PRACTICAL BOOKHAND WRITING
Written small and suitable for use in writing letters, notes, cards, etc.

Last updated: 10 July 2016

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Book hands are used to write out or copy the text of bound books and documents. The minuscule letter forms are mostly characterized by roundness, clarity and lack of embellishment. The resultant text derives much of its beauty from its evenness and spacing uniformity. I think that most book hands are eminently suitable for practical everyday use: beautiful and elegant writing of small size that can be rendered with comfort and ease at an acceptable writing speed for journal and diary entries, correspondence, greeting ~ condolence ~ congratulatory ~ cards and envelopes, etc.

I modeled my first practical book hands on the round humanistic minuscule letter forms originally formulated by Poggio Bracciolini in the early fifteenth century and subsequently refined by scribes throughout that century. I subsequently adopted my versions of Carolingian letterforms for my basic bookhand writing and then eventually my adaptation of seventh century half uncial letterforms. I think there is a basic loveliness to round letterform writing which naturally produces writing of great evenness.

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My version of Carolingian writing

My practical bookhand version of seventh century half-uncial writing includes coupling the letters to enhance fluidity and writing speed.

[Bookhand writing exemplar]

In developing my practical book hand writing I have strived at all times to embody the essential attributes of roundness, evenness and elegance -- that are inherent in this style -- in order to produce writing that can be rendered freely, comfortably and at acceptable everyday writing speed for prolonged periods of time. I find this half uncial based Book hand particularly suited for everyday use - the roundness of the letterforms and the the coupled letters being well suited for rapid and free flowing execution.

The objective here is to develop beautiful and elegant writing of small size <3mm (<1/8") letter body height that can be rendered with comfort and ease.

[Bookhand writing exemplar]

Another exemplar of this hand:

[Bookhand writing exemplar]

Commonplace writing instruments and materials are used for this practical book hand writing: mostly edged nib and regular pointed nib fountain pens but also lead pencils and "ball-pointed" pens; bottled and cartridge encapsulated fountain pen inks; inexpensive commercial lined pad paper.

[Bookhand writing exemplar] [Bookhand writing exemplar]


Classic Roman Majuscules (Capitalis Monumentalis) are compatible and well suited for use with Bookhand writing, and those are what I personally use.


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