When trying to predict which gifs will go viral on Tumblr, handwriting — you know, that old-fashioned method of making letters with a pen and your hand — might not be the first thing that comes to mind.
This came to our attention when we learned that one of the most popular new Tumblrs, inabrush, features handwriting exclusively. Some of the user’s gifs are spread far and wide on Tumblr. The one below, which comes from a video tutorial on roundhand lettering by Glen Weisberger and has 13,000 notes.
This one by Matt Vergotis is also popular. It shows follows a hand writing the word “Josh” but leaving the letter “o” until the very end. For some reason, Tumblr users are mesmerised by it and have noted it 320 times.
Inabrush credits all of the designers behind the gifs. This one, which says “LilGirl” and has 9900 notes and counting, is by Colin Tierney.
Inabrush isn’t the only Tumblr account devoted to these mesmerising images. If you search “calligraphy gifs” on Tumblr, you’ll see there are plenty of other accounts posting, reblogging and noting similar gifs of their own.
Uplifting and happy messages usually garner the most viral love on Tumblr.
The trend seems to appeal to social media users’ innate love of everyday tropes presented in clean and orderly ways, as seen in the widespread knolling trend and the popular Instagram account devoted to presenting perfectly arranged fruit platters.
In fact, the trend spills over to Instagram. Letterer and illustrator Colin Tierney runs an account on that platform where he adds music to his short lettering videos, making them all the more irresistible.