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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

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Filtering by Tag: Design

Illustrating Expression: Standards of Contemporary Penmanship

Brett Rawson

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BY KADIN KOSTELIC

This pro-forma and map are results of an investigation into the standards of contemporary penmanship. Despite the predominance of digital and printed communication, penmanship remains a relevant skill for its immediacy, versatility, intrinsic emotional value, and artistry. By creating a pamphlet that details the somewhat neglected forms and rules of 'proper penmanship,' along with a map that delineates the many areas of influence surrounding the activity of handwriting, I've attempted to rediscover and champion — in an un-nostalgic way — the qualities that make penmanship vital to our everyday lives. 

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In continuing this project, I aim to highlight and expand upon the ways in which handwriting is still relevant to contemporary life, as well as equalize the imbalanced relationship/perception of the handwritten as opposed to digital communication. Some of the questions I am exploring are below:

In what ways and contexts do you still use handwriting in your daily life? How can the handwritten act as a subversion to our increasingly digital daily experience and existence? What can the act of handwriting add to our lives, and how does it affect/benefit our development as individuals and communities? To what extent does the skill of handwriting help us beyond the ability to communicate?

If you'd like to share your thoughts with me, you can see my site, Standards | Penmanship, here.

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My name is Kadin Kostelic, I'm a designer from Colorado Springs. I earned a BFA in graphic design from Colorado State University, and am continuing this education at Goldsmiths, University of London pursuing a masters degree in communication and experience design. For me, being a designer means to be constantly curious and aware of the world, insightful about those observations, and determined to solve problems through that insight. More than that,  I see design as a means of empathy. Understanding others’ thoughts, motivations, governing feelings, and individual perspectives is essential to my work, and it is why I find a profound sense of purpose in my profession. @kadinraedesign

Outside the Box • A Handwritten Review

Brett Rawson

BY BRETT RAWSON

I have my preferences and loyalties, but when it comes to certain moods or weather, the sirens of style can call like the crow's caw. Most often, this happens when I am rushing to a dinner party and have been tasked with "bring wine," a beverage I only know in passing. Pacing up and down the aisle in a panic, I curse my small wine-brain, and am left with no other option than to choose the bottle that speaks to me the most: meaning, the one with the best label, or name, or both for the win.

Though it plays an important role in my purchasing decisions, it is not something I had thought about at calm length. But some weeks back, I came across an object that contains enough energy for the imagination to implode: Outside the Box: Hand-Drawn Packaging from Around the World by New York-based designer, writer, and educator Gail Anderson. And for some unknown amount of time, I flipped through continents of creatives, as Anderson hand-picked forty individuals who sit in the front-seats of this growing industry of home-grown, artistic designs.

While this collection showcases a diverse portfolio of people, typography, and expressions, it simultaneously illuminates Anderson's own vast depth and eye for creative representation, as she weaves together interviews, images, brand origins, and routines of forty of our most prolific hand-artists today. Outside the Box peels back the label, uncovering what has gone into some of the most well-known brands. I'm not often one for book summaries, but this one leaves the door ajar:

In an age of slick, computer-generated type and Photoshopped perfection, hand-drawn packing is enjoying a global resurgence. As shorthand for something more authentic, homegrown, handmade, or crafted, hand-drawn packaging is found on everything from supermarket eggs to Chipotle drink cups. In this exhaustive and lavishly illustrated survey, organized by four types—DIY, art, craft, and artisanal—Gail Anderson pulls back the curtain on the working processes and inspirations of forty letterers, illustrators, and designers from all around the world through insightful interviews, process sketches, and her infectious love of the medium.

And since this site and platform is dedicated to process, let's promote the people responsible for publishing the beautiful pages: Princeton Architectural Press, who have eyes, hands, and hearts on this visual culture of ours. So, just what is inside Outside the Box? Below is a splash of the beauty in between these covers (click on the images to see them in full and then hover over the full-sized images to get a description of what they're about):

The next time you're scanning the aisle, either in eagerness or ease, take a look at the difference between those items handwritten and otherwise. You'll see an air of energy around the handwritten and hand-drawn designs. Sure, it's the inside that you're going for, but don't forget to enjoy the outside. 

Purchase Outside the Box here