WE'LL COME TO YOU.

Since we aren't on every social media site, let us come to you. Enter your email below and we'll send you our monthly handwritten newsletter. It will be written during the hours of moonrise, and include featured posts, wild tangents, and rowdy stick figures. 

Keep the beautiful pen busy.


Brooklyn, NY
USA

Handwritten is a place and space for pen and paper. We showcase things in handwriting, but also on handwriting. And so, you'll see dated letters and distant postcards alongside recent studies and typed stories. 

HW Blog

search for me

Filtering by Category: Project

What stories will your handwriting tell?

Brett Rawson

Is handwriting really a lost art? Mary Savig, Curator of Manuscripts at The Smithsonian's Archives of American Art, says no. And we agree, which is why we have bonded, and for two months, banded together to help celebrate the launch of their latest anthology, Pen to Paper. Edited by Savig, this art object brings together worlds of insight on handwriting: the personal with the professional, and the past as translated by the present. Published by the one and only Princeton Architectural Press, Pen to Paper showcases letters written between American artists, their intimates, and colleagues. In this online exhibition, you will find interviews and reflections from contributors expanding on their essays in the book alongside a selection of letters from the Archives. 

"And yet, handwriting continues to prove its fluidity. The craft of handwriting had flourished online, especially on social media. Artists, thinkers, and makers alike are experimenting with penmanship in innovative ways. Demonstrations of calligraphy can be found on YouTube and hand-scribed cards flourish on Etsy. In the past few years, curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist has rebooted autograph collecting by posting handwritten notes--usually jotted down on Post-It Notes--by contemporary artists on Instagram, where anyone is welcome to add comments. With this in mind, let's not mourn handwriting as a lost at, or even as a dying art. As snail mail fades from contemporary culture as a primary mode of communication. the vast array of handwritten letters in the Archives of American Art remains relevant and ready for new generations to discover. Let's celebrate how imaginative correspondence now exists in material and digital forms, posing new ways of thinking about art, history, and culture. In the spirit of this book, pick up your pen and write a letter today. What stories will your handwriting tell?"

- Mary Savig, Introduction, Pen to Paper (page 23)

Maybe U R Like Me, Ty Douglas

Brett Rawson

wantalot.JPG

MAYBE U R LIKE ME, Ty Douglas. Maybe U R Like Me is a means of connecting with people across the borders of identification. As an openly queer person, I am alienated by large populations of people who identify differently and this generates daily fear that I have to fight through just to order a bodega sandwich. We can dissolve this fear by understanding that the things we don't commonly say are the things we have the most in common. Written on each slip of paper is a confession of mine that I then ask a passerby to draw from a bag. These confessions vary in intimacy and seriousness or humor, but they are all relentlessly true. Maybe u dance naked in the living room when your roommates are out of town... To enter, click below. @maybeurlikeme

ENTER THE EXHIBIT

I Weigh Such Questions Whenever I Start a Cutout

Brett Rawson

The third installment of Bina Vivien Santos' exploration, Not Your Average Ordinary. 

BY BINA VIVIEN SANTOS

Just as fun as it is to play detective, it is equally fun to intentionally create meaning through design. As a graphic designer, I work with composition and typography, finding creative ways to marry the two into something significant. The same applies to my calligraphy cutouts, however without the convenient font library at my disposal. Instead, it falls to me to imagine and to create the perfect font. I spend a lot of time sketching out the word or quotation over and over and over, testing out serifs, weights, cursive, shapes, etc. I have in a sense created my own internal font library of styles that I frequently use, but I do try my best to branch out to the new and different, especially if it better complements the words. Is the quotation a proud statement meant for serifed capital letters, or is it delicate and dreamily flows in cursive loops? Or is it passionate and emotional like thickly, messily painted lines with imperfections? I weigh such questions whenever I start a cutout, or even when I come across an interesting bit of text. It’s a great creative exercise for crowded subway rides.


Every Sensitive Person Carries in Himself Old Cities Enclosed by Ancient Walls

Brett Rawson

The second installment of Bina Vivien Santos' exploration, Not Your Average Ordinary. 

BY BINA VIVIEN SANTOS

I am a firm believer that handwriting communicates a lot about a person. The curls of the g’s, the loops of the o’s can be as expressive as the actual words that are written. I can see the excitement in little quakes in my sister’s penmanship when she gives me good news. I can remember stress in my own cramped journals from college around final exams. I read love in birthday cards, and sometimes the rush of I-almost-forgot-but-I-didn’t. Handwriting is so unique to each person and can be affected so much by circumstance and situations. It’s fun to play detective to find these secret messages hidden in the lines and curves.

Just as fun as it is to play detective, it is equally fun to intentionally create meaning through design. As a graphic designer, I work with composition and typography, finding creative ways to marry the two into something significant. The same applies to my calligraphy cutouts, however without the convenient font library at my disposal. Instead, it falls to me to imagine and to create the perfect font. I spend a lot of time sketching out the word or quotation over and over and over, testing out serifs, weights, cursive, shapes, etc. I have in a sense created my own internal font library of styles that I frequently use, but I do try my best to branch out to the new and different, especially if it better complements the words. Is the quotation a proud statement meant for serifed capital letters, or is it delicate and dreamily flows in cursive loops? Or is it passionate and emotional like thickly, messily painted lines with imperfections? I weigh such questions whenever I start a cutout, or even when I come across an interesting bit of text. It’s a great creative exercise for crowded subway rides.

And the Stars Look Very Different Today

Brett Rawson

I am a creative person. This seems like an obvious statement for any artist, but the truth is I can’t claim to have any particular allegiance to one art medium or form. I swing from painting, to graphic design, to photography, to stop motion film, to whatever next strikes my fancy, the unifying thread between them all being that they allow me to imagine and create things.

While the materials may vary, there are commonalities and patterns in my artwork. They are intricate and detailed, clean and controlled, simple and often with an element of whimsy. I draw inspiration from traveling and everyday minutiae, which I almost painstakingly observe for hiccups of oddity or flashes of notableness, sort of like finding the extraordinary within the ordinary. It is in these small details from moments within moments within moments that I find the spark for a new project.

One of my favorite mediums is paper. It can be cut, layered, and shaped, lending itself very easily to whatever I imagine it to be. Lately, I’ve been using it to create calligraphy cutouts. It started first with individual words, then gradually grew to phrases and quotations. I pick these words based on the imagery and sentiments they inspire, which I then express through the design of the lettering, and the context of the composition. For instance, I created my first calligraphy cutout when I was homesick, and it was the outline of a bear with “California” inside of it, in a curly cursive script that echoed a childhood of practicing penmanship over dotted lines.

I like the challenge of translating intangible things into something visual and tactile. And especially with words, which are read and spoken and heard, transforming them into something that can be touched and that has tangible characteristics gives them not only physical dimension, but another layer of meaning.