I don't think you can ever 'unlearn' your original handwriting, so you'll always be able to let your personality shine through. Every individual handwriting has its own charm - for example, when I think of my highschool classmates, I can actually still remember each of their individual handwriting, which is so cool!
However, there are times when you might need to write more neatly or legibly, in which case you'd want to practice being consistent with your handwriting.
The goal isn't to write perfectly, but rather to find a writing style that you enjoy. Embrace the imperfections that you like and practice where you want to improve.
In this video, I take you through the process of how I created a journal for me to practice my handwriting. You can watch the video here:
Please don't feel like you need to go through the extra steps that I did, because really, the only supplies you need in order to practice your handwriting is a pen and paper. I just had this idea in mind and I needed a way to relax and unwind so I thought I'd film the process, anticipating I might get asked about it later on.
Fancy or expensive tools won't automatically improve your handwriting, so feel free to use whatever you already have on hand.
The whole process is explained in the video, however, I thought I'd write this blog post to give you alternatives as well as to answer the most asked questions from the video.
There are many ways you can go about practicing your handwriting or learning how to write in a certain font/typeface.
You can either:
Get a pen and paper and use your phone/computer to reference the letters/fonts you want to learn.
Download/purchase ready-made practice sheets online
Make your own practice sheets
Search for the fonts you want to learn. You can find free fonts here: google fonts, dafont, font space, 1001fonts, font squirrel, fontsly. You can browse through the ‘handwritten’ font libraries to find ones that you like best. Finally, download and install the font.
Create a document with all the lowercase and uppercase letters of the alphabet, arranging them vertically. You can also write a few light-grey letters so that you can trace over them until you get the hang of the motion.
Print the document and start practicing.
Use tracing paper
After downloading the font you want to learn, create a document with all the letters of the alphabet and print it out. Then, use tracing sheets to trace over the letters until you feel comfortable writing them without a guide.
Ideas for things to write while practicing: pangrams, daily journaling, song lyrics, favorite quotes, common words (days of the week, months, names, etc), poems, grocery list, recipes.
FAQ’s about my handwriting journal
What notebook are you using?
I’m using the Traveler’s Company dot grid notebook in a Standard size Traveler’s notebook cover in Brown. However, you can literally use *any* notebook you like or have on hand.
How did you print on clear sticker paper?
Depending on the type of printer you have, you can find clear sticker paper for ink-jet or laser printers. Make sure you get the right type of paper for your printer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the settings you should use.
What pen are you using?
The pen is Lamy Studio Lx fountain pen with an EF (extra fine) nib. It’s my favorite fountain pen at the moment, however, I also love the more affordable alternatives like the Lamy Safari or the Pilot Metropolitan.
How did you make the practice sheets?
I used Photoshop to create the reference sheets that I printed on clear sticker paper.
Unfortunately, I can’t share the sheets I made in the video because I don’t own the rights to distribute those fonts, but you can use any other text editing software to create your own sheets.
Which fonts did you use?
I like the Angelface font for cursive (because it’s pretty similar to my own) and Cookies & Milk or Paper Daisy for print. You can browse through the ‘handwritten’ font libraries to find ones that you like best.
Some general tips for handwriting consistency:
Find the shape/style you like best for each letter of the alphabet and try to keep it consistent throughout.
Make sure that all your letters are the same size, as well as all the ascenders (the parts of letters that extend above the main writing line - i.e. k, l, h, f, b), and descenders (the parts of letters that extend below the main writing line - ie. g, p, y, j).
Try to keep the spacing between the words consistent. As a rule of thumb, the spacing in between the words should be as wide as the letter ‘n’.
The slanting of your writing should also be consistent, whether you write straight up or slanted (usually to the right).
Try out different pen grips to figure out what gives you the best results. You should also hold your paper/notebook at an angle - this creates a more natural angle for your hand and arm and reduces strain.
Go slowly and have patience - it takes time to develop muscle memory, so don’t give up if you don’t see a huge improvement right away!
Stretching your arms and fingers is a good idea too, especially before/during/after long writing sessions.
All these rules can be broken, of course! That’s what gives character to different handwriting styles and fonts. But these tips are just starting points to help you create a more neat and consistent handwriting.
I can’t stress this enough though - the goal isn’t to write perfectly, but rather to find a writing style that you enjoy. Embrace the imperfections that you like and work on consistency where you need improvement.
Regardless of which approach you choose to improve your handwriting,
if you take away anything from this post I hope it's that
you should be brave enough to be bad at something new!
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