Monday, February 27, 2012

French Handwriting

 When you see this guess where you are?
 In France of course. What if blackboards/ardoise were outlawed, would we stop going to France? Maybe...
 French handwriting on a bebe's bib/bavoir is perfect.
'Interdit de me gronder'/ it's forbidden to scold me.
Not just for bebesChanel combines handwriting and Deco typographie
 It's de rigueur for a French designer to use his signature as his brand logo.
 Christian Lacroix aussi...
 Hermes is not too high and mighty to use handwriting on their restoration signs.
 A handwritten script neon brasserie sign.
 There are many writing supply stores in Paris:
Melodie Graphic 10, rue Pont Louis-Philippe 75004
L'Ecritiore 61, rue Saint-Martin 75004
Calligrane 6, rue Pont Louis-Philippe 75004
Papier+ 9, rue PontLouis-Philippe
Handwriting on a French ribbon - parfait!
 Faux/fake French handwriting on a chocolate chicken porte-etiquette/label is still yummy looking. Real handwriting looks just fine on a big tarte fine au peche. Is there any noticible handwriting in New York? Not that I'm aware. In Paris it's a different histoire/story.We would miss it muchly.


  1. And I remember exactly how much work lies behind that perfect cursive handwriting on that first photo of yours, on the school "ardoise." For years, French school children were taught to practice their writing skills on similar small boards (we carried them around in our school bags) and in notebooks. We were only allowed to "upgrade" to the quill once we had mastered the fine art of handwriting with chalk and a pencil. The good old days, but I can tell from the signs you are showing today that those lessons remained with many of my countrymen. ;-) Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  2. Eileen @ Passions to Pastry10:46 AM

    And French children are taught to write with fountain pens in school! At least, that is what I was told when I was looking at fountain pens in a Parisian stationary shop. It is a skill, an art, and a necessity that we are losing.

  3. Having worked in a school district in Michigan for 26 years, I can tell you it's a good thing Americans don't write for public display. Most of the penmanship of the students was unbelievably horrible! Evidently the art of beautiful writing went out with the invention of email.

  4. LOVE yr comment today Fr Girl in Seattle!!
    How I wish I had gone to a French school
    even the creche looks very appealing
    I would have a doudou/Bear from the start...

  5. Geri, NJ12:07 PM

    You are so spot on with this post...I've been quietly mourning the rapid decline of script in the US...I've heard that soon it will no longer be taught in our schools. So sad. One more tradition the French hold dear...

  6. Geri, NJ12:09 PM

    ...and how I would LOVE to purchase that bib!

  7. Oh yes, there are handwriting fonts here...oui...trying to remember name of the sites. I think Font Squirrel has a free one...

  8. I know there are plenty of font sites out there Giulia(the cat)
    but can you use them on US Blogger is the question??

  9. I hear you about the Parisian / European handwriting. It's art in itself just looking at those menu boards!

  10. Giulia the chat12:54 PM

    Look under advanced layout.
    Under post title or anything else w/text.
    Under the regular font list, there is web font.
    There are several jazzy looking ones.
    I don't know how they actually look 'cause I decided ages ago I had too much going on...but there might be something you'd like for PB.
    I'd love to see French handwriting posts...

    but yeah, you can do it.:)


  11. Well I just tried it on my blog (which I haven't posted to for over two years!) and the fonts came in OK when I copied and pasted them from a Word document.
    Look at my post here:
    Maybe it will work for you, too!

  12. I'm always trying to find authentic French bakeries here in the states and the one key to authenticity is the handwritten sign in that oh-so-French script.

  13. Amanda3:52 PM

    Your own calligraphy(anglaise/copperplate) that you denigrate, writing "Paris Breakfast" is excellent.
    I have used it as a good example in my master-classes on Anglaise/Copperplate.
    French handwriting is all too often, crap (not always, I admit).
    Chin up, and stick with it.
    I can defend this thesis with innumerable photos taken of ardoises &c throughout France over about 30 years.
    Maybe they're improving.
    S l o w l y.
    I love Paris Breakfast.

