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Whether it’s a gift, an envelope, or a sack lunch, at some point in your life, you will have to write someone’s name on something. You will probably love that person, and you will probably want that person to feel a hint of that love simply upon reading their name.
As someone who has dabbled in calligraphy, but never put in the practice required to get good, I’ve pondered the best bang-for-your-buck styles of writing. Some would argue that would be the whimsical script, bouncy baseline, brush pen style that has dominated Etsy stores, wedding invitations, and holiday cards for a few years now. I am not a huge fan of that style, so it won’t be addressed here.
In my experience with type and typography, I’ve found a thoughtful consideration of negative space to be the unsung hero of composition. With that in mind, I wanted to find the style of writing that facilitated the easiest spacing. As it turned out, the medium contrast connected script turned out to be it.
The movement is coming mostly from my elbow, and I'm more or less locking my wrist. I’ve found this strategy to get the most confident looking lines.
An overview with ductus showing the lowercase alphabet. Originally, this exemplar was drawn with brushpens in mind, but it holds true for the chisel Sharpies too. Take the ductus with a grain of salt. Use whichever order and stroke direction that works for you.
Because of the many repeated vertical strokes, all one must do for normal letters (like a, b, d, g, h, i, j, l, m, n, o, p, q, t, and u) is apply a picket fence rhythm. The italic lowercase alphabet shares so many shapes, that spacing becomes logical and rhythmic.
Now that a style is locked down, we must find the tool that will execute it best. After lots of experimentation, I find the easiest to control is the Sharpie Chisel Tip. The chisel allows downstrokes to be thick, and one can tilt the pen slightly to allow for thin upstrokes. This rule of thick downstrokes and thin upstrokes gets you about 90% of the way there!
This lucky combination of normal letters shows how the picket fence rhythm gets applied. Certain weirdo letters like z or k might throw this off slightly, but more or less, you’re shooting for the old “ counterspace equals letterspace ” rule of thumb.
One added benefit of this style is how forgiving and adaptable it is. If you accidentally make a downstroke an abnormal length, you can start a bouncy baseline. I try not to go crazy with bounce, but a little is fine. Also, if you want to change the incline to be perfectly upright, that’s more than ok. All of the parameters of weight, width, incline, bounce, contrast, or whatever else you can think of are all ready for experimentation.
An example with a more condensed, completely upright, and slightly wonky style.
Adding on the Capital
The world of script capitals is vast, and it can seem that there are almost too many options. For this reason, I like to change the size and level of intricacy to fill the desired size. Also, sometimes I write the lowercase first, then add the capital in order to better center the name.
The only rule for script caps: there are no rules.
I’ll be honest, I had to touch some of these up. The point is this: hold you wrist stationary, and make all movements from your elbow. That's the easiest way I've found to get a confident line, and confidence is key!
A few more quick tips
Warm up a couple times.
If you’re going for centering the name, do it once on another sheet of paper, and position that over your desired substrate, so you know where to begin.
Add sparkles wherever necessary. The make it look more fancy, and sometimes do a good job of hiding compositional mistakes.
Consider the tool. The chisel sharpie wants to write at about a 1 inch x-height. A standard sharpie could be half that. A ball point pen probably shouldn't go larger than a quarter inch or so.
Consider the substrate. These names might look terrible on a tiny 3" × 5" card, and could even be too small on a poster or sign.
Trace! Feel free to use Viktor Script as a starting point, and do whatever you want on top it. That way, all the spacing and composition decisions are made already, and you can just focus on the writing.
In general, this article is insane, and there is no wrong way to write a name on something. In the end, something heartfelt, unique, and evocative of your own true handwriting could very well make a more emotional impact.
And as Mushy Krongold says, "In the words of many terrible instructors: have fun and make it your own!”
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- Creating Characters for Writing
How to Find Unique Names for Your Characters
Last Updated: October 13, 2022
This article was co-authored by Stephanie Wong Ken, MFA . Stephanie Wong Ken is a writer based in Canada. Stephanie's writing has appeared in Joyland, Catapult, Pithead Chapel, Cosmonaut's Avenue, and other publications. She holds an MFA in Fiction and Creative Writing from Portland State University. This article has been viewed 1,089,267 times.
Studies show that the coolest, happiest, brightest name is Olivia. Are you tired of using the same rotation of names for the characters in your stories? Do you feel like you rely on the same, generic names to spice up your writing? In fact, there are several methods you can use to create unique and interesting character names.
