Handwriting Feature Image

National Handwriting Day draws attention to the study of graphology.

The way you dot your I’s and cross your T’s says a lot about who you are.

In 1977, the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association founded National Handwriting Day to preserve the art of handwriting. They designated Jan. 23 as the official day, in honor of John Hancock’s birthday. 

Handwriting experienced a period of decline since the invention of typewriters, keyboards and phones, but according to Business Insider, states such as Louisiana and Alabama are making an effort to continue teaching cursive to children who are otherwise used to typing.

But pulling out a pad and paper to jot down what you need from the store is about more than stenography, the practice of shorthand writing. Graphology, the study of how personality is expressed through handwriting, dates back to the 1500s. So that grocery list might say more about you than you think.

Loopy letters

A small loop on a lowercase “p” or “g” typically means you’re quieter than someone who uses large loops, according to Graphology: The Art of Handwriting Analysis by Julian Moore.

He also adds that larger “g” and “p” loops, indicate signs of being more gregarious and physical.

Dotting your I’s and crossing your T's

Where your dots land above lowercase a lowercase "i" suggests how detail-oriented you are, Moore says. If your dot is positioned directly above the “i,” you might pay more attention to detail than if the dot lands to the right or the left of the “i.”

The same goes for the letter “t.” The direction in which your dash crosses the letter can illuminate many aspects of your personality. A straight-across dash symbolizes decisiveness, a downward-sloping dash symbolizes a moderate ambition and an upward-sloping dash suggests earnestness.

Under pressure

Handwriting Pressure

Heavy pressure versus light pressure.

If you find yourself breaking pencil lead on a regular basis or making thick, inky letters, you might have a tendency to show dynamism, aggressiveness or assertiveness, according to Handwriting & Graphology

Writing with lighter pressure, on the other hand, signifies passiveness, calmness and a gentle temperament.

The space between

Handwriting Spacing

Wide spaces between letters and words versus narrow spacing.

Narrow letters tend to be a sign of cautiousness or self-control, according to Handwriting & Graphology. Wide letters could exhibit a tendency toward ambitiousness and a lack of inhibition.

The space between words, however, signifies something different. Handwriting & Graphology explains that wide spaces between words could mean you’re emotionally distant, and words placed close together could mean you have a chaotic inner life or need for closeness.

Digital Managing Editor, Summer/Fall 2018

Digital managing editor of Vox and a senior at the Missouri School of Journalism. Dallas native. Classic word nerd who is fascinated by at least one new thing every day, which is both a blessing and a curse.

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