Which is your dominant hand?
Do you write and draw primarily with your right or left hand? Can you use either one with the same ease?
This Friday, August 13th is International Left Handers Day - a day to recognize left hand dexterity and the issues that left handers deal with in their daily lives.
A left handed writer has specific considerations when selecting stationery. Common challenges include smudging ink, nibs catching on paper, the left wrist resting on wire binding, poor ink flow and hand fatigue.
Left handed people don't all write the same way. Most tend to overwrite. Overwriting is when the hand is held above or "over" the line of writing. Writing this way often creates smudging and it can be tiring.
Underwriting is when the hand stays below the line of writing. This way of writing is far less likely to lead to smudging or fatigue.
To prevent any issues commonly experienced by left handed writers, there are some features to keep in mind: ergonomic design, smooth flow and fast drying ink. Ergonomic features such as triangular grips (e.g. Lamy and the TSWBI Eco-T pens) prevent hand cramps and fatigue. Smooth flow is commonly found in many rollerball pens and gel inks, some of which are fast drying. Some examples include Stabilo Bl@c rollerballs, Pilot Frixion, and G-Tec C4 and B Ball pens.
Fountain pens also have smooth flow; however, not all nibs and inks are equal. Although some brands offer left handed nibs, some lefties find that they are unnecessary. Many left handed fountain pen users find a medium or fine nib just as effective. Medium nibs are smoother than finer nibs, and though broad nibs are smoother still, more ink flows from their tips, which requires a longer drying time and increases the chance of smudging.
We hope you've enjoyed taking a few moments to experience things from another perspective. Or, if you are left handed, we hope you feel appreciated and a little more understood. Whatever your dominant hand, we can all celebrate by showing the lefties in our life a little kindness this Friday, August 13th!
Although lefties and righties write with different hands, we all read the same way. Next week, we'll turn the page to discuss a few of the books we've been reading and share some summer suggestions.