Creating Unique Names
- For example: Anna Joey, Robert Gideon, Paul Michael.
- This is a very subtle approach and would make the most sense for a story that unfolds in a time and place that's similar to your own. Some names can be both surnames and forenames, like: Curtis, George, Paul, Jordan, Logan, Dylan, Wilson, Kerry, Owen, Keith, Austin and Oliver.
- Because this is a broad approach, it could be applicable to a wide variety of genres as well as male or female characters.
- For example: Razilee, Kadiah, Joval, Jantanie, Keryl, or Kaline.
- If you want to be inspired by both a name and a character, check out a mythology book from the library; however, unless you want something obvious (ex. Athena), don't go with Norse, Greek, or Latin mythology. Make sure that the name is still pronounceable. Keryl, Razilee, and Genoviah are pronounceable with little effort, but nobody wants to have to try to pronounce Kazlistynez, no matter how unique it is.
- Blend common names together. So, Sarah and Josephine could become Josah and Saraphine; Garrett and Adrian could become Adriett and Garran; etc.
- Try different spelling variations. Substitute Mikhail for Michael, Gaebriel for Gabriel, etc.
- Rearrange your own (or a friend's) name. If your name is Bob Smith, scramble the letters to get something like Omi Thibbs. Your friend Eileen could be Neelie, Annabel could be Belanna, and so forth.
- Create anagrams from common words. For example, laugh can be Gal Uh and jump can be M Puj. You can also use this technique to make a name that fits a character's personality. So, the anagram of laugh, Gal Uh, could be a good name for a comedian and the anagram of jump, M Puj, could be a good name for a high jumper.
- Type a random string of letters in a Word document, then select a set that seems promising, and rework them to create something you like.
- Or, you might cut individual letters out of a magazine, throw them into the air, and choose a combination based on how they fall to the floor.
- For example, if you want to name your character after Katniss Everdeen, don't just name your character Katniss Everdeen, as this is not only unoriginal, it is also against copyright laws. Instead, try to create names similar to the existing name, such as "Katherine" instead of "Katniss", or "Dean" instead of "Everdeen.”
- You can also use celebrity names to create new names by mixing up or combining the names. For example: Justin Bieber and Kate Alexa could become Jexa Kelbeir.
- For example, misspell “like this” so it appears as: lykkethez. Then, choose an interesting letter combo from the results. For example, Kethez, Ethe, or Ykke.
- Type a few lyrics from a song without spaces to find interesting combinations. For example, 'All we are is the wind' could become Llwea, Arei, Isdus, Hewin, etc.
- Keep in mind not all names have opposite-gender equivalents.
Using a Letter (or Letters) You Like
- For example, if you are staring at the moon, think of a synonym, such as “celestial body”, which could become the name “Celeste”.
- If the name you come up with sounds clunky, add more letters, but don't overdo it.
Finding a Name that Suits Your Character
- It will add to the believability of your story if the character names sound appropriate for the setting. For example, a story set in China will likely have different character names than a story set in South Africa.
- Another technique, used by John Braine, is to use place names from the region or area the story takes place in.
- Look for names that are easy to say out loud and roll off your tongue.
- Avoid using a lot of strangely spelled names for your characters as this could confuse and alienate your reader.
- You could also use a contrasting name to create some friction between the sound or meaning of the name and the personality of the character. For example, a tough girl could be named Grace, or a nerdy kid could be named Brock.
- Try rearranging letters in a word that describes the character, such as cunning (Gin Nunc), modest (Dom Tes), simple (Sim Lep), words like that. Then you can add and subtract letters as wished. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
- If you want a sci-fi name, mix and match. There are tons of names out there and you can come up with quite a unique character combining sci-fi names. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 2 Not Helpful 1
- Names like Aristotle, Sebastien and Bridgelle are good for more classy tales, while Andrew and Tom or Emma and Sarah are good basic names for the more "up-to-date" stories. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 3 Not Helpful 0
- Don't name your character after somebody who's already been invented in a published story, particularly if they have a similar personality. You might face a lawsuit. Check to see whether anyone has used the name in a published piece before you give it to your character. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 89 Not Helpful 10
- Don't use a name immediately after you create or find it; present it to at least one other (unbiased) person first. What sounds great to you may sound like the name of a prescription medication to your audience. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 68 Not Helpful 10
- Make your character names believable, especially if you're working on a more serious or somber story. While you should always be as out-there and creative as you want, if you name one of your characters something like "Lord Marky Mark" or “Princess Surfbort”, it may be difficult for readers to take your characters and your story seriously. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 10 Not Helpful 0
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://thejohnfox.com/2021/08/how-to-create-character-names/
- ↑ https://www.servicescape.com/blog/how-to-create-cool-and-unique-character-names-and-ones-to-avoid
- ↑ https://proofed.com/writing-tips/5-tips-for-coming-up-with-great-character-names/
About This Article
To find unique names for your characters, check movie credits or a mythology book for something unique. If you can’t find anything you like, try misspelling other names or words to create new ones. You can also rearrange the letters of phrases or names you like to create something less recognizable. However, try to stick to names that are easy to pronounce so reader’s don’t have to pause to figure them out. Read more to learn how to make up a name from scratch! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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10 Ways to Make Name Writing Practice Fun for Kids
Today we are showing some really fun name writing practice ideas for kids that are way more fun than just practicing on plain paper. It is an important skill for kids to easily write both their first name and last name before they go to Kindergarten. Don’t let this task be intimidating or frustrating because we have the easy way to practice your child’s name with a lot of fun!
Write Your Name
A basic Kindergartener skill is that kids can write both their first name and last name without prompting.
Related: Check out our free printable Kindergarten Readiness Checklist
Because most children thrive when education is coupled with sensory activities, we’ve put together a bunch of different ways you can help your child practice writing their name in different and fun ways. We also have free name writing practice sheets you can print at the bottom of this article…
This article contains affiliate links.
Name Writing Practice Tips
Helping your child practice writing their name gives your child the confidence to do their best in school and feel great about it.
- Don’t just have them practice their first name , but their last name also.
- This would also be a good way to teach about capital letters and that the first letter of your child’s name needs to be capitalized .
- Plus, practicing is also important fine motor skills practice and help with letter recognition.
Use these Writing Practice Activity Ideas Other Ways
What is even cooler, not only can these help your young learners learn their names, but this would be a good way to teach sight words as well!
Related: This is part of our homeschool preschool curriculum of play based learning
We hope you and your kids enjoy the activities we’ve put together for you to help gain the necessary skills to write your first name and last name with ease.
Fun Ways Kids Can Practice Writing Skills
1. writing name in gel bags for easy name tracing.
These are brilliant. Fill a giant Ziploc bag with about half a bottle of hair gel and some food coloring. To use, write their name on a page. Lay the gel bag over the paper. Your kids trace the letters to make their name.
This is a fun way to teach kids (2 year old and up) how to write their name. It’s mess free and you don’t have to worry about little ones sticking fingers and glitter and such in their mouths.
2. Creating Sandpaper Letters of Name for Practice Tracing
Kids love sensory experiences. This one helps your kids recognize that letters need to be formed in a particular order. Write their name on sandpaper. Your child needs to use yarn to form the letters of their name.
3. Dot-to-Dot for Name Writing Practice to Write Your Name
This is an especially useful technique for older kids who have learned all the wrong habits. Create a series of dots and number from where they start. Your kids need to follow the dots in order. Start with lots of dots and as your child gets more practice, remove dots.
This is a great way for a preschool teacher and kindergarten teachers to not only learn their name, letter formation, but also work on fine motor skills as well.
4. Glittery Letters Name Letters – Cool Way to Write Name
Review their name multiple days in a row. Using a stiff piece of paper or cardboard, write their names. Your child traces letters of their name with glue. Cover the glue with glitter . When it has dried you can trace the letters with your fingers.
What a great way to get your little learners to practice their names. Plus, it gives your child a creative outlet as well..
I would suggest putting something under to catch the excess glitter.
5. Scramble and Unscramble the Letters of Name
One of the precursors to writing their name is recognizing it and deciphering the order of the letters in their name. Practice putting letters in order from left to right with this fun name activity. Refrigerator letters and foam letters work well for this activity.
I like all these different fun ways to work on writing skills.
6. Make Name Rainbow Letters for Colorful Practice Tracing Name
Give your child a handful of crayons. They get to trace their name over and over again. Each time using a different crayon. You will be surprised at how fast your kids will become experts at writing letters with this technique.
This is first place in name writing practice fun. Mixing colors, building colors, going wild with the crayons, what fun!
