Have you ever noticed that writing on some sizes of line spacing feels too cramped for your handwriting, while writing on others feels perfect? Have you ever paid attention to which works the best for you? Well I have noticed that some spacings feel better than others, but have never really paid attention to which I prefer… until now! I decided to try out the most popular line spacings and see which best fit my handwriting. Read on to see how I did it and try it out for yourself.
Paper Line Spacing
Let’s start with a quick discussion on line spacing. As you probably know, different brands of paper can come with different line spacings. The most popular tend to be 5mm-7mm. Even within the same brand, line spacings can differ, especially between grids and lines. Most grids, whether they are dot or line grid, are spaced at 5mm. Open lines are typically spaced a bit further apart at 7mm. Of course, there are always outliers. I have seen 2mm grids and 10mm lines.
My Test Sheet
Instead of grabbing a bunch of sheets of paper with different spacings, I decided to create my own test sheet. It has line spacings ranging from 2mm up to 10mm so that all of my testing could be done on one sheet of paper. To create this test sheet, I made individual sheets of each spacing using this Lined PDF Generator. I then digitally cut out a few lines from each sheet and pasted them all into one sheet, along with a note for the line spacing of each set.
Now that I had my sheet, all that was left to do was write! I usually write in a few different styles, so I tried each one, figuring that the spacing that works best for my all-caps print may not work best for cursive. I also tried a few different nib sizes. While I usually use broader nibs, I sometimes use a fine nib and find that my writing looks different, so I wondered if maybe line size had something to do with that. Here is my test sheet with writing:As you can probably tell, I had one pen that ran out in the middle of testing, so I switched to another with a similar nib size. That ink didn’t agree with the paper, so I switched again. Once you get past all of the different colors, a few things stand out. For example, the smaller line spacings are definitely too small for a broad nib and I wouldn’t recommend them with a medium nib. The fine nib, on the other hand, actually felt comfortable to use on even the smallest 2mm line spacing. The larger line spacings didn’t feel comfortable to me with any nib size. As expected, the line spacings in the middle sizes worked the best.
For my own writing, I think the 4-5mm range is my favorite for fine nibs, 5mm my favorite for medium nibs when printing, and 7mm my favorite for broad nibs when printing. For medium and broad nibs and cursive, I think 6-7mm are my spacing of choice.
Not everyone is going to write on every single line. I find that when I write in cursive in a notebook with 5mm spacing, I usually write on every other line. This not only gives my writing a bit of breathing room, making it easier to read, but also keeps my descenders from letters such as p, q, y, f, j, z and g from colliding with the words below. I have another notebook with 10mm spacing that, in essence, I use the exact same way. By writing on every line, but not skipping any lines and only using half of the line height, I am doing the same thing as writing on a 5mm line and skipping a 5mm line (5mm+5mm=10mm).
If you prefer writing on blank paper and using a guide sheet, you can try getting creative with the line spacing for a better writing experience. Using the Lined PDF Generator I mentioned above, I was able to create a guide sheet with 7mm lines for writing that are spaced 4mm apart. To do this, I used the values “7mm, 4mm” in the Line Spacings box. To make it a bit more obvious which lines to write on, I made the baseline thicker using the values “.5pt, 1pt” in the Line Widths box. Here is how my generator screen looked and how the resulting guide sheet looked.
Notebooks and Notepads For Each Size
If you know what your favorite line spacing is, you’ll want to find paper that has it. Here is a list that has a variety of different notebooks and notepads with as many different line spacings as I could find.
- 2mm: Grid – Life Kleid, Ro-Biki Note
- 3mm: None that I could find, so consider printing a custom guide sheet
- 4mm: Grid – Fabriano EcoQua, Graphilo
- 5mm: Grid – Rhodia, Tsubame Note, Fabriano EcoQua, Clairefontaine Basic, Life Noble, Century Edition, Midori MD, Mnemosyne
- 6mm: Grid – Logical Prime, Lined – Century Edition, Apica CD (is actually 6.5mm)
- 7mm: Lined – Rhodia, Tsubame Note (is actually 7.5mm), Kokuyo Campus, Logical Prime, Midori MD, Mnemosyne
- 8mm: Lined – Clairefontaine Basic, Graphilo, Life Noble, Clairefontaine Triomphe
- 9mm: None that I could find, so consider printing a custom guide sheet
- 10mm+: Dot Grid – Logical Prime (1.2mm), Lined – Life L Writing Paper
If you want to download and use my test sheet so that you can try a variety of line spacings on a single sheet, you can! It is available as a PDF, which you can download here: Line Spacing 2-10mm – Letter