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How to create bounce calligraphy

What is bounce calligraphy?

Bounce calligraphy is a popular modern calligraphy style that has a distinctive bounciness, hence its name.


What a lot of people don’t realise when starting to learn bounce calligraphy is that there’s far more to this style than simply bouncing your letters Bounce calligraphy is a more fluid calligraphy style.


Bounce calligraphy involves being less constricted by the set of rules you typically learn in school. For example, in school you're taught that all of your letters should be in a straight line whereas in bounce lettering you literally bounce your letters and avoid having them in a straight line.



Is bounce calligraphy difficult to learn?

Learning which letters to bounce takes some practice and you'll make mistakes along the way. I made plenty of them until I got the hang of it so just stay persistent.


It's also worth pointing out that it feels very unnatural at first as you've been taught for years to write it a straight neat line and doing the opposite feels very strange/uncomfortable at first. I actually personally struggled with bounce calligraphy at first because of this reason but now that I've got the hang of it, I absolutely love it.


When I self-taught myself bounce calligraphy I also found myself feeling frustrated as I didn't know which letters to bounce. There's no magic answer about which letters to bounce, but it becomes more intuitive with experience. What I also didn't realise is that there's more to bounce calligraphy than bouncing which I'll get into in a moment.


Learning bounce calligraphy can be challenging because it does take persistence to look what looks right and what doesn't however if you've learnt calligraphy you are probably used to taking the time to learn new skills.


How to do bounce calligraphy

There are five ways to create this bounce calligraphy style, which I’ll give an overview of below. As I referenced earlier, it's not just about bouncing letters, there's more to this style.




Open up

Opening up your letters creates some of the looseness associated with the bounce calligraphy style.


One way to do this is by adding loops to your letters. Another way to open up your letters is to connect strokes that follow downstrokes differently, connecting the letters lower down.


Add curves

Rather than creating your downstrokes completely vertical as you’re used to doing, you’re going to want to add a slight curve to the downstroke to help your letter look less rigid. It can be a subtle change that can make a big difference to the feel of your lettering.


You can also add curves to curves which may sound strange at first, but you simply need to add a slight wave to your letters.


Exaggerate

This is where the looseness of the style comes into play. To exaggerate your letters you’ll want to make ascending and descending loops larger along with any letter that involves a loop such as the letter r.


You can also exaggerate your letters by bringing part of the letter above or below where you usually would.


When you exaggerate letters, it's important to make sure that the level of bounciness is consistent throughout.


Shake it up

Another way to create the bounce calligraphy is to shake up duplicate strokes / letters. For example, you'll want to create the two overturns on the letter m differently.


If you have a word with double letters, you'll also want to create them differently. How you vary them depends on the letter, for example with the letter p, you would create the heights of the downstrokes to be different, but with two letter o's you would create the loops to be different sizes.

Finally, which letters to bounce

There's no magic answer to this sadly, but I can advise a starting point. You can start by lifting the vowels up in your letters and then lifting any connections/strokes linked to them. Learning which letters to bounce comes with experience and trial and error.


How to get started with bounce calligraphy

Read my free bounce calligraphy guide by popping your name and email below or you can practise the bounce calligraphy alphabet with my bounce calligraphy workbook.

You can also get the worksheets with accompanying video guides which go more in detail with examples in my Calligraphy Confidence Course.


To sum up

Bounce calligraphy is a fun modern calligraphy style which involves more than just bouncing your letters. There are five ways to create this distinctive style:

  1. Open up

  2. Add curves

  3. Exaggerate

  4. Shake it up

  5. Bouncing letters

You can learn about each of these methods in my workbook or Calligraphy Confidence course.

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