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Rhythm and Form Quality

Each handwriting has its own unique rhythm. Like heartbeats and light waves, handwriting shows a regular recurrence and alteration of features. The writers success at achieving unity and harmony within the self and in relation to the world at large is revealed in the over-all balance and form quality of his writing. To determine the rhythm of a sample hold the page up in front of you and allow yourself to react to the total impression that the pattern of written strokes produces. Remember that the two major principles of rhythm are repetition and change. Beware of a rigid machine-like quality which suggests an anxious, uptight character who fears loss of balance. On the other extreme recognize in an uneven, fragmented, o r neglected script an unstable personality expressing itself. Since rhythm is a subtle over-view comprised of many individual factors, rating its quality requires practice and sensitivity. As an aid, keep in mind the following handwsi ting characteristics:
Height. The letter zones. Look for balance between the upper, the middle and the lower zones.
Width. Examine the breadth of the letters, the distances between letters, words, lines, the length of the connecting strokes, and the slant of the writing. Spacing. How does the writing fit on the page? Notice the margins and the space between lines and the balance between the height and the width of the letters. Depth. Feel the pressure on the paper and try to determine the direction of the stroke from the width of the upstrokes and the downstrokes.

The combination of these spatial characteristics on the page: margins; spaces between lines, words and letters; plus the forms of the letters themselves determine the rhythmic symmetry of the sample. These writing characteristics demonstrate the balance, variety and richness of the personality. In keeping with the basic principle of rhythm, repetition and change, good form quality of the letters requires that they not be too rounded, nor too angular, threaded, arcaded, or even too closely tied to the schoolbook Palmer method. On the other hand, many so-called beautiful writings are the ornamented or artificial products of those wishing to appear artistic or unusual in some way. Naturally, it takes time looking at many handwritings to begin to judge successfully the quality of the rhythm and the form level. Sometimes this is an aesthetic
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