happy or funky exaggeration.
Flourishes and swashes have been around for centuries with many great artists employing them, creating new styles and combining different styles. When using a keyboard to letter, fonts generally restrict you to limited predefined variations available, if any. These are good enough for some people, however, if you are creating lettering artwork, you want your emotion to flow through in your work and echo your feelings.
This is where the freedom of creating with your own hands becomes absolutely unbeatable. I have attached some examples here to help you understand the idea.
If you are not convinced, challenge yourself to find fonts to recreate some of the above using a keyboard. Where will you start? How will you look for those fonts? What if the font has some variations you want but not the others? Combining two different fonts in the same word is probably not a wise idea.
Now consider this, what if you were able to simply draw out those variations by hand? Well, if you are new to hand lettering or have never done it before, it might seem equally or more daunting. However, if you start with hand lettering now, in the near future you wouldn’t necessarily be so dependent and at the mercy of a font. No, I am not a tech-hater trying to play old-school. Neither am I talking about writing business, corporate or legal documents by hand. I am talking artwork – greeting cards, love messages, anything you want to tie emotions to. Hand lettering variations and flourishing may be a few short extensions or addition but could make a good lettering work seem amazing and all the more ‘from the heart’.