Graphology

I've been interested in graphology for a long time, but only now am i beginning to get a feel for it.

This has allowed me to be more conscious of my own handwriting. What interests me most is the psychology of what our own handwriting says to us, and its possibilities as a therapeutic medium.

Comparing my handwriting when making notes for myself, to that when writing to a dear friend, I wonder if the difference is a matter of self esteem/love. Therefor the development of our general handwriting could be a pleasant if not spiritual practice.

Does anyone have any reference for this aspect of handwriting analysis or calligraphic theory?

Comments

  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 329
    My own take on the subject (based on some knowledge in graphology among the rest) is that, first, any conscious practice and development is spiritual practice, for "spirit" is consciousness.
    Secondly, I think that the therapeutic effectiveness of handwriting development and refining practice, although exist to a degree, is quite limited due to the vast flexibility of our mind. It is pretty much like trying to heal the symptoms rather than the core or cause. You might flatten a bump on a rag at one point but a new one will rise at a different point.
    I always prefer the direct strategy over the indirect (just like mood change, changes the handwriting), but I would love to read stuff on this if anyone has some. 
  • Florian HardwigFlorian Hardwig Posts: 112
    “Forensic graphology should be forbidden because any assessment founded on graphology insults the dignity of man. I cannot recognize a hand and neither can you. Graphology is humbug with criminal effects.” — Gerrit Noordzij
  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 329
    Obviously we owe a lot to science, but with all do respect, science has a lot of "bad sides" too, especially when it is in the service of political agendas, but not just, science is such a good political agent because it is very limited and very narrow by nature, (well it is getting of topic, but it is interesting :)) it is very good at pointing facts and pieces of reality, but understanding and interpreting these scientific facts (in case any really found) is far from science itself ,and paradoxically many times in many cases, I find it playing the role of ignorance and idiotism protector for the mass.

    Not that mysticism is such a treasure. As a much less "controlled" and restrictive field, obviously it is a very fertile ground for charlatanism, misbeliefs and pure creepy stuff.

    But does that means that all of it is craps? I don't think so. My personal research showed (me) that many holds great wisdom and are closer to reality and truth than many modern days practices and beliefs. But since reality is near infinitely complex, everything should be taken with limited liability. 

  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 329
    Science can't even kern! It will "flatten" and transcend everything to nothing easily... in the "hands" of those, human beings :)
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 836
    That's because art and aesthetics fall in the realm of human desires, emotions, and beliefs. It's subjective. There's no contradiction here. But if you're trying to figure out how the world works, in a reliable, predictable way, that's when you need science.
  • Bhikkhu PesalaBhikkhu Pesala Posts: 104
    edited May 11
    Miles Newlyn said:
    What interests me most is the psychology of what our own handwriting says to us, and its possibilities as a therapeutic medium.
    The best therapy is to go to the root cause of suffering. According to Buddhism,

    “Mind precedes all things, mind is chief, and all things are mind-made...” (Dhp v 1)

    Rather than analysing your hand-writing, just observe your own mind and purify it of all negative emotions. Instead of training yourself to write more neatly, train yourself to think more clearly. 
  • Miles NewlynMiles Newlyn Posts: 101
    What a revealing thread! I had no idea that rationalism was such a force here considering that we spend so much of our time deliberating on the beauty of a curve and how we feel about groups of them.

    I'm not a scientist and have no wish to cloud my design work with it. What I do in business, or why clients come to me, is entirely emotional. The perception of type as an emotional medium has been critical to the successes I've enjoyed.

    My handwriting changes with my mood. If I change my handwriting consciously, I'm changing my mood consciously. I don't see them separated. My handwriting is the result of a set of learned movements, and although these movements are not as spontaneous as the movements in the muscles of my face that cause smiles and frowns, I see them expressing emotion.

    I wouldn't suggest to myself that to feel better I should smile more, but I do suggest that wedding invitations aren't set in Univers.


  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 836
    I had no idea that rationalism was such a force here considering that we spend so much of our time deliberating on the beauty of a curve and how we feel about groups of them.

    Well, the techniques by which we create those curves depend on reason. Reason and emotion go hand in hand. It's what I like about type design.

    There was a study a few years ago that looked at people who had damage to the part of their brain that generates emotions. They appeared to be normal, but had no emotions. And they were unable to make decisions.
  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 329
    Re(a)sonance, it is all about resonance...


  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,194
    edited May 12
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  • Dave CrosslandDave Crossland Posts: 807
    If we ask various people to do an experiment where they express their emotional reactions to some stories with colors, similar emotions may have similar colors for some people and different colors for others; and the color choices can't be extrapolated into wider claims about each person's personality. 

    Colors have some kind of emotional resonance with us, and internet advertising with multivariate split testing, what Claude Hopkins called "scientific advertising", has shown that eg construction company web ads do better when they have a dominant yellow color. 

