New answers tagged terminology
I've always had a hierarchy system in my head. How it got there, I haven't a clue. Thus: text (alpha/numeric/punctuation), dingbats (at times, bullets), flourishes or ornaments (your concern), and finally illustrations -- which have, in my mind, a hierarchy of their own.
Text over an image. Text on a background. As Jenna answered, "overlay text" perhaps - not a term I'd use, but I'd have an idea about what someone meant if I heard it. "Overlay" to me, always infers opacity to a degree. Not the same thing in my mind as "text over an image". I don't think there's a "special" term for it.
Wikipedia seems to call them Dingbats, when entering from the German sister page Zierrat (Druck).
This is overlay text. Text that covers the surface of the image is called overlay text. Because you can't see the parts of the image that are behind the white stroke of this font I would call it overlay :)
They are also called "flourishes." One of the definitions of the noun form of "flourish" is "a decoration or embellishment, especially in writing," and one of its synonyms is "ornament".
If you ask someone in the publishing world what they are called they will point you to what's called a "Chapter Ornament" or a "Book Ornament". If you want to get further technical on the design process, book designers will refer to them if they are at the beginning of a chapter as a "Chapter Heading Ornament" or at the end of the chapter as a "End of ...
Scroll ornament is the term, I believe.
As far as I know, they are called 'embellishments', or smore specifically 'text embellishments'.
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