Everybody has a unique handwriting style that is crafted in an efficient way to form letters and numbers. There is no “correct” style of writing although handwriting analysts would argue that there is a “best” one.
There are many styles of handwriting, but they are categorized into three major types; cursive, print, and D’Nealian.
Cursive type of writing
Cursive means a “running” hand, where pen lifts are minimized. Cursive handwriting style, also known as script or longhand, is any style of writing where some characters are written in a flowing manner joined together. This type of writing was generally purposed to make writing faster.
Casual Cursive is generally a combination of joins and pen lifts while formal cursive it is all conjoined. In the Cyrillic, Arabic, Latin, and Syriac alphabets, many letters and words are written in a flowing manner, sometimes making a word look like a single pen stroke. In Roman cursive and Hebrew cursive, the letters are not joined.
The cursive writing style is further divided into three subclasses; looped, italic and connected.
Looped Cursive Handwriting
In looped cursive handwriting, some letters that ascend and descend are written with loops to provide for joins. An example of looped handwriting is Renaissance, which is one of the oldest handwriting styles in history.
Italic Cursive Handwriting
Italic cursive penmanship is derived from chancery cursive and uses non-looped joins. Joins from g, j, q, or y and other few letters are discouraged. Italic handwriting style became popular during the medieval times.
During the 15th century, the popular handwriting consisted of black indecipherable letter script. Due to its illegibility, Renaissance scribes and writers decided to return to the Carolingian writing style, which was invented by monks in the 8th century with bold and easy-to-read letters. However, they gave it an ornate look by slanting it conjoining some of the letters with lines.
The cursive italic handwriting originated in Italy; hence it was dubbed the name “italic.” This term (italic) relates to penmanship where letters slant backward and should not be confused with the “italic typed” where letters slant forward.
Connected Cursive Writing
The connected cursive handwriting is associated with the origin of the cursive writing method. It was used not only for its practical advantages of writing speed, but also the infrequent pen lifting that was required to accommodate the limitations of writing with the quill. The quill is fragile hence breaks easily and will spatter unless it is used correctly.
The steel dip pen followed the quill. Although they were sturdier than the quill, steel dip pens came with some limitations like spattering if you did not write fast enough.
Print Handwriting Style
Print handwriting style, also known as block letters, printscript, ball and stick, or manuscript, is a gothic or sans-serif writing style where letters are individual glyphs and not conjoined.
In most English speaking countries, children are taught how to write in block letters before they later advance to joined (cursive) writing. Countries like Austria, Italy, Poland, France, and Germany focus on teaching the cursive writing style from the first grade.
The print penmanship style is often used to write on official forms. This is because the cursive style of writing is harder to read and since the glyphs are joined together, they do not neatly fit into separate boxes.
Print or block letter writing can also be used as a synonym for block capitals, which is writing in all capital letters or small and large capital letters, imitating the typeset style of capital letters.
In typography, the term “print” or “block letters” refers to crude fonts that are formed by cutting a material such as metal or wood without applying the sophistication associated with professional type design.
Examples of the print handwriting style are Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman, etc.
D’Nealian type of penmanship
D’Nealian type of handwriting is an English penmanship style that incorporates both print and cursive writing styles.
In the early 20th century, penmen noted that the cursive handwriting style wasn’t very practical or efficient for use due to the growing amount of bureaucratic paperwork that accountants, bookkeepers, and other businessmen faced. Moreover, cursive penmanship became especially complicated to teach children due to the primary use of finger movements to write which left their hands cramped.
To solve this problem, Austin Palmer, a handwriting analyst, came up with a writing style that eliminated the loops, flourishes and complicated catechisms. He also introduced “whole hand movement” to eliminate the fatigue and hand cramping.
Since then, other cursive systems were developed, and D’Nealian writing style was the most popular. It was developed by Donald Thurber to help children easily transition from print writing style to cursive. In theory, it is easy for children to acquire basic handwriting skills using this method than the traditional cursive penmanship style.
There is vast knowledge to be explored on the different types of handwriting. To learn more about them, Master Hand Writing is the site to visit, where you will also be provided with handwriting practices for you that are sure to help in no time.