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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. 

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Filtering by Tag: Review

Handwritten Recipes and A Taste of the Past • A Radio Interview with Linda Pelaccio of Heritage Radio Network

Brett Rawson

BY HANDWRITTEN

"When was the last time you cooked
from a recipe from a handwritten card or paper?"

On February 2nd, we were invited to Linda Pelaccio's radio show, A Taste of the Past, which is a weekly journey through culinary history. It's housed in the back of Robertas, a true palace of pizza, and is the permanent home to Heritage Radio Network, which hosts over 35 weekly shows from their little wooden den. 

Linda caught wind of Rozanne Gold's column, Handwritten Recipes, which does something similar to her radio show: exploring the connections between food and language. For forty-five minutes, we chopped it up about handwriting, recipes, and secret ingredients. To date, Rozanne has curated 28 of these Handwritten Recipes, and we have no intentions of slowing down. This living cookbook has a life of its own.

To hear the podcast, click here. You can also see the podcast on iTunes. We hope you enjoy hearing more about the column, the origins of this site, and where we're headed.

Pen to Paper: Artists' Handwritten Letters • A Review by Sarah Madges

Brett Rawson

"Designed by Princeton Architectural Press, the book operates much like a gallery exhibition, privileging the visual over the verbal so that we may take in the high quality images as art objects before reading the accompanying “wall text” that complements and situates them."

Read More

Carly Butler to be Letters Editor at Handwritten • A Handwritten Announcement

Brett Rawson

BY HANDWRITTEN

Eight months ago, we welcomed Carly Butler to the Handwritten Team as curator of a new column, Life's Letters. It was inspired by a discovery that led to a journey: after finding 110 love letters written from her grandmother to her grandfather, Carly packed her bags and went to the address of the first letter: London, England.

The only catch is: she had just fallen in love. So while she spent months retracing her grandmother's steps and reliving her letters day-by-day, she, too, was embarking on her own love and life through long-distant letters. All the while revisiting the past and dreaming of the future, Carly encountered scores of people who all had stories of their own, and finally, someone to share them with: Carly. This is the very reason Carly wanted to start the column: to showcase other peoples' stories as contained and ignited by the handwritten letter. Each story she curated detonated silently in the heart, from An Informal Memoir Joselyn Smith-Greene to The Keepers by Sharon Huget. And it's been such a wild joy to watch the stories unfold and get shared around the world. 

You won't see Life's Letters as a column, but the spirit lives on: as Letters Editor, Carly will be editing and curating all things letter-related, but she'll also be more involved with Handwritten's exhibitions, social media, events, and even the digital curriculum we're currently creating in collaboration with Karen Benke. To have her more involved brings us tremendous joy, as she is a trilateral power base of kindness, laughter, and great ideas.

We can't wait to see what the next 8 months bring! 

Ink Responsibly,
Handwritten

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

You Can Stop Cursing at Cursive Writing Now • A Handwritten Review

Brett Rawson

HANDLED BY HANDWRITTEN

Meet Linda Shrewsbury and Prisca LeCroy, the mother-daughter team who has changed the world of cursive writing. Literally and figuratively, they have reshaped the way children, and adults, learn cursive writing: not in alphabetical order, but by shape. And in less than one week, their second campaign comes to a close. Their first, a Kickstarter last year, was successfully funded and raised $33,000.

This helped bring CursiveLogic, the workbook you see below, into existence, and now, Shrewsbury and LeCroy are set on taking it into the classroom with their new campaign, Cursive2Class. 

What exactly is CursiveLogic's method? It reorders the alphabet into four shape-groups (oval, loop, swing, and mound), color-codes them with visual and audio cues, and fits into a single workbook that has — prepare yourself for this — regular paper and dry erase worksheets. Heaven, we know. Whereas old models required students to sit in place and etch the alphabet in order and silence onto recycled and photocopied sheets of paper, this four-lesson workbook takes students through each similarly-shaped group of letters, while at the same time teaching how to write full-length words. This model, workbook, and business is the absolute example of how, coupled with new technologies, we are finding more effective ways of teaching children the fundamental skills and knowledge necessary for cognitive development.

This is the answer the core curriculum has been waiting for, not to mention Town Hall Meetings and online forums. Cursive writing has been disappearing from the classrooms, but that is because the way it was being taught had not changed with the ways in which students are learning, and expected to learn, in the twenty-first century. We are preparing students for jobs that don't exist yet because we are still inventing them. But the thing most people don't see is that when cursive handwriting goes, a lot of other things we cannot see or feel vanish with it as well, including reading comprehension, articulation, writing and sensory motor skills. 

The old model wasn't working. We live in a technological world, and one that is constantly changing, which means we have to change with it. And CursiveLogic is not just keeping up, but it is ahead of the curve: they have side-stepped the political impasse and built their own business, a patent-pending approach, in fact, and instead of arguing back and forth with adults, they were sitting down with students and watching them work. Ever since their model surfaced, they have been gaining support from handwriting experts, educators, politicians, psychologists, and scientists around the country. 

You might be thinking, this looks great, but not for me. We understand not everyone will want to relearn cursive writing, though we actually encourage you to do so (we have bought their workbooks and are going through it ourselves), but there is still something you can do: spread the word, sponsor a workbook, and help CursiveLogic make its way into the classroom. Join us and participate in their Indiegogo Campaign. We selected the "Get One and Give One" option, which we recommend, but if you want to Give Two, then do your thing.

The next time you hear someone up in arms about cursive writing, you can pat them on the shoulder, hold the cursive book you bring with you everywhere just in case you feel the urge to loop or swirl, and say, "You can stop cursing at cursive writing now." 

Follow the links below to help support the remaining days of their campaign (Cursive2Class) and help a kid. Spread the love by liking them on Facebook, and check out their story in their words.

Cursive2Class Campaign.

Facebook | CursiveLogic | Cursive2Class

Paul Laudiero's Shit Rough Drafts • A Handwritten Review

Brett Rawson

BY HANDWRITTEN

We recently came across Shit Rough Drafts by comedian Paul Laudiero. After reading through it in one sitting, we spent the next few days losing our marbles. Laudiero's humor is magnetic, often departing as quickly as it arrived, leaving us to enjoy his imaginary musings on the greatest works, shows, and plays of our times.

Chances are, you have experienced several of the 135 books, movies, and TV shows that appear within Shit Rough Drafts. While that'll enhance the experience, it doesn't exclude entertainment. You don't need to have read Eat, Pray, Love to deeply enjoy Laudiero's title-twists.

Shit Rough Drafts exposes process, and in the process, pokes fun at finished products. How do these "must-reads" make their way into the world, and did they ever take a different shape? Are those who we hoist high out of reach just as messy, confused, and lost as we are?

We spoke with Laudiero one early morning while he was strolling alongside Central Park, coffee cup in hand. It was eight in the morning. He was alert and awake, while we were on a porch shielding our eyes from the early morning sun. We told him about Handwritten, and how we wanted to keep the humor in handwriting. He said that was good, because a site like ours would bore people to death. We totally agreed.

Shit Rough Drafts is a new wave of coffee table books. In that, it isn't idle. The book is impossible to not pick up, and difficult to put down. It's not easy then to pick our favorites, but since we had to, here are three that kept us laughing well into a deep sleep: