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improving my penmanship - learning to handwrite legibly as an adult

 
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Thank you for starting this thread.
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I learned this font almost 50 year ago in elementary school.
It is still teached in Germany...

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/60/Schulausgangsschrift_1968.png/350px-Schulausgangsschrift_1968.png
 

We were advised to hold the pen similar to the picture above, just with the pointer a litle bit more outstretched, so that the first two digits touch the pen.
This was tought to be more relaxed and therefore causing less cramps.

Though with a ballpen I need more pressure, so I'm back to the stance shown there.

BTW of curiosity:
Have a look at the letter after the small 's' - it's a german special, basically a ligature of the letters 's' and 'z'.
Or note, how the german '1' is written differently from the american way...
 
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I realize that this thread is mostly about cursive writing penmanship, but if anyone wants to improve their printing. I highly recommend the brain gym technique called Alphabet 8s.

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/6238fb96245460698a0bd4b8/t/624c828cccdc8f346147f898/1649181325387/handout-Alphabet8s.pdf

 
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Sarah Qaswarah wrote:I'll add my pinch of salt to this conversation, maybe it'll help:



While reading the much earlier posts about gripping the pen/pencil, I studied my grip and thought "I hold a pencil as if it is a pinch of salt." ...and then I read along to find this...*spooky*
I also do so with my wrist rotated outwards to see the point of the tool, maybe the pencil is at 30*- 45* to the table?

I like Melissa's post about the lazy eights, it really shows the "formula" behind the letter shapes, a collection of loops and lines (vertical, horizontal, angled, bent) in all their configurations. Legibility has a lot to do with how faithfully we reproduce these "agreed upon" letter shapes.

In cursive there's a bunch of "conditional" changes with letter combinations, whether you return to the baseline, exit a letter mid-height, or come up from below the baseline, and what the following letter is! I think back to the "Lettraset" transfer lettering sheets, in addition to the letter usage distribution, there were variations of the letters for various combinations.
 
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Something I noticed about my own penmanship recently - When I'm thinking and writing it's terribly messy. When I'm copying something it's very legible.

I think I will proceed with my journaling in two phases - draft writing in my cheapo notebooks, and copying into long term bound journals. I like going back and copying what I've journaled, it's a good chance to reflect.
 
Abraham Palma
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   Hello everyone!

   I have been practising all these months
and I feel very happy about the improvement.
I have even discovered the pleasure of
writing using a fountain pen.
   Thank you so much for the suggestion!

                                                           Abraham.
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Kenneth Elwell
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L. Johnson wrote:Something I noticed about my own penmanship recently - When I'm thinking and writing it's terribly messy. When I'm copying something it's very legible.

I think I will proceed with my journaling in two phases - draft writing in my cheapo notebooks, and copying into long term bound journals. I like going back and copying what I've journaled, it's a good chance to reflect.



I find the same thing when I'm taking notes, that it's sometimes barely legible, or that the notes are bare-bones - keywords, figures, names, titles - but lacking context to tie it all together. The next day, it's understandable, but two years later... it's gibberish.
I don't write/journal as much as draw or sketch with notations. Again the notations are missing context most of the time, much like a spreadsheet without column or row headers, no project names or date of creation... It makes it difficult to decypher.

I need to become more mindful in the moment, or closer to it, while it still makes sense, to add those details.
 
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[quote=
There is much more that I can tell you on this topic, let me know if you want to know anything!

I love that there is a study of this topic and find it really fascinating. If you have any more resources to share on graphology or anything else you were describing, I'd love to know about them.

I learned and practiced cursive penmanship in school, probably something like the Palmer method others have talked about, and I was proud of my precise adherence to that classical standard when I was in school. Later, I intentionally changed my handwriting, allowed for more variation in blocks and cursive, changed the shape of letters to something I preferred more, and just generally loosened up my hand. I adopted this approach with other art tools as well, loosening and broadening my presence on the page.

That this happened to coincide with other more interior personal transformations didn't really occur to me until much later. But I had always noticed that people's handwriting represented and expressed their personalities in very distinctive ways - I don't have the language to describe what I was seeing at the time, but it was clear to me even as a kid that my bold and confident aunt's script represented her personality very distinctly. I could see the juxtaposition of stickler-y rule follower and low-key adventurer in my math teacher's handwriting. And I realized that precision replication of a standardized cursive script didn't really say "me."

I do think there is something to be said for mastering a discipline before breaking it. It can give you the tools to communicate what and how you want, not just "express" unintelligibly. And then you can decide where you want to individualize that expression. And it is similar to hand sewing or embroidery in that it can be meditative and soothing to handwrite. I love the whole discussion of the topic here.
 
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Just saw this thread recommended for me and thought I'd give a shout-out to this amazing book which I was using again today:
I address all my envelopes, hand-letter planner pages, make bookmarks, etc., with the help of this book. I think I'll go hug it now.
 
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I think the key to beautiful handwriting is not the particular alphabet, but the 4 S's.  Shape, Slant, Size, and Spacing.  If you can make these more consistent, your handwriting instantly looks better.
 
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