It is quite a striking fact that the letters and words that are taken for granted today in printed books and written notes helped define the world we live in. In this age, it is a rare pleasure to see something that is handwritten.
Over thousands of years, penmanship has changed and many different styles of writing have developed from bold easy-to-read letters to the elegant cursive script. Ever since the art of writing came into existence, there have been a class of people who specialized in its craft like penmen and scribes, and every age is identified with a unique penmanship style. Some of these handwriting styles include;
New American Cursive
New American Cursive is a writing style that is simple and clean. It is the first form of cursive taught to children in school as the style of its letters is quite easy to learn. There is no manuscript or print form of this cursive writing style, although the letters F, Q, T, and Z are written in a manuscript like manner.
Handwriting without tears.
Handwriting without tears is a simplified writing style that does not have a slant and has a manuscript fill to it. The writing was developed by an occupational therapist to help people easily memorize letters, and includes many tactile products for writing readiness.
Handwriting without tears is very popular in the United States, but it is considered by many as too simple. It is not as appealing as other writing styles, and its cursive does not flow. This writing style is in both manuscript and cursive style of writing.
D’Nealian (Modern Print and Cursive)
D’Nealian style of writing was developed in the 1970s by Donald Neal Thurber and gained popularity in the school districts of the United States during the late 1980s.
It was designed to simplify and condense the flourishes and complex catechisms in cursive writing style. It was also modified to introduce “whole hand movement” while writing, to keep hand cramping and fatigue, that was as a result of finger-only writing, at bay.
D’Nealian was taught to children to help them transition from print to cursive writing style with ease. It, therefore, incorporates slanted block letters like those of cursive penmanship styles.
Similar to cursive writing, the lower case print letters, like the letter ‘a”, are written using one flowing stroke and most have tails.
Today, some schools find it challenging to teach and dislike the D’Nealian manuscript “b” and “k.” those who like it tend to teach it with added modifications.
D’Nealian style of writing is in both manuscript only, and manuscript and cursive penmanship styles.
Zaner-Bloser (Original) and Palmer
Palmer and the original Zaner-Bloser was the standard way of teaching handwriting in the 1960s.
Palmer writing was developed by Austin Palmer as a modification of the Spencerian system of writing. Although Spencerian cursive writing was nice and is still considered one of the most dynamic writing styles, it wasn’t very efficient to use by accountants, bookkeepers, and other business men who faced a growing amount of bureaucratic paperwork.
The Palmer writing style was also challenging to teach children due to cramping of the hand. He simplified and condensed the Spencerian system which has since seen other systems of cursive writing, like Zaner-Bloser and D’Nealian, developed with the goal of simplifying cursive writing style.
Zaner-Bloser Continuous Stroke (Simple)
This writing style is neither too simple nor too challenging. The original Zaner-Bloser writing style was the dominant penmanship style in the United States until D’Nealin (Modern Manuscript) gained popularity, leading to the introduction of the simplified or continuous stroke Zaner-Bloser.
The Zaner-Bloser Continuous Stroke applies to print letters where the pencil is not lifted when forming a letter like with the original Zaner-Bloser style. The most simplified and notable cursive letter is “Q” which originally looked like an odd number “2.”
Zaner-Bloser Continuous Stroke style of writing is in both uppercase and lowercase manuscript.
Like D’Nealian writing style, Peterson is used for ease of transition between manuscript and cursive writing. It is also referred to as Slant Print. Much like in italic writing styles, the cursive letters end without a curve.
Peterson style of writing can be written in print, slant print, and cursive styles.
Italic Writing Style
Italic style, originally from Italy (hence the name “italic”) of writing is considered one of the loveliest and appealing penmanship style. This writing style is generally Carolingian script written in a stylish way by slanting and connecting some of the letters with lines.
There are various types of italic styles. They include New South Wales, Portland Italic, Queensland, and Barchowsky.