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Bic Hopes to Create Universal Font Based on Everyone’s Handwriting

Do you write an F with three strokes or two? Are your G's round at the end or squared off? Whatever your style, Pen-maker Bic wants you to write it — so it can compare it to thousands of others and make an "universal typeface" based on handwritten letters.

There are already lots of handwriting fonts out there, but this has to be the most thoroughly researched one. Every day people go to the site and trace out each letter of the alphabet, and before long the official font is updated to reflect their contribution.

You can add your own by going to the website on a mobile device or tablet and hitting "contribute." The process only takes a few minutes, and afterward you're treated to a comparison between your letters and the average — 10 percent wider, 14 percent smaller, and so on.

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The site also lets you compare how different groups tend to write certain letters — do women make rounder M's? Do left-handed S's tilt differently?

Of course, writing letters on a screen with your fingertip isn't quite the same as writing it with pen and paper — but it's definitely easier to collect samples from all over the world.

Unfortunately, you can't actually download the font just yet, or even see the full set of letters all at once. There are over 35,000 contributions so far, but Bic might be waiting for a few more before finalizing things.