Is The Art of Handwriting Really Dying?

Glorifying the use of computers and cool fonts from blog to blog seem to not end and it probably never will. One must put a stop to this insanity by looking back from where it all came from, a more traditional art. Handwriting or penmanship, if you will.

The art of handwriting is dying, I only have one friend who has a very artistic handwriting and when people do see her write they get mesmerized. That is one hint that it is a dying art: when people around see it like something straight from a fantasy film.

Handwriting as a Dying Art

Nowadays almost everyone are typing or texting(SMS), even documents that are passed around only require a signature. Today, many schools are shifting to computerized exams. Handwriting only occurs during lecture time, although in the university from where I graduated teachers give photocopies of their lectures or even a PDF.


To back up my claim (or question) I have interviewed 22 people about handwriting as a dying art.

1. Do you think handwriting is a dying art?

Of the 22 I have interviewed 14 believe that handwriting is a dying art. Although people still write from time to time, the days when handwriting is something that defines the personality of the writer is nearly gone. This apply to calligraphy and cursive.


2. Do you still write?

Twelve said they still write regularly while 10 said they no longer write using pen and paper or very rarely does so. Most of those who commented further no longer write regularly, but they do believe that before technology overlapped traditional writing, people were really good with it.


I was even graced with their comments about this matter.

Ian said:

“Now, calligraphy style penmanship, however is quite dead. Go, go print :(  As an art form yes, it is dead in my eyes, but as far as communications are conerned, it will always exist. Nothing beats hard copies, you know?”

Anonymous said:

“I was taught wrong, or more like learned wrong.”

Jesse from the USA said:

“It actually is, I’m afraid. I use the computer a lot more. I wouldn’t say they forget about using paper and ink, it’s just in today’s world, technology rules. But yes, people do write a lot less in my opinion.”

Anonymous said:

“Yes, the computer era is taking over.”

Lucas from Minnesota said:

“Yes, it is dying. No, I  no longer write, unfortunately. The use of the internet and cellphones has abolished handwriting entirely. And I don’t write because my school asks for computer written essays and it’s easier to contact other people through the internet than through a letter.”

Charina said:

“Yes, most people today use computer. For instance, when communicating, instead of snail mail people use Yahoo Messenger, Facebook, e-mails, and SMS. Even at schools, projects are done using computers. It is seldom for teachers to give students instructions to come up with a handwritten essay.”

Karla said:

“Yes, it is a dying art. Even my boss writes like a kid.”

Rassel said:

Because of technology, I think.”

Based on the interview I have conducted, people who agree/believe that handwriting is a dying art have more things to say on what caused its demise than those who believe otherwise. Now you’re wondering where did I gather people to answer my questions? 3 are long-time friends. Others, from Omegle. *laughs*

I think I deserve a praise because I’ve been verbally abused many times for asking questions. You know, there are lots of naughty people there. Good thing there are still serious people who are connected to the internet ready to provide creative and critical discussions.

Examples of Elegant Handwriting

The power of an elegant handwriting stirs the imagination. Seeing the images below automatically gives me the impression that the person who wrote them are elegant!

On a completely irrelevant but serious note, I am a Redditor (a reddit user) for 2 years now and it just occurred to me to search “handwriting”, to my surprise I found a discussion full of ultra cool handwritings.

Feast with your eyes! Calling all who have knowledge of graphology/handwriting analysis, please help us translate the handwritings below.

by: electrobutter


I find electrobutter‘s handwriting nice. A combination of print and cursive. You can actually visualize the fast strokes his pen makes.

by: Eugene Solomonik


A fantastic handwriting which incorporates fine slow curves and quick strokes. Mr. Solominik even has a special note for 1stwebdesigner!

Isn’t that sweet of him? Check out his Flickr, he sure loves to write. Thanks Mr. Solomonik!

by: paralemptor


You felt it too, didn’t you? That tingling sensation while reading the handwriting, it is like one of those books about witchcraft with rhymes. I’d have paralemptor write me a short story.

by: Frodo_Teabaggins


Dear Frodo_Teabaggins, teach me how to write like this. Please? Very elegant and free-flowing.

My Handwriting (deserves an H2 tag)


“Greetings 1stwebdesigner readers! How is my handwriting? I want to see yours too.  :) Cursive? What cursive? << LOL” –  for those who can’t read my handwriting due to poor camera resolution and the shaking of my hands, I had too much coffee.

Dainis’ Handwriting

Dear friends, I have successfully acquired Dainis Graveris’ handwriting specimen. Unique handwriting, I should say, for it combines both print and cursive in a very subtle way. Bonus: this is his journal.

Your Turn

If you have the time please do answer these questions:

1. Do you think handwriting is a dying art?

2. When was the last time you actually wrote?

3. If you are writing in print, when was the last time you wrote in cursive?

4. Link to your handwriting’s photo?

1/8/2011 UPDATE! - Around 5 minutes ago I was browsing Yahoo News and saw an article predicting things that babies born in the year 2011 will never know. Guess what? It includes handwriting! See 23rd item or 7th to the last.

