Examples of beautiful handwriting



Handwriting is literally becoming a lost art. I am a teacher, and I see every single day that people are unable to write by hand anymore. If they try, they are slow, illegible, unable to spell and they cannot coordinate their mind and hands. Thoughts do not flow smoothly from their mind to their hand. When I have to read work written by hand it is often illegible. And coming from someone who has been reading bad handwriting for more than 30 years as part of their job, that is saying something.

Because so much of our history is written by hand, it is really tragic that this is becoming a lost art, because people are now also becoming less able to READ handwriting.

I trained as a journalist so I have been able to touch-type and use shorthand since I was 18 years old. I also later taught CARR (Computer Aided Research and Reporting) where I taught journalists how to produce online newspapers. I taught typing for years and my typing speed is close to 100 words per minute. I used to work as a Novell network manager and hardware and software consultant.  So I am not anti-technology by any means.

But I love writing by hand. It helps me to remember and to process information in a way that aids comprehension and retention. I write notes for my students by hand. I keep a paper planner. I find it calming and soothing and more reliable than technology regarding the way I work, where I do not always have access to the internet.

I read an interesting article last year where psychologists explain that writing things out by hand could make you smarter. There is also this one explaining why you should take notes by hand rather than on a laptop.

I work a lot with discussion and interaction in my classes and I find that students who jot notes down by hand do not interrupt the flow. But those who use laptops or tablets to write their notes somehow disturb the group dynamic. It seem intrusive somehow, like constantly texting during a conversation with someone else.

And beautiful handwriting is a work of art. When I was teaching in Ireland I used to love looking at The Book of Kells whenever I had a spare moment.

So I love looking at beautiful handwriting and I find it so sad that people do not use cursive anymore and that some schools are moving away from teaching good handwriting at all.

Find more here and here. The first link (Reddit) is where the photographs come from, and the second one is an article on Buzzfeed that inspired me to write this.








Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

8 thoughts

  1. I taught a GED (h.s. equivalency) class and once while proctoring a final exam was handed an essay by an adult student that was totally illegible. I actually turned it upside down thinking maybe that was the problem. It wasn’t. Without a word I handed the paper to another proctor and she did the same thing. Upside down didn’t work for her either. I tried to catch up with him in the hall but he disappeared. This was a test given in a central location and the student wasn’t from our program so i never did learn any more about him, but I always wondered how someone could get to somewhere in his 40s and have such poor handwriting. It is truly a lost skill; a lost art.

  2. Day is not far when people with good handwriting will be valued more and will be more in demand to teach calligraphy and importance of writing….
    This art is getting lost . Less and less people are using pens, forget fountain pens. And today fountain pens are bought more for collection or as an piece of art rather than a writing instrument.

    The writing samples you have showed are beautiful.

  3. I, too, love beautiful handwriting which also explains my love of pens and paper. I enjoy looking at Copperplate, and also some of the old Medieval secretary hands. To be able to write so beautifully, often at conversation speed is truly remarkable. As for today’s standards, please don’t get me started!

  4. I have to say the same sentence you both wrote: it means an absolut loss if handwriting would be totally abolished and I am a 100% with you on the topic.
    Switching from ballpoint writing to fountain pen at the beginning of the 80th I started constantly working on my handwriting and I have to admit that it became more and more fun to improve it. Meanwhile I carry mostly three fountain pens with customized stub or italic nibs with me wherever I go, filled with different colours of ink to take short notes or sitting somewhere writing down things which happen around me, sketching a bit if possible.
    And I found out that all my handwritten letters to friends, birthday and Christmas cards and especially writing into my diary makes me slow down and concentrate on what I am doing. Sometimes I even get the feeling it is almost like meditation.
    But what I also found out during all this time is that there is a movement setting in within younger people to be interrested in handwriting especially with fountain pens and even callygraphy nibs up to japanese penbrushes and they not only have fun writing, but seem to kind of celebrate it. And this makes me have a good feeling and the hope it will not stay a small community. It is not only slowing down, but also recognizing part of your own individuality and identity.
    Having helped in a school for two years recently I had the opportunity to watch the children from the first grades on and believe me, those children liked starting to handwrite, but it where the parents who found it useless to be taught their children!!! So I fear that it is not neccessarily the school system wanting to get rid of handwriting……………, but being sure that things which die will also be reborn, there is hope…………….even for the almost lost “art” of decent handwriting!😉


  5. I also read the recent article where you extracted the photos from.
    I totally agree with you, handwriting is important and people should still value it.
    However l am quite satisfied to see that technology has not totally put paper and pen aside. If you have a close look at all the sites and Facebook groups about planners, organizers, notebooks, pens, fountain pens etc you will see that people are more and more into writing.

    I notice the same at work where notebooks have replaced electronic devices to take notes or record lessons. It seems that people need to touch paper and hold a pen.
    When asked why she had stopped using a mini recorder during the lessons, one of my students replied that she found paper and pen more comforting and friendly.

    I also notice the same in trains and planes. I spend a good 25 hours in trains and planes weekly and l see more and more people writing things down.

  6. I’m with you 10000% on this topic…..makes me very sad for variety of reasons when I hear stories in the past year or so about schools that are dropping teaching handwriting from the curriculum for young students.

    Besides the beauty of handwriting (which I think is a noble worthwhile pursuit in and of itself…), there is evidence in the neuroscience world that learning handwriting helps improve ‘the wiring’ of and cognitive abilities in young children’s brains…

    Think young minds instead are getting their wires crossed inside their little minds due to overstimulization from playing with too much video games at early age…..I notice many of them have no patience or ability to sit still or pay attention to someone for more than about 30 seconds before they’re ready to go off to the next thing…….

    Anyway, have found that getting back into using fountain pens as my writing tool for taking notes during the workday has been a great pleasure and gotten me to focus on relearning how to handwrite and try to make it more artful…….

    Hope this makes sense….



    1. I totally agree about the wires crossed part. Which is a huge disaster for people who sit language exams for me, because those exams are all done by hand.

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