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Sketch Dev: Benoît Decomble
Oct
15

Simple Tips To Improve Your Handwriting

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Neat, legible, attractive handwriting is one of the pillars of good graphic recording here at Ink Factory. Whether you’re a professional scribe, or you just want to be able to actually read your notes from the weekly strategy session, these simple exercises will amp up your penmanship game.

Don't use ballpoint pens for visual notes

Ditch the ballpoint

Ballpoint pens are banned at Ink Factory. Why? They create extremely thin, faint lines, and require more pressure on the page than a marker. When you’re writing for long periods of time, as fast as possible, you want a pen that’s going to give you the least amount of friction. That means a softer tip with more ink. If you read our post What Are The Best Markers For Graphic Recording? you’ll know we recommend a Paper Mate Flair pen for writing on a small scale. Flairs can create various thicknesses depending on the amount of pressure you apply to them, and they create a nice visible black line.

Practice handwriting through repetition and writing in all caps

Write in capitals

If you browse through our graphic recordings, you’ll notice that 90% of the time we write in all capitals. That’s because capital letters are all the same height, which gives a cleaner and more legible look.

To improve your handwriting, think about drawing each letter rather than writing it

Draw it, don’t write it

Artists are trained to notice angles, curves and shapes that make up visual elements. Don’t forget that you can manipulate the angles and curves of each letter to suit your style. Think about a “T,” not as a letter, but as two perpendicular lines. Think of an “O” as a slightly squished circle. Break down the angles and shapes within each letter and then you will be able to reproduce it more efficiently. Practice this concept several times using different size letters and numbers; Experiment with tall and narrow, short and squatty, thin, thick.

Study

If you’re not happy with your own handwriting, research and study the work of other artists, comic book illustrators, graphic recorders, hand letterers and graphic designers. Make note of what makes each font unique, and if you like it, incorporate it into your own handwriting. Do you prefer handwriting that is sharp and angular, or more rounded? Are all the lines composing each letter the same thickness, or do they vary? Pay attention to the details and characteristics of each letter. Practicing and duplicating different styles of handwriting will help you find a style all our own. Every artist at Ink Factory has their own unique handwriting, but we all have studied each other’s work, and incorporated different elements into our own style.

Spacing

The trick to keeping your text legible is correct spacing, between each letter, each word, and each line of text. Writing slow and steady will help you keep your spacing consistent.

Repetition

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog…What?

"The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog" written with a bold sharpie font

That sentence has every letter of the alphabet – so it’s perfect for practicing your handwriting. We all know practice makes perfect – just make sure you aren’t repeating bad habits. Look at your practice work through a critical lens, and correct any mistakes you see.The trick to keeping your text legible is correct spacing, between each letter, each word, and each line of text. Writing slow and steady will help you keep your spacing consistent.There are also hundreds of handwriting practice sheets online for you to copy, copy, copy.


Do you like your handwriting? What resources do you use to improve? Let us know on Twitter: @the_ink_factory

*We were not paid to promote any of the brands mentioned in this post! These are the tools we love, rely on, and use on a daily basis.

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