I admit it – shorthand intrigues me. The reason goes beyond the sheer usefulness of being able to write as fast as people speak, or take notes and have time to people-watch at the same time; it has more to do with the pleasure of watching linear and shapely forms develop on the page.
Perhaps it’s the sheer grace of good handwriting – in any language – that makes fabrics and wallpapers with writing on them so appealing. There’s something satisfying about looking at the lines and dots and curls swirling around, or the architectural precision of thick and thin strokes driving foward or up and down… and while enjoying their beauty also knowing that they have a direct meaning beyond their visual appeal … that they communicate something specific to someone, somewhere, even if not to us because we don’t understand the calligraphy.
(These fabrics are, clockwise from the top, Pindler & Pindler Amor – rojo, Pierre Frey La Paix – blanc and – noir, and Boussac Il Etait Une Fois – multicolore 1).
When they’re beautifully drawn, words painted on walls can also add drama and/or interest to a room (though I’m wary of “inspirational” sayings that quickly become clichéd) and, if they’re in a language that your visitors read, might add a very personal touch to a space. The ideal in this instance is to have a muralist with calligraphic skills create what is essentially a piece of art as well as a message, but if that’s not feasible there are other sources. One of these, if your preferred language is English, is Wall Words; for children’s rooms especially, but other rooms as well, their easily-installed vinyl characters provide quick and fun lettering and graphics for walls.
But back to the shorthand. I found a beautiful example of it on line at Pitman for Geeks: http://www.shorthand.mkz.com/ChristmasCarol001.html. Wouldn’t A Christmas Carol written in Pitman New Era make a fabulous wallpaper?!