Improve Your Handwriting: Strategies for Better Form, Legibility, and Speed | Doris Fullgrabe | Skillshare

Improve Your Handwriting: Strategies for Better Form, Legibility, and Speed

Doris Fullgrabe, Lettering & Calligraphy, Freelance

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13 Lessons (1h)
    • 1. Welcome to Improve Your Handwriting

    • 2. Tools & Setup

    • 3. Natasha - Form 1/4

    • 4. Natasha - Form 2/4

    • 5. Natasha - Form 3/4

    • 6. Natasha - Review 4/4

    • 7. Make Your Own Guidelines

    • 8. Kelley - Legibility

    • 9. Sam - Speed

    • 10. Speed Exercises

    • 11. Handwriting Benefits

    • 12. Bonus: From the Archive

    • 13. Your Project & Thank you

155 students are watching this class

About This Class

In this class, we'll cover

  • a writing sample and inspiration to improve form
  • a writing sample and inspiration to improve legibility
  • a writing sample and inspiration to improve speed, and
  • review recent research findings on why handwriting is good for your brain

I'll demonstrate paper positions and grips, and we'll spend most of the time going over how to analyze your style (with an actual live (non-scripted!) student on camera, as well as samples prepared in advance).

I'll also encourage you to take on a beginners mindset. To see your handwriting improve, following along this class one time will probably not yield significant improvement - you will have to continue practicing in your own time to get the new handwriting style into your muscle memory.

But, the effort is worth it. Picking up a pen and writing with your hand can help you:

  • organize your thoughts and ideas,

  • recall important information,

  • calm your mind,

  • connect to your intuition, and

  • feed your inner artist.

And, like any other exercise you practice regularly, you will get much better at it over time.

I hope you'll join me.

What you’ll learn

  • Critique your handwriting and compare to a "goal"
  • Use tools, like custom-made guidelines
  • Practice exercises to improve form, legibility, and speed

Are there any course requirements or prerequisites?

  • Bring a sample of your handwriting and a "goal" sample to track progress

Who this course is for:

