Handwriting: yours, but better.

I get this question a lot: “How do I improve my handwriting?” There are books and sites that go into this in detail.  I’m not an expert, so consider this the equivalent of an eyewitness anecdote rather than anything scientific.

The brain loves patterns and symmetry is one of its favorites. We find consistency pleasing in many things, including handwriting. A scribble can be beautiful if the spaces between letters are even, or if the heights of the small letters are the same.


Consistency in angle, letter size and spacing will make your current handwriting look better and more pleasing. You don’t have to overhaul your penmanship; you can start from your current style and increase its consistency.


Quadrille paper is your friend when it comes to practicing. Make a box and fill it with an a or a c. Repeat many, many times. Draw boxes around your letters and check if the boxes are more or less the same size. The box is also an angle guide.


Quadrille paper is also useful for practicing descenders and ascenders of the same length and height. Write consecutive letter g’s and make sure the lower loops look the same.


The slant of your handwriting is up to you. What’s important is it’s the same all throughout.


Practice a lot. Write the same letter over and over again. You won’t have a social life but hey, you can always write your friends a really lovely letter. Start with the letter a.


  • http://estilofilos.blogspot.jp/ Bruno Taut

    Oh, dear–you are both lovely and terrible. “You won’t have a social life, but, hey, you can always write your friends a really lovely letter”. I am still laughing and pondering the price of writing beautifully.

    Thanks for the great advice. Thanks for the hard work. Thanks for your beautiful art.


  • Jen B.

    Lovely. And a good reminder that I should go practice…

  • quinden

    Beautifully done and very helpful – thanks, Leigh 🙂

    I’ve found that seyes-ruled is really helpful for me, but I have never drawn boxes like that – awesome!

  • youstruckgold

    Ditto all above – whatever else you do…. DON’T STOP!

  • http://diariodamaionese.blogspot.com/ Marco Y

    Thanks for tips. I´m fighting against myself trying to improve my handwriting.

    Your handwriting is very inspiring!

  • snedwos

    “But hey, you can always write your imaginary friends a nice letter”

  • kp

    Beautiful, and thank you for the tips!

  • Jon Buller

    But what if you are moody and erratic? Wouldn’t it be dishonest to have completely consistent handwriting?

  • leighpod

    Perhaps it would be the equivalent of applying a little method to one’s madness. 😉

  • http://www.carpedavid.com/ David Garrett

    I would also suggest that slowing down when writing is key. Slowing down allows you to be more consistent.

  • Margana

    Good advice, Leigh.

  • Ben Ramos

    Line 8 sample in top picture reminds me of Assumptionista handwriting. Consistently pointy.

  • Miyori Rayu

    Your handwriting is so pretty.

  • artanis

    Hi Leigh,

    I’m new to fountain pen writing, and your work is beautiful! May I ask how do you hold the pen for ordinary writing and where does the tip of the nib point to when you write? Thank you!

  • leighpod

    🙂 hope this helps!

  • Artanis

    Yes it does! From what I can tell you write at a 45 degree angle relative to the writing line? Seems like most places recommend this for italics, but its quite different from my natural position (the nib is parallel to my writing line) so I’m trying different positions out! Thank you!