What are font flourishes?
The first definition of “font flourishes” that springs to mind is simply this: decorative letters or glyphs. They are mostly used in calligraphy or digital typography – logos, invitations, or posters, for example. You can work with all kinds of fonts and apply the flourishes to almost any place you want to, if the font includes them.
This font trend has been around for quite a while now, but it continues to be popular among designers who are looking to give their projects an extra little something-something. There are thousands of free fonts online containing these types of lettering elements that you can use!
What is a glyph?
A glyph is a specific character in a font, such as an “a” or an “x”. A glyph can also be a decorative letter or symbol that is used in calligraphy or digital typography, such as a swash or flourish.
The term “font flourish” is often used interchangeably with the terms “swash” or “alternate glyph,” but they are not exactly the same. A glyph is a specific character in a font, while a font flourish is a type of glyph that is used for decoration. Font flourishes can be simple or elaborate, and they can be added to any lettering style.
How to Access Glyphs in Cricut Design Space
In order to know how to add flourishes to fonts in Cricut Design Space, you will first need to know how to access your glyphs. Unfortunately, Cricut Design Space doesn’t allow you to see all of the glyphs of your fonts, so you will need to use either Font Book (Mac) or the Character Map (Windows/PC).
(Hopefully this is a feature that Design Space makes available in the near future.)
Accessing the font glyphs in Design Space can be tricky, so the process for PC/Mac is important to note! Once you’ve figured this process out once, it will be much easier in the future!
In order to add swashes to your font, the swash will need to already exist within the font’s glyphs. If the font doesn’t include swashes or special font characters in its glyphs, you will not be able to add flourishes to your font.
While I have PC instructions included in this blog post, the screencaps I’m going to show you are for a Mac computer, since that’s what I use for my design work! You can also see a video of me demonstrating these steps here. I’ve also got a video where you can see what it’s like to access special characters on an iPad so you can use them in Design Space.
Accessing Glyphs on Mac
While using a Mac, open up Font Book. You can find this in your Launchpad or by searching for the application in Spotlight Search (⌘ + Space). Navigate to View > Repertoire, allowing you to view all of the fonts’ glyphs, rather than the sample that Font Book typically shows.
Now, choose the font that you wish to use from your list of all the fonts installed on your device. You will now be able to scroll through the included glyphs of the font selected to find the special characters that you wish to use. Select the glyph, then navigate to Edit > Copy.
Accessing Glyphs on Windows/PC
While using Windows, you will need to open your Character Map in order to access fonts installed and their extra font characters. You can find this in your Programs or search for it in the Search Bar.
To begin, choose your font within Character Map. After this, choose Advanced View and click the Group By dropdown menu. Here, you will select Unicode Subrange, and a popup window will open. Once the popup opens up, scroll to the bottom and select Private Use Characters.
Now, you can scroll through the alternate characters and choose the special characters that you’re looking for. Click Select > Copy for the font glyph that you want to use.
Using Special Characters and Glyphs in Cricut Design Space
Copy the glyph from your font using the steps previously described within FontBook or Character Map.
Now that you’ve chosen your glyph, return to Cricut Design Space where your design file is open. Using the Text Tool, add a new text box to your design and type out all the letters of the design in the same font that you chose your glyph from.
Move the cursor to where the special glyph is going and choose Edit > Paste in order to paste your alternate character into the design. Adjust the letter-spacing if needed in order to make the flourish flow with the rest of the font.
Keep in mind that once you use the special characters, if you change the font, the design will change drastically as the glyphs in each script font are different.
Repeat the first step for as many glyphs as you need, pasting them into your design after they are copied each time. Add a new text box for more text or simply build onto the text that you have already typed!
Pro Tip: If you’re using Design Space on your iPad or iPhone, you can download the paid app Unicode Character Viewer. The app is .99 cents, and will allow you to look up fonts installed on your device, copy the glyph you’d like to use, and then paste the glyph into Design Space.
Find Fonts to Use In Your Next Cricut Design Space Project
My font bundle includes a variety of fonts that have a hand-crafted look and feel to them, with most including extra font characters! You can purchase the bundle for personal use or license the fonts for commercial projects. Check it out today and find your new favorite fonts!