    Handwriting seems to me to be similar, and while the personality bits of graphology are a cold reading prop, like tarot cards or star signs or palm/skull dimensions or whatever, the classification systems that name elements of handwriting seems to be emenintly useful for type designers like Miles seeking to make better fonts that convince readers of natural handwriting 
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 733
    edited May 13
    People can put too much faith in graphology... but also in science.

    It's pretty ridiculous to claim that handwriting can reveal incredible insights about us. Just as ridiculous is claiming it cannot reveal anything.

    The mystical is fully half of Life.
  • What a revealing thread! I had no idea that rationalism was such a force here considering that we spend so much of our time deliberating on the beauty of a curve and how we feel about groups of them.
    While I might expect low levels of rationality from drug-addled rock stars, I'm not surprised we type designers are a rational-minded lot. After all, the acquisition of competence in type design mirrors the scientific method in that we often have to overthrow our subjective theories, philosophically attractive as they may be («a perfect geometric typeface is just monolines and circles!»), in the face of empirical evidence, and slowly work out the actual rules of the game by repeated experimentation and evaluation.

    Hrant wrote:
    People can put too much faith in graphology... but also in science.

    True, but the areas where the scientific approach fails are generally due to unobtainable information (e.g. the nature of the universe as a whole), sheer complexity (weather reports, human behavior), or erroneous application (human error). The answer to these things is not mysticism, which by definition has zero predictive power (otherwise it would be science). At least heuristics (intuition, gut feelings, etc.) give us a way to handle the complexity problem, albeit not always successfully. The only honest solution to the lack of information of problem is «we don't know», and to the human error, «I'm sorry». :grimace:

  • Miles NewlynMiles Newlyn Posts: 101
    edited May 15
    John Hudson said:
    I understand the attraction of the idea that some activity that humans do, such as writing, reveals something deep about their subconscious psyches,
    Graphology is a great party trick, it works because it talks to people about their favorite subject — themselves.

    Mark Simonson
    said:
    That's because art and aesthetics fall in the realm of human desires, emotions, and beliefs. It's subjective. There's no contradiction here.
    It's precisely the subjective that I'd like to consider. For example, when setting my ascender height in my handwriting, a typeface or a logo, on what emotional level do I evaluate how high to go with it and how should I consider other people's interpretation of this choice.
    I personally consider a tall ascender height has culturally learned aspirational quality to it. Tall ascenders don't have an intrinsic emotional quality, only one that is learned culturally. Now, if I decide to incorporate tall ascenders into my handwriting, handwriting becomes an aspirational therapy for me because I'm introducing an affirmation into a daily practice.

    Going back to my original post about making notes for myself, or writing a diary entry. I could jot messily or I could slow down and write with care. When doing so I've noticed that there is something deeper going beyond simply elevating the quality of the writing and giving myself time to do that. The style that comes from my hand when doing so is flowing and more expressive to me. I surmise that other people in doing the same practice may produce neat well spaced capital lettering or whatever. As a type designer I find this interesting and personally revealing. In practicing the 'party trick' on myself I've have found it to have a positive, affirming and creative quality and wondered if anyone had written about this, whether or not it be an imposition or injustice.

  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 329

     I could jot messily or I could slow down and write with care. When doing so I've noticed that there is something deeper going beyond...


    At the very core of it, what you describe here is a certain expansion of consciousness and it's impact.

    - In our "regular" active state (moving, thinking, talking, writing...) one's consciousness is like a focused beam, it enlights and includes a small part of ourselves/our being ,and we get aware of it while all the rest of our being (including it's activity) lay in the darkness of our subconscious and automatism.

    - Consciousness changes the nature of the activity of any of the human aspects, focus your attention on your body movement, ant it'll change, focus your attention on your feelings/thoughts/whatever and they'll change. If you'd like, a human is a hyper-super-duper quantum mechanics lab. And one that has been researched, investigated and explored since the dawn of mankind.

    - With this in mind, the human is like a flute, or a sax. be aware of the first hole in the flute and it'll open (all the rest are closed), blow and you'll get a certain tone of sound. Move your awareness to the third hole, it'll open and the first will shut. A different tone will be sound. 

    - Like that, our consciousness "jumps" deliberately and not deliberately from one subject of attention to another and the "music" of our life and everything we do and express is played.

    - What you described is a practice of expanding your attention to include more than one "hole" of your "flute". it demands a less "focused", wider and inclusive attention and the "tones" it produces are much different and humans are sensitive to it (who more who less).

    - consciousness is the essence that can unite the entire "flute".

    - The human attention and consciousness can expand beyond imagination. (and don't make me laugh with mentioning scientific brain researches, i'm in a serious mood lately)

    - Consciousness expansion practice is in the core of any spiritual practice and particularly in respect of creative arts you'll find it in Zen (Ensō) and Tibetan Buddhism (Tibetan mandalas).


  • SiDanielsSiDaniels Posts: 220
    Anyone old enough to remember Typo-L would know that there is an answer... http://www.handwritingthatworks.com/
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