No Cursive Experience

A spread displaying both the English and the Armenian versions of an article.

Late last year (2021), I was asked to design a booklet for my new church consecration which took place in April, 2022. It was great to go back to print media after almost 20 years! This new church is the St. Sarkis Armenian Church in Carrollton, Texas. You can find articles about its state-of-the-art construction, its connection with a 7th century iconic Armenian church, and its elegance!

Once I learned about the details behind this church’s architecture, I decided that this booklet must be focused on its core information without any unnecessary distractions. It also needed to be elegant and reflect the emotions expressed by the parishioners through their congratulatory and memoriam messages! It’s important to note that the messages from the community formed half of the 68-page, bilingual, booklet. To honor these heartfelt, sensitive, and moving messages I chose to use an easy to read and inviting cursive font.

Section Title page for the Messages from the Parishioners.
Close up of one message. Names of the parishioners are blurred out.

I spent a couple of days examining the fonts available and selected one that I felt will be easiest to read. When I shared my initial designs with a few people, their first response was that the young generation will not be able to read these message!!! And, my initial response was: What? Why not?

I learned quickly that in the past 20 years or so, while I was so focused on presenting content in the digital world, the education system decided to eliminate script and cursive writing from their curriculum. That, the younger generation did not learn to write cursive. So, they will not be able to read the messages that are presented in cursive fonts in printed material, either! I kept thinking…ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Did the rest of the world also stopped this practice? I am not a wizard, but I can see some serious security implications right off the bat! Forget about encrypting anything, just write it in cursive and our younger generations will not understand a word of it. Does one need to take a special course to read important and valuable handwritten documents such as the U.S. Declaration of Independence?  

Please, someone, tell me that I have seriously misunderstood my friends. Please, tell me that we did not create an unnecessary disability. What problem did this education elimination solve?