As I come to grips with the various suggestions as to letter sizes as a function of nib width, I spent an hour this morning hacking up an Excel spreadsheet that would tell me what kind of paper ruling I'd need for any given nib width and letter size preferences, only to discover this excellent resource: http://calligraphypaper.appspot.com/ Just plug in your required values (there are some pulldowns to help with common default values, but you can vary any that you want), and presto it will produce a PDF with various guide lines as required. It's really cool.
But one implication is that if you wanted to follow such guidelines using something common like a typical Moleskine notebook (6.35mm rule spacing), or a Rhodia (7.1mm) you'd either have to be using a very narrow nib or accept that you could only write on every other line (and maybe even only every third line), or both those things.
So it got me wondering what you guys do -- especially the more accomplished -- for *regular handwriting*. That is, in a business notebook, say, or a personal journal, or anything similar where speed of entry and getting the content down fast but in a reasonably legible form has a higher relative priority versus pure "high calligraphic" style. Bearing in mind I'm talking about edged italic -- chancery or not -- I'd be interested to hear. If you use a ruled notebook for your everyday writing:
- Which rule spacing do you prefer? For example, many of the most popular Moleskines are US narrow -- i.e. 6.35mm, The Rhodia Ruled Webnotebook is US medium (or "college") with 7.1mm ruling. Other common rulings are US wide (legal) at 8.7mm, as well as French Séyès (8mm?)
- How many rules do you leave between the "baseline" rules (i.e. the rules on which the base of the "a" sits? For example, "zero" means you use every line as a baseline; "one" means you're writing on every other line; "two" would mean you're writing on every third line. That last approach means you have a full "inter-rule space" for ascenders, another one for the letter body; and a third for descenders.
- Which nib width do you use with such notebooks?
- Did you choose your nib to "fit" your notebook ruling, or vice versa?
- Do you contrive to leave any kind of space (1 or 2 nib worth) between the bottom of an descender in one line of writing and the top of the ascender on the following line of writing?
- Horizontal spacing now -- how many words per line do you like to achieve? Or, put it another way, what paper size do you prefer to work on -- especially width?
- Also, less relevant, if your paper is good enough to avoid bleed through, do you write on both sides, or do you stick to writing on only one of any two facing pages? (And then, just out of interest, on which page do you write; left or right?)