What Is “Bounce Lettering”?

 

PSSST! Make sure you read to the bottom and get your free bounce lettering practice sheet!


So you keep hearing this term- “bounce lettering” and wondering what it means? We’ve all been there as beginners (myself included!).

Well, bounce lettering is sorta a vague term. In simple terms, it means exactly what it sounds like: lettering that looks bouncy instead of all rigid on one line.

But lets back up a bit…


First, there are some basic terms you should know. In the diagram below, take note of:

BASELINE: this is the line your letters sit on- and this is the one we’re going to play with most!
WAIST: this is the line the main body of your letter hits
X HEIGHT (green X): this is the height of the main body of your letters- so in the example, the oval part in each letter.

And, less importantly for today’s lesson:

ASCENDER: the height that your top loops will hit (letters d, h, k, etc.)
DESCENDER: the (negative) height that your bottom loops will hit (letters g, p, y, etc.)


When you’re learning calligraphy using your basic strokes, it’s important to stick within the guidelines above.

HOWEVER….

Once you’re comfortable with the styles that stay within those boundaries, you can begin to break the rules. And that’s where bounce lettering comes in. You will often also hear this referred to as “bouncing baselines”. Why?

Because to bounce your lettering, you will begin to selectively ignore the baseline.

In the example below, notice how some of the letters dip below the baseline? This is the fundamental idea, and the easiest way to start adding some more character to your letters!

Once you’re comfortable with bouncing the baseline, you can also try playing with the waistline (k, I realize that sounds bad…. LOL).

In the example below, check out the difference it makes when you selectively ignore the baseline and the waistline.


Now… this is a very simplified example. Bounce lettering can be extremely challenging- and if you don’t do it carefully, your work can easily turn messy. Although bounce lettering is meant to be a freeform, whimsical style, there are still some general guidelines that you should be following.

Ready to learn my 4 basic guidelines and give bounce lettering a try? Good! Cause I’ve made you a free traceable worksheet.

Just enter your e-mail in this form, and I will send you the worksheet right away!

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More of a visual learner? Check out this full step-by-step tutorial on YouTube.

Comments

    1. Your videos inspired me a lot! Thanks for all the details and reminders!
      Please keep teaching us and happy lettering! Xx

    1. I really enjoy watching. Your videos and I learn so much because of your style and techniques and your way of teaching in detail and demonstrations.
      Thanks so much,
      Payday

  1. Just what is needed on a cloudy Moday morning!
    Free practice worksheets!
    Your generous outreach is greatly appreciated. Regards!

  2. I love all that you provide for your students! You’re a great teacher and I appreciate all of your hard work! Thanks for everything!

  3. Hi Becca, thank you so much for sharing your talent. I am still working on my drills. I love brush lettering, but it still intimidates me. I hope in time I can be half as good as you.

  4. Becca you make this awesome course so fun to be a part of! Thank you for having such a lovely presence all the time!

  5. So generous of you! I keep trying to jump in where i can and this was just the pick up i needed to get going again!

  6. Thank you, Becca! The bouncy style is so interesting and fun to look at, but so hard to get the hang of. This will help!

  7. Becca, thanks to your four rules of bouncing, I never thought of it as being so simple! Granted it’ll take practice for the “flow” of letters for me, but such a huge difference already for me! Thank you for the tutorial and for the free worksheet!?

  8. Thank you Becca for your comments how to do the bouncing , the rules and how to wasy looks like to do it. Amazing tutorial and thank you for the free worksheet. I will up the picture in instagram using it. Many thanks.

  9. Thank you very much for sharing this with us! ???
    Here’s to a Happy 2020; and, to a great start at learning the art of lettering!

  10. I took your basic Calligraphy course, and you have broken everything down and made it easy with practise, even us Left Handers can do it. now when i make a card I am confident my writing will not ruin it. thank you

    1. Yeah! So glad you’re enjoying it, and I definitely wanted to make sure my left handers could participate. 🙂

  11. Thank you, Becca! I have been doing hand lettering for a while and my calligraphy was ok. But after doing your Faux Calligraphy course it comes more naturally and my work looks so neat now. Doing the bounce lettering next.

  12. Thank you Becca. I think I need to do a refresher of your basic strokes and then try bouncing. I’ve been extremely busy teaching 2nd grade remotely with this crazy COVID-19. Haven’t had time to practice lately. Love your videos. Can’t wait to do some bouncing!

  13. I just love your teachings and how you are so easy to listen to and make me feel like your talking directly to me and only me!! Your great! Don’t ever stop doing what you love because it’s SO obvious that you DO love it!!

  14. having a tough time downloading. did the link expire? are you able to email? great video and the best explanation i’ve ever seen – thanks!

  15. Enjoy everything you do. I watched your bouncy video and cannot download. Any other way I can receive your free worksheet on bouncing? You are the best!

  16. I love watching your videos on YouTube I am just a beginner and still learning with the basic strokes but I wanna try to do bounce lettering cause it’s fun?

  17. I learn the most by watching your YouTube videos. They are detailed and show me how to do the bouncy lettering the correct way, as well as where the mistakes are and how to correct them. I’m a visual learner, so these are great!!!

  18. You make it look simple and explain how we can make it that way too. Excellent methods and GREAT teacher. Thank you!

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