Swash (typography)

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Swashes marked with red color.
Minion Pro in capital letters in regular (1), italic (2) and swash (3) style.

A swash is a typographical flourish, such as an exaggerated serif, terminal, tail, entry stroke, etc. on a glyph.[1] The use of swash characters dates back to at least the 16th century, as they can be seen in Ludovico Vicentino degli Arrighi La Operina, which is dated 1522.


  1. ^ Henry, Frank S (1917). Printing: A Textbook For Printers' Apprentices, Continuation Classes, And For General Use In Schools. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 82. 
Flamboyant swashes in the Zapfino typeface