  • Students who want to improve their handwriting


1. Welcome to Improve Your Handwriting: Hello and welcome. I'm Doris will grab it. And I'm so excited to share my love for handwriting. When I tell people that I'm leisure calligrapher, the first thing they say is I could never do that. My handwriting so bad. And this is what's very interesting to me because your handwriting has nothing to do with lettering because measuring is actually wearing withdraw letters and continuously, this where you write according to start Google's and I got just really interested. And why is it that people don't like their handwriting? So this is why I thought I might class. Maybe the curse of that Gordon School is something that you will be using now to write grocery nissen your signature. So for this last, I talked to some friends and came up with some ideas to help you feel more confident in your hand bite. Natasha is a photographer in Brooklyn, and she uses for handwriting me for day work, schedule planning and some journal writing. You were actually going to meet her because she graciously agreed to share some and go through some of the exercises with me in this last. My friend Kelly says she's embarrassed that she could along the right of the smoking, thank you know, and she would love to pull it back together and improved eligibility. And Sand says he's shocked how far his handwriting has deterioration. And he would also use it a lot more if he were able to write faster and have a better brain hand connection. So in this class, we're going to look at your normal everyday handwriting and go over tips to improve eligibility speed and form. I also go over some research, finding on why handwriting is good for you to give you some extra motivation to keep going after class materials will use. It might be ballpoint pens, pencils, any fountain pen you might have lying around on different papers, journals. Whatever you have at home, there's no obligation to purchase any special material at all unless you want to. Your project is going to be to write to paragraph before class and then again after you have practiced some of the exercises that we're going over, take a picture of your pages and share them on the project page, along with maybe some insights. You find what we're doing and what batch Let's get started 2. Tools & Setup: you're here because you decided you want your handwriting to look different. If you have a specific motivation to change it like a thank you note Love letter or helping your kids with their cursive, that's great. It helps to have a specific ALS off. Why in mind. But if you just want to write better or nicer or more often, that's a reward in itself. Full disclosure. You might be a little frustrated at first, and practicing might feel unfamiliar, but I hope you enjoy the process, even if the results might not immediately turn out to be exactly what you wanted. Let's start with positioning the paper. I'm right handed, and sometimes my handwriting is upright, and sometimes I have my paper rotated to the left because that gives my letters a nice little slant. I like to hold my pens in the lateral quad grip, where the pen rests on my ring finger, with both index and middle finger on top, and then my thumb crosses over. This might look like a claw, but it's actually quite comfortable for me. The more traditional tripod grip looks like this. The pen is resting on your middle finger with the thumb and index finger holding it in place. There is actually a so called writing Claude designed to help kids holder pens this way. I haven't used it, but I'll put the link in the class notes. If you want to try it out as you're practicing, hold the pen. However, you're comfortable, but try to keep your wrists and elbow in a straight line. This goes especially for my left. He's watching if you're hooking overhead and on that note, if you are left handed, try rotating the paper clockwise towards you a little bit. By keeping your wrist straight and underneath the line you're writing on, you'll be able to see what you write and won't smear the ink as you move across the page and to better see what and where you're writing, try holding the pen a little higher up left or right. If you notice your gripping the pen quite hard because you're concentrating so much. Remember to shake out your hand and do a couple of stretches so you don't cramp up in terms of tools Again, you can use anything you have at home. I'm using normal printer paper, Muji Ballpoint Pens and Lami Fountain pen. Now, why should you even bother? Handwriting is good for your brain. It can help you organize your thoughts and ideas. Better recall important information, calm your mind and enhance your overall sense of well being. I'll share some more information about recent research. Later on. Give yourself permission to step back into learning mode. You're essentially learning a new skill, and your eagle might rebel. And through some this is for babies your way. That's okay. Just have fun with it. Make time for intentional practice to write more evenly. And with structure, you will need to retrain your muscle memory and engage in focus. Practice may be using guidelines for a while and slowing down to write with intention. For some of you, that practice can look like a scheduled five minutes at a specific desk every day. For others, this might be 20 minutes on a Saturday afternoon on your couch. Whatever works for you either way, the more you write, the better and faster you will get In the following videos, I'm analyzing and pointing out characteristics of handwriting samples and how they compare to inspirational goals. I hope this gives you some starting points. How to look at your own handwriting and find ways to get closer to your goal. Specifically, the examples are going to be on form, ledge, ability and speed. Let's start with Natasha, who wants to make a writing look prettier. 3. Natasha - Form 1/4: So hello. We're here now with Natasha. Jim Martin. Thank you so much. She graciously agreed to let us go through some of her handwriting and samples and inspirational style that she wants to achieve. So let's get it over to you. How do you use your head today? So today I didn't please me anything every week when I am just spreading up my schedule for work and then I also have a daily journal that I write in, and that's about three or four sentences. And I just say that what I did that day, but other than that, I don't really write by hand. They usually take everything out. So what would entice you to write more by what stopped you? If I like my hurt and more, I think I would write I would just take the opportunity to write cards more. I usually, like, give it to someone else and have a better ending. So things like that just I think I just motivated. Want to just write in my journal more because I just read it. It, uh, can probably better signage in some seats, right? Do you have a favorite pin that you use. I do have one of my favorite pens Would be like the things 10.5 