Archive of ‘Art’ category

Free Written ASL Valentine’s Day Cards!

Stores this week are stocked full of Valentine’s Day cards to share with family and friends, but where are the cards in American Sign Language? How can we show affection to each other in a short, sweet note?

Maybe we could go look for the perfect spot with bright lighting where we can take out our expensive iPhones, and then immediately film a one-handed, shaky clip. After trimming and editing the clip we then get ready to send out an email — but wait! There was some spinach hanging off our finger. Time to start all over again —

Or we could simply print out the free Valentine’s Day cards below, write a tender message, and then put them where our family and friends can find them. There’s even a card where you can practice writing using fingerspelling — great for quick, secret notes!

Click to download JPG image.

Click to download JPG image.

Click here to download the PDF version of the cards.

Free ASL Holiday Cards

Are you frantically searching for the right holiday card that incorporates American Sign Language? Look no further – we have two free designs that you can print out and mail today!

"A Holiday Wish" 2-sided card

“A Holiday Wish” 2-sided card

"Happy New Year 2013" card

“Happy New Year 2013” card

Have a special ASL holiday card design you’d like to see? Let us know!

Special thanks to Bethany Gehman for layout work!

Advice for a Young ASL Student

We recently had a survey, and one of the questions struck a chord with responders:

“If I could take a trip back in time and give myself advice about learning ASL, I would say…”

The answers everyone wrote were too amazing to not share, so Adrean has distilled them and created a poem. Here it is, in English and ASL!

Advice for a Young ASL Student English/ASL

Click to read a larger version.

Advice for a Young ASL Student

This is for you from me
taking an impossible trip through a time machine
I’d tell you many things
I’d tell your parents to learn ASL
for the entire family
you know science has proven Vitamin ASL is great
for a young brilliant mind
like yours

And this is my message to you

have fun, play in this wonderful language
you are in good hands with the Deaf Community
as a welcomed guest
always mind your manners and look to those
beautiful Deaf hands who can mentor you

and you, wonderful curious you
don’t worry about your mistakes
never mind being perfect
go ahead, leap onto sentences
ride them through to ideas
no need to rush, they are you
exploring the mysterious jungles of ASL

drink it in, dive the waters
there is no better time than now
surround yourself with Deaf adventurers
fall off the English map, shake your comforts
barry a bag full of practice
buried in the scents of Deaf history


you’ll be the one taking the impossible trip
your body responsive to thought
(and yes! pouring with lovely classifiers)
telling another you and you

and you.

Advice from survey respondents at, compiled and creatively written by Adrean Clark.

ASL on the Road

What if the US Government officially recognized American Sign Language, and implemented ASL in essential road and information signs across the country?

This is not unusual as many countries have a multi-lingual policy. Here are a few examples:

Bilingual Road Signs from Around the World

Now, take a trip through a bilingual ASL/English country:

ASL-English Men's Bathroom Sign

A bilingual ASL-English bathroom sign.

Stop sign in ASL

Written ASL alone can work!
(Do you see another ASL-English sign?)

Gallaudet University Front Entrance with signs in written ASL.

Gallaudet University in the near future?

To learn more about written ASL, check out How to Write American Sign Language!

Image credits:

Bautzen photograph by j budissin. Gallaudet front entrance photograph by Daniel Lobo. Brittany, Montreal, and Jersey signs are in the public domain, from Wikimedia Commons. Images modified by Adrean Clark.

How to Write Your Sign Language

The Adreanaline blog recently posted a new comic, in written American Sign Language and written French Sign Language. Which brings up an interesting question:

How can written ASL support other sign languages and still allow them to stand on their own?

The answer is actually easier than one might think. Let’s break down the components:

Signed ASL Written ASL
Handshapes Digits
Palm Orientation Diacritics (and more)
Movement Movement Marks
Location Locatives
Non-Manual Signals Extramanual Marks

Those components are shared with all sign languages. What sets American Sign Language apart from French Sign Language and others is the collection of handshapes/digits and how they are used when conversing. If we let go of that structure and borrow the underlying principles from each written component, we can then create a custom solution for any sign language.

Example of Written ASL and Written LSF

In the case of LSF, the handshapes used in French signs had corresponding digits in the ASL digibet. That is how it was possible for the l’Épée comic to make the leap from ASL to LSF, and leave the integrity of French Sign Language intact.

Remember each sign language has their own “library” of handshapes, so new digits (and possibly other marks) will need to be created to fit the language. Finding the common elements between ASL and your sign language can lead to a completely new written language, because the underlying principles are the same.

We will continue to explore this and more in future articles. Subscribe today to get them in your inbox!

Art’Pi needs your help with producing their commemorative issue on l’Épée’s 300th birthday — If you enjoyed the comics and this article, donate today!

Facebook IconYouTube IconTwitter Icon