Posted on June 28, 2018.
Once upon a time, handwriting was a key skill taught largely during the early years of primary school education. Good penmanship was something to take pride in and there were plenty of opportunities to practise and improve. In the 21st century, so much has changed. One consequence of the digital age is said to be a generation that has much less experience of writing without a screen and few reasons to do so.
Good handwriting needs the right tools
Anyone keen to write more legibly or easily needs to start with choosing the right pen. Producing legible words on paper requires attention to a combination of having the correct posture, pressure, angle and grip, and not all pens can deliver these things to all people.
Good pens to help people improve their handwriting are:
They may seem a little old-fashioned these days, but don’t be put off. Modern fountain pens such as the Cross Bailey Medalist can be used with either bottled ink or convenient cartridges, while ultra-stylish models such as the Lamy Lx Gold are built to last and designed with an ergonomic grip.
Some people find fountain pens easier to write with than traditional ballpoint pens. If you buy a decent model, there won’t be any spilt ink or huge ink blots to deal with. They are comfortable to use because less pressure is needed to produce the ink, enabling a more relaxed hold on the pen’s body and consequently less tension in arms and hands. While regular pens need a certain amount of force to transfer the ink from pen to paper, often resulting in them being held in a kind of tight-fisted manner, a good fountain pen has enough weight to make this process occur more naturally by using gravity over muscles.
Fountain pens are also more comfortable to hold for longer periods. They are designed with a balance point that discourages slippage, reducing or eliminating the need to grip harder, and a generally slightly wider body that enables fingers to grip without too much effort.
Ballpoint pens such as the Montblanc Meisterstuck Classique offer many of the same benefits as fountain pens for handwriting practice, without the need for the ink. Ballpoints come in various widths and are well suited to those who prefer to write quite quickly. They are also fast to set up and easy to carry around.
Sitting somewhere between fountain and ballpoint pens are the rollerballs. These combine the convenience of the ballpoint with many of the advantages of traditional fountain pens when looking to improve handwriting.
Like fountain pens, rollerballs don’t need a lot of pressure to produce their liquid ink, which is automatically fed to the nib with a ball mechanism. This means less chance of hands and fingers getting stiff and tired, which inevitably has a negative impact on handwriting.
The ink in rollerball pens such as the Campo Marzio Elite is thinner than you would find in a traditional ballpoint, which means there is a better connection between paper and pen. This is an important factor in creating consistent letter strokes. Slower writers can choose a rollerball pen with a smaller tip size, as this helps to produce fine lines.
There is no one pen that best suits everyone looking to improve their handwriting, but there are three definite types to choose between that suit all levels of experience and personal style.