Writing on cards and flip charts

Many facilitators will admit to have bad writing when operating a flip chart. Many also can’t write cards clearly. Without question, people in our groups are either immaculate or dreadful – and loads are in between.

I am not sure we need to ensure that every member within our meeting groups should write fantastically well – if it can be read, that’s enough. However, I do feel we facilitators should write clearly and effectively and if we can show our delegates an easy way to write well, it must help.

Probably the main thing to do is not to be fussy, not to be over critical and generally relax about looking for perfection. Legibility is the key but variation is the facilitator’s skill.

The basics:

  • We read words by the letters they spell and the shape too.
  • Lower case is more legible than only upper case. Books are all written in lower case and upper case is reserved for emphasis.
  • The ascenders and descenders need to be about a third of the body of the letters.
  • Extreme ascenders and descenders just waste space.

The samples here are drawn with a Neuland No.One® This pen uses a wedge nib which gives a bold, firm, clear letter. Bullet tip pens tend to be too thin and weak.

The ideal spacing for writing cards and general text on a flip chart is:

  • Body 15mm. ascenders and descenders 5mm each.
  • If you are using a Neuland BigOne® double to 30mm, 10mm and 10mm.

Moderation (Pinpoint/Neuland) call cards are 21.5cm x 9.5cm. Writing with the Neuland No.One® allows for three lines to be clear, vivid, legible from a distance and look really smart.

Further reading: Take a Lettering Journey by Heather Martinez                                                   

Practice Pack: Hand Lettering Set