January 28, 2022 2 min read

You may not know that January 23 is National Handwriting Day, but if you’re a red-blooded human being, you have likely been sucked down a social media rabbit hole watching videos of people doodling calligraphy of different sorts.

Why January 23, you ask? Well, it’s John Hancock’s birthday. He was the first Founding Father to sign the Declaration of Independence (which is also why the colloquialism of John Hancock means signature) in 1776.

Calligraphy encompasses beautiful handwriting and ornate lettering techniques, but some take it a step further saying calligraphy is the art of forming beautiful symbols by hand and arranging them well…that the skills and techniques involved in the process bring integrity, harmony, rhythm, and creative fire to the words we see. More poetically put, some have said reading calligraphy is the closest you can get to hearing music with your eyes.

In the past, calligraphers were some of the most highly regarded individuals and they developed their knowledge and skills over centuries. The things they learned were handed down from generation to generation.

Woman writing in a notebook

Anyone Can Do It

Though above we touched on the artistry calligraphy brings to words, don’t be scared if you don’t have a creative bone in your body. Anyone can learn calligraphy!

There are lots of incredible tutorials online that can help you begin and develop the skill of hand lettering. It just takes patience and practice.

It’s All Coming Back

In a world of computers and cell phones, you might think that handwriting is becoming a lost art and unnecessary skill. But it isn’t. It’s actually experiencing a huge resurgence. This is amazing because handwriting has lots of deep-rooted benefits like developing fine motor skills, improving cognitive development, supporting reading comprehension, and increasing creativity.

Unique

From the size and shape of your letters to the spacing you use between words, and the direction your writing slants, your writing is as unique as you are. And it’s been said that a lot can be revealed by a person’s handwriting.

Woman writing in a notebook

The Art of Early Detection

Graphology–a 400-year-old science–is the study of handwriting and is used to analyze over 5,000 different personality traits and even detect certain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Graphology has even been used in courtrooms–though it’s used more to determine who wrote something than what the handwriting says about them.

People who use large letters may be outgoing and outspoken while those who use smaller letters are shier and more reserved.

Rounded letters indicate creativity and artistic ability and pointed letters are more logically centered.

Wide spacing between words can indicate a need for space and freedom while narrow spacing can indicate intrusiveness.

Even the way you dot your “i” and cross your “t” says something about you. Procrastinators dot to the left while detail-oriented people dot directly above.

A short cross of the “t” can indicate laziness while a long cross indicates determination and stubbornness.

How are you celebrating National Handwriting Day? You could write a letter, scribble a doodle, color, journal, write a list of things you’re thankful for, watch a calligraphy tutorial (or ten), or analyze the personalities of your friends and family. Share with us in the comments what you decide!