Vanity font

Having a dreadful handwriting, up to a certain age, is a curse. Then, when you grow up just a little bit more, it becomes a sign of rebellion against formal authority. It's so common a pattern, that I really don't think that one's handwriting can tell anything about one's personality. Graphology, in my vocabulary, can only be relative to identity – not personality. Yet, I love my handwriting.

GridIn the old 8-bit-computing world, before anti-aliasing became the norm, I used to have a font of my own – reproducing my handwriting.

Actually, it was not exactly my handwriting (which was truly horrible – and an annoyance to my teachers) but a sort of standardized lowercase font I used in all my written communications. I remember drawing letters on millimeter paper and computing the decimal equivalent of the binary strings which composed the rows. It was a boring job, but as a teenage student I afforded the luxury to waste some time on it, and it felt great to have the ability to create printed stuff in my own handwriting. It was the geek equivalent of having my initials embroidered on my clothes – a feeling of distinctiveness and, what's more, it was provided by my wit and industriousness: something that money couldn't buy.

When TrueType fonts and antialiasing kicked in, font creation became an excessively complex job and I had to give up. I know there are professional tools for that, but it wasn't so important to me. Yet, sometimes I wonder why I like so much to write on paper instead of on a screen, especially when some degree of creativity is needed in my writing activity. It might be related to my handwriting: something like the need to keep a stronger emotional contact with my words, at least until they are still not mature enough to be released to the public. As a matter of fact, it is easier for me to remember the meaning of a handwritten note: it might be something related to the shape of my thinking being related to the shape of my notes – straight or curved lines, bigger and smaller letters, sentences pointing in different directions – and, perhaps, the shape of the letters themselves.

Font So, are graphologists right? I wouldn't say so, but that's enough for me to grab the opportunity and have a go with fontcapture, and create a modern version of my good old personal font.

To tell the whole story, the first thing I did was to begin using it to write onscreen – this post, specifically – and the content immediately turned to a more personal level.

Or is it just that it seemed so, because of the font I was using?