Wednesday, August 17, 2011
The art of handwriting


If you're a regular reader, you may have noticed several stories on handwriting over the past week. We took a look at how friends and family can influence handwriting changes; questioned whether Americans’ handwriting skills are worsening; and caught up with a handwriting expert, whose spot-on analysis surprised some iReporters. And in the coming days, you can expect to see stories on cursive, the history of the English alphabet, and a quiz that tests your skills when it comes to identifying handwriting.


So, why all the focus on handwriting lately? It’s part of our year-long cultural census project. We asked iReporters to submit handwriting samples and stories like these allow us to take a closer look at the submissions we’ve received.


I’ve always loved seeing others’ handwriting. My parents, both schoolteachers, have excellent penmanship, and that’s something they worked to pass along to my brother and I. My handwriting certainly isn’t perfect, but I like it – I like to think of it as an extension of my personality.


Given my fascination with handwriting, it’s no surprise that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading iReporters’ stories and checking out their various styles. Kari Brigham of Geneva, Illinois, learned to like her handwriting after years of practicing it; Cindy Schultz of Franklin, Wisconsin, prefers all-caps; and Bethany Mellon of Oxford, Alabama, has constantly struggled with her penmanship.


But it was William Rowan’s unique, artistic style that immediately caught my eye. Rowan, who’s from Lansing, Michigan, calls his handwriting “italigraph,” and says “it’s modeled after the writing of the great Renaissance italic calligraphers.” He makes it a point to practice handwriting a bit every day, and knows how meaningful a handwritten note can be as opposed to an email or text message.


“It seems to mean so much to people to receive a handwritten note of thanks, admiration, encouragement,” he said. “I certainly do enjoy brightening people’s day.”


What’s your handwriting look like? It’s not too late to add it to the mix! (And, while you’re at it, you can take a self-portrait, record an audio sample, make a typical meal, and show us how you get around town.) Ultimately, we plan to collect all of the submissions, pair them with census data, and hopefully learn some interesting things about the iReport community.

August 17, 2011
Click to view sunethra's profile

Beautiful handwriting.

August 17, 2011
Click to view JoyfulGypsy's profile

The link to the "spot on analysis" does not work. 

August 17, 2011
Click to view katie's profile

@JoyfulGypsy Good eye! The link is fixed now. Thanks for flagging!

August 18, 2011
Click to view HibMN's profile

Very nice !

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