My mom has beautiful handwriting. I remember watching her write when I was a kid and thinking how much it resembled that alphabet that bordered the top of the wall in my classroom. I think I was still making my S’s backward.
For a while in grade school, I was a handwriting chameleon. I adapted my style to whoever I was hanging out with at the time. In third grade, I wrote very tiny, like my friend Chris. By sixth grade, I was imitating Elizabeth’s fat, loopy, left-slanting letters. At some point in middle school I developed my own brand. Only a couple of years later, ironically, I was accused of cheating on a high school English paper because my handwriting was so similar to my friend Cathi that it looked like one of us had written both of our papers.
I don’t think they even teach cursive in school anymore. It’s probably been replaced by “keyboarding.” I’m afraid the day will come when they won’t even have to write at all.
Until then, writing by hand is the closest thing to a creative act that some people ever commit. There’s a reason banks, credit cards and the DMV require your signature. It’s your own personal expression and yours is unlike anyone else’s.
I spent a few years working in banking and had many people try to tell me that their signature wasn’t very distinctive and that it never looked the same twice. Not true. I had one regular customer whose signature was literally a line with a little dip in the middle. But that line was consistent. It looked like the same person wrote it every time. What some people don’t understand, is that there’s more to it than their name. The pressure of the pen, the angle of the letters, the relationship to the line, the starting and stopping point – it all makes up the signature. Sounds almost artistic now, doesn’t it?
I stumbled on a couple of websites recently that will turn your handwriting into a font that can be used on your computer. You can visit Your Fonts or Fontifier for all the details. You can print out their grid, fill in your letters, upload it and see what your font will look like in just a couple of minutes. They do charge $9 – $10 to download your font, but you can upload as many times as you need to until you’re happy with it before you actually purchase. Just for the record, I am not part of Your Fonts’ “Affiliate Program.” I just like the idea of a font that looks like my own handwriting.
I’ll show you mine, once I’ve practiced enough to buy it. Finally, the perfect excuse to make your kids learn to write in cursive!