  14. Love French writing! Nice post. You really know French habits, so you could live here with us!

  15. Great shots, Carol - I especially like the Hermes archway & the shot below that of the brasserie sign.
    The chocolate chicken is a favorite, too :)
    I went to a Catholic school & we had to learn the "Palmer Method."
    It was a nice style of penmanship.

    1. Haven't heard that term in so long. My grandmother was taught the Palmer method in the NY public schools in the early 1900s and always had the most beautiful handwriting. She was so proud of the certificate she earned from them...we have that certificate framed and hanging on our wall to remember her. Now nobody knows about Palmer method so I was delighted to see your post! Don't you love this blog?!

  16. Sadly my own grandchildren 14 and 16 have not been taught cursive. They write their thank you letters, for which I am very grateful, in block printing. It makes me sad but determined to write my notes and letters in proper script.

  17. Both as an Illustrator and a painter, when it comes time to invoice the client, I always do it by hand.
    Not in a script, but printed.
    It's another reminder all of my art is done with my magic left hand.
    (On those days the magic is working.)

  18. I love handwriting. I love to write just to be writing sometimes. Do they still teach it in School these days?

  19. Nikon:
    Palmer method!
    WOW impressive
    Please write me a letter!!

  20. Maybe you'll remember that I am left handed. Maybe that's a reason that I so admire handwriting (and always assume that a right hand did it.)

    Just a little bit more seriously, I do love the look of any sign hand written by someone who learned to write in France.

    Wondering if, with practice, I might learn how to write like that?


  21. I have heard that some school districts will no longer teach penmanship! I learned cursive with ink in an Esterbrook pen.

  22. Thank you so much for the shout-out to my blog!! It is so sweet :) I agree with some of the comments above - I think the handwriting for Paris Breakfasts is beautiful. So elegant in the way that the curves stretch out thin and long whilst the e's and a's and s's remain small and quaint. I would vote for keeping your handwriting!

  23. Bonjour!

    I'm just popping my head up to say DD was taught cursive handwriting in Maternelle and Primaire on an ardoise(she is now nearly 17)and a stylo plume has been on the school list since goodness only knows when! I think that's why the French only use the square/lined paper as each letter was/is supposed to be a certain size. I may be wrong.

    Don't change your blog script. I love it!


  24. My kids still use an ardoise board at primary school to learn these beautifully curly 'r's et al. I still can't get it. I even have a French girlfriend who reads handwriting to work out your personality - that's why CVs always have to be accompanied by a handwritten letter. Ooh R.

  25. I heard the same thing Geri heard...and I also read about a study that showed the act of learning to print/write creates huge brain development....I learned to write cursive with an Esterbrook ink pen. It was terrifying, messy and made me feel oh-so-courant! and that was before I knew what it meant!

  26. PS Had so much trouble with the proving I'm not a robot that I gave up and decided to post later...and posted twice. Red face.

  27. Search in Google for Cezanne font. My Fonts has a large selection of handwriting fonts.


  28. Delhi5:15 AM

    Nice images!

  29. Personally I love handwriting and handwritten signs. Handwriting is an art in itself. Love your findings and particularly the tarte at the end. Greetings from Germany

  30. I learned a fancy script from my grandmother before I could print ( my 1st grade teacher made me print, but I defiantly wrote my name in cursive)by the time I was in 3rd grade cursive had become much more simplified than Meme's .But I prefered her way! Except for very bad arthritis days, I get many compliments on my handwritting. I think it is shame cursive isn't taught now. and with all the calligraphy fonts, who will handcraft words beautifully?

  31. Bonjour Carol! In Spain, where I was born an grew up, we also had a very nice calligraphy in school. It was called the "método Rubio" and we will also use fountain pen and ink. I still cherish my old school notebooks for the beauty of the handwriting I used to do. Now, as someone else mentioned above, I still write letters to old friends with nice handwriting not to lose the habit...but more and more scattered. Technology ate that good beautiful habit.

  32. THank you for your blog.

    While in Paris, I've looked for handwriting copy books that French school children may use.
    In the States there are both printing and cursive workbooks or copy books. HAve you ever seen them in PAris?
    I am not an artist but I love looking at and trying different handwriting samples and methods.

  33. Oh sure Ray,
    I've bought many at kid's book stores and paper shops
    But no miracles yet in the penmanship arena :)


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