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You are here: Home / Type & typography / Everyday handwriting

Everyday handwriting

Sue Walker ATypI 2016 • Warsaw, Poland Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw ASP

This paper is about the teaching of handwriting in the UK (mainly) in the first three decades of the twentieth century. It was an interesting time because of the engagement of those with expertise in making letters, such as Edward Johnston and Alfred Fairbank; teachers and educationists such as Walter Kimmins, Marion Richardson, Augusta Monteith; and historians and intellectuals including James Kerr and Roger Fry. It was also a period in which there was a proliferation of copy books displaying different kinds of handwriting model, such as the copper-plate inspired civil-service hand, italic and print-script. And there was a dynamic between handwriting and typeface design – for example the single-bowled a and g in Gill Sans originated through the request from a teacher who wanted type forms to better resemble handwritten ones. This talk will examine the different threads and will point out connections and divergences in approach, recognizing that each had a common goal – to improve everyday handwriting. It will be highly illustrated with examples of copy books and handwriting practice from my own collection and those at the University of Reading.

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