Celebrating the art of penmanship on ‘National Handwriting Day’
What is National Handwriting Day?
It was started in 1977 by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association, an organisation that’s based in Washington, D.C., USA. Their aim for coming up with this day was to promote the use of pens, pencils and writing paper.
It was decided that the 23rd of January would be the date of the holiday, as it’s the birthday of John Hancock, who was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence; and although its roots may trace back to the United States, handwriting remains an essential skill for people worldwide.
Despite the influence of technology, handwriting continues to play a role in our daily lives, particularly in the realms of education and employment, albeit with decreasing frequency. Then there's the social side of things, the era of sending handwritten letters or postcards to stay connected with relatives has given way to the convenience of sending a quick text.
National Handwriting Day stands as a reminder of the timeless beauty and personal touch that handwritten words bring to our lives; this day encourages us to pause, pick up a pen, and rediscover the joy of expressing ourselves through the art of handwriting.
The importance of handwritingHandwriting is more than just a practical skill; it is a form of self-expression and communication that goes beyond typed words. National Handwriting Day celebrates the uniqueness of your individual writing style, emphasising the personal connection forged between the writer and the reader through the strokes of a pen.
Preserving traditionHandwriting carries a sense of history, allowing us to connect with the past and appreciate the evolution of written communication. It's a skill passed down through generations, linking us to our ancestors and their stories. Years ago I was given my great-grandmother’s journal and I absolutely treasure it. What makes it different to a usual journal is that she handed it to her friends and asked them to write a little poem, or do a sketch, so there are pages of beautifully different handwriting, plus poems & paintings that had been added from different people over the course of a few years.
Health benefitsBeyond its cultural and historical significance, handwriting also offers various cognitive and health benefits. Research suggests that the act of writing by hand stimulates different areas of the brain compared to typing. It enhances fine motor skills, improves memory retention, and encourages creativity.
Personalisation and creativity
One of the beautiful aspects of handwriting is the unique touch each person brings to their script. Whether it's the slant of the letters, the size of the loops, or the overall style, handwriting is an extension of one's personality.
Ways to celebrate National Handwriting Day:
Write a Letter: Take a moment to pen a heartfelt letter to a friend or family member. The personal touch of a handwritten letter is sure to brighten someone's day. We also recommend joining ‘The World Needs More Love Letters’ where you can join their Facebook community group that send letters to people all over the world that could do with a little letter.
Start a Journal: Begin a handwritten journal to capture your thoughts, dreams, and experiences. The act of writing by hand provides a more intimate and reflective space for self-expression. We recommend following ‘Gemma Brown Coaching’ as she runs brilliant online workshops that help you to dedicate time to writing things down, giving prompts to help you get going & lots of advice and knowledge on the benefits of doing a little bit each day.
Handwritten Notes: Instead of sending a quick text or email, opt for a handwritten note. Whether it's a thank-you card, a birthday message, or just a friendly hello, the effort put into handwriting adds a special touch. We have a collection of notecards in our lovely thick 300gsm Tintoretto Gesso card that you can have in one of our existing designs or if you want something really special we can do hand painted & monogrammed cards to ensure each one is totally unique.
Learn Calligraphy: Explore the world of calligraphy to add an artistic flair to your handwriting. There are various online resources and classes that can help you develop this beautiful skill. We recommend ‘Logos Calligraphy’ if you want to learn Copperplate or Spencerian script, and if you are Cambridge based and fancy a fun workshop we are running a Spring Calligraphy Workshop on Saturday 2nd March 10:00-13:00, one week before Mothering Sunday, so a perfect opportunity to create something memorable & to spend some time together.
Embrace the opportunity to reconnect with this timeless tradition, recognizing the beauty, personalisation, and numerous benefits it brings to your life. So, grab a pen, let your thoughts flow onto paper, and celebrate the joy of handwriting on this special day!