Around the age of 5, many average American children have begun to learn to read and write, developing skills that they will carry on throughout their lifetimes. While many of the skills children are taught for handwriting are basic, how they are recompose what they are taught on paper says a lot about themselves (not exactly at the age of 5 or 6, but certainly as a child moves up into a more grown-up world).

This past week and a half , our studio has mulled over this concept almost nonstop – creating our own types of font (by hand) and furthering our understandings of our own handwriting by exploring through iterations. Posed with the thought that, as designers, “shouldn’t we take more pride in designing every page?”…I quickly noticed how downhill my handwriting had gone since the beginning of the school year. Instead of writing or taking notes in a legible and neat way, I had become careless and just eager to get the information down on the paper that it didn’t matter if it was in a jagged, ugly way.

After this assignment, I reflected back to how many times I had judged someone based on their handwriting; how many times I was jealous of the way someone’s letter looked or how many times my ego was boosted because “at least you could read my letters”. I remembered how many hours were spent in middle school trying to imitate the “bubbly letter” look and how many hours were spent desperately trying to learn cursive in elementary school only to never use it again.

It shamed me a little after our group studio talk…especially upon the realization that future employers will also judge me for “how I design the page”. If something is illegible or grungy looking, chances are…you will not receive a call, let alone an interview for a job. This has really changed the way I look at letters and the alphabet as a whole – I am not just copying words and forms learned from earlier in my childhood, I am designing a pathway for my future.