Why Learn Calligraphy?
Why write by hand, if we can use a keyboard? Computers make many tasks easier, but it seems that we are naturally more creative when we use our hands freely. Have you noticed that when you brainstorm, i.e. when you think freely and jot your rough ideas down, using your hands is far more efficient than typing on a keyboard? We can quickly shift from letters to represent ideas in symbols, shapes, lines or arrows, when we use a pencil and paper. Many writers consider their handwritten first drafts to contain formulations that are more creative, interesting or appealing.
After the first draft, why not allow our word processing software to present the ideas in a beautiful font? Do we really need to be able to write beautiful cursive handwriting? Handwriting is a unique representation of our character. Would it be the same if you obtained the electronic signature of your pop idol? Of course, you seek their handwritten signature. There is, really, no substitute for this. Learning calligraphy, in particular, can improve one's handwriting, so the direct benefit of learning calligraphy is fairly obvious. In addition to this, practising calligraphy is meditative and relaxing. Furthermore, it develops our hand muscles. We need our hands to manipulate delicate objects, create beautiful works of art or play a musical instrument. Cursive writing styles are very different from writing letters as unconnected characters (block writing). Apart from the appearance, the cursive writing styles compel the writer to bear the letters and words that follow those which are presently being written, in mind. One has to be more aware of the next idea, even as one is placing the present words onto the page.
Ihave observed many hard-working students grow tired from grasping their pens too tightly and incorrectly. This is sometimes the unfortunate result of writing before fine motor skills are sufficiently developed. A pen that's designed to work with less downward pressure, helps, fountain pens being one example. Writing should not be a tiring process. It should be something that flows and remains enjoyable, regardless of the topic.
These are some of the reasons I encourage students to practice their handwriting and to learn a style of cursive writing. Those who are more artistically inclined may progress to taking a calligraphy class. I'm pleased to be able to share these practice pages and links to interesting computer fonts to pique your interest. One or more of these fonts may serve as a template to imitate by hand, or to add artistic flare to your next project,
- Here's a simple, neat cursive writing style. This sheet was generated using the free LA EI2 font. Download the font, install it to your computer, and use it to create your own worksheets or other projects. Click the image to download the practice pdf.
- The Janda Romantic Font is attractive and easy enough to imitate. The style can be used in formal or informal situations. Click the image to download the font file.
- Holla Santa is a good font to use for an art themed text document or presentation. It is not an easy style to imitate by hand, but there are surely some people who will find the challenge rewarding. Click the image to download the font file.
- Athafia Font would be incredibly hard to imitate by hand. Like all the other fonts in this post, it is available on the internet as a free download. Click the image to download the font file.
- The Jacklyn Font is a modern cursive font which you might want to try imitate by hand or use in an electronic document. All these fonts can be installed to Linux, Apple Mac or Windows computers. Click the image to download The Jacklyn.
- Berlin Signature is one last font I want to show you. It is my favourite. Which one do you like the most? Tell me which font you think is a good style to imitate by hand, and which one you might use in a greeting card or other artistic project. Click the image to download the font file.
- This link contains multiple fonts in a tarball for installation to Mac or Linux. There is a script inside and a text file with instructions for installing. You can also unpack the tarball with Alzip or winrar, navigate to the folder containing the font files, and install the fonts individually to a Windows system. Download the file here.
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