McGee pens. And then there is a pilot pen I really like. I don't remember the name of it, but it is OK. All right, well, we're going to take a look at some some tools later on this Well, but let's get started by looking at your actual handwriting sample and we have it here. You roll this out last week and tell me what you like about yourself right now. Me like that. It is in Prince. I used to write in cursive, but for the way it is in print, I think my baseline is pretty good. And I've had a look at the spacing of the words. That's kind of how he'll about it right now. And what do you not like about it? Uh, change. I feel like the part that I don't like is that it feels inconsistent. Many times, like somewhere to I'll find, are written well, but then, as time goes on, it just gets sloppier and sloppier. And I have a hard time having my handwriting states certain cell at different times. And one day it looks good and one day it looks bad, right? What do you think that is? I think it's just because I'm not as in practice and I don't have a look it pacing when I write, sometimes I will take more time and right slower. It's better, but I think it's hard when I do have to write faster. I just get sloppy here with, But you do see a difference when you do pay attention to it when you are intentional, then you let the output yet, Yeah, I do try and sit down and write properly is better. But I still feel a little stuck because it feels force. And then I don't enjoy as much because it's such lower right, because the point of handwriting is it supposed to be useful and automatic again? Fast, Right. Okay, so you've also provided evidence of inspiration, and this is by probably Salima might be founded on Pinterest where No question, we want to really tight right person. So if you see this and this issue, please let me know. And what do you like about this style? I really like illegible it iss And how? Let's see. I just find it look very neat and straight. Um, I think I like the way I was. Whenever I look at it just feels even. Yes. And that's mainly what stands out to me. So come, Right? Yeah. Yeah. Basically, it's very logical and very even. Like, the spacing seems good. And it's very straight. Like how there is some like, Kurt, the letters that a little bit more character to write. Now I want to go off on attention. See? How do you think she feels? Well, she's writing it, but okay. And help fast. Do we think she's writing it? I really want to meet this person business. Okay. What differences do you see between your style and then see if I can put this in here next each other? What differences and similarities do you see between where you're at and where you'd like to be? Anybody main similarities were both three perpendicular, but the difference is what is it? The basement letter. Siddle Theus Center or the decent? Is that okay? I look a little bit more in the d Sunday on then. I'm not as consistent that asunder cause I don't hit the same mark every time, like summer taller and some are short it right? Anything else, huh? He okay. These are all things that we can definitely address. And I would really agree with you when I saw him first. Because when we first started talking a couple of weeks ago, when you said you'd be can you pick for this and said you wanted to write it to be prettier ? Yeah. And so in my life, on my in my year here Pretty, I think. Who freely? And Lupien Cursive. And it turns out you probably meant pretty as a meat imaginable. Yeah, Okay. I was really It's another thing for me. It's like it's anything that's very, pretty good. Yeah. Yeah. Never can't have anything be like would be squarely look young. No, Although it's beautiful, it's not my taste. Yeah, that's great that, you know, that's perfect. So we can definitely do some things. And yet, like I said so I already noticed a lot of similarities because this person seems to write quite small, and we've mentioned the ass Enders and D center. So the ascender again, it's where anything that goes off waistline of the letter and the D Center is anything that goes below the baseline of the letter. So you're D's Els case the boots on the top and then the jays. Jeez, the white on the bottom as the sender and your styles are already very similar and, for example, your writing quite small. And there isn't a great variance between a center and excite sort of. The excite is the space for the size of your lower case letters. So if I were to have a red pen, so it's more easily visible. If this is the X height, if that is long, then the the ass undergoes up maybe only half a point above, and the D center's only go maybe 1/2 a point below. And I think yours are very similar, except that D centers might be, you know, 1 to 1 ratio. I need to see if we control this here like this would look more like a 1 to 1 to one same. But then the ass end of us quite small, right? So there is already a great similarity in terms of differences. Your you said you you like your spacing. The spacing is inconsistent. When you mentioned also, and this is something that for the love be people watching at home. If you want to look at your sample paragraph upside down, you will be able to see, um, this camera as well that this is the right side up. And then, if you look at it upside down, your brain stops looking at trying to make sense of the word and just starts looking at where the ink is and where the white spaces. And that's where you can figure out if you leave a little more space between some words if you leave a little more space between some characters inside certain words. So that is all just something to look out for. We talked about the spacing and the size of the letters and the D sender loops in particular. And then in the next segment, we're going to look at some exercises, help Natasha get from where she is to where she wants to be. 4. Natasha - Form 2/4: Hi. We're back with Natasha. In the last video, we looked at her sample, paragraph, handwriting and gold that she would like to work towards. And the inspiration style is to be consistent and even. And meat, right? That's the gold. That's what we're gonna do. We're gonna achieve that by paying attention to form, size and spacing. Letter forms in general are usually defined by certain shapes, and I've prepared a little bit here. We're looking at rounds, ovals, triangles and square. So you're looking at your sample. Your letter look mostly over to me, right? The holes are so unova list condensed around. So your those are not super around their kind of minutes, Right? This a is definitely and global. These are old. Your ends are a little bit wider, so they might kind of go into the round or square. Things like this one is a bit wide. This'll one is his wider than the old right. So they're not all the same size, and that's why we're gonna look at that, go to achieve a more even form and more even size, which is going to help with spacing and which is going to help with a neat look because this is unlined paper. I brought some