Knowledge and experience, hand in hand


David Kindersley, British stone carver and letter designer wrote ‘Knowledge and experience must go hand in hand if any understanding is to be achieved.’

Most of the discussion about handwriting at school nowadays is of theoretical nature and I wonder how any understanding can be achieved in this way.

Different modalities (senses) give us new insights of language. This is the argument for teaching handwriting today: the perception of letters through touch and the kinaesthetic sense (proprioception) informs sight.

Don’t believe so much in theories: to know letters well, you need to make them.


I recommend a little essay by Kindersley contained in Apprenticeship: The Necessity of Learning by Doing.

Last night I came across these words of Albert-Jan Pool: ‘theoretical discourses, which are set you to be relevant in our profession [typography], are best founded on practical experience.’ This could be another variation of the Knowledge-Experience graph.


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