Rean John Uehara

Rean concurrently served as the Head of Operations and Editor-in-Chief of 1stwebdesigner from 2011 up until Aug 2014. He regularly writes about freelancing, technology, web design, and web development with a little touch of internet marketing here and there.

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  1. Lauren says

    I don’t actually think the art of handwriting is dying and I hope it never does.
    Just think of journals, notes in class etc, it’s so much easier to whip out a notebook and jot down your thoughts and notes.
    Plus, you can’t really carry a laptop or iPad or whatever else you have around with you all of the time! Be realistic. Also, computers are good but they are NOT the oracle of the universe, they do break and they are not the only source of use for writing, researching or contacting people.
    I’m 17 and even I know this so all of you that may say I’m old and moany, feck offfff because I know I’m right and I think writing will always be around, or atleast for the rest of my life time.

  2. DoreenO says

    Great post. I really feel that penmanship has been written off by thumb-centric youth. I think we lose a lot when we don’t stress the art of handwriting.

  3. Michael says

    What a strange world we live in nowadays. Kids need to be able to print their full name, address and phone number before they get to Kindergarten. Yet, they are taught typing skills, rather than cursive handwriting. Perhaps personalized notes are going the way of paperback books — extinct! Call me “sentimental,” but I still value the look, feel and smell of an old book over a Kindle and the heartfelt sentiment of a chicken-scratched letter on a crumpled piece of paper over an email any day.

  4. says

    I think those that truly appreciate the art of handwriting will continue to do it. It also depends on how often you write regular mail (I hate the term snail mail). While my handwriting isn’t fantastic, it is readable. I would always handwrite letters for personal purposes. I’m 40 and as much as I use technology, I still don’t text unless I have to. I’d rather talk on the phone or send an e-mail. While I may never create a font with my handwriting, I still use it quite a bit to take notes in class because one of the guys didn’t like the noise of the keystrokes and write letters and Christmas Cards. It’s also used for me when I write thank-you notes to prospective employers after interviews. So I guess it all comes down to choice. It will never die out as long as there are people are there to appreciate it’s beauty.

  5. Rean John Uehara says

    Ah, you really have a nice handwriting, I can only hope to write like you. I remember studying calligraphy on my freshman year in high school, it was hard for me but I really enjoyed it. Unlike you I totally forgot about that skill.

    On item number 2, I can relate. When I was introduced to typing, my elegance-forsaken handwriting suffered the most as seen above.

    Thanks for answering the questions! Come back for more! :)

    Gotta practice my lines and curves!

  6. Rean John Uehara says

    Maybe I should have also asked people on how their handwriting is affected by their mood. May I assume that you write in cursive when you are happy? =)

    “The physical nature of writing something kicks my brain into a deeper mode of thought.” Relevant to Jayson’s comment below, writing makes it easier to work on logic problems.

    Thanks! I love your handwriting. :D

  7. Rean John Uehara says

    I just woke up and directly went here to see new comments, reading your answer on number 2 I remembered the dream I just had. I was scribbling ideas on my palm! :D

  8. Rean John Uehara says

    Thank you for the inputs! My Grandmother is not a fan of writing but my Grandfather has an awesome handwriting, as far as I can remember, unfortunately I never learned the art. Looking at all of your handwritings makes me really feel left behind. *laughs*

    Thanks again! :)

  9. says

    I don’t know if I’d say dying, or just changing… Gone are the days where everyone’s writing looked precise and written with purpose like my Grandfather, or elegant and beautiful like my Grandmother. Writing now for most people seems like wasted time – having to write things down only to input them to their computer or electronic device later.

    I’m an artsy person, and have friends who are more apt to use pen and pencil to create their words, so I don’t experience a true random sampling of society on this topic. I have always enjoyed watching others write, and seeing handwriting samples, so thanks for the topic!

    My handwriting sample:

  10. Pablo says

    1. As long as schools require hand writing, it will prevail
    2. Today, I have a notebook where I write all the crazy ideas I get through the day. I even write on my hands so I won´t forget things
    3. I stopped writing in cursive in middle school because nobody could understand it.
    4. Sorry, no link… I have a really crappy hand writing , so you would not understand it anyway 

  11. Sembetu says

    Excellent post. Please see my responses, below:

    1. Do you think handwriting is a dying art?
    — Yes. I have seen handwriting degrade quite a bit in my lifetime, and I am only 36. When I was in the 4th grade, I learned calligraphy. I have maintained this skill into adulthood, but the times I’ve used it were for rare, specific, and specialized projects, where another method will not suffice.

    2. When was the last time you actually wrote?
    — I write often, if you call note-taking in meetings “writing”. However, I have been writing less frequently over the years, and I have noticed my own handwriting suffer.

    3. If you are writing in print, when was the last time you wrote in cursive?
    — I have always written in cursive, except for when printing was explicitly required. I enjoy the fluid connection of the letters much more that the choppiness of printing. If I want to print, I’ll type.

    4. Link to your handwriting’s photo?
    — Here is a link to a handwriting sample. I have been told that I have very nice penmanship. I’m sure that I could do much better if I took the time, but I am often rushed just to get down what I have to.