gridded paper that maybe we can try, and these are five millimeters. Um, I think you could You could get this kind of it's a little bit higher than your excites. So if you confined, like, four millimeter one for your practice at home, that might be a little bit closer to your actual on writing as it is. But maybe for practicing because it's a little more eligible A. So I hope this is going to work. So we're going to look at a couple of letters in particular, the dissenters that we had already identified as well. And before I'm gonna ask you to start writing and actually practicing some different letters, I'm gonna give you some more tools. Like we're going to try some different pens out which ones were comfortable with. Okay, so this is it. If you want to just write your name or short word. This is a Muji ballpoint pen. See how that works for you? This is Ah, think seven millimeter name. Yeah. And the thing with neatness, clean lines, the in terms of if I, you know, meaning on the calligraphy world. The thinner the line, the more elegant. It is so obvious. It's a 005 micron. My pencil. You want to try that? So this is so then right, Control? Yeah. Okay. Well, then the thing that sometimes stairs people. But I know this is a some you may not have seen these school days, and if you're a millennial, you may not have seen these at all. But when I was in school, we had to work with a fountain pen. We were not allowed to use a bold my pin. So Thistle is not the one that I learned writing with, but this is one, but I just recently acquired, and it has a fine knit. This is Mommy. Find this is usually about 44 millimeters. You can. I wanted to see how that goes for you. It's so much sooner. I really like it. It's like, just think enough. I'm feeling really like that one. All right, then let's be good practice with this, okay? Looking at your example and looking at the idea where you want to go, there are several ways we can We can go about it and for the people watching at home their several ways that you can go about getting closer to the style that you want your writing to look like is. If you have the sample, you can print it out, and then you can take tracing paper a layer it for half and literally trace the letters to retrain your muscle memory. Because at the end of the day, that is something that we're going to do. So just as a caveat and managing everybody's expectation on I mentioned this before. In order to change your handwriting, you have to be back in a beginner's mindset. You have to be back in the in the learning frame of mind because this is going to be frustrating for a while because you're that should be retraining your muscle memory. So we're gonna do the tracing paper. We're just going to see if we can look at these letters and I'd like to start just right with eight and then, um, go through the here and maybe at home you can go. You know, the B B through Z. So if you're looking at your A and the ideal A what do you notice? I think my is, uh, uh, rounder. And they do a little bit more. And so do you wanna right right in a away that you would actually your your name here. Beautiful. Your name already has some money in Italy, So waken start looking at that and I see some they don't always close. Some of the baby are at the top. That's great. And he's so sometimes you connect to them and sometimes they're free standing, right? And so this in terms of eligibility, this might be you. Yeah. So going going forward if you want that, You know, with printed letter, you're gonna want to close the top to make sure that there is no ambiguity between you know , they another possible letter. So what? I noticed you end injury years looks looks over and it has a kind of an oval base. And then you retrace the line a little bit there and comes down. My So so the bigger would be like this ish. Now, this person here, the A, I think is quite significant and that it has a much more triangular field. So she is starting in this corner, coming up and then leaving a much larger space in here. I see that. And by leaving that big states, she's not retracing any lines. So this is like a double lined, and you see how the wits changes in the thickness changes a quick just because you're going over twice more in cause being laid down. And that is messing with aesthetic already. So making sure that the closes, But then the lion goes outwards. I'm exaggerating. Angle here allows there to be like nice breathing space and the one line one meter intentionally, right? A couple of days that close at the top. And don't retrace that line. See how that feels. It's hard to not retrace it. Yeah. Please. How does it was? A little slow, but I feel like the more I do that it gets better and better. Okay? He feels smoother. The more I do it, okay. And do you like the look of it? Better than your previous long? Is that working towards this night? The old I think I like when it does cross over. Okay. A little bit, right? The women till comes out okay. Perfect. 5. Natasha - Form 3/4: okay, so that the goal is needless neatness and consistency and evenness. But we're starting at your starting point, so we don't have to make it look completely like the ideal. It has to work with your handwriting in the way that you want to do it. And if you say that you like the that flows better retracing that time, then sticking with the ovals. Perfect. So I will just say that for future reference, and as you as you do, right, make sure that it does close at the top. And now let's look at the d senders and, um can you What's what would be a good word with a few dissenters here, Photographer, That's Do you wanna write photographer the way that you would usually write it? See, you have a nice, dynamic tripod grip as well. Her That's more happy. Did Yeah, yeah, yeah, so that the troops and I mean, you know, I think it was great. But in order to get closer to here, the thes G and so none of the DIY centres loop around or even close their left open, and then there isn't a connection, So this could easily be connected to the are for more kind of curse of feel like you've connected the H 20 T here that always well and the Carson is always going to look a little . It's always going to be faster because you're not investing the pen. And the print is always going to look a little neater because every letter is contained in its own little space and it has a little breathing, right? So this is for you the challenge to to figure out which is more important for you in this case, speed or looks. So if you write with intention and if you take your time, then why don't you print the word photographer? That's quickness you can without connection and maybe try not to look the G you know, good look so different. It looks very. Do you like this? Uh, kind of. I think it's a little too circular looking like, you know. What is that? I think it's because I'm pausing and think, Why, Luke, I bring my hand down more so everything gets more hopefully. Okay, Um, is the grit distracting you, or is it