The Three Golden Flourishes: An Interview with Robert Bree

Feb 18, 2024
Robert Bree

At the July Typism Summit 2023, lettering artist Robert Bree shared insights on the art of flourishes, delving into the three pivotal forms: spirals, loops, and S-curves.

Afterwards, we interviewed Robert in a Q+A session and discussed how these three “Golden” flourishes can be applied to real-world words and projects.


Robert Bree is a skilled lettering artist from Germany and the host of the Flourish Club. During his summit talk, he shared insights on the art of flourishes, delving into the three pivotal forms: spirals, loops, and S-curves. He refers to these forms as the Three Golden Flourishes.

Robert suggests that by practising these three forms, you can add them to your calligraphy or lettering, and the flourishes will feel like a natural extension of your letterforms. He used the example of the word Daughter to demonstrate the three golden flourishes in action, as you can see below.

Here are some highlights from the summit Q+A session with Robert.

Q: Could you explain why spirals, loops, and S-curves are considered golden forms in flourishing and how they form the foundation for intricate artwork?

Robert: These three forms are revered for their elegance and versatility. Artists like Doyald Young and Ryan Hamrick have showcased the endless creative possibilities with these graceful curves. Mastering these foundational forms instils confidence in artists to create sophisticated compositions.

Q: Your demonstration with ‘Daughter’ beautifully showcased how flourishes enhance specific letters. Can you share more about identifying ideal connections between flourishes and letters for harmonious compositions?

Robert: Achieving balance in flourished lettering involves understanding negative space. It’s about how the flourishes interact with the surrounding space. Focusing on negative space and crossing at right angles helps create visually captivating and balanced compositions.

Q: Practice is crucial in mastering flourishes. Starting with ovals, spirals, loops, and S-curves, how can aspiring artists effectively practice these to build skills and confidence?

Robert: Consistent, dedicated practice is key. Beginners should begin with simpler forms like ovals and gradually progress. Developing muscle memory and understanding the nuances of each form are crucial. Patience is vital—persistent practice leads to improved skills and confidence.

Key Talk Takeaways

 

Three Golden Flourishes
  • Spirals, loops, and S-curves are deemed golden flourishes for their elegance and versatility.
  • Inspired by artists like Doyald Young and Ryan Hamrick, mastering these forms instils confidence for intricate compositions.
Harmonising Flourishes with Letters
  • Achieving poise involves understanding negative space and ideal connections between flourishes and letters.
  • Attentiveness to negative space and crossing at right angles create visually captivating compositions with balance and harmony.
Effective Practice
  • Consistent practice, starting with simpler forms like ovals, is paramount for mastering flourishes.
  • Emphasis on muscle memory and nuanced understanding, progressing from basic to intricate shapes, builds skills and confidence over time.

Quote by Robert Bree, graphic by Ferlix Christian Campugan

 

We hope Robert’s introduction to the Three Golden Flourishes will give you the confidence to add more flourishes to your lettering.

Some parting words from Robert: “Flourishes can be both beautiful and at the same time intimidating in lettering and calligraphy.”

 

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