So many of us have distant memories of writing consistently with a pen during our school years. Our modern daily experience might be jotting a few notes in a meeting or filling out forms. As adults, it’s easy to go through life without ever picking up a pen.
But writing by hand with a pen is an opportunity for self-expression that typing on a keyboard can never offer. Specifically, the act of writing with a fountain pen forces the writer to slow down, consider what they are writing and press ink to paper with care and attention. According to the experts, this slowing down, mindfulness and careful articulation are the keys to falling back in love with handwriting.
Fountain pens and beautiful handwriting.
Search the internet for information about fountain pens and you will be struck with countless tutorials on how to write elegant cursive text. In another corner of the internet you will find countless people on Reddit asking if using a fountain pen automatically improves your handwriting. People are ashamed of their penmanship and are looking for ways to improve it.
The associations between fountain pens and calligraphy-style handwriting are well established, but with a luxury writing instrument in your hands, are you going to start writing like a romantic Victorian poet?
This is unlikely, but the weight of a quality fountain pen can introduce more care and therefore more elegance. Writing in a daily journal is suddenly elevated and the task becomes more meaningful with a fountain pen. The writer might take more care to compose and articulate their thoughts and be careful to lay the ink on the page with more considered flourishes.
While your notes might not ascend great artistic heights overnight, writing with a luxury pen on a regular basis will help you fall back in love with handwriting. The tangible connection between the writer and the writing object for everything from journaling to your daily to-do list helps build a sense of accomplishment.
Then there’s the drama of the pen itself. The exquisite craftsmanship of an impeccable fountain pen makes the act of writing by hand a ceremony and a ritual to be savoured. Lifting it from its holder, feeling the weight, removing the lid with a satisfying pop and gliding over the paper like a figure skater. It elevates the act of writing and makes every notion, thought, idea and quote resonate with importance.
Beauty inspires more beauty
Defining a writing style that is aesthetically pleasing is no easy task. It can be a combination of form, line, colour, proportions and composition. Some of us may be more impressed with flourishes, an elegant slight and symmetry. While others might favour clarity, quirk and boldness.
However, finding your own handwriting style starts with the tool you hold in your hand. A disposable plastic biro won’t inspire or encourage a love of handwriting and won’t inspire your hand to deliver an elegant script. But, hold an Montegrappa and your writing is likely to change for the better.
It’s not just the weight and design of the nib that alters the way you write. The object in your hands might be a sculptural piece of art in its own right. Surrounded by beautiful objects we are inspired to create more beautiful things.
The Victoria and Alexander Museum in London was originally opened to help elevate the design sensibilities of the public and the next generation of makers. The Victorians understood that an experience of elevated craftsmanship and esteemed beauty could inspire more of the same. For over 150 years the museum has attracted designers and makers from all around the world to consider objects housed in its collections. Creatives can seek inspiration from 5000 years’ worth of the finest design and art to inspire their own creativity.
The Victorians understood that beauty begets beauty. That an orderly world with beautifully crafted objects is soothing for the soul and connects each man and woman to an inner calm. Inspired by the beauty all around us, in our homes and in our hands, encourages us to create bigger, brighter and better things.
Simply put, the elegance of the fountain pen you hold might encourage you to create the best handwriting your hand is capable of. Just as you can fall in love with the most finely crafted fountain pen, you will fall in love with the elegant handwriting it has inspired.
I assume you mean the Victoria and Albert Museum.