helpful? It's a little distracting because I'm not sure but stay within square. Right? So then let's go back. That's that's all great. And everybody at home, you know, do what works for you. The whole point is to make it work for you. All right, so let's go back, Teoh not messing with size. Um, okay, so when you write slower, it goes a little rounder. I think it looks neater ago. Yes. Print, definitely go small yet again, My, my ambiguous eyes looking at the h going that it's under its sole smalls and might know that the issue. So if it's just I mean most letters, you could tell from the context what they're supposed to be. And you mentioned that you were going to use this for your journal. Probably more than anything else. So I wouldn't worry about it too much because you will be the only one reading a baguette, right? So if you if you were to write a thank you card or something, that that's something that pay extra attention to because the h in the end, that's two letters, like, if they're not distinctive enough, there isn't good. How did you feel about that? Good. Yeah, right. So a little bit at a form with a little bit at the D senders. The next thing that I have here for spacing there's a ruling Calligraphy for spacing. Calligraphy meets writing beautifully and it says that the space inside the letters should be visually equal to the space between letters. Okay, and by visually equal, we mean not mathematically because and refer you back to the shapes, the basic shapes of that that make up the letter. So you will have, you know, either around or over forming all your your AIDS. Your ease, your olds, they're gonna fall in this oval family, the capital a m In these double use, their opening fallen is trying category. And then h i and maybe k even Els. They're going to fall in this square family, OK? And so this is where we get to this doodle calligraphy and for handwriting in this case also to look beautiful. The space inside the letters should be visually equal to the space between senators. So if we were to take this grid and just place every letter inside, agreed, you can hopefully tell with my red lines here that there's a bunch of space inside the age and in a lot of space inside the L, especially because it's followed by the O and the old doesn't fill out all the corners. But there is a lot less space in this a region, right? So hopefully this example on the second line looks a little more even because we've narrowed down the h a little. We've wind up a little because these slanted lines are connected with straight lines now, right, So this space should be the same. And then here we shorten the l a little bit and we brought the old close so that visually, this space is less but similar to this space. Okay, that makes sense it. So this is something for calligraphy that is going to take a load of practice on for handwriting. I'm not sure if it's even cheese herbal or if it's realistic to try and achieve that kind of, you know, precision in your spacing within the words. I just wanted to share the concept so that you have it in the back of your mind. Yeah, right. To practice your spacing, you can write necklaces and necklace is where one letter follows all the other letters. So you're right on the ABC. And if you want to make it, for example, in a necklace you would write a B a c a D a right and so on. So, um, you wanna send a try? Yeah, I'm just so writing the A B. C's with an eight in between everything. Or if you wanted to, you know, practice your G to make sure that you don't move around. You can do a G B G c g DJ. Yes. Okay. So, yeah. Is there a letter that you want? I just However what? There you go seven. Just be a g beachy in the same line. Because that way, you're going to see how they how they look next to one another, how they interact with one another. This is a sense. Yes. Yeah, yeah. Perfect. Eso you seem so between here, there's Do you see how there's a little more space between the g E? Yeah, that there is between the c g. Yes. Okay, right? Yeah. So that's an exercise. Next time you have a Netflix movie marathon, right? Grab grab a pad of paper your favorite pen and and go through a B, C D. Whatever all the necklaces. So you get a feel for how you connect. How How do you write one letter following together. Okay, but you can see it so much more like this. Okay. Did you if you want? Yeah, that's why we're here. We're gonna put my music on O que? Yeah, I'm not. Oh, that's so I'm just saying cool. 6. Natasha - Review 4/4: and we're back. Kind of wrapping up and reviewing what we what we learned over the last couple of reveals How How was that for you? I got a really fascinating and very helpful. I never analyzed my handwriting that way. Now, from your guy, I'm noticing all of the different things in to fix. And it makes me excited to, like, work on this. Okay? Oh, yeah, that's great. Okay, so, yeah. Just to review, we were looking at size and form and facing, and some of the exercises I suggested were fighting necklaces and perhaps using some guidelines and particular paying attention to ambiguity of some letters and the groups of the dissenters. So you think you're gonna continue with us? Definitely. Okay. Yes. And to make sure that you're enjoying continuing with this, I'd like to give you depends. Any Anything else you'd like? No, I have a lot of fun. Thank you so much. Great. 7. Make Your Own Guidelines: guidelines help with even and consistent letter size and angles. I've attached a couple of samples you can download on the Projects page, but you can also create them based on your own unique handwriting. Take a page of your normal handwriting and use a sheet of tracing paper on top. You can get tracing paper in any crowd store, or, if you don't have it, use another normal sheet of paper and maybe place a light source underneath or hold it up to the window so you can see your paragraph. And you can also do this right on your page. But then I'll suggest you write your paragraph in pencil so you can see the lines that you draw. I'm going to use red and blue colors so you can see better place a ruler under the baseline . That's where most of the letters sit on. Yours might be dancing. Also, mine is going up and down a bit. The D. R A. W sits on the line, but the U dozens and the O and the end don't either. In fact, it looks like I have a tendency to go up a bit, so I'm going to split the difference and use the middle. This is going to be my baseline, and the practice will be to have all letters sit on this line. The next is going to be the waistline that will be the size of all your lower case letters , also known as the X height. Again, if it's jumping all over the place, find a good middle. I'm going to go a little bit bigger here, and you want to make sure that that Linus parallel to the baseline. Next. We want to look at our senders and D senders are senders are the letters that go above the waistline, and D centers go below the baseline as senders are this D L. Kb's etcetera and these looks