This article looks at cross-linguistic variation in lexical iconicity, addressing the question of to what extent and how this variation is patterned. More than in spoken languages, iconicity is highly frequent in the lexicons of sign languages. It is also highly complex, in that often multiple motivated components jointly shape an iconic lexeme. Recent typological research on spoken languages finds tentative iconic patterning in a large number of basic lexical items, underlining once again the significance of iconicity for human language. The uncontested and widespread use of iconicity found in the lexicons of sign languages enables us to take typological research into lexical iconicity to the next level. Indeed, previous studies have shown cross-linguistic variation in: a) the use of embodying and handling handshapes in sign languages (mostly of European origin) and b) the frequency of space-based size depiction in African and European sign languages. The two types of variation may be interrelated, as handling handshapes may use space-based size depiction. In this study, we first replicate earlier studies on the distribution of embodying and handling handshapes, this time in a data set consisting of a relatively large set of sign languages ( n = 11), most of which are used in Africa. The results confirm significant variation across these sign languages. These findings are then compared to the use of space-based size depiction, revealing that these patterns independently from the distribution of embodying/handling handshapes. We argue that the results call for expanding typological studies on representational strategies in iconic signs beyond the now relatively well studied instrument/manipulation alternation. Fine-grained analyses on a multitude of iconic features in signs are likely to reveal cross-linguistic variation in iconic tendencies in SL lexicons.