This is What the World’s Cumulative Average Handwriting Looks Like

Every now and again I stumble upon an article, website, or graphic that is flat-out cool. Enter The Universal Typeface Experiment. Sponsored by BIC, this website attempts to answer a fascinating question: what would a universal typeface look like? In other words, if we collected, analyzed, and averaged the alphabet as it is written by millions of people, what would we come up with? How can we take something as personal as handwriting and generate a universal average?

The results were fascinating. With over 1,468,892 entries from 125 different countries, humanity has some spectacular handwriting. Quite legible in my professional opinion. Adding to the excitement, visitors can filter the one million plus entries by a variety of factors: Gender, age, handiness (left or right hand preference), industry, and country. A quick glance through each of these paints a new and unique image. (Some screenshots of letters filtered by age and country can be seen below)

Although this project is limited by certain factors, such as corporate sponsorship, an English-only alphabet, and Internet access to submit responses, the outcome is worth a high amount of praise. Bottom line: this project is amazing. To view individual entries of the 26 letters, visit the project’s website. New entries are added daily.

The World's Average %22D%22 by age
A comparative look at the letter “D” by age group.
The World's Average %22H%22 by gender
The male and female cumulative average of letter “H.”
The World's Average %22v%22 2
A look at the letter “V” in Paraguay, Peru, and the Philippines.
The World's Average %22V%22 3
The letter “V” in Slovenia, South Africa, and South Korea.
The World's Average %22v%22
The letter “V” in Malta, Mexico, and the Netherlands.


The Universal Typeface Experiment


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