like there's not a lot of difference, and that's a little lower than I wanted to be, So I'm going to draw the Ascender line here. Now the D centers look a little more significant. I don't know if I want all my dissenters to be quite so pronounced, so I'm going to bring it up just a little bit and draw the parallel line here. And this is the basic set of guidelines. Is going to help me with the size of my letters. The next thing I'm looking at is angle. As you've seen, I don't usually have the paper straight. I rotated a little, so when I write in, my hand and wrist are in alignment. My handwriting automatically gets a little angle once I put the paper back into a neutral position. It's a personal preference if you want your letter straight to keep the paper straight, if you want them to lean left, rotated the other way. I'm advocating to go with what's close to your natural style and shifted towards your chosen style. I'm quite happy with this angle, and you can find yours by looking at the down strokes and the stems of your letters. So, for example, the lines of the H, the F the D. Do you see what I mean? This Muji ruler is quite handy. It has a flexible arm, and now, of course, you confined your 90 degree angles between the baseline and the vertical, and then the middle would be 45 degrees and so on. So mine is probably maybe in the 60 or 70 range. I don't even need a number. I'm just following my writing style because I like the look of it, and it fits most of my letters, and now I have a set of guidelines based on my unique handwriting. I can use it for future practice. I can redraw the lines in a darker black so I can use it underneath other papers. Or I can right on top of them to help me stay within certain sizes to help keep my page neat and looking a lot more. Even now that we have guidelines, the next thing you'll see me analyzing the following videos are the shapes of the letters. The basic shapes our circles, triangles, squares and ovals for circles will look at the polls and the D's and the A's mine Look a little condensed. I think I see examples of everything from Round two oval, but I particularly like the look of the D and the A. This one is a bit anemic. This one is a little too round, so I can use a bit of tracing paper. Or I can retrain my muscle memory and make a few ovals so that then I can practice with these shapes to retrain my handwriting. Writing has a lot to do with muscle memory. And yes, you can learn completely new styles. As an adult, for example, I have a copper plate class also on school chair. But we're here to talk about your handwriting. So I suggest you work with what you have and with the other letters you can look at our centers and D senders. For example. My ass enders seem toe be more straight lines but my DIY centres have loops. So what would it look like if my ass enders maybe also had loops? And these are all things you can play with to decide how you want your new style to look? 8. Kelley - Legibility: Let's take a look at our next example. This is Kelly. She's a Gen xer. She learned cursive in school. She's a successful career coach in Manhattan, and this is her normal everyday handwriting. And this is a sample of her purses handwriting today. And I'm just going to read you what she told me about these two samples because I asked her how she felt about writing them, and she said the printing was familiar or okay, but I don't usually write that much anymore, except for in journals or notebooks. The cursive was a mental and physical challenge. I couldn't visualize the capital letters in my mind anymore. I have to look up the data from the M, and then my hand really jammed up. A couple of instances I couldn't stop or start. I even made spelling mistakes due to lack of control. It's been decades since I've done more than sign my name, and so she wants to improve her handwriting. She wants to improve her cursive because it's important to her to write thank you notes and cards, and it's just, you know, something that she she's been talking about for a while. So looking at her every day, fringe to her cursive. The thing that she mentioned to me that was most important to her. Her goal was to improve eligibility. The sample that she provided me as an inspiration is by no via via thank you. This is the user on Instagram if you want to follow them. And you can see here that this is a gorgeous example of, um, Spencer Arian calligraphy letter or also what I believe was called the Palmer Message. I believe this is the kind of 100 the cursive that was taught in schools in America from maybe the you know, 50 60 is going forward. So what do we notice about eligibility? This style is very legible. We can again look at form, size and slant and spacing, as we've done with the other examples as well. And for this particular example, because it is a specific hand, as we say, or a specific style. There actually are guidelines for it. So these are Spence Aryan guidelines that I've downloaded from the I am PATH website. I'm going to provide that information in the project page and I'm going to link to the pdf . So you can download that as well. If this is your goal, and you also want to write it more cursive, let's look at, um, the size first, because again, guidelines. They're going to take care of a lot of issues that play into this ledge ability, um, factor and this ledge ability. Goal. So we've talked about Ex High before. The spacing aren't sorry the sizing is going to be. If this is one, then this is, too, and this is too, so you have a ratio of 2 to 1 to two. In terms of Ascender Excite D Center, these lines indicate the slant and at which the style is written so we can see. For comparison. Kelly's cursive is quite upright. Write this letter is its print. The pages printed kind of 190 degree angle saw her her styles quite upright, and the example has a bit of a slam. So it's pointing to the upper right hand corner, and the guides are going to help us, um, guide the pen in the way that we also follow this landline. Okay, in order to do that, in fact, you are going to want to rotate the paper that you right on. That is a very simple tip that I think I've shared in a previous lesson as well. For right handed people. Move your paper to the left, and then as soon as you straighten the paper again, your script is going to lean forward slightly. For legibility, having a consistent size and a consistent angle is going toe help tremendously within the consistent size we can see here, it's Ah, it's a little very Theus enders are sometimes smaller, sometimes larger, and then the D centers are significant, mostly specifically, the F. We have a big group for the X here we have quite a big loop for them, for the wise as well. So toe using these guidelines is going to help Kelly and those of you who have a similar goal with consistent sizing. And the next thing about ledge ability that I just want to share is again ambiguity. We want to make sure that each letter is distinctly recognisable or brain