Here at The Smallprint Company we love letterpress, but we also love stationery. We take great pride in producing beautiful handcrafted gift cards, wedding stationery, and business cards.
National Stationery Week and the Writing Matters campaign got us thinking about how important the art of handwriting is to our business. One of the main reasons why we are able to make and sell gift cards is because people still want to sit down and write a thoughtful message to their friend or family member.
And it is not all that surprising that handwriting has survived the advent of the digital age. While word processing does enable you to create clean, professional-looking documents, it cannot stimulate your creativity in the same way that jotting away with a pen and paper can (indeed, writing this blog might have taken far longer had I not brainstormed in my notebook first!). The feeling of forming letters on the page is also far more therapeutic than bashing away at a keyboard.
Furthermore, handwriting is not only beneficial to the person who writes the message, but also to the receiver. A letter or card is a tangible object, not an image on a screen. Moreover, an email, text message, or social media post reeks of efficiency and convenience, yet a handwritten message shows thoughtfulness and caring. It shows that you mean every word you write and are not just sending the message because you feel you should. It shows that you genuinely want to brighten the person’s day. And it shows that time and effort has gone into the message.
In the same way, choosing a letterpress gift card rather than an e-card, digitally personalised card, or mass-produced card from the high street, shows that you have thought carefully about what to buy for your loved one, making the card a gift in itself rather than a mere accompaniment to a present. A unique letterpress design is far more personal than a generic ‘Happy birthday Mum’ card, and is likely to be kept and treasured rather than taken off the mantelpiece and thrown away when the next birthday comes around. As we like to say, ‘If you love it – frame it!’
Handwriting and letterpress have both been going on for hundreds of years. Both are threatened by this brave new digital world, but they possess much more than sentimental value. They demonstrate our appreciation for others and they are pleasurable processes in themselves. And above all, they combine to produce beautiful pieces of stationery.
To find out more about National Stationery Week, visit http://www.nationalstationeryweek.com/ and follow @NatStatWeek on Twitter. Don’t forget to use the National Stationery Week hashtags!