Pen manufacturer, BIC, is launching #JustWrite Day, an annual day to both reinvigorate Britain’s enthusiasm for writing and reintroduce the simple pleasure of putting pen to paper. The launch comes on the back of company research that has highlighted the tumbling interest in writing amongst teenagers, sparking concerns for the future of handwriting across Great Britain.
BIC’s research, which formed the basis of a panel debate amongst industry experts on the future of handwriting, revealed that half (50%) of 13-19 year olds in the UK have never written a thank you letter, 83% have not written a love letter and a quarter (26%) have never even written a birthday or Christmas card.
Yet despite penmanship increasingly falling out of favour with Millennials, most of those polled appreciate the intangible benefits a written note or letter can bring, believing handwritten communications are more personal and heartfelt. Over half (58%) say receiving a handwritten letter would mean much more to them than an electronic equivalent, and two thirds (64%) confess that any relative receiving a handwritten note from them would probably be delighted, as they’d consider it more thoughtful.
In an era of texts and instant messaging, there are increasing numbers of scientific studies that prove writing by hand helps an individual read, process information, to comprehend, learn a language or remember information better than typing or reading from a screen. In short, it can often be better to write rather than type in a digital age, which is why BIC is on a mission to get Britain writing.
The inaugural #JustWrite Day will take place on 29 October 2015 and will be marked by a series of activities in Leeds, Manchester and London. From inviting the citizens of Leeds to hand write a message to a cherished recipient, to Mancunians rewarding BIC buskers with a message of appreciation instead of coins and Londoners being reminded to ‘use it or lose it’ as a giant pen is carried through the capital’s streets, each activity has been designed to get Britain celebrating and appreciating the act of writing by hand.
Jonathan Skyrme, general manager at BIC UK & ROI, said: “Handwriting is a skill we’ve been using day in day out for over six thousand years. Alongside reading and maths, writing is one of the three key skills that everyone needs to help them cope in the adult world. Not only does the ability to write legibly increase engagement with the school curriculum, it also helps to unlock a career path and the potential for people to choose their own futures. When you consider that handwriting, not typing, is a skill that is fundamental to our individual development, we felt compelled to take action by actively encouraging youngsters to put pen to paper. This is why we’ve created #JustWrite Day. It will act as a fun and engaging annual focal point on which to remind everyone of the importance and joy that writing can play in all of our lives.”