My Cursive

Spencerian Script or Cursive: Should you learn how?

Spencerian cursive script

Spencerian cursive script is a cursive writing style that’s an art form in and of itself. This type of handwriting is a testament to the beauty of cursive.

The intricacies and elegance that it carries are unmatched by any modern typing font.

However, mastering this exquisite penmanship style isn’t as daunting as one might think. With the right approach and resources, anyone can learn Spencerian script (aka Spencerian cursive or Copperplate cursive).

This elegant writing form not only adds a personal touch but also serves as a bridge connecting us with history.

The Beauty of Spencerian Script Cursive Script

The Spencerian script, an intricate form of American handwriting developed by Platt Rogers Spencer in the mid-19th century, emerged as a popular choice for business correspondence. Its appeal lies not just in its aesthetic allure but also in its ease of readability.

Origins and Evolution: Tracing Back to Platt Rogers Spencer

Born out of calligraphy and decorative arts influences, this 19th-century penmanship style was devised with a dual purpose—practicality combined with beauty. The creation was none other than that of Platt Rogers Spencer, who crafted what we today recognize as the unique cursive writing technique known as “Spencerian.

This elegant form is more than mere letters on paper—it’s considered a precursor to modern cursive styles—a harmonious blend of function and artistry defined by flowing lines embellished with ornate flourishes.

Distinguishing Traits: Unraveling the Artistic Intricacies

A standout feature lies in its distinct slant—an element designed not merely for aesthetics but for practical reasons too—to ensure legibility even when written at high speeds during commercial use. This isn’t your average tilt; it forms part-and-parcel of each stroke, lending uniformity across words.

In addition to this characteristic lean, connective slants within certain strokes lend further distinction making lowercase letters ooze personality while capital ones exude grandeur—each meticulously constructed letterform displaying artistic flair reflective of the period’s penchant for ornamentation.

Taking Your First Steps Towards Mastering The Craft Of Penmanship

Now that we’ve traversed through the history behind this timeless craft, let us venture into learning how you can master it using practice sheets and digital tools like iPad.

Discovering the Beauty of Spencerian Cursive Script

The timeless elegance of Spencerian cursive script has captivated calligraphers and penmanship enthusiasts. This exquisite writing style can also be mastered through the art of pointed pen calligraphy.

1. Understanding Basic Strokes

To effectively learn Spencerian, it is essential to grasp the fundamental strokes that form each letter in this script. These foundational elements give the style its unique flow and balance.

There are numerous online resources available for practicing these essential strokes at your own pace, such as free practice sheets. Utilizing these resources will not only help develop muscle memory but also provide insight into how different strokes combine to create letters.

You can get better at this and there are workbooks, like this one I’ve used:

Spencerian cursive script workbook

You can also take a look at this video, showing whether or not the Spencerian workbooks are worth it (or not).

2. Embracing Digital Practice on iPad

Digital tools, like iPads, offer additional benefits for learning Spencerian. The zooming capabilities of these devices allow for detailed work, which is crucial when perfecting the intricate lines and curves of Spencerian script.

An iPad course that provides traceable forms specifically designed for tablet use is a popular resource among learners. This combination of traditional artistry and modern technology creates a dynamic platform where learners can explore their creativity while honing their skills in pointed pen calligraphy.

Comparisons Between Different Handwriting Styles

The world of handwriting styles is vast and diverse, ranging from the intricate Copperplate script to the straightforward Palmer method. Each style has its own distinct characteristics that distinguish it from the rest.

The Transition from Copperplate to Palmer Method

Copperplate script, an exquisite form of calligraphy, is characterized by its complex loops and flourishes. It is often likened to art due to its precision-oriented nature, requiring mastery of control and technique.

However, as society moved towards industrialization, there arose a need for a simpler writing system that prioritized practicality. This gave rise to the Palmer method, designed specifically for speed without sacrificing legibility or aesthetic appeal.

This transition mirrored the evolution of society itself. While elaborate scripts like Copperplate were once highly valued, they were eventually replaced by more efficient forms such as the Palmer method in American schools.

In essence, both scripts have their merits. One can appreciate the artistic elegance of each stroke in Copperplate, while also recognizing the practicality of the Palmer method for everyday use.

Moving forward…, let us now explore another captivating facet – Spencerian cursive script.

Influence & Popularity of the Elegant Script

It’s no secret that the revival of Spencerian cursive script has been spearheaded by influential figures like Michael Sull. His work as a master penman has significantly revived this classical art form, bringing it back into modern-day relevance.

Notable Examples in Modern-Day Usage

You might be surprised to learn how often you’ve come across Spencerian handwriting without even realizing it. A prime example is the Coca-Cola logo – an iconic symbol recognized worldwide, with its unique lettering remaining virtually unchanged since 1886. This long-standing design serves as a powerful testament to the timeless elegance of Spencerian script.

The Ford logo is another fascinating case study in blending old and new styles for brand identity. It incorporates elements from Platt Rogers Spencer’s writing system, marrying modern branding strategies with traditional craftsmanship – a compelling reminder of how classic aesthetics can enhance contemporary designs.

Beyond these corporate examples, many individuals are rediscovering and adopting this vintage handwriting style for personal use or artistic expression. Although typing on keyboards or tapping on screens dominates our communication methods today, there’s something uniquely human about crafting words with ink and paper using elegant cursive scripts such as Spencerian.

This resurgence isn’t solely driven by aesthetic appeal either; learning intricate handiwork like this also cultivates patience, concentration, and precision – traits highly valued in our fast-paced world where quick results often overshadow meticulous effort.


Unraveling the history of Spencerian cursive script, we have journeyed back to its 19th-century origins. We discovered how Platt Rogers Spencer crafted this elegant penmanship style that shaped American handwriting.

Diving into learning techniques, we explored basic strokes and modern tools like iPads for mastering this vintage art form. Comparisons with Copperplate script illuminated unique features of Spencerian script’s distinctive slant and connective strokes. We can still see its enduring influence in branding, logos, calligraphy artwork, and personal expression today.



Connie is a homeschool mom who wants her children to know how to write in cursive. In the process, she fell in love with script and calligraphy.

Tags :
Share :
Related Post :

4 Responses

  1. I’ve written in cursive since I was exposed to it in the 4th grade, 1984. It has almost become a secret language despite its neat appearance. Thanks for the article, it was really well done. God bless you for wanting to give the gift of proper writing to your children.

  2. Thanks so much for the review of the Spencerian books. It looks like you’re writing with your wrist, not your arm. From what I’ve read and seen, Specerian comes from the length of arm and the slant of the paper than the wrist and the crunched pointer finger (as a fellow finger cruncher, I identify!). 🙂

    Keep up the good work!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *