"Masculine" handwriting

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I have taken a few examples from the excellent Font Garden website to show characteristics deemed "masculine," "androgynous," and "feminine." These fonts are great for showing allographic characteristics of each letter, and what makes letter formation "masculine" or feminine."

Please note that deeming someone or something "masculine" or "feminine" is arbitrary and based on social custom. Not everyone would agree with my arbitrary assessments below.

The dead giveaway here is the g in gas. Note how the tail is made of two straight lines. The other big one is the lack of convexity in the m and n shapes: they are concave instead of arched. They almost look like the w. The backwards slant of all the letters suggests this writer is a left-handed male.

In this case, the m and n shapes have sharp corners instead of arches. The h has the same issue. Note how the lowercase letters have different heights and, the letters using circles have different x-heights.

Look at the a and e shapes on this sample: the counter of the a and the cramped loop of the e vibe as “masculine.”

Writing in block capitals like this (no lowercase letters) is very “masculine.” Pressing hard with the pen gives these letters a weight to avoid. The straight stems and sharp corners add to the feel.

Again, look at the m and n shapes for the best example. The inconsistency among letters with vertical lines (a made with two penstrokes, no vertical line on u) makes this stand out.

The p and d in this sample are “masculine”: note how the ascender and descender on the stems are looped instead of doubling back more carefully. Note how some letters slant right, like the d, but many slant left, especially the h.

Case-mixing is the first thing that jumps out here. Note that the e and r are capitals.

Note the flourishes that start the m, n, u, y, and w. Those straight lines give this a “masculine” vibe.


The interword space in this sample is one clue, as is the way the k and b slant differently that the other letters.


This example of cursive writing has the cramped formation of shapes and tiny counters considered “masculine.” The p and s are also good clues, being open at the baseline.

The h is a standout here, looking almost like the d. If you are going to make loops on your ascenders, all letters with them need to be consistent: l, b, k, h, and d.
The way the e drops below the baseline on this example stands out as “masculine,” as does the way the crossbar on the f slants downward, where the t slants up. Note also on the f how the top arch slants down much further than the  other letters with that arch shape, like the r.


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Handwriting and gender cues