doesn't want to have to go through all the various options. It wants to understand the word at a glance, and so, in order to do that, there are a few things that I'm noticing about where she's at now compared to where she wants to be. So the first thing is the tea. Actually, I've started here and you can see her. Her examples, The way that Kelly writes the tease right now is she makes a loop and then crosses the loop . And this is ambiguous because we have loops for Els. We have loops for ages. We have loops for Kay's and in this particular Spence area slash part Palmer style. What's happening to the tea is actually the teas do not come all the way up to the Ascender line. They stop about halfway, and they do not have. They have a straight line, so this is clearly a T. There is no way that this could be an H. Where is this? Could be an L that makes sense similar than be. We have a couple of lower case D's up here on a pier, and again there's, you know, inconsistent sizing. But the guidelines are going to help with that. And instead of having a loop for the D, we're going to just go up straight. And also not until the Ascender line, but only until about half 2/3 of the way through. So this is fairly Andy and I went double their. This is clearly a D. It's not a because a doesn't go that far up. And, um, it's not an A followed by an l right, our old followed by an l. So we're avoiding ambiguity were being very clear that this is a D and being very clear that this is a t by having just a straight line. So those are the two main things that I would suggest for Kelly to start looking at. That should already start making a huge difference with the guidelines. She's going to be ableto have consistent size of letters and consistent angle of letters with elegant variants between senders, de senders and excite, and making sure to avoid ambiguity because between these teas and the other letters, because these do occur quite often, that should already go a long way in improving eligibility for her curses 9. Sam - Speed: with this example, we're going to talk about Speed. Sam is a software developer in my co working space, and he currently uses his handwriting for taking notes. He used to write his morning pages by hand but has found better flow, typing them with his iPad morning pages. For those of you who don't know is an exercise suggested by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist Way were first thing in the morning. You grab a pen and paper and you write down what comes to your mind. I would say it do it for however long feels good to you, it can be meditative. That can be a to do this. The point is to let your brain wander through your hand through the pen onto the page. Now, Sam says he's shocked at how much his handwriting has deteriorated over time, and also that he would go back toe handwriting, his morning pages if he were able to keep up with the speed in which ideas come to him. Here's hiss inspirational sample again, something he found on Pinterest. Shout out to the El Shami family or whoever wrote this for them. It's a nice looking print style. And here are two of Sam's writing samples. The 1st 1 he handed me. He actually said that he paid attention to it, so I asked him to write the text again, as he normally would, because, like I said, the whole point of handwriting is that it's convenient and it's natural, so this will give us a better idea of his natural style. Both samples look pretty similar. The letters are quite small, they're written at an upright angle, and there is a mix of print and cursive. The faster example does get a little less distinctive, though the letters kind of start running into each other, for example, this no isn't quite as clear as it is over here. And I'm not sure I'd be able to decide for the word kindness in the line above if I saw it out of context. Apart from that, sorry to break this to you, Sam. But if the goal is to write faster, a prince style is probably not the best option. The good news is your mix of print and cursive is exactly what's recommended. Here's what a 2001 study says about handwriting speed in the study samples were collected from over 600 students, and there was, ah task of copying a piece of text for a measure of handwriting speed. And there were four handwriting styles. Manuscript curses, mixed, mostly manuscript and mixed mostly cursive. The handwriting of students who used a mixed style was faster than the handwriting of students who used either manuscript or cursive exclusively. In addition, papers written with a mixed, mostly cursive style generally received higher ratings for eligibility as well. What I'm about to say is going to be counterintuitive for this class. But if the purpose is to take down ideas as quickly as they come to you, typing is probably the most effective option. However, you are not going to get the same brain benefits from typing as you would have you wrote them down by hand. The benefit of slowing down to write with your hand is you have to synthesize and correlate and decide what your right as you write it. So you're already processing the idea to a certain extent, which means you'll be better able to remember it. And then there's a physiological element to it as well. That shows that hand movement again activates more neural pathways than touch typing. Where our fingers remain in the same position on the keyboard, pressing your finger up and down literally only sends a message to your brain that your pressing a finger up and down. It doesn't know whether you're typing an A or B or an if, whereas writing those letters will always hit different circuits in your brain. As Dr Klim writes in his article in Psychology to date, there is a whole field of research known as haptics, which includes the interactions of touch, hand movement and brain function. Cursive writing helps train the brain to integrate visual and tactile information as well as fine or her dexterity. The benefits to brain development are similar to what you get when you're learning to play a musical instrument, and now not everybody has access to a piano. But hopefully everybody has access to a pendant paper. In the next video, we're going to look at some exercises to help you write faster 10. Speed Exercises: to write faster. We have to look at some tools and technique and make sure that you have a good range of motion. You want to use an appropriate pen, one that has good flow and smooth paper that doesn't snag. We've already talked about posture and grip and rotating the paper to fit your needs to help with speed. Make sure your four arm and shoulder can move freely. You can start by loosening your muscles and making some large rounds on and forms and loops , and then you can write pan grams. That's a sentence that uses every letter of the alphabet to figure out which curse of connections come most easily to you and which letters flow better when you print them. The best known pan grams are the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog and pack