Floral and ornamental type dates back to medieval times when scribes were writing manuscripts, they would use the large ornamental lettering as initials and smaller plainer fonts for the body text.
Lettering that had been modified with such decoration is usually referred to as embellishment, this means that the decoration appears on top of the letterform, this type of decoration was copied and experimented with in the 19th century by foundries adding patterns, pictures shadows and 3D effects to there lettering.
The other type of lettering is refereed to as Encompassing this is when the letterform itself is decorative and is not derived from an existing letterform
Ref Book: Type and Typography
Below are a few examples from around the web to gain some inspiration in this style of design and typography that has taken form over the years.
This design looks overgrown and wild with an upward movement that makes it feel like its growing.
The hand drawn version coloured with ink.
An elegant hand made design by Shaz Madani made from paper for a campaign for Artic Paper to bridge the gap between creativity and environmental thinking, such as using recycled paper.
These flourishes originate from the numbers and grow upwards, there are lines in the background and also balloons floating, the space and stars on the numbers gives the design a bright vivid aura.
Yulia Brodskaya originally from Russia has achived numerous awards for typographic style and design, these designs look like icing on a cake, delicate flourishes with contrasting colours.
Ginger Monkey Design
Ginger Monkey Design have had numerous features in magazines including computer arts, there designs incorporate many swirls and flourishes, This personal collection is part of there inspiring word series here can be seen compassion and selfless.
This set has great composition and simple decoration yet has a massive impact on the type as well as the though provoking colours.
Words are Pictures
Words are Pictures is a London, UK based designer that has some familiar designs, playing with typography and words is how this designers progresses his designs, as you can see the design below looks almost 3D with hidden words behind the foliage.
Inksurge a design company from Manila, Philippines specialising in visual arts and communication
Prouced this design for the hosting company Media Temple, a shirt design for a premium give-away for their clients and partners.
Covers the letterforms with a bouquet of ornaments and floral patterns making the it still legible to read.
Nathan Walker from Dallas, TX, United States is a freelance designer specialising in digital art.
A sketch taken in to Photoshop inspired by a quote from the bible “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
Narani Kannan is a graphic design student in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The design below is inspired by the Victorian architecture know as baroque.
Arthur Dam is a designer from Hilversum, Netherlands and has created atmospheric digital designs
The design below shows an intriquet blend of curls around a light font making the whole word eye catching even though the colours are quite dull.
Burlesque Design an array of music oriented prints and posters, the example below shows how the design is progressing from a sketch.
Nikki Farquharson a freelance designer from London, UK has an eye for patterns, lines, shapes and colours.
Si Scott is maybe one of the more well know dseigners for this style
sumeco is a Dutch designer who has a huge and inspiring portfolio of digital work the examples shown take on a natural typography theme with roots, vines, and branches, giving the designs a fresh feel.
Colin Lee is a passionate designer from London, UK creating complex typographic treatments as well as other forms of graphic design.
Nik Ainley of Shiny Binary is an Oxford, UK based illustrator and has had some great accomplishments with publications in magazines and books, he strives to master his tools to realise his ideas.
Id have to say that this style of typography catchs my imagination more over than allot of other styles. just because of the detail and time spent on each piece, What do yo like and think about this style ?