Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Recently I asked a friend what she needs help understanding in graphology. The reply was printing. It really seems as if more and more people are printing around the world. While some educators worry that not only will handwriting (cursive) become a lost art there may come a day when only a few specialists will be able to read cursive. I certainly hope this is not true because it would be a shame to regress as human beings.
Technology has brought many changes that, in my opinion, are not good. People have good hand-eye coordination from video games but little finger and wrist dexterity needed for writing. As well as new repetitive motion injuries. Spelling has been trashed by texting especially among the younger generation. Each stroke costs money so either any letter considered unnecessary is left out or only initials are used. You must learn the code to participate frustrating many parents I must add. Changes are coming about so fast products are obsolete by the time they hit the market. It has been said there have been more changes in the last twenty years than in the hundred years before.

But I digress, the first thing you know if your subject is a printer is they will not reveal as much in their writing as a cursive writer would. Also printing should be vertical so give more credibility to any slant they may have.

Next consider the style of the printing. There is block printing where all letters are capitals, manuscript where they look like typewritten letters and finally a mix of upper and lower case letters. Luckily you do not often see the manuscript style because the few I have seen were so tiny and precise they almost looked machine made. The mixed style will give you more information than the block printing or manuscript.

As with any writing the first thing to do is hold it at arms length. Is it pleasing to the eye? If not, why not. Does it seem rigid and inflexible, inharmonious in some way, have heavier pressure in some areas making it darker, or maybe it bounces along the baseline. Does anything stand out? Do the letters touch? If so how much? Does one letter connect to another in some way but not lean into it? Do they appear to hold each other upright? Is there a slant to the writing? Does the slant vary? Is there a lead-in stroke that doubling of the first stroke that is really not necessary to the letter. Feel the back of the page. Was there enough pressure used to feel the letters on the paper? These are all questions you would ask if the writing were cursive so you can now see there is much to be learned from printing.

With block printing notice where the center of letters such as A, B, E, F, H, K, P, R, touches the stem. If it is in the center of the stem the writer is balanced, not placing more emphasis on any one part of their life. When the stem is touched high up the stem making the lower portion largest you will find the writer lives for the day to day world. They normally have no long term goals and prefer instant gratification. While the joining to the stem lower than center creates a larger upper portion. This printing belongs to the individual who is the thinker and planner. They intellectualize to the cost of the every day world.

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