So over the last few years I’ve been working on turning Heber J. Grant’s beautiful handwriting into a font. I was able to find an old Christmas Card of his at a university archive, had it scanned professionally, and went to work on selecting the best letters for the alphabet. It wasn’t an easy task to work on, as it’s a cursive font which means most of the letters need to connect in the right place with a large amount of letter combinations. So it took some finessing and tweaking, but I’ve got the lowercase alphabet nearly finished. Here is a sneak peek (click to see it bigger):

grantpreviewsm

biggrantsample

He used to write marriage certificates, and I think a wedding announcement in Heber J. Grant’s handwriting would be beautiful. I’m planning on releasing it as a font when I am happy with all the characters. The next step is to add numbers and uppercase letters (which is not on the Christmas Card). That’s going to be a big task to track down or design based on other samples written in a different pen.

Story about Heber J. Grant’s penmanship:

“At the beginning his penmanship was so poor that when two of his chums were looking at it one said to the other, ‘That writing looks like hen tracks.’ ‘No,’ said the other, ‘it looks as if lightning had struck an ink bottle.’ This touched Heber’s pride and, bringing his fist down on his desk, he said, ‘I’ll some day be able to give you fellows lessons in penmanship.’ . . .

“He secured a position as bookkeeper and policy clerk in an insurance office at fifteen. About this he said: ‘I wrote a very nice hand, and that was all that was needed to satisfactorily fill the position which I then had. Yet I was not fully satisfied but continued to dream and scribble when not otherwise occupied. . . . I learned to write well, so well, that I often made more before and after office hours by writing cards, invitations, and making maps than the amount of my regular salary. At nineteen I was keeping books and acting as policy clerk for Henry Wadsworth, the agent of Wells Fargo and Company. My time was not fully employed, and I was not working for the company but for the agent personally. I did the same as I had done in Mr. White’s bank, volunteered to file a lot of bank letters, etc., and kept a set of books for the Sandy Smelting Company, which Mr. Wadsworth was doing personally. My actions so pleased Mr. Wadsworth that he employed me to do the collecting for Wells Fargo and Company and paid me $20.00 a month for this work in addition to my regular compensation of $75.00 from the insurance business. Thus I was in the employ of Wells Fargo and Company and one of my day-dreams had become a reality’” (Bryant S. Hinckley, Heber J. Grant: Highlights in the Life of a Great Leader [1951], 39–42).

“When Heber, still in his teens, was working as a policy clerk in the office of H. R. Mann and Co., he was offered three times his salary to go to San Francisco as a penman. He later became teacher of penmanship and bookkeeping at the University of Deseret (University of Utah). . . .

 

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4 Comments

 

  1. July 31, 2009  10:50 am by Allie

    That is a great story. Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to see the font when you have it completed.

  2. August 1, 2009  10:31 am by Trina Neel

    that is a great story. No one seems to worry about handwriting any more. I'm a great grand daughter of Joseph F. Smith and we have copies of the letters he wrote to his family. They wrote so beautifully then. It is a little tricky to read but so lovely to look at.

  3. August 24, 2009  9:32 pm by arya

    His handwriting is lovely...can't wait til you release it because it's one I would love to use to create my own holiday cards for my family!

    Thank you for sharing!

  4. September 27, 2009  8:41 pm by Michael

    Have you released this typeface yet? Would love to use it! Thanks for doing so much to preserve the legacy of President Heber J. Grant, it is so fun to read stories of him and his great determination. Very inspiring to all of us LDS folks! Thanks!

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