The Art Of Letter Writing For Personal Mail

The Art Of Letter Writing For Personal Mail

THE ART of general letter-writing in the present day is shrinking until the letter threatens to become a telegram, a telephone message, a post-card – by Emily Post 1922

When Emily Post wrote the above statement in 1922 she was worried that the art of letter writing was on the way out. She felt that the success of newspaper circulation and the lack of mental effort by young people would put an end to people sending letters full of current events to far off friends and relatives. Today, we worry about the internet doing away with our snail mail letters. A well written, creative letter arriving in the mail addressed to me is a rare and wonderful treat.

Emily post wrote volumes on proper letter writing etiquette and also emphasized the improprieties of young women writing letters to men, Never so long as you live, write a letter to a man-no matter who he is-that you would be ashamed to see in a newspaper above your signature. Good advise we should all keep in mind for any letters we compose in the present day.

One of Ms. Posts rules of letter writing was to make sure that the envelope always matched the writing paper enclosed inside. Today, things are different and there is an exciting art movement called Envelope Art, it puts art in the hands or the working people and is bound to be enjoyed by letter writers, recipients and carriers far and near. The Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum ceased to conduct the extremely popular envelope art contest in 2001 because it did not comply to their mission, luckily the local calligraphy guild successfully took over.

Here are some of the past and present winners –

Try your hand at it; decorate your own snail mail envelope; send it off to a friend or use it as a marketing tool that’s bound to get you the attention and results you desire.

Not good for mass marketing, but for a few select clients try making your own envelopes. Put your original artful presentation on one side of regular sheet of (8 1/2 x 11) paper and have your message on the other side. Photocopy and fold into an envelope, and then add an address and stamp. The website has an abundance of envelope folding techniques.

It is best to take your envelopes to your postal station and have them hand stamped. You can ask them to validate the stamp straight across and most friendly postal employees will be happy to comply.