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January 23, 2018

Handwriting in Design: Why it works and how you can use it


In recognition of National Handwriting Day, we thought it fitting to bring you an article on the benefits of using handwriting in your business’s branding and design: why it works and how you can use it.


The history of National Handwriting Day


National Handwriting Day has been around over 40 years. It was introduced in 1977 by the Writing Instrument Manufacturers Association (WIMA) based in Washington, USA, who are promoters of the use of pens, pencils and associated activities like writing. The date chosen (23rd January) is the birthday of John Hancock, the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence, whose bold script is among the most recognised in the world.

Handwriting allows us to be individuals, revealing our personalities and emotional tendencies. Now, 40 years on we are living and working in a digital world but it doesn’t mean we can’t hold onto those handwriting qualities. Handwriting is becoming more and more popular as a design trend when it comes to websites and other marketing avenues as a way to stand out, be different and connect with audiences.


How to use handwriting in your branding


So how do you incorporate this trend of handwritten typography into your designs for logos and brands for your business? Here are a few pointers to consider…

Like with actual handwriting, the biggest challenge here is readability. For a handwritten style that’s not so easy to read, use few words and large typeface.

Another challenge if you are going for a handwriting design comes with repeated letters. When we write by hand our letters will look slightly different every time they are used (go on, give it a try). But, if we use a digital handwriting font, this will help to make all of the letters uniform. This is why using a handwriting-style font in smaller doses will look more authentic and natural.

It’s a good idea to use handwritten font quite sparingly. While it is unique and will catch the eye, too much will prove difficult to read and result in the reverse effect. Think about it… it would be quite hard to try and read a whole book that was written by hand.

When you think handwriting fonts, do you think cursive writing or fancy script? It doesn’t have to be. Handwriting style is just that – hand written. It can be cursive, block capitals, sketch style, marker or chalk style and more.

You can create truly unique logos and company signatures with a handwriting-style font. It could even be your own handwriting – now that’s a personal touch!

Using a handwriting style font creates a real personal element to your branding, helping you to connect with your audience. It doesn’t always have to be the biggest, most prominent font in your design. You can use it as a background text, faded out behind the key text but still sending out a message or telling a story. Or, you could use the handwritten look to accentuate your other branding, like the example of Apprentice winner ‘Ridiculously Rich by Alana’ shown below:


Which style of handwriting to choose?


Handwriting design can work for many industries; you just need to choose a style that will connect with your audience.

For high end retail like fashion or jewellery, fonts in sophisticated script can speak luxury and opulence.

If you are in the business of fun activity centres, toy stores or book shops, where you want to connect with children rather than the adults, block writing or chalkboard styles will work well.

A mixture of sketchy, block capitals and cursive writing with different colours and boldness will connect with young adult audiences across so many sectors.


What your handwriting says about you


Before you speed off to practice your handwriting for a new logo design, have you thought about what your handwriting style says about you and what it might say about your brand?

Graphology is the study of handwriting, analysing a writer’s character, personality, abilities etc. Did you know, the way you write can indicate around 5000 different personality traits?

Here are just a few…

Large letters can suggest you’re outgoing, outspoken and love attention. They could also mean that you put on a front, pretending a confidence that you don’t really have.

Small letters suggest that you are shy, studious and meticulous.

Slanting to the left indicates that you like to work behind the scenes and keep yourself to yourself.

Slanting to the right suggests that you are open to new experiences and enjoy meeting new people.

No slant at all means that you tend to be logical and practical and don’t let your emotions get the better of you.

There are many more interesting facts like this about handwriting and graphology in this infographic.


Why handwritten design works so well


A handwritten design gives your message a more personal touch, making the visitor to your website (or carrier of your printed bag) feel that you are speaking specifically to them.

Just like everyone has their own style of handwriting, using that in your branding gives a sense of uniqueness to you as a business. The kind of handwriting you choose can evoke different emotions; happy, playful, romantic. It’s all about choosing what works best for your products/services, and what portrays your brand’s personality.

Handwritten fonts can work really well for logos where the company name is a single word like Lucy’s, Roy’s, Disney or Loaf.

They are great too for website headers or feature boxes too, drawing the visitors’ attention, and giving your website and your business a friendly feel with a personal touch.

And, of course, a handwritten style logo or message on custom printed bags will be sure to help you stand out in a crowded marketplace!


loaf printed bags

Case Study – Loaf


One of the fantastic businesses which we supply, and that incorporates handwriting into their branding, is the furniture company Loaf. Check out their website – they have some great examples of how the handwritten typeface works to give their brand a unique style that is welcoming and comfortable.

Loaf has been a customer of the Printed Bag Shop since 2015, and they regularly purchase our twisted handle paper bags in brown with black print on both sides. Loaf often order bags in quantities of 1000, with a bag size of 260x130x360mm, and our speedy delivery on this product means they receive them within 3 weeks of placing their order.


If you’d like to use handwriting in the design of your next batch of printed carrier bags, get in touch! We can help you get your artwork just right, as well as deliver the perfect bag for your brand.

Call 0191 268 7555 or email sales@theprintedbagshop.co.uk today!



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