Swirls, Twirls, and Sparkly Things
Flourishes are the delicious icing on lettering and are tempting to add to our letterforms. They were originally designed as protection against forgery. In the fourteenth century, special personal flourishes were developed for nobles and businessmen. The personal scribe created a signature flourish that only he could execute and ended each proclamation or missive with this flourish and a wax seal, in case of interception by the bad guys. The Copperplate style of writing developed from these flourishes when it was discovered that the invention of a spinning copper plate with a stylus affixed to one side could achieve these amazing pirouettes on paper. Today, the flourish can be seen everywhere. ...