National Handwriting Day is Jan. 23

By Allison Tate
Times-News correspondent 

   National Handwriting Day was established 40 years ago on Jan. 23, the birthday of John Hancock, the famous founding father with an equally famous signature, by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) to honor and show the importance of handwriting.
“Throughout history, written communication has played a central role in the dissemination of culture and concepts.” Said David Baker, executive director of WIMA. “The art of handwriting is one of the few ways individuals can uniquely express themselves.”
A person’s unique writing style can give a look into different aspects of their personality, according to handwriting expert Sheila Lowe, who has over 40 years of experience in handwriting analysis.
Handwriting can give information about social style, thinking style, one’s ego, energy and how the writer organizes their life, Lowe said.
To analyze a person’s handwriting, Lowe said the gestalt method is used, which observes factors like spaces between letters, words, lines and margins; font that the writer uses and different aspects of writing movement like pressure, speed and rhythm.
   To celebrate the anniversary of National Handwriting Day, Lowe was contracted by WIMA to analyze the handwriting of last year’s presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and share her findings.
In her analysis of Trump’s handwriting, Lowe said that Trump’s use of a different style of writing in the body of writing compared his signature “suggests that what you see is not necessarily what you get.” Lowe added that Trump’s handwriting is reflective of someone wanting to be seen as “strong, bold” and “someone not to be messed with.”
Lowe also said that other aspects of his handwriting including the square shape of his letters, font size and illegible signature identifies Trump as someone who lives in the present moment, likes to maintain control over situations and has trouble backing away from power struggles.
Lowe’s analysis of Clinton’s handwriting identified Clinton as someone who favors order and organization. Lowe added that her signature, which is similar to the style of writing used in the body of writing, is “a sign of someone who is unafraid to be seen as they really are.”
Other characteristics of Clinton’s handwriting — how she writes certain letters and good spacing — are signs of a fear of being judged by others, perfectionism and thought process that are “systematic, logical” and “methodical,” Lowe said.
John Hancock was known for his bold signature on the Declaration of Independence.
On Jan. 23, WIMA suggests writing a note, composing a letter, penning a poem, jotting in a journal or signing your name as a way to celebrate National Handwriting Day.

Allison Tate is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Teens & 20s writer.


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