my box with five dozen liquor junks. And there are websites out there that can help you find a pan graham in your own language as well. If you're watching this from another country, so go ahead and make this your own. Now, looking at those sentences, identify the letters that might give you eligibility issues and isolate their form for some repetitive drills to reset your muscle memory. This is the practice you might want to do for a few minutes every day or a large chunk of time on the weekends, whenever you can squeeze it in until you notice a significant difference in your natural style as you go forward. The more he right, the faster you will get over time. 11. Handwriting Benefits: I have always loved the feeling of pen on paper, but I had actually thought about it until about four years ago. We had just moved to Manhattan and everything became a bit much. So I took a sabbatical. I started journaling again and just love the feeling that handwriting gave me and how calming it waas for me, writing with my hand and especially expressive writing that is journaling. My thoughts and emotions has wonderfully positive effect on my mental health, and that's why it just pick up a pen has become my mantra. Since most of my handwriting is actually for my eyes only. I don't mind how it looks, so I'm not going to analyze my writing for how to improve it per se. My, why is that? I feel better when I put on my phone, pick up a pen and start writing rounding out our sample handwriting tips and inspirations. I'm going to share three benefits that you might not even be aware of. As you start handwriting more, the 1st 1 is cognitive capacity, and 2017 study at the University of Texas in Austin showed that it takes active energy to ignore your phone when it's within sight, even if it's inside your bag and turned off. Not that I have to take tests anymore in that regard, but I have started charging my phone in the other room overnight so that I'm not tempted to look at it. Last thing before bed and first thing waking up well except on weekends and in 2014 study showed that taking longhand notes compared with a verbatim typing showed that participants actually have a similar recall for details. But the hand writers outperform the type er's when it comes to conceptual and processing questions, and another benefit is well being. At 2008 study in 71 leukemia and lymphoma patients showed that after a 20 minute writing task, about half of participants reported that the writing changed their thoughts about their illnesses and that is significantly linked to better physical quality of life. At a three week follow up, the data over 2009 writing and postpartum study also shows positive effects of expressive writing. Participants processed negative emotions, worries and fears and showed fewer physiological symptoms. Similarly, a 2008 study of 25 individuals with post traumatic Stress disorder, or PTSD, showed that while there were no changes in the PTSD diagnosis or symptoms, significant improvements and mood and post traumatic growth were observed. Also, Although patients continue to exhibit the core features of PTSD, their capacity to regulate those responses appears improved as their physiological responses reduced and their recoveries enhanced. And the third is gratitude. Writing down things that you're grateful for by hand before you go to sleep not only helps you get in a better frame of mind for the next day. According to this 2009 study, it also helps you sleep. So I hope these benefits give you another incentive. Teoh, pick up your pen more often. In the next video, I'm going to show you a little something from the art. 12. Bonus: From the Archive: Here's a little treat, maybe for you. A little bonus, because in preparation for this class, I asked my mother to go up in the attic to see if she could find any of mine rooms. Global's from when I was a child when I wondered to write cursive and unfortunately we didn't find it. But we did find non some learnings and looks for my hand at he was born in 1936 on Do you see here? Pages from his practice in School of the 30th of August 1949 and in Germany, greats are one through six. So one is an A to a b trying to see that he was to be here. And I think that's so cool. And this is very much the traditional curse. If you can see the guidelines here excite at the ass end of the centre space, they're all in a ratio of 1 to 1 to one. You see that his writing this slightly slapped it to the right, and it's no the goals of the desire little round, and I think they look super cute. And then, uh, he also waas so happy when I asked him if you could provide a sample today. Like you know how rights today. So 69 years later, the 27th of August 2018 This is focus property. This is something. And I apologize for the apology, but it's, ah to any child over a photo of the coffee. That photograph that wasn't very well it. But here you here you have handwriting. Uh, today and you can see that the ratio is still kind of oneto one. And it's still person, but still slightly slanted to write the minds. Maybe a little bit shake here and but I I think it looks so cool. The f and the PTI here are a little simplified. I really love this. A I think it's so interesting that he added a new there. It's kind of like the right outside of that seven. So that might be something steel going forward. Um and yeah, I just wanted to show you this sample from 1949 in 2018 and that's what happens. I guess when you continue using your handwriting every once in a while 13. Your Project & Thank you: your project is going to be to write a paragraph of text in your normal everyday handwriting, and I didn't mention this in the introduction. But like we've done in the videos, please find a piece of handwriting that inspires you that you would want to work towards. Compare the two for form, size slant and legibility on bond practice, adapting your style to the inspiration in small steps, for example, by using readymade guidelines or making your own and doing drills of specific letter forms that you might want to change. Writing Pan grams and writing Nexus is I'd like you to share your before and inspiration photos definitely in any points of analysis that you found. And once you've done some practicing over time, maybe you can add to the project. And also add a paragraph, your new and improved handwriting. As always, If you have any questions, let me know, and I will comment on every project that you post last night. Not least. Your handwriting doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to be. It will get better and more comfortable as your practice over time, and you will find your own style if you keep going. It doesn't have to be always the same style either. Because you're human, your complex and you're allowed to change. Thank you so much for participating in this class. I hope you found it helpful. Um, special things to Natasha Kelly, Sam and my opa for providing your handwriting samples. It's been a joy and a privilege.