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Rediscovering the art of shapely handwriting

John Lewis stores offer complimentary classes in calligraphy

Rediscovering the art of shapely handwriting

December 22 2011
Robert Cook

In our age of Biros, styluses and touch screens, it’s never been harder to learn elegant handwriting. During my journalism career, I’ve more than once been praised for the quality of my shorthand when I was actually writing longhand.

Clear and legible handwriting is still crucial for proper communication, as many find while trying to decipher hieroglyphic-like Post-it notes stuck to their monitors by hasty colleagues, or scribbled on the fridge by a partner.

But writing is, of course, an art form too, as medieval manuscripts and real hieroglyphics show. Though we might not have time to twine George and the Dragon around a capital letter any more, it’s actually quite quick to master a traditional, much-loved calligraphic writing style. Guiding the way to more shapely lettering are complimentary calligraphy classes being held at Peter Jones in London’s Sloane Square and the John Lewis Kingston store from December 27 to January 8. Experts will be on hand to teach the principal writing techniques and provide other helpful tips, from letter etiquette to ink control. The sessions are just half an hour long, so attendees don’t even have to withdraw from the sales fray for long.

It’s the perfect opportunity for anybody who receives a thoughtful present this festive season to thank the giver with a stylishly penned and equally considerate thank-you note.