7. Chalk-Board Swabs for Name Practice
If you have a chalk board this is super handy and fun! Write their name on the board with chalk. Give your kids a handful of cotton swabs and a capful of water. Your kids need to erase the letters using the swabs.
If you don’t have a chalk board, you can also use a dry erase marker board! You can buy all the different colored dry erase pens to make it more fun.
8. Highlighter Tracing Exercises with Name Letters
Write the letters of their name with thick lines using a bright highlighter marker . Your kids trace the letters “ their goal is to stay inside the line of the highlighter markings. As they become a more confident writer, make the letters thinner and smaller.
9. Masking Tape Street Letters Fun with Name
Form the letters of their name in tape on the floor. Grab the bin of cars. Your kids get to drive around the letters of their name. Encourage them to move their vehicles along the roads the way they would write the letters.
This is one of many great ideas. Mix play and learning to keep it interesting for young children.
10. Play Dough Etching of Child’s First Name & Last Name
Etch your child’s name into play dough using a pencil. Your child can trace the lines. Then roll it flat and trace their name very softly. Your kids need to etch their name deeply following the lines you made. The tension of the dough will help develop the muscle motor control needed to write.
Free Name Writing Practice Worksheets You Can Print
This name writing practice worksheet set has two pages of fun for kids.
- The first printable practice sheet has blank lines to fill in the child’s first and last name for tracing, copy work or writing from scratch.
- The second printable handwriting practice sheet is an About Me printable page where kids can write their first name and last name and then fill in a little about themselves.
Looking For More Writing and Name Writing Practice Activities?
- Learn how to write in cursive! These cursive practice sheets are so much fun and easy to do. You can learn about uppercase letters and lowercase letters. This is a great opportunity to teach a skill that is quickly dying out.
- Not quite ready to write? Your child can practice on these preschool pre-writing skill worksheets . These are fun practice sheets that will get your child ready to write their names and other words.
- Practice writing with this I love you because worksheet . This is one of the sweetest practice worksheets. Plus it doubles as a coloring sheet.
- Kids can fill out the fun facts about me page or find an all about me template you love.
- Here are 10 fun and engaging handwriting exercises for preschoolers . My favorite is #5. This is great if you’re looking for different materials to keep learning fun.
- These ideas to get your preschooler excited about handwriting are genius! Start teaching your child at a young age so they will be ready when they go to kindergarten.
- Check out these 10 free handwriting worksheets for even more practice. These are great for kindergarten students, preschool students, and any student who may struggle with writing. We all learn in different ways and different paces.
- These are our favorite preschool workbooks !
What name writing practice idea are you going to try first?
Rachel is the founder of the blog, One Crazy House . She is the co-author of 101 Kids Activities that are the Bestest, Funnest Ever! and The 101 Coolest Simple Science Experiments. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and six children.
These are great ideas to help kids. I should try this with my daughter. Thanks for sharing.
I don’t even know ho? I ended up here, but I thought this post was g?eat. I do not know who you are but certainly ?ou are go?ng to a famous blogger if you are not already ; ) Cheer?!
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There is at least 100 ways to write your name..pick your favorite! *personal project/ typography exercise*. More Like This.
Aug 28, 2018 - Explore Rosemary J's board "write name in different way" on Pinterest. See more ideas about birthday scenario, funny names, name generator.
May 10, 2022 - Explore Kathy Nielson's board "learn to write name" on Pinterest. See more ideas about preschool names, name activities, learning to write.
Whether it's a gift, an envelope, or a sack lunch, at some point in your life, you will have to write someone's name on something.
Welcome! This page lets you generate all sorts of "fancy" and cool letters which you can copy and paste to facebook, instagram, twitter, fortnite names
red, yellow, orange for a warm feel… Blue, violet, green for a cool feel… Using all of the same color but adding white and black. • Zentangle designs. Page 13
Creating Unique Names · Blend common names together. So, Sarah and Josephine could become Josah and Saraphine; Garrett and Adrian could become Adriett and Garran
4. Glittery Letters Name Letters – Cool Way to Write Name ... Review their name multiple days in a row. Using a stiff piece of paper or cardboard
Learn to write your name in 10 different fonts with this very simple tutorial. Use these fonts to enhance cards/hand-lettered gifts and also
How to write names in cool fancy script writing. For this video I've shown two different quick demonstrations for the name Britney.