Despite the widespread use of word processing programs and email, there are still occasions when writing by hand is necessary or preferred, like college essay tests, job application forms, thank you cards, romantic letters and quick notes to colleagues at work. Having a unique, attractive style of writing can help you attract attention and make a good impression on others. You learned the basics in grammar school, but read on for suggestions on how to create your own personal handwriting style.
Decide what kind of statement you want to make with your writing. Even people who haven't studied handwriting analysis form opinions about you based on your writing. Think about the impression you want others to have when they meet you and translate that into your writing.
Take a sheet of paper and write out several lines of text. It can be a poem, song lyrics or the Gettysburg Address. Use a good ball point or gel pen for these exercises. You want your writing to move as smoothly over the page as possible.
Look at what you've written and evaluate your current style.
Decide how much you want to change. Relearning your handwriting style can take a lot of time and practice. If you don't want to invest that much, you might consider smaller changes--altering only a few letters or spending some time improving the flow of your writing to make it more legible. For bigger changes, take it step by step.
Start with capital letters. You've probably read books where the first letter of each chapter is a large, impressive, ornate capital letter. Adding extra flourish and personality to your capitals, particularly in your signature, is a great way to make your writing more distinct.
Take a sheet of paper and write out all of the capital letters. College rule notebook paper works well, because you can use one space for lower case letters and two spaces for capitals. This will help you work on unifying the scale of your writing.
Use the space remaining space on the page (and any additional pages) to experiment with those capitals. Add an extra flourish or do the opposite, and streamline the text. Make sure you work with some uniformity. For example, you can adapt round letters like C, O and G in similar ways. Create a pattern and stick with it--this will make it easy on the reader's eyes, and also easier for you to adapt to writing it.
Stay away from extremes. The purpose of writing is to communicate, so you want to be sure that whatever alterations you choose, they're still readable by people unfamiliar with your style. You can see in the picture that the second figure is an adaptation of the traditional form of capital S. Unfortunately, many people reading it confuse it for a capital A. An easy solution to this problem is to instead use a version of capital S that more people are used to seeing.
Lower case letters that drop below the line are another great way to show a different style. A more streamlined writing can make the tail of the letter straight. Or you can add any size loop that makes the statement you want to. Larger loops are bolder and draw attention to themselves, especially if you add an extra curl.
The way you cross the t is another way to make a statement. A short, simple line keeps the writing clean and neat. Longer lines or added flourishes can make for bigger or more eccentric statements.
Consider that the angle of your writing can also make it stand out. Try practicing different angles with your writing. You may find that a certain angle makes your handwriting smoother and more legible. Writing straight up and down usually allows for rounder characters, while extreme angles lead to narrower and often smaller writing. Angling to the left is not considered correct in standard writing, but it is something that would make your writing unique!
Know that the way you connect your letters--or don't--is another way to distinguish your writing. The more connections you make, the more uniform your writing looks. Added flourishes can cause breaks in your writing--make sure the breaks aren't so large the words lose their cohesiveness.
Be aware that the size of your writing also makes a statement. If you're filling out applications for technical jobs, you'll probably want handwriting that is neat and precise and doesn't take up a lot of space. If you're looking for a job in advertising or fashion, it can be more advantageous to have unique or elegant writing. Bold, large signatures are great for people looking to land leadership positions.
Practice. Each time you make a change to your writing, practice writing it many times. Musicians often have great handwriting because they have good rhythm. The more rhythmically your hand moves when you write, the more smooth and attractive your writing will be.
- ['Ball point or gel pen', 'Lined notebook paper (college rule preferred)']
You can get books on handwriting analysis from the library or bookstores to see what your current handwriting says about you, and what your proposed changes will be saying. You can use the steps above to make your printing as unique as your cursive.
As stated in step 7, some uniformity in your style is very important. Don't make random choices, make your letters different sizes, or angle half your writing one way and half the other. Random writing like this can send the wrong message and even make people wonder if you're unstable! In most cases, you probably want to stay away from too many embellishments that detract from the message of your writing. Dotting your "i"'s with hearts may seem cute at first, but doesn't work well on employment applications or notes to your boss.
- Photos by Valerie David c2008.