A complex fleuron with thistle from a 1870 edition of Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect

A fleuron (/ˈflʊərɒn, -ən, ˈflɜːrɒn, -ən/[1]), also known as printers' flower, is a typographic element, or glyph, used either as a punctuation mark or as an ornament for typographic compositions. Fleurons are stylized forms of flowers or leaves; the term derives from the Old French: floron ("flower").[2] Robert Bringhurst in The Elements of Typographic Style calls the forms "horticultural dingbats".[3] A commonly encountered fleuron is the , the floral heart or hedera (ivy leaf). It is also known as an aldus leaf (after Italian Renaissance printer Aldus Manutius).


Τypographic ornament in ancient city of Kamiros in Rhodes island, Greece

Flower decorations are among the oldest typographic ornaments. A fleuron can also be used to fill the white space that results from the indentation of the first line of a paragraph,[4] on a line by itself to divide paragraphs in a highly stylized way, to divide lists, or for pure ornamentation.[5] The fleuron (as a formal glyph) is a sixteenth century introduction.[6]

Fleurons were crafted the same way as other typographic elements were: as individual metal sorts that could be fit into the printer's compositions alongside letters and numbers. This saved the printer time and effort in producing ornamentation. Because the sorts could be produced in multiples, printers could build up borders with repeating patterns of fleurons.

Fleurons in Unicode

Further information: Dingbat

Thirty forms of fleuron have code points in Unicode. The Dingbats and Miscellaneous Symbols blocks have three fleurons that the standard calls "floral hearts" (also called "aldus leaf", "ivy leaf", "hedera" and "vine leaf");[7] twenty-four fleurons (from the pre-Unicode Wingdings and Wingdings 2 fonts) in the Ornamental Dingbats block; and three more fleurons used in archaic languages are also supported.


See also


  1. ^ "fleuron". Collins English Dictionary.
  2. ^ "Fleuron". Dictionary.com. Dictionary.reference.com. Retrieved 2013-12-24.
  3. ^ Bringhurst, Robert, The Elements of Typographic Style, Second edition: Hartley and Marks Publishers, 1996. ISBN 0-88179-132-6
  4. ^ "Typographic Marks Unknown – @retinart". Retinart.net. Retrieved 2013-12-24.
  5. ^ Lisa Ferlazzo (May 10, 2013). "Punctuation graveyard: The Hedera". theworddict.com. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013.
  6. ^ Vervliet, Hendrik D.L. (2012). Vine Leaf Ornaments in Renaissance Typography: A Survey. Brill | Hes & De Graaf. ISBN 978-9061945611. OCLC 802183100. cited in Danilova, Anya (December 23, 2021). "Manual: *@©™®†‡§¶❦☜". Type Today. Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  7. ^ "Dingbats". Unicode Consortium.