I’ve recently jumped on the Zazzle bandwagon, and it’s been a blast! While I’ve been a die-hard fan of Redbubble in the past, I’m really enjoying the freedom that Zazzle provides, with it’s more fully featured editor. You can freely layer multiple image assets, add text, shapes, make elements into templates, etc.
Recently I’ve become smitten with the work of Pangga Designs, who make gorgeous monogrammed products, including this rose gold monogrammed planner:
I noticed that the calligraphy lettering used in this design has a really cool effect, of the lines coming out from the left and right of the word ‘madison’. What was this effect? How could I achieve it?
I looked at the ‘Personalise This Template‘ section of the webpage, where you can input the text to be used in the design, and it looked… odd!
See how in the box for ‘Name’, it contains the word madison, plus two unusual characters that look like a D and a D with a v over it. These characters are basically placeholders for the decorative lines!
I found out that these decorative lines are called ‘swashes‘, and are often packaged as their own font file. They can be accessed sometimes by your keyboard, or by entering special Unicode strings, or by coping the letters/symbols from elsewhere (like this article!)
Each symbol will produce a different swash instead of a letter. Swashes can include squiggly lines, arrows, doodles, and even smaller self-contained text elements.
I tried looking online and couldn’t find a guide for using these characters in Zazzle, so here I am today to help you all out by providing a masterpost of what each swash is, and what key/symbol to use to access it.
Sugar Plums Swashes
Sugar Plums is a beautiful calligraphy script font. The decorative elements are stored in a separate font, called Sugar Plums Swashes. This file is found in Zazzle’s list of All fonts, between ‘Sugar Plums’ and ‘Sugar Plums Italic’.
Simply copy the Letter in the table below that is next to the image you want to display, and paste it in Zazzle’s Edit Text box.
|s||curly line leaves|
|u||word with, curly line leaves|
|v||word to, leaves|
|w||word the, curly line|
|x||curly line, leaves|
|A||word and, leaves|
|H||word and, leaves|
|L||word to, curly line|
|N||word the, leaves|
|R||word and, leaves|
|S||curly line, leaves|
|U||word with, curly line|
|V||word from, leaves|
|W||word the, leaves, straight line|
|X||word for, curly line, leaves|
|Y||curved line, branch leaves|
|Z||curved line, branch|
|0||straight line, leaves|
|2||circle, leaves, frame|
|3||curly line, frame|
|4||curly line, leaves|
|5||curved line, circle, oval, leaves|
|6||circle, oval, leaves|
|7||curved line, circle, oval|
|8||curved line, circle, oval, leaves|
|9||straight line, leaves, flower|
Blooming Elegant is another calligraphy font. It doesn’t have many decorative swashes, but there are a couple of curved and curly horizontal lines. And there are several characters that have alternative appearances. You can incorporate these to make your text look more handwritten and natural.
When you add a text element and input the special character, it may look incorrect in the ‘Edit Text’ box. It may look like a tiny square with even tinier letters and numbers in it. That’s fine! Once you click the OK button, it will turn into the right character.
Another interesting thing to note is that the font will sometimes use the alternative version of a letter or letter pair automatically. For example, if I type in the word ‘Essence’, it will automatically use the alternative character for ‘ss’ letter pair.
Some Word and Swash Combinations
Before and After Adding Alt Characters
See how the use of alternative characters stops the repeating ‘s’ characters from looking repetitive. It makes it feel more like it was all handwritten.
I hope these reference images will help you make some excellent Zazzle products. It’s already helped me in my design efforts. I was able to make a modern 2022 planner design that I’m pretty proud of!
If you need some cute personalised gifts, check out my Zazzle store, JessicaAmberArtist.
And if there’s more Zazzle content you’d like to see on this blog, leave a comment below!
Peace, love and sunshine,