What does your handwriting reveal about you?
Ever wondered why everyone's handwriting is so different? Or how you can 'know' someones handwriting? Is our personality reflected in our handwriting? Turns out, maybe...
Firstly, for a bit of background - I love handwriting (and the quirkier, the better). I love seeing how different people write. It's like a small glimpse into their personality.
But why is our handwriting unique to us? Have you ever wondered why are we able to know who wrote something, just by looking art their handwriting? We are all taught in school to write in a relatively similar way. So why, as an adult, does our handwriting look so different to the person next to us?
The answer lies in the complex interplay between biology, psychology, and culture. Handwriting can be influenced by a range of factors, including our motor skills, cognitive processes, and cultural norms. These factors combine to create a unique and distinctive writing style for each individual - which is why you might be able to tell that Bob wrote that post-it not and not Marge. These are the nuances I love mimicking in my handwritten typefaces.
Handwriting vs psychology
Handwriting is a powerful tool that can be influenced by our thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. Studies have shown that handwriting engages different areas of the brain than typing, leading to better memory retention and increased creativity. Additionally, the unique characteristics of a person's handwriting can reveal insights into their personality, mood, and mental state.
One area of research related to the psychology of handwriting is graphology, which is the study of handwriting analysis. Graphologists believe that the way we write can reveal our personality traits, emotional state, and even our physical health. For example, someone who writes with a heavy hand and strong pressure may be perceived as forceful or aggressive, while someone who writes with a light touch may be seen as gentle or sensitive. There is a whole rabbit hole I could go down here, but I might leave that for another blog post 😎
To keep it simple, research has shown that the size and shape of our letters, the pressure we apply to the pen, and the spacing between letters and words can all provide clues about our personality and emotional state. For example:
Small and cramped handwriting may indicate a reserved or introverted personality, while large and bold handwriting may indicate a more outgoing or confident personality.
Portraying personality in fonts
I like to think about this when creating my fonts. For example, can you see the difference in personality between Manic and Ugly Dave? Although they are both messy handwriting fonts, Manic is erratic and chaotic, whereas Ugly Dave is casual and a little sarcastic. You can see the heavy and angsty strokes throughout Manic, and maybe subconsciously, you might feel that the writer is anxious.
Is handwriting cathartic?
Handwriting can also be used as a therapeutic tool. In fact, some mental health professionals use a technique called handwriting analysis therapy to help patients process their emotions and gain insight into their thoughts and behaviours. This approach involves analysing a patient's handwriting to identify patterns or inconsistencies that may indicate underlying emotional issues.
In addition to handwriting analysis, there is also evidence to suggest that simply writing by hand can have therapeutic benefits. Studies have shown that handwriting can help reduce stress, improve mood, and increase self-awareness. This may be because the act of physically writing by hand slows down our thoughts and allows us to process our emotions more effectively. Maybe this is why I like making handwriting fonts 🙂
If you're interested, take a little look into graphology and the psychology of handwriting - I've found it pretty intriguing so far.
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