  12. says

    1. sorta… I see lots of sloppy handwriting even from people older than I. However, I see a bit of a resurgence in my circles with handwritten cards & letters.

    2. I write daily. With pen & paper. All my to-do lists are on paper as well as a lot of thought-processing. The physical nature of writing something kicks my brain into a deeper mode of thought.

    3. I write in a mix of print & cursive, depends on my mood, as you can see below :)


  13. Tony says

    people still write so it’s not dying maybe your talking about speedball art which has died due to the rise of fonts. As long as people handwrite things the art of handwriting will never die. :D

  14. George says

    I really like this topic. This topic seriously compel me to think about my handwriting habits. Thanks.

  15. Rean John Uehara says

    Thanks for commenting. :) I can actually relate when it comes to how my handwriting looks, as seen above. *laughs*

  16. Rean John Uehara says

    I’ve read somewhere, a science paper, about a study relating handwriting and the thought process. I think I need to find that and post it here. *thinking*

    Thanks for sharing, sir! :)

  17. says

    Thanks Rean! People that receive handwritten letters appreciate the time and effort. It’s also very personal. :)

  18. Rean John Uehara says

    With or without link your comment sure is helpful, sir. The concept of handwriting as an art seems to belong in the grey areas, one could not really draw the line between it being an art or not. Thanks for the input! :)

  19. says

    I am not convinced that handwriting is a dying art. I write most days, usually taking notes or journaling. I know that I have an easier time working out logic problems & loops when I write the logic out by hand first. Also, with so many note-taking tools online using OCR(ish) technology it makes it still searchable and archivable.

    I only write in cursive when I’m signing something.

  20. Rean John Uehara says

    You are absolutely correct on number one, but if schools keep on encouraging their students to write essays using computers I fear it will lead to that. It gives me hope to know that there are still many people who value handwriting. It’s just so noble to write someone a letter instead of an e-mail, right?

    Thanks for answering and for sharing.
    Your handwriting is awesome! :)

  21. Anonymous says

    1. Yes

    2. Not since high school. Anytime I write something, it’s almost always typed up on a computer. My handwriting is crap anyway. It’s amazing if later I can still understand what it was I was writing.

    3. It used to be if I wrote in cursive, it’s because I’m a hurry. It’s a time issue. It’s a time-saver to write something in cursive versus print, but I don’t do it as a habit.

    4. No.

  22. Rean John Uehara says

    Thanks for answering the questions. If I may inquire further, what do you think is the reason behind number 3? I see very few people write in cursive but I know that they know how to.

    On answer #4 I hope you get a fountain pen soon! :D

  23. says

    I am a little conflicted on this because while I feel like it will always be important to write one can always argue that simply “writing” is different than “handwriting”.

    I still find daily value in taking notes or jotting things down quickly on paper and I feel like it will be a good while before we start teaching our children to type before they know how to write. With that said:

    1) With the keyword of art I will say Yes
    2) I write almost every day
    3) I rarely write in cursive, I never really did
    4) No link, you can thank me later.

  24. Rean John Uehara says

    That is sweet, keeping your cursive for Christmas. You gave me an idea on that one. :D
    I guess it is safe to assume that the number of people who still write with a “personality” don’t just get noticed by most people who are connected to the internet. It is very heartwarming to read “I could not wait to find my own style of handwriting…” The art lives in you. *salute*

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

  25. says

    Wow, I loved this post.

    I do think that handwriting is a dying art. I recall in my grade school days learning penmanship until 6th grade, now my kids, they complete it by 4th. When I was young I could not wait to find my own style of handwriting, I absolutely loved my fathers writing, it was so precise, all caps yet flowing strokes. Turns out that is pretty much how I write as well.

    I write daily, notes on wireframe sketches, comps, all sorts of stuff. However, I don’t write cursive often, once a year to be precise. it is my ‘Santa Letter’ writing. Each year I write a Santa Letter to my kids on Christmas – when Santa comes – that writing is cursive, large swooping elegant strokes. I have to actually practice the letter 5-6 times before I can actually get through the letter with a consistent style. So I try to avoid cursive around my kids, for now at least!

    The handwriting in the post by paralemptor is absolutely amazing. When I was in High School I took a calligraphy course and loved it. That type of writing is what I have always strived for. Makes it look so effortless. There is something to behold within that writing, something old mixed with modern… amazing.

    … sorry I don’t have the ability to post my writing …

  26. Altair Blackwind says

    My handwriting differs on the pen I use.

    For the Questions:
    #1 No Handwriting isn’t a dying art, I’m still using calligraphy for some typographies.
    #2 Every now and then.
    (it seems that good ideas are popping up when I’m away from the computer so I have a notebook ready)
    [unless people here use tablets]
    #3 Print (you got me there.) The last time I wrote cursive was in 5th grade (11 years ago)
    #4 I’ll keep that to myself! until I get a fountain pen!

  27. Rean John Uehara says

    Don’t forget to answer the questions below, maybe we can start a discussion here. :) Thanks!