The pen remains the most mighty instrument in Cindy Zimmermann’s communications arsenal. The Scottsdale mother of three devotes her time to handwriting, an art she believes is still vital in today’s society despite e-mail and typewritten letters and notes.
To that end, Zimmermann, a communications professional, has organized Writing in Style, a family event to promote and educate about handwriting. It will be held Jan. 29 at Ancala Country Club in Scottsdale.
"I come from a family who always wrote letters and notes," said Zimmermann, 47. "It’s always been a strong communication tool. I think with today’s technology we’re losing the art of handwriting, but it will come back. It’s a much more personal way of communication and one that really touches people."
To Zimmermann handwriting is personal. She believes it tells the recipient that the writer has put time and effort into the work.
Even in business after an interview, Zimmermann suggests sending a handwritten thank you note, rather than firing off what she considers an impersonal e-mail.
"Write a note to someone, then type the same thing out the way it would look on an email," Zimmermann said. "Put the two next to each other. The handwritten note stands out. There’s the message and the writing, not just the message."
Zimmermann thinks handwritten communication offers a warmer sense of giving and tells a recipient that the note isn’t part of a mass mailing in which the name and subject line may be the only things that change.
"It’s nice to get a handwritten letter," Zimmermann said. "When we go to the mailbox, there’s really not a lot to look forward to. When we see something that stands out, like a card or letter that appears to be handwritten, we seem to give it special treatment. We may open it first or even save it for last. It’s something special to many of us."
Zimmerman’s goal is to get people, especially the young, writing more. She thinks fountain pens are the best tool and realizes many children have never used one.
"Generally, I talk to an older audience," Zimmermann said. "We need to reach a younger group. They should be aware that handwriting is distinct. Everyone has a different handwriting. We want to let them see that family history can be passed down through handwriting."
Zimmermann said handwritten chronicles can become family heirlooms, especially if saved through generations. To that end, her Scottsdale event will attempt to attract three generations — grandparent, parent and child — to share in the experience.
"Handwriting is still a classy way to say something," Zimmermann said. "It gives the writer a way to stand out."
For information about